Tough Qualifying Standards Cast Shadow On Day 2 Prelims Of GBR Trials

Loretta Race
by Loretta Race 7

April 13th, 2016 News


*Note on GBR’s Selection Policy – The full selection policy is linked in the meet outline above. At a high level, the first place finisher of each individual event automatically qualifies for that specific individual event provided he/she swims a time at or below the first qualification time listed by each event in our recaps.

If the first place swimmer does not meet or exceed that qualifying time, then the athlete may be considered for selection as long as he/she falls within 2% of the 2nd time listed by each event. Runners-up also must be within 2% of the 2nd qualification time in order to be considered for selection. You can read more about the policy here.


  • British National Record – 58.12, Gemma Spofforth (2009)
  • British OLY Standard – 59.05/58.52

Bath University’s Elizabeth Simmonds kicked off this morning’s prelim session by claiming the top seed in the women’s 100m backstroke. Simmonds stopped the clock at 1:00.29 to lead the field. Simmonds has been sub-one-minute in this event more than 10 times in her career, but her best sits at 59.43 from way back in 2010. She was recently 1:00.29 in Marseilles in this year, so she’ll need to steer her swim to the very top of her speed spectrum to get a chance at clocking the stiff 59.05 GBR OLY standard.

Versatile Loughborough swimmer Fran Halsall was the field’s runner-up this morning with a solid 1:00.40 100m backstroke prelim performance. Her outing was just over a tenth off of her personal best, so she’s turning it on early to flank Simmonds’ pole position for tonight’s final. Rightfully so, with the British-dictated Olympic qualifying standard sitting at 59.05, Halsall will need to shave well over a second off of her morning mark to get close to adding this event to Rio line-up.

Also in the mix is 4th-seeded Kathleen Dawson who cranked out a new Scottish National Record with her morning swim of 1:00.70. Dawson entered the meet with a seed time of 1:00.93 but dropped a healthy 2 tenths in the AM race to overtake Scotland’s previous national record of 1:00.91, which Dawson herself has held since 2014.

Top 8:

  1. Simmonds, 1:00.29
  2. Halsall, 1:00.40
  3. Davies, 1:00.60
  4. Dawson, 1:00.70
  5. Fullalove, 1:01.37
  6. Quigley, 1:01.62
  7. Maine, 1:01.93
  8. Horton, 1:02.00


  • British National Record – 1:54.58, Michael Rock (2009)
  • British OLY Standard – 1:54.46/1:53.75

This event may prove extremely difficult for a British swimmer to clock the strict British Olympic standard of 1:54.46. As it stands today, no British male swimmer ranks within the world’s top 25 this season in the event.

Giving it his best shot in the morning, however, is Jay Lelliott, who claimed the top seed in a mark of 1:58.90. That represents the field’s only sub 1:59-swim of the morning, but Lelliott, who earned bronze in last night’s 400m freestyle final, will still need to crush his personal best of 1:58.03 to get anywhere near the OLY standard.

Edinburgh University’s Mark Szaranekwho competes in the U.S. collegiate system at the University of Florida, earned a time of 1:59.29 for the 2nd seed, while Stirling’s Cameron Brodie checked in with his morning mark of 1:59.68.

Overall the 8 men represent 7 different clubs, with Bath as the only training spot with more than one swimmer in Lelliott and 6th-seeded Matthew Johnson. (2:00.40).

Top 8:

  1. Lelliott, 1:58.90
  2. Szaranek, 1:59.29
  3. Brodie, 1:59.68
  4. Gunning, 1:59.79
  5. Mallett, 1:59.98
  6. Johnson, 2:00.40
  7. Horrocks, 2:00.64
  8. Howdle, 2:00.86


  • British National Record – 2:23.82, Molly Renshaw (2014)
  • British OLY Standard – 2:22.08/2:21.92

Entering the meet, the national record holder in this event, Molly Renshaw, is the only British swimmer to have cracked into the world’s top 25 swimmers this season. Renshaw’s recent best is the 2:24.62 she locked down in Amsterdam competing at the Amsterdam Cup last December.

The 19-year-old was just over a second off of that mark this morning, touching in 2:25.84 to sit as the top seed out of prelims. She has a comfortable lead over 2nd-seeded Chloe Tutton of Cardiff, who registered a mark of 2:28.10 to flank Renshaw with Leeds’ Georgia Coates on the other side.

Coates clocked 2:28.66 to signify the 3rd-fastest swimmer of the morning races. The promising junior athlete took 7th in this 200m breaststroke event at the World Junior Championships in Singapore last summer after clocking a personal best of 2:26.42 in prelims at the meet

Speaking to Coates’ depth of talent, she racked up 2 final appearances in last night’s session, in the women’s 200m freestyle and 400m IM, but wound up scratching the 400 IM. She took bronze in the women’s 200m freestyle in a new junior record mark.

Last night’s 400m IM Olympic qualifier/gold medalist Hannah Miley is lurking as the 6th seed in this event. The Garioch possesses a personal best of 2:25.40 in this event, so look for her to turn it on come tonight’s final, riding the wave of her 4IM win.

Top 8:

  1. Renshaw, 2:25.84
  2. Tutton, 2:28.10
  3. Coates, 2:28.66
  4. Ulyett, 2:28.97
  5. Matts, 2:29.16
  6. Miley, 2:29.46
  7. Black, 2:2973
  8. Scott, 2:30.10


  • British National Record – 52.73, Liam Tancock (2009)
  • British OLY Standard – 52.99/52.42

The tight field saw the top half of its final 8 fall in the 54-second zone, led by Christopher Walker-Hebborn and his time of 54.20. That’s a season-best for the 25-year-old who is looking to repeat his title-winning performance from last year which resulted in a career-best of 52.88.

The national record holder in the event, Liam Tancock, is still running strong, sitting as the 3rd-seeded swimmer in 54.90. Although he’s been as fast as 52.73 in the supersuit era of 2009, Tancock’s most recent best outing is the 53.19 he threw down in Kazan which rendered the Loughborough athlete a spot in the event final. Tancock wound up 8th in a time of 53.37 at that meet, so eh’s looking for some vengeance via qualifying for Rio this time around.

Of note, the 2015 European Games Champion in this event, Luke Greenbank, fell short of qualifying for the final in Glasgow this morning. Although he won the event in Baku in a time of 54.76, he managed just a 55.70, which garnered a 10th place finish, thus out of tonight’s final. He’ll still have the 200m backstroke event to contest later in the meet.

Top 8:

  1. Walker-Hebborn, 54.20
  2. Mohammed, 54.89
  3. Tancock, 54.90
  4. Boldison, 54.98
  5. Patching, 55.20
  6. Loughran, 55.42
  7. Hulme, 55.51
  8. Blysinksyj, 55.56


  • British National Record – 8:14.10, Rebecca Adlington (2008)
  • British OLY Standard – 8:22.93/8:17.18

Last night’s 200m freestyle winner, Jazmin Carlin, got the job done this morning, clocking the fastest 800m freestyle time of 8:36.92 to ease into the top seed for tomorrow night’s final. Carlin won this event last year in a time of 8:21.58 and earned the bronze medal in the event at the 2015 FINA World Championships in 8:18.15.

Already this season, Carlin clocked a solid 8:27.25 in the women’s 800m free while competing at the World Cup in Doha. That time remains as the 10th-swiftest in the world this year, even after French and Japanese Trials. Her overall personal best is the 8:14:54 she scored in Berlin at the 2014 European Championships, with her next best resting at 8:18.11 from Glasgow 2014.

With the British OLY standard sitting at 8:22.93, Carlin will need to register a time in the upper tier of her own personal best performances. And, she’ll have a veteran athlete in Keri-Anne Payne to push her along. 28-year-old Payne scored a time of 8:38.68 to be positioned nicely behind Carlin for tonight’s final.

The 10k silver medalist from 2008’s Olympic Games in Beijing, Payne has the experience to thrown down an impressive time when the situation warrants. Such will be the case during tomorrow night’s final, as Payne’s current personal best in this event stands at 8:29.68, well off the British OLY standard of 8:22.93.

Jessica Thielmann, who swims for the University of Florida collegiately, is still in the hunt, claiming the 8th seed. But she’ll need to knock over 20 seconds off of her morning swim to get in the realm of OLY qualification tomorrow night.

Top 8:

  1. Carlin, 8:36.92
  2. Payne, 8:38.68
  3. Hattersley, 8:39.24
  4. Faulkner, 8:41.65
  5. Hibbott, 8:42.68
  6. Huskisson, 8:43.20
  7. Dearing, 8:43.96
  8. Thielmann, 8:44.82

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CWH looked good, eased off a lot at the end.

Ethan Lamb

Most of these events are some of our weaker ones, although CWH looked very comfortable. Hopefully he can get the automatic time tonight and it’d be good if Renshaw could get a PB tonight. She’s got a long way to go to be competitive internationally but she seems to be improving year on year.

Team Rwanda

The automatic time of 52.4 is unreal even for CWH

Captain Awesome

The automatic time is 52.99 for first place, 52.4 is the consideration time.


Halsall has withdrawn from the 100m back final, presumably to focus on the 50m free (her main event), tomorrow.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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