In the Olympic swimming trials Thursday night, Bobby Bollier of Mission Hills, Kan. had a tough assignment.
He needed to either win the 200-meter butterfly or finish second to qualify for the London Olympics this summer.
In the lane next to Bollier was Michael Phelps, the eight-time gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics.
Though Bollier had the fastest time in the semifinals the day before, he knew that beating Michael Phelps would be a daunting task. Phelps, who broke the world record in the 200 fly when he was 15, pulled away in the race, but Bollier made a push for second. However, Tyler Clary got by him for second, leaving Bollier to label the race a disappointment.
"You go for the Olympic team. You get third place," says Bollier. "It’s one spot away from success, which is probably one of the hardest positions to be in."
Bollier completed his final season at Stanford before training for the Olympic trials.