"It's been a good run swimming," the 22-year-old from Conshohocken said. "I've gotten a lot from it, so I can't be disappointed."
As her parents spurred her on from the stands, they knew the cheering wasn't as loud as it should have been.
Their son, Fran, who died in an open-water swimming race in 2010, should have been here.
"We wanted to be here from beginning to end for Teresa," Pat said, "because she's put her heart and soul in this and we're thrilled with the successes she's achieved. So that's been a good thing. But, undoubtedly, hard."
Easing the pain were moments like the one Sunday, when Arthur Frayler of Ambler, a Germantown Academy graduate like the Crippen siblings, qualified third for Monday's 1,500-meter final. The top two finishers will qualify for the London Olympics.
"The whole Crippen family is always with me, no matter what," said Frayler, 19. "If I can be able to make [Fran] proud here, that would mean a lot. I know he would want that."
Teresa, who swam at the University of Florida, wanted to cap her career with a trip to London. Instead, she left Omaha on a farewell note.
"I think everybody comes to that point where you kind of know it's over, and it's hard to put your heart into it, and I definitely got to there," she said.
All four Crippen children were swimmers. The oldest, Maddy, made the 2000 Olympic team in the 400-meter individual medley and finished sixth. Fran came achingly close to an Olympic roster spot in 2008.
"I keep saying to people, 'Whatever, it serves you well,' " Pat said. "You know, you make or you don't make it. The whole process serves you well."
The Crippens are staples of the swimming community, which had the chance to embrace them again in Omaha.
"We've seen a lot of the coaches that Fran knew and loved and we've befriended," Pat Crippen said. "So that's been good for us, to see them. It's always good to reconnect and talk about Fran."