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At 45, SoCal Swimmer Torres Advances in U.S. Olympic Trials

The 45-year-old will continue to compete for an Olympic spot in the 50-meter freestyle.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Jessica Hardy, right, hugs Dara Torres after they competed in preliminary heat 16 of the Women's 50 m Freestyle during Day Six of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on July 1, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Ageless wonder Dara Torres advanced on Saturday to the 50 meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

    The 45-year-old mother from Los Angeles finished with the second-fastest time in the 50 meter freestyle semifinals.

    She touched second with a time of 24.80, behind Jessica Hardy (24.56).

    Kara Lynn Joyce finished third with a time of 24.97.

    Torres goes on to compete in Monday's 50 meter free final. The top-two finishers of that race earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team.

    Torres is attempting a record sixth Olympic team.

    Long Beach native Jessica Hardy, 25, beat Torres in their heat with a time of 24.55 seconds. Hardy will be the number one seed going into Sunday night’s semifinals. Torres clocked in at 25.00.

    "It's a lot tougher this time," Torres told the Associated Press.  "When I was 41 people said I was middle-aged, but now I'm really, really middle-aged."

    A 12-time Olympic medalist, Torres is competing in just one event at these trials. Bad knees have prevented her from competing in more races. She underwent radical reconstructive surgery on her left knee in 2009.

    At the Beijing games Torres became the oldest swimmer to ever compete in the Olympics. To the surprise of many, she took home three silver medals, missing a gold by 1/100th of a second in the 50-meter freestyle.

    "In '08 it was about winning medals," Torres said.  "This time it's about making the team."

    Torres has retired from swimming twice before, but has comeback both times to medal in Olympic competition. 

    Her first Olympic medal came at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. She was just 17. 

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