“The fact that the opportunity was less than 15 feet away is pretty cool.” Coughlin will attempt to make her fourth Summer Games at the U. Olympic team trials, which begin Sunday in Omaha, Neb. Coughlin is training to make her fourth Olympic team under Cal men's coach Dave Durden.

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“Her attention to detail, to nutrition, to recovery, her experience.

She’s been a great resource.” Training in a lane of sprinters, Coughlin might have slower times than the men, but she’ll put herself second in line behind Adrian, a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

“We focus a lot on technique and racing and recovery.” But it isn’t just the men who push Coughlin.

Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin works, right, out with the Cal men's swim team at Spieker Pool Wednesday morning, May 18 in Berkeley, Calif.

“At first some of the younger guys were intimidated,” Coughlin said.

“But when they learned I can be juvenile, that I can hang with the fart jokes, they relaxed.

Her cache of 12 overall ties her with swimmers Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson for the most by an American female in Olympic history. “I’m grateful that she’s able to do that while still representing Cal aquatics, and where I still get to see her every day. We lasted 12 years together, longer than a lot of marriages.

But in December 2012, after winning a single relay medal in London, Coughlin began working with Durden, who has led the Bears men’s team to three national titles and trains several male Olympians. Sports is all about growing and challenging yourself.” Thanks to Mc Keever’s input, Durden didn’t have “to reinvent the wheel.” “It was about how can we continue on in a seamless way,” Durden said.

The change has invigorated Coughlin, who, at 33, doesn’t know if she would be vying for a spot in Rio without the switch. “It’s more of a continuation and progression.” Coughlin, always the alpha female in the pool, is pushed by training with the men, including Olympians Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin.

“As I get older, being in a true sprint group is good for me,” Coughlin said.

And they like to ask me about girls, so I’m a resource.