Former Cal swimmer Jessica Hardy captured a bronze medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay, but Bears’ legend Natalie Coughlin did not get the chance to swim once more in the Olympics.
Coughlin added her 12th Olympic medal after swimming in the prelims. But she was not on the finals relay, which set an American record of 3:34.24.
The 12 medals are tied for the most won by an American woman at the Olympics.
Teenager Missy Franklin made her first Olympic appearance with a powerful opening leg of 53.52. Hardy swam the second leg and maintained the team for the Americans. Lia Neal and Allison Schmidt swam the final two segments for the U.S. squad.
Australia won in an Olympic record 3:33.15 with the Netherlands taking silver at 3:33.79.