2016 U.S Olympic Trials: Day Eight Finals Live Recap


Tonight’s finals session will mark the official end of the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials where the remaining roster spots will be filled and a complete picture of the American Olympic swim team will emerge.

The first event of the night is the women’s 50m freestyle where Abbey Weitzeil is the top seed. Weitzeil already won the 100m freestyle earlier in the week, and is currently looking to add a second event for Rio.

Second seed Madison Kennedy has yet to make the team and will be driving to the wall in order to secure her spot on the team. In order to do so she’ll need to beat Simone Manuel, Olivia Smoliga, Lia Neal, Dana Vollmer, and Amanda Weir.

Of the women in the 50m freestyle final, only Kennedy and Katrina Konopka have yet to make the team.

The men’s 1500m freestyle is guaranteed to add at least one new swimmer to the pool roster for Rio. Connor Jaeger is the top seed in the 1500, and he’s already made the team with his performance in the 400m freestyle. None of the other competitors in the final have made the team so far, so it will be a dog fight to get their hands on the wall.

Jordan Wilimovsky is the second overall seed heading into finals and is already on the Olympic roster, but not as a pool swimmer. Wilimovsky is qualified to swim the 10km open water event in Rio.

Following the two finals, the complete U.S Olympic team will be revealed.


Top seed: Abbey Weitzeil (24.34)
World record: 23.73 – Britta Steffen (Germany)
American record: 24.07 – Dara Torres
U.S Open record: 24.13 – Cate Campbell (Australia)
U.S Nationals record: 24.25 – Dara Torres
JR World record: 24.74 – Rikako Ikee (Japan)
2012 Winning Time: 24.50 – Jessica Hardy

Abbey Weitzeil is officially leading the new age of American women’s sprinting after sweeping the two sprint freestyle events here in Omaha en route to her first Olympic berth.

Weitzeil emerged way out in front of the rest of the field in order to clock the fastest time of the field with a 24.28. That time is the fastest textile swim ever done by an American woman. Weitzeil improved her best time of 24.34 from semifinals which established her as the third fastest American woman in history.

Simone Manuel touched second behind her in 24.33. That time established her as the second fastest American woman ever in a textile suit, and the fourth fastest American woman of all time.

Finishing third was Madison Kennedy, who won’t be going to the Olympic Games.

100m backstroke champion Olivia Smoliga was fourth in 24.70. Dana Vollmer was sixth, Lia Neal was seventh, Amanda Weir was eighth.

  1. Abbey Weitzeil (24.28)
  2. Simone Manuel (24.33)
  3. Madison Kennedy (24.48)
  4. Olivia Smoliga (24.70)
  5. Katrina Konopka (24.84)
  6. Dana Vollmer (24.96)
  7. Lia Neal (25.00)
  8. Amanda Weir (25.13)

For official results click here.


Top seed: Connor Jaeger (14:58.59)
World record: 14:31.02 – Sun Yang (China)
American record: 14:41.20 – Connor Jaeger
U.S Open record: 14:45.54 – Peter Vanderkaay
U.S Nationals record: 14:45.54 – Peter Vanderkaay
JR World record: 14:51.55 – Mack Horton (Australia)
2012 Winning Time: 14:52.19 – Andrew Gemmell

American record holder Connor Jaeger won the 1500m freestyle to close out the trials in speedy fashion, fighting to the wall with Jordan Wilimovsky as the two secured another event for Rio.

The two were way out in front chasing down Peter Vanderkaay’s U.S Open record of 14:45.54, but ultimately fell short as Jaeger won in 14:47.61 and Wilimovsky was second in 14:49.19.

With that second place finish, Wilimovsky became the first American to qualify for the Olympic team in both open water and the pool.

  1. Connor Jaeger (14:47.61)
  2. Jordan Wilimovsky (14:49.19)
  3. Michael McBroom (15:06.60)
  4. Chris Wieser (15:09.70
  5. PJ Ransford (15:12.54)
  6. Logan Houck (15:13.89)
  7. Robert Finke (15:18.40)
  8. Zane Grothe (15:30.79)

For official results click here.

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5 years ago

So the Open water swimmers don’t count against the 26 swimmer limit?

Reply to  Jimswim
5 years ago

No that is considered a different sport. Just like the marathon runners don’t count against the track and field team squad limit.

Reply to  dmswim
5 years ago

I didn’t know that about Athletics either.

Jim Graham
5 years ago

Pulling for Madison Kennedy to make the team. She seems like a cool girl and she’s been close in the past.

Steve Nolan
5 years ago

I’m so nervous.

5 years ago

Weitzel and Kennedy with Manuel very close.

5 years ago

So Weitzeil and? Manuel or Kennedy?

5 years ago

I’ve read a lot of comments here and on other websites about how badly the US swimmers have performed at these OT and how much competition they will have from their international rivals, so I spent some time today examining how the US athletes rank relative to their peers. If you accept the premise that a swimmer who is ranked top 4 internationally going into the Olympics is a medal contender:

On the Men’s side there is only 1 event (ironically Michael Phelps’ 200 fly) in which at least 1 US Rio bound athlete has not made a top 4 ranking; however, it is important to note that only 2 athletes (Murphy 100 back and Prenot 200 breast) have achieved… Read more »

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Exactly! I think USA swimming is in great shape before Rio.

Reply to  Damiansport1
5 years ago

i think they will just be great again ….

5 years ago

I see what you did there. And I love it.

Reply to  Damiansport1
5 years ago

I agree. This team has a good mix of veterans and rising stars. Will they be as good as 2012? I don’t think so but they’re laying down a good foundation for 2020.

Reply to  Siobhan
5 years ago

Well said!

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Of course the 16 golds can’t be replicated I will be happy with 11.

Dennis Boyd
Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Speculating that the following did not fully rest; Phelps, Lochte, Jaeger, Murphy, Ladecky. Maybe others but those just off the top of my head. Lochte’s 200 IM was pretty impressive with a pulled groin muscle. No matter what shots he got that had to hurt a lot.

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Nice analysis. The rest of the world keeps getting better so it’s hard to compare against past Olympiads. Japan always seems to underperform, but European and Aussie women are always tough.

Victor P
Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

I agree with your assessment, but I would add two more observations. Rankings are only somewhat indicative of where we really stack up. I’m assuming that with the possible exception of Ledecky, most our swimmers were fully rested for this meet. Also, the highly experienced swimmers (Adrian, Phelps, Lochte, Vollmer, etc.) will make some final tweaks in the run up and swim faster in Rio. However, my only concern continues to be with sprinting on the women’s side. It seems that we’ve been talking about the fact that the rest of the world has been making more improvements in this area than we have for about 10 years. Encouraged to see the improvements in our top 2 (Weitzeil and Manuel).… Read more »

5 years ago

No surprises. Manuel and Weitzeil going to Rio, Kennedy third, shame for her but it is what it is.

5 years ago

🙁 no Kennedy

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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