Conshohocken native Teresa Crippen just missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games this weekend, finishing in the top six in both the 200-meter butterfly and backstroke.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Crippen, 22, had a rough start to the U.S. Trials, withdrawing from her first two events due to flu before failing to make the semifinals in a third.
However, Crippen began to churn water as she qualified for the 200-meter final Saturday, finishing with a third-best time of 2:09.59 in the semifinals. However, she fell to fourth in the final with a time of 2:09.45, two seconds behind the last qualifying spot.
But Crippen dusted herself off after the disappointing loss, and prepared for her final shot on Sunday; the 200-meter backstroke.
"I just wanted to get back up this morning and race," Crippen told the Inquirer, "because it doesn't matter if you get knocked out. It's just that you get back up. That's what I've always been taught."
However, the Germantown Academy and University of Florida graduate once again fell short, finishing sixth in the event's final with a time of 2.11:79. Competitor Elizabeth Beisel, the second place finisher who took the final qualifying spot, finished with a time of 2:07.58.
While surely a disappointing result, Crippen and her family have much to be proud of. All three of Crippen's siblings have also competed at the Olympic Trials, with sister Maddy making the 2000 Olympic team. Brother Fran was likely a contender for medaling at this year's Olympics in open-water swimming, but tragically lost his life while competing in the United Arab Emirates in October 2010, NBC reported.
Open water racing, an event that was added to the Olympics in 2008, involves competitors battling through grueling distances of natural environments. According to NBC, Crippen was near the end of a 10-kilometer marathon when he became overheated and slipped beneath the surface. His body was found two hours later.
Swimming has given us so much," Teresa Crippen told NBC. "But it also took away one of our family members."
Teresa and Maddy, along with sister Claire, help to run the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, which promotes athlete safety and works to prevent tragedies such as the one that claimed the life of their brother.
The Foundation's address is francrippen.org and welcomes donations and other forms of support.