SYDNEY, Australia - Tommy Hannan won an Olympic gold medal without getting in the pool yesterday.
A 20-year-old graduate of Mount St. Joseph High and member of the Eagle Swim Team, Hannan swam in the preliminaries of the 400 medley relay Friday. The United States made three substitutions for yesterday's final, and Hannan watched as his American teammates set a world record of 3 minutes, 33.73 seconds.
Hannan didn't participate in the medal awards ceremony, but those who swim in the prelims of relays receive the same medal as their nation's finalists.
"I was too nervous to scream during the race," Hannan said. "Neil Walker wasn't even watching, he was so nervous. I haven't received my medal yet. I wish I did, because I'd be flashing it everywhere."
The event capped a marvelous meet for the Americans, as Lenny Krayzelburg, Ed Moses, Ian Crocker and Gary Hall Jr. topped the Australians. Hannan and Walker were among the three men who swam in the preliminary, as U.S. coach Mark Schubert opted to rest some of his stars and spread the medals around.
"I'm really happy about the way things turned out," said Hannan, who was displeased with his semifinal swim Thursday. "I would have liked to have had the chance to swim at night [in the final], but I'm happy to have contributed. There's nothing better than a gold medal. We're getting ready to go celebrate in Darling Harbour."
Hannan, who lives in Ellicott Mills and competed in front of three generations of his family, said he will return directly to Austin, Texas, where his junior year was delayed after he made the U.S. team last month. He will take the fall semester off but continue to train as the Longhorns prepare to defend their NCAA title.
"I may not make it home until Thanksgiving," Hannan said.