2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Day 5 Prelims Performance Stats

2016 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

The day 5 prelims are done. Bethany Galat and Brandon Fiala continued their stand out meets. Galat dropped 2.7 seconds from her seed in the 200 breast, and Fiala dropped 2.8 in the 200 IM. Galat’s drop moved her from 26th on the psych sheet to 2nd headed into semi finals. Often big morning time drops regress at night, but after her 19th seed to 3rd place performance in the 400 IM, she has to be considered a legit contender.

2016 2012
Median Time Change % Who Went Faster # Faster Median Time Change % Who Went Faster
Women 100 Free 1.2% 16% 16 0.8% 19%
Men 200 Back 1.2% 21% 22 1.6% 15%
Women 200 Breast 1.5% 15% 18 1.7% 15%
Men 200 IM 0.8% 23% 20 0.7% 25%

Here’s the top time drops by percentage in each event:

Event Name Time Change Seed Prelim Time
Women 100 Free Kristen Vose -1.3% 56.04 55.32
Men 200 Back Drew Cosgarea -2.1% 2:02.60 2:00.04
Women 200 Breast Bethany Galat -1.8% 2:29.42 2:26.72
Men 200 IM Brandon Fiala -2.3% 2:04.79 2:01.91

So far the top swimmers coming out of prelims has been relatively predictable. However it’s striking just how unpredictable the lower ranked swimmers have been. For example here’s the place change from seed (seed adjusted for scratches) for the women’s 400 IM (the other events look very similar to the women’s 400 IM. I won’t waste your time with 10 more of the same chart) (positive means the swimmer moved up, negative means they moved down):

image (13)

The top swimmers held place, but the rest were almost completely random . As a comparison I ranked the numbers 1-100 randomly and then plotted the difference from the original number. That plot is below. The shape the points follow is almost exactly the same as the points in the plot of real results after about place 25-30. The only minor deviation is  that the real results don’t have as many extreme swings at the top and bottom (30th to last, or last to 25th).

image (14)

The behavior of the field in aggregate doesn’t undermine the accomplishment of the swimmers who manage to take advantage of the volatility. The biggest places jumps of the meet so far are for the men: Mark McGlaughlin who moved from 149th ot 26th in the 100 back and for the women: Caroline Hauder who moved from 150th to 59th in the 100 back. Here are the swimmers in each event who have gained the most places in prelims:

Men:

Places Improved Seed Prelims Rank
100 Back McGlaughlin, Mark 123 149 26
100 Breast Fiala, Brandon 96 111 15
100 Free Klueh, Michael 59 80 21
200 Back Beckman, James 82 104 22
200 Breast Lorenz, Christian 72 94 22
200 Fly Fong, Zach 58 81 23
200 Free Bone, Colin 71 102 31
200 IM Fiala, Brandon 57 72 15
400 Free Newkirk, Jeff 81 103 22
400 IM Cancel, Miguel 56 89 33

Women:

Places Improved Seed Prelims Rank
100 Back Hauder, Caroline 91 150 59
100 Breast Sanders, Amanda 82 119 37
100 Fly Okada, Amy 76 132 56
100 Free Duffield, Krista 69 99 30
200 Breast Kovac, Bailey 79 122 43
200 Fly Pugh, Marah 53 78 25
200 Free Weitzeil, Abbey 71 96 25
200 IM Burchill, Sammie 64 96 32
400 Free Yelle, Haley 62 95 33
400 IM Looney, Lindsay 67 103 36

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50fr

In Tableau you can change the column titles so that they line up better with the data in the columns — might make it a little easier to read

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