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Gold Star

Aggie swimmer prepares for season after Olympic gold

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012

Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 23:09

Breeja Front photo

Matt Wong - THE BATTALION

Breeja Larson became the first Aggie swimmer to earn an Olympic gold by advancing the 4x100-meter medley relay to the finals.

Breeja inside photo

Matt - Wong

Breeja Larson placed 6th in her individual event, the 100-meter breast stroke, at the 2012 Olympics.

While most of the Olympic dust has settled, one star returns to College Station, Texas. Breeja Larson, who is returning as a junior, swims freestyle and breaststroke.  
Larson qualified individually in the breaststroke final but placed sixth after she dove into a malfunctioning horn to start the race. Larson said she was thankful for the opportunity but coming back to College Station was also something she enjoyed.

“It’s so exciting,” Larson said. “It was a nice summer being able to have all of those experiences, but it’s also nice to come back down to earth and really get into the season.”

Larson did not venture to the London games alone. She was accompanied by Texas A&M women’s swim and dive coach Steve Bultman and teammate Camille Adams, a fly, free and individual medley swimmer. Larson said it was beneficial to have an experienced teammate with her in London to help her through the competition.   
“It was incredible,” Larson said. “She was able to kind of show me the ropes a little bit, because I’m a little newer and she’s been around and swimming at this level for a while. She was able to explain some things to me that would’ve been embarrassing if I didn’t know.”

Larson emphasized the importance of having coach Bultman by her side. She said it was good for her routine and made her feel
more comfortable.

Texas A&M is known for the Aggie family and how Aggies care for one another and it showed in London. Coach Bultman said having teammates going to the Olympics and supporting each other spoke volumes about
their camaraderie.

“The girls care about each other,” Bultman said. “We talk to recruits and there are a lot of good reasons to choose Texas A&M, but the girls [who will be their teammates] are the icing on the cake.”

Although Larson didn’t end up with an individual medal, she helped team USA receive the gold medal in the 4x100 medley relay. She is now re-entering the world of collegiate swimming with a new level of experience and success.

Facing the drastic transition can be a daunting task. Adams is relying on advice from previous Olympic athlete Misty Hyman to have fun and focus on the details.

“I recently had dinner with Misty Hyman,” Adams said. “She encouraged me to work on the little things and to never get bored with the sport, like coming up with an every day plan even if it’s something little.”

While Larson is still motivated to win another gold, she is focusing on the upcoming Aggie season. Larson and her teammates look to keep the individual titles they won at nationals last year and improve their performance this coming
season.

Texas A&M has been in the top 10 for the last six years, reaching a high of claiming No. 4. Coach Bultman and Larson said they want to top that this year.

“I really want our team to get top four,” Larson said. “It’s just a matter of mind over matter and making sure we are prepared for it. I just want to improve my times and have my team as a whole
improve.”

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