Former Granite Bay swimmer Haley Anderson, now at USC, has qualified for the London Olympics after winning the women's 10K title at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal on Saturday.
Anderson, swimming for the United States, beat Hungary's Eva Risztov by 1.4 seconds in finishing in one hour, 44 minutes and 30.6 seconds.
"I'm happy to have won the race," Anderson told Swimming World Magazine. "I'm especially happy with the last stretch where I was able to dig deep. I was working with a lot of adrenalin and knew that I had to put my head down and drive hard to the finish line."
The USA's Ashley Twichell finished fourth with a 1:44.37.7, but did not make the squad since only one swimmer from each country among the top 10 makes the Olympics.
Anderson finished second to Twichell in the U.S. Open Water national championships in late April in Florida.
"To qualify for the London Olympics is amazing, I'm speechless," Anderson said. "I called my Dad after the race and said 'I did it.' But that was about all I can get out of my mouth."
"...Every young swimmer has dreams about making an Olympic team but as you get older sometimes your dreams are affected by reality. My Olympic dreams came into focus."
Saturday proved a big day for the Anderson sisters as Haley's older sister, Alyssa, won the 200-meter freestyle race at the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational.
Both will compete in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.
Bee file photo: Haley Anderson at the Folsom Aquatics Center at Lembi Community Park in Folsom, April 8, 2008.