LONDON – For Conor Dwyer, the 400-meter freestyle has provided another happy surprise this season.
The Loyola Academy grad had not swum the event competitively for two years before finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a spot in London.
That gave Dwyer his first chance to swim an individual event for Team USA in a global championship.
He finished a solid fifth Saturday in 3 minutes, 46.39 seconds, having set a personal best of 3:46.24 in the morning heats.
Sun Yang of China won the 400 in an Olympic record 3:40.14. The bronze medalist, Peter Vanderkaay of the U.S., clocked 3:44.69.
Dwyer was fifth or sixth at all the 50-meter splits.
"It was an amazing experience" Dwyer said in an email Sunday. "I usually would be upset with getting beat that bad but going through that Olympic final experience was a blast.
"The venue and fans are remarkable, especially the 30 some family members I have here decked out in Team Dwyer gear."
Now he focuses on trying to get a place in the final of the 4 x 200 relay.
Dwyer, fourth in the 200 free at the trials, figures to swim a leg of the 800 free relay in Tuesday’s prelims. How fast he swims would determine a place in the final, where Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are expected to join the relay team.