Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former National level swimmer from the beautiful west coast of BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook.com: a comprehensive tool that designed for swimmers to track and analyze their results.
Previous World Championship Trials previews:
- Women’s 50 free.
- Women’s 200 IM.
- Men’s 100 fly.
- Women’s 100 breast.
- Women’s 100 fly.
- Men’s 50 free.
- Men’s 100 breast.
- Men’s 200 IM.
- Women’s 400 free.
The 100m freestyle has long been one of the marquee events at the Olympics and World Aquatic Championships since first recognized by FINA in 1905. Names such as Weismuller, Spitz, Biondi, Phelps, and now Adrian grace the pantheon of American sprint freestyle.
Six of the swimmers who raced for Olympic births in Omaha a year ago are back this year, including the top 5, with Beijing 4×100 free relay superhero Jason Lezak retired, and Scot Robison off the radar.
Can Jimmy Feigen translate 2012 NCAA sprint event titles into long course success? Will Cullen Jones, coming back after time off, get back to his 100m free form of 2009 when he went 48.3? Or will Matt Biondi and Tom Jaegar hijack lane 8 and do a 100m relay, shattering Cesar Cielo’s world record by four-and-one-half seconds?
Nathan Adrian, reigning Olympic champ, is coming off a solid performance at the Santa Clara Grand Prix, where he posted the 4th fastest time in the world this year at 48.08, which is faster than what he swam at trials in 2012.
That time also makes him the fastest American this year by almost a full second. Despite this, he was also the clear favorite in the 50 last year at Olympic Trials only to place third behind Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin. Regardless, with the man-legend Lezak gone, London individual gold in hand, Adrian has ascended to be the next great name in the long line of great American 100m freestylers.
Internationally, James Magnussen is the man to beat. He has the fastest textile 100 all-time, and posted a 47.53 – fastest in the world by .4 seconds this year – back in April. It will be interesting to see if he and the Australian team have bounced back after the debacle that was the London Games.
The main challenge should come from Ricky Berens, Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin. Berens and Ervin have both put out in-season 49’s this year. Ervin in particular has been looking sharp,recently laying down a 22.0 in the 50 with a performance that he called just “OK.” He also outraced Jones, Berens, and Garret Weber-Gale in the 100 at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, taking it out in a blistering 22.9.
After taking some time off after London, while also traveling the country as an ambassador for the Make a Spash Tour, Cullen Jones cranked out a 22.16 for the 50 in Charlotte. Jones is a big-meet swimmer, saving his big swims for meets such as World Trials. Expect him to be much faster and challenge Adrian on the front half.
Longhorns Aquatics’ Jimmy Feigen is hoping to build on the silver he got for swimming in the 4 x 100m free relay in London, as well as on the 50-yard and 100-yard NCAA titles from 2012 and qualifying for an individual event. He will need to seriously flirt with his best of 48.4 to make the team outside of a relay. Fellow Longhorn and 200 specialist Ricky Berens swam a 49.55 on June 7th at the Texas Senior Circuit, and also broke the American 200 yard record in March swimming a 1:31.31 after a last minute shave down. With his mid-range speed he should be a factor closing.
Also not traditionally known for the shorter sprint events, Ryan Lochte put up a 49.53 in Santa Clara a few weeks ago. Given that he has been busy with his exploits into reality television, his recent results aren’t overly suggestive of where he will be performing by the time Trials come around. Keep in mind though that this race is early in the meet (the second event, after the 200 fly) and so Lochte with his famously challenging schedule will be well rested.
Another new addition this year will be Conor Dwyer, who put up a 49.59 at Santa Clara, the first time he’s ever gone below 50. More of a mid-distance freestyler, Dwyer turned heads with that swim, putting him into the conversation for a relay spot. With that kind of in-season speed he may prove to be the one to surprise the field in Indianapolis.
Fellow 2012 Trials finalist and yet another Longhorn, Garrett Weber-Gale has also had a very busy year. Despite having his hands full working as a food and health advocate, visiting the White House and running his health & fitness website, Weber-Gale has continued training since London. His focus is past World Trials, however, as he is just using the meet as a tune-up for the Maccabiah Games in Israel in July, so don’t expect best results from him. (Matt and Reed bring up the rebuttal, though, that he’s still swimming for a spot on the National Team and all of the benefits that come along with that.)
18 year old phenom Jack Conger, who took down a 30 year old high school record for the 500 free in February, is an outside bet to make the relay. He swam an unshaved 50.5 in Charlotte, and looks poised and hungry to make his first international team.
Swimmers who we’ve left out because either they’ve said they won’t be swimming, or we’ve inferred it from a lack of competing: Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak, Scot Robison, Dave Walters, Davis Tarwater, Nick Brunelli, Alex Coville, Nick Brunelli, Eric Bruck, and Bobby Savulich.
Here are my top 8, and I wanted to go a step further and peg the times. Full top 8’s with best times (2010-2013) below.
- Nathan Adrian 47.80
- Anthony Ervin 48.20
- Cullen Jones 48.45
- Ricky Berens 48.74
- Conor Dwyer 48.80
- Ryan Lochte 48.91
- Jimmy Feigen 48.95
- Jack Conger 49.20
|Olivier’s Picks||Braden’s Picks||Matt & Reed’s Picks||Morgan’s Picks|
|1.||Nathan Adrian, California Aquatics, 47.52||Nathan Adrian, California Aquatics, 47.52||Nathan Adrian, California Aquatics, 47.52||Nathan Adrian, California Aquatics, 47.52|
|2.||Anthony Ervin, California Aquatics, 49.08||Jimmy Feigen, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.48||Anthony Ervin, California Aquatics, 49.08||Jimmy Feigen, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.48|
|3.||Cullen Jones, SwimMAC, 48.46||Ryan Lochte, Gator Swim Club, 48.83||Ricky Berens, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.80||Ryan Lochte, Gator Swim Club, 48.83|
|4.||Ricky Berens, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.80||Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford, 48.55||Cullen Jones, SwimMAC, 48.46||Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford, 48.55|
|5.||Conor Dwyer, NBAC/Gator Swim Club, 49.59||Ricky Berens, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.80||Jimmy Feigen, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.48||Anthony Ervin, California Aquatics, 49.08|
|6.||Ryan Lochte, Gator Swim Club, 48.83||Anthony Ervin, California Aquatics, 49.08||Conor Dwyer, NBAC/Gator Swim Club, 49.59||Ricky Berens, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.80|
|7.||Jimmy Feigen, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.48||Cullen Jones, SwimMAC, 48.46||Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford, 48.55||Cullen Jones, SwimMAC, 48.46|
|8.||Jack Conger, Machine Aquatics, 49.84||Dax Hill, Texas, 49.79||Garrett Wener-Gale, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.49||Garrett Wener-Gale, Longhorn Aquatics, 48.49|
|Sam Rairden, Tennessee, 50.03||Derek Toomey, Minnesota, 50.12||Jack Conger, Machine Aquatics, 49.84||Sam Rairden, Tennessee, 50.03|