2013 US Worlds Trials Preview: A Dozen Names for Half a Dozen Spots in the Women’s 100 Free

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.

The 100m freestyle is the second individual women’s event in Indy. Powerhouse names like Franklin, Vollmer, Schmitt, Hardy and Coughlin, hungry up and comers Romano and Weir, will others like American record holder Weir look to get back to “super-suit” era speed, will mix it up in Indy to decide who takes the six coveted tickets to Barcelona.

Will Missy Franklin build on blistering 50m times this year to improve on her somewhat disappointing London individual event result? Will ageless veteran Coughlin add to her dump truck full of international medals with a relay spot? Can Romero improve further on her win in Santa Clara to get an individual spot on the Worlds team?

The Favorite

No big surprise here. Colorado Stars’ Missy Franklin comes in as the top seed at 53.52, which was swum as the lead off for the 4x100m in London, where she placed 5th in the individual event. Her 50m has improved markedly this year, dropping nearly half a second from the time she posted in London, which should make for some scary front end speed once she is full rested and tapered.

The Challengers

Megan Romano, of the Athens Bulldogs, is looking to ride the momentum of a strong NCAA season and a win in Santa Clara. Getting time in with some guy named Bob Bowman and NBAC in preparation for Trials can only help her. She upset the field in Santa Clara, beating both Franklin and Coughlin in a time of 54.16. She had a good year with Georgia this year, helping them win the NCAA title, including a NCAA record in the 4×100 free relay.

Trojan Jessica Hardy posted a 53.86 in London, making her the second fastest American in the event in the past two years. At Santa Clara she admitted that she is more focused on breaststroke events this year, particularly the 50, in which she holds the world record.

NBAC’s Allison Schmitt is more known for her 200 and 400 free, but in London she cranked out a 53.5 as the anchor of the 4×100 free relay. Schmitt will be looking to set the tone for the rest of her events with the 100, and also to get one of the coveted top-6 relay spots.

Cal’s 30 year old Coughlin will be trying to make the team on the relay as well. She swam a very solid 54.33 in Santa Clara. With a focus on the sprint events, and a curious eye towards Rio, Coughlin will be looking to add to her extensive collection of international medals with a relay spot. The time she put up in Santa Clara was the fastest she has been in 5 years. Cal teammate Dana Vollmer hasn’t been able to get back into the 53’s since 2009-2010. She’s changed up her training this season, backing off and going to singles for the first time in her career. It will be interesting to see how this affects her racing once she is rested and tapered.

Amanda Weir of SwimAtlanta is the owner of the American Record of 53.02, but hasn’t been under 54 seconds since then. The fastest 100 she put up this year was a couple mid-56’s in Charlotte and Austin. Stanford prospect 18-year-old Lia Neal, of Ashpalt Green Unified Aquatics, will also try to add to her Olympic experience in 2013 with another relay spot. Her best time of 54.15 puts her right in the hunt.

The opportunity for a big breakthrough comes via 16-year-old Simone Manuel of First Colony. She will be looking to improve on the 54.60 she swum at Pan Pac Jrs last summer, which was almost a full second faster than what she swam at Olympic Trials earlier in the summer.

The Picks

  Olivier’s Picks Braden’s Picks Kelsey’s Picks
1. Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars, 53.52 Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars, 53.52 Jessica Hardy, USC, 53.86
2. Megan Romano, Georgia/NBAC, 53.92 Allison Schmitt, Georgia/NBAC, 53.94 Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars, 53.52
3. Jessica Hardy, USC, 53.86 Jessica Hardy, USC, 53.86 Allison Schmitt, Georgia/NBAC, 53.94
4. Allison Schmitt, Georgia/NBAC, 53.94 Megan Romano, Georgia/NBAC, 53.92 Megan Romano, Georgia/NBAC, 53.92
5. Dana Vollmer, Cal, 53.94 Lia Neal, Asphalt Green, 54.15 Lia Neal, Asphalt Green, 54.15
6. Natalie Coughlin, Cal, 53.67 Natalie Coughlin, Cal, 53.67 Dana Vollmer, Cal, 53.94
7. Amanda Weir, SwimAtlanta, 54.14 Simone Manuel, First Colony, 54.60 Amanda Weir, SwimAtlanta, 54.14
8. Lia Neal, Asphalt Green, 54.15 Dana Vollmer, Cal, 53.94 Madison Kennedy, SwimMAC, 54.45
  Darkhorse Darkhorse Darkhorse
  Sarh Denninghoff, Texas, 55.63 Natalie Hinds, Florida, 55.50 Margo Geer, Arizona, 54.62

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weirdo
7 years ago

you really think they will go 6 deep?!? I would not want to be 6th in the 100 or 200 frees this year and thinking I was going to Barcelona. I am not sure 5th’s are a sure thing.

jean Michel
7 years ago

I truly think Megan Romano is going to surprise everyone for the 1st spot !! Caughlin might be very dangerous as well , Missy in the middle for the battle .

joker
Reply to  jean Michel
7 years ago

This would not be a surprise. Missy, Megan, and Natalie have been the most consistent and seemed to be in the best shape for most of the year (compared to the returning veterans). The door is wide open between the rest of the veterans and the up and comers.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

USA badly needs big specialists and new faces in this race. I’m tired to always repeat the same things about Miss Romano but she could be in the top 3 of world women’s sprint if she was focused only on that. She has the full package to shine in this race. Missy will probably qualify. She isn’t a sprint specialist. She swims this race only on her giant natural talent. Again, if she wants to win one day this race in the big world meets she will have to stop most of the other races. Natalie Coughlin is a legend. She doesn’t swim backstroke this year. All for freestyle. I wouldn’t be surprised if she qualified. Jessica Hardy is always… Read more »

duckduckgoose
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Neal may not have done much since London, but she’ll still be an incredible force in college, Definitely underrated. Simone Manuel’s still only 16 and she’s potentially in the mix for Barcelona. She should be the most coveted recruit in the class of 2014. (Pure) sprinters rule the world in NCAA swimming.

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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