Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly – US Nationals Preview – Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte comebacks could collide

  32 Jared Anderson | July 21st, 2014 | Featured, National, News, Previews & Recaps

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Mens 100 Meter Butterfly US Nationals Preview Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte comebacks could collide

Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly – US Nationals Preview

  • Day 3, Friday, August 8th
  • Defending national champ: Eugene Godsoe, 51.66
  • Defending U.S. Open champ: Tom Shields, 51.65
  • Time to make the 2013 US National Team (#6 Nationally at selection meets): 52.32 – Kyler Van Swol

Perhaps the marquee event of this summer’s U.S. Nationals, the men’s 100 fly is a mash-up of the year’s two biggest comeback stories, a lineup of iconic swimming figures and exciting young talents that should capture the attention of the whole world on August 8th.

The headline is obvious. World dominator Michael Phelps is back from an extended retirement, and appears to have the 100 fly penciled in as his new line-up centerpiece. A couple big breakout swims (including a 51.67 that ranks 2nd in the world this year) later and Phelps is hurtling toward what could wind up as the first-ever Olympic 4-peat, as Phelps has won the event at the last 3 Olympic Games and could presumably go after gold in Rio two years from now. (In fact, no man besides Phelps has even accomplished 3 in a row, making his quest that much more impressive).

But for now, Phelps is looking to jump back onto the U.S. National Team and perhaps set up a rematch with one of his bigger late-career rivals, South African Chad le Clos, at next summer’s World Championships.

SYD 7793 Edit 199x300 Mens 100 Meter Butterfly US Nationals Preview Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte comebacks could collide

Ryan Lochte, 11-time Olympic medalist (courtesy of Mike Lewis)

Before all that, though, Phelps will have to get through a tough U.S. field just to make that team. Perhaps the biggest threat to Phelps’ chances, as he so often is: Ryan Lochte, the other major ‘comeback’ story in American swimming this year. The reigning FINA Swimmer of the Year was sidelined in late 2013 by a freak knee injury, and has spent the better part of a year making his return to full-speed.

With the knee status still somewhat uncertain three weeks from nationals, there’s no telling what Lochte’s event schedule will look like. But the 100 fly seems like a very solid bet to be among his entries, given his success in the race even while injured. Lochte topped Phelps at the Mesa Grand Prix, ranks inside the top 10 in the world and is a returning World Champs finalist, having taken 6th last summer.

It’s hard to top those two in terms of excitement, but there’s another intriguing talent in this field that might just do it. California’s Tom Shields has at times looked like the next big thing in American butterflying. He’s an absolute monster in the short course pool, with some of the world’s best underwaters, but his recent progression in the long course format has been outstanding as he transitions to a promising career on the international stage. Shields notably tied Phelps in Santa Clara and is the definition of a swimmer on the rise.

Screen Shot 2013 07 11 at 10.55.53 AM 1 300x234 Mens 100 Meter Butterfly US Nationals Preview Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte comebacks could collide

100 butterfly defending national champions, Eugene Godsoe (courtesy of Tim Binning)

We’ve gone this long without even mentioning the defending national champion, Stanford pro Eugene Godsoe. Godsoe actually beat Lochte at last summer’s national championships, and though Lochte got him back at Worlds, Godsoe still broke 52 once again and took 11th in Barcelona. Third last summer was SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips, a former Ohio State collegiate star who is now training alongside Lochte at SwimMAC. Phillips has been as fast as 51.66, a time he put up at the 2011 national championships in Palo Alto.

So far this year, though, the fastest U.S. swimmer behind Phelps, Lochte and Shields has been Texas Longhorn Matt Ellis, who almost cracked 53 just a few weeks ago in a lifetime-best swim in Austin. Ellis has been regaining his footing after transferring schools, and depending on his taper, could turn out to be a major player here.

Tom Shields by Mike Lewis 2 300x199 Mens 100 Meter Butterfly US Nationals Preview Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte comebacks could collide

Tom Shields – 2014 Arena Grand Prix at Mesa (courtesy of Mike Lewis, olavistaphotography.com)

Speaking of Texas swimmers, you’ve got NCAA finalist Tripp Cooper, who holds one of the top American times this year, plus rising sophomore Jack Conger, one of the brightest young talents of the NCAA. Conger competed in this race at the World University Games last summer, and after a middle-of-the-road freshman season, he seems to be heating up while competing for his home club, Machine Aquatics.

Also on that World University Games team was Arizona’s Giles Smith, now a graduate and competing for Phoenix Swim Club. Smith had a bit of a layoff from competition after completing his senior season but hasn’t appeared to miss a beat as he’s already been 53-low this season.

Some youngsters to watch: rising high school senior Alex Valente, incoming Cal freshman Justin Lynch and 18-year-old Division II powerhouse Matthew Josa of Queens University all have potential to break a big race here and jump into the A final with the big dogs.

There are a few more 200 fly-oriented swimmers in the field like Stanford’s Bobby Bollier and NBAC’s Tom Luchsinger. The key for them will be finding enough front-half speed to stay in the hunt. Meanwhile USC’s Santo Condorelli is returning from a training trip with teammate Vlad Morozov in Russia, and could be a bit of a dark horse.

Then there’s current national teamer Kyler Van Swol, a Minnesota graduate who competed in the World University Games last summer. Backstroke star Matt Grevers won this event at the short course Winter Nationals last December, but is probably better suited for the short-course pool where he can better utilize his underwater kicking.

Overall, it’s hard to pick against Phelps here, as more often than not, the Baltimore Bullet tends to prove doubters wrong. Internationally, though, the U.S. should be thrilled to enter a talented trio like Phelps, Lochte and Shields at Pan Pacs, and if another swimmer breaks off a big swim to take a roster spot, well that’s just icing on the cake for the Americans.

My picks:

1. Michael Phelps, NBAC (49.82 World Record - 2009 World Championships)
2. Tom Shields, Cal (51.65 – 2013 U.S. Open)
3. Ryan Lochte, SwimMAC (51.48 – 2013 World Championships)
4. Eugene Godsoe, Stanford (51.66 – 2013 Nationals Championships)
5. Tim Phillips, Ohio State/SwimMAC (51.69 – 2011 Nationals)
6. Giles Smith, Phoenix Swim Club (52.50 – 2011 Nationals)
7. Matt Ellis, Texas/Nitro (53.01 – 2014 Texas Senior Circuit)
8. Jack Conger, Texas/Machine Aquatics (52.51 – 2013 World University Games)

Note: Athletes are listed under the college/club that, to the best of our knowledge, they’re currently training with.

Comments

  1. Tim says:
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    If Shields nails his taper, I can see him hit sub 51.5 at Nationals. If that’s the case, I’d love to see him give Phelps a run for his money like in Santa Clara. At this point he’s got better underwaters than Phelps, but just doesn’t have quite the above-water speed that Phelps has.

    Anyhoo, I think it’s going to be a race between those two, with the rest of the field somewhere behind them.

    • Tim says:
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      To add on to my comment, I think it will be a two person race for 1st between Phelps and Shields, though I don’t know which will win.

      After them, I say it will go like this (based on their in season times from this summer):

      3rd: Eugene Godsoe
      4th: Ryan Lochte
      5th: Giles Smith
      6th: Matt Ellis
      7th: Jack Conger
      8th: Tim Phillips

      Of course, some of them might have fantastic tapers and drop large amounts of time from what they’ve already done this summer, but that’s where I see them as of now.

    • Hippo-ki says:
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      What if Phelps is in top form (physically & mentally)? It’s Phelps vs. the clock for sure.
      And I see you have the winner’s name in your head already: MICHAEL PHELPS :-)

  2. ERVINFORTHEWIN says:
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    I beleive it’s all coming down between 3 guys : Phelps , Shields and Godsoe ! Now , we don’t know what Lochte will put down in the pool as well . So , i wouldn’t count out Lochte right now yet ; he is one of the most competitive swimmer out there for years .
    Maybe some surprises from the young guns would add to the exciting drama that will take place …

  3. Steve Nolan says:
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    If anything, I really want Tom Shields to be top 2.

  4. TheTroubleWithX says:
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    Wonder if Shields is swimming anything on Day 2 or not. If not, that could give him an advantage, especially if Lochte sticks with the 200 free/back double.

  5. Bosssanova says:
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    Michael Andrew will go 53.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      I’d prefer to see him try first to win one or two US junior titles rather than swim at best B or C-Finals at US nationals.
      It’s just my opinion.
      But at Juniors or at Nationals, I agree with your time prediction.

  6. david says:
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    I wonder which final will be quicker, the panpacs or commonwealth

    • aswimfan says:
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      I think Le Clos at the Commonwealth will be swimming 100 fly time just enough to win. He has no close competition at the CWG and he has 8 events to swim so may not be swimming all out in 100/200 fly.

  7. Sean S says:
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    Earlier in the year I would have picked Lochte to get in the top 2 but I think his setbacks with his knee will be too much to overcome in an event that is not his specialty. Phelps 1, Shields 2.

  8. swimzlazy says:
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    I think Phelps will win this one. However, I don’t think he’ll be dropping very much time off of the 51.6 he posted a few weeks ago. He’ll be tapered, but I think his workload in season is not the same as it was post 2008. But then again it is Phelps – so who knows how fast he’ll go…

    HE BETTER SWIM THE 100 BACK!!

    • We Love Phelps says:
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      will see what happens… 8.8.2014 :-D
      Phelps may give the 100 back a try….i’m getting excited already! haha

  9. bobo gigi says:
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    If USA lacks talents in the men’s 200 fly, it’s not the case in the men’s 100 fly.
    Crazy! You have around 20 guys who are able to swim under 53 in my opinion!
    MIchael Phelps/Ryan Lochte/Tom Shields/Eugene Godsoe/Tim Phillips/Kyler VanSwol/Matthew Josa/Jack Conger/Matt Grevers/Connor Black/Giles Smith/Justin Lynch/Tripp Cooper/David Nolan/ Sett Stubblefield/Santo Condorelli/Bobby Bollier/Matt Ellis/Alex Valente/Andrew Seliskar

    I think it’s a 3 men-battle for the win between MP, Shields and Lochte. That’s a good thing. The first 3 qualify for Pan Pacs.
    1. Michael Phelps
    2. Tom Shields
    3. Ryan Lochte
    I had to pick MP for the win. He looks better and better and he’s simply my swimming idol.
    Although I have a little concern about his capacity to swim multiple races (I hope he will not swim the 200 free the day before), some fans often forgetting he’s not a youngster anymore, I think he can do it.
    But I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Tom Shields won. He has really well swum recently in the 200 fly and that’s a proof of much better endurance. He can finish his races now!
    Lochte of course for the third place. He’s almost a sprinter now.
    Among the younger swimmers, I would like to see Josa, Conger, Black or Lynch swim close to the 52 barrier. They represent the after Rio in that event.

  10. ole 99 says:
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    Think the only one you missed might be Connor Black, at least to potentially make the final.

    • weirdo says:
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      who? I haven’t even seen him swimming any long course meets this summer! and this winter wasn’t a breakout for him for sure.

    • Jared Anderson Jared Anderson says:
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      You’re right about Black. He nearly went a lifetime-best in Iowa on Sunday night – coincidentally that 53.10 happened just after I finished most of the writing for this preview, so his great swim fell through the cracks. Definitely a finals contender.

  11. G says:
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    I predict Lynch will make the A-final this year. He won the B-final last year.

    • Hooked says:
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      === B – Final ===

      9 Cooper, Tripp 20 The Woodlands Sw 53.32 52.93 833 9
      r:+0.71 24.81 52.93 (28.12)
      10 *Laxton, Tom 23 NCYY 53.26 53.13 824 7
      r:+0.69 24.80 53.13 (28.33)
      11 Pickard, Christ 21 Stanford Swimmin 53.45 53.52 806 6
      r:+0.68 25.22 53.52 (28.30)
      12 *Bosch, Dylan 20 Club Wolverine 53.79 53.61 802 5
      r:+0.67 25.17 53.61 (28.44)
      13 Bollier, Bobby 23 Stanford Swimmin 53.63 53.86 791 4
      r:+0.70 25.33 53.86 (28.53)
      14 Bloch, Chase 21 CLASS Aquatics 53.61 53.88 790 3
      r:+0.66 25.35 53.88 (28.53)
      15 Wayne, Aaron 22 Stanford Swimmin 53.70 53.97 786 2
      r:+0.71 25.11 53.97 (28.86)
      16 *Morgan, David 19 AustralianStates 53.74 54.15 778 1
      r:+0.66 25.96 54.15 (28.19)

      • JP says:
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        Final B B
        Rank Lane Time Time
        Behind R.T. 50m
        1 4 LYNCH Justin TERAPC 0.71 (1) 24.39 52.75
        28.36
        2 5 STUBBLEFIELD Seth CAL­PC 0.66 (2) 24.77 53.00 0.25
        28.23
        3 6 MADWED Dan CW­MI 0.70 (7) 25.29 53.52 0.77
        28.23
        4 2 CONDORELLI Santo BSS­FL 0.62 (2) 24.77 53.55 0.80
        28.78
        5 3 BOLLIER Bobby STANPC 0.93 (5) 25.08 53.56 0.81
        28.48
        6 1 WOJCIECHOWSKI John MICHMI 0.95 (4) 24.90 53.81 1.06
        28.91
        7 7 LUCHSINGER Tom UN01NC 0.64 (8) 25.35 53.95 1.20
        28.60
        8 8 DAVIS Maclin NAC­SE 0.74 (6) 25.20 54.08 1.33
        28.88

  12. TheTroubleWithX says:
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    I’d swap Lynch or Josa for Ellis, but outside of that, my top 8 prediction would look pretty similar.

  13. 0
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    I predict Phelps, Lochte, Shields, Luchsinger in the Top 4 but I am yet unsure of the order

  14. We Love Phelps says:
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    Phelps breaks 51 sec barrier is all i wish for on my special day 8.8.2014!
    so far MP has about a dozen votes FTW.
    we all want the best butterflier to represent team USA at Pan Pacs & Worlds…don’t we?

    would also like to see Shields & Godsoe in the top 3. :-D

  15. S says:
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    Phelps didn’t win the 100 fly in London, he got silver to Le Clos, so if he does end up in Rio, he has chance to 4 peat unless he steps up and enters the 200IM.

  16. Hippo-ki says:
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    Oh, just logged in again & wanted to say this:
    DO NOT bet against Phelps, folks!
    Lesson learned at ’09 WC.

  17. David S says:
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    Tim Phillips will be in the final and higher than 8th place.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every …

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