2016 U.S Olympic Trials: Day Five Prelims Live Recap


We’re back after four days of action, and the majority of America’s superstars are already on the Olympic team. Ryan Lochte made it in the 4x200m freestyle relay, Missy Franklin made it in the 200m freestyle, Michael Phelps made it in the 200m butterfly, and Katie Ledecky made it in both the 200 and 400m freestyles.

Now, Simone Manuel will look to pave her way onto the team with a strong 100m freestyle prelim swim this morning. Franklin is seeded second, Ledecky fourth, as they’ll try to set themselves up for another swim be it relay or individual.

Ryan Murphy proved earlier that he’s the man to beat in the backstroke events. If he wants to take the 200 back, he’s going to have to get past reigning Olympic gold medallist Tyler Clary who has yet to make the team.

In the absence of American record holder Rebecca Soni, a new wave of women’s breaststroke has swept the nation and with it brings Micah Lawrence. Lawrence took home a silver at last summer’s World Championships in the 200, but will have to hold off plenty of young talent if she wants to keep her title as the best 200 breaststroker in the States.

The men’s 200m IM is arguably the most anticipated event of these trials pinning Ryan Lochte against Michael Phelps. The two have have been close to the world record multiple times since Lochte set in, and will have to fight tooth and nail to for the win.


Top seed: Simone Manuel (53.25)
World record: 52.07 – Britta Steffen (Germany)
American record: 53.02 – Amanda Weir
U.S Open record: 53.30 – Cate Campbell (Australia)
U.S Nationals record: 53.43 – Missy Franklin
JR World record: 53.84 – Shen Duo (China)
2012 Winning Time: 53.96 – Jessica Hardy

Abbey Weitzeil led the way in the heats of the women’s 100m freestyle this morning, taking the win in heat five with a personal best time of 53.58. That time put Weitzeil ahead of American record holder Amanda Weir.

Weir won the final heat of the 100m freestyle with a 53.76, just slightly slower than Weitzeil’s time. In the process she took down Simone Manuel.

Manuel was second in the final heat in 5384 to take fourth overall.

Third overall went to Dana Vollmer, who competed side-by-side-by-side with Natalie Coughlin and Kelsi Worrell.

Vollmer ended up distancing herself from the two with a 53.80 performance. Worrell wasn’t that far behind however, rocking a swift 54.02 at the touch to take fifth overall.

Katie Ledecky finished sixth overall with a 54.04.

Both Missy Franklin and Coughlin made it back for a second swim. Franklin was a 54.41 which ranks her ninth heading into tonight’s semifinals. Coughlin was a 54.73 which ranks her 11th overall.

Reigning Olympic trials champion Jessica Hardy finished well back in 59th with a time of 56.80, almost three seconds slower than what she went to win trials back in 2012.

TOP 16

  1. Abbey Weitzeil (53.98)
  2. Amanda Weir (53.76)
  3. Dana Vollmer (53.80)
  4. Simone Manuel (53.84)
  5. Kelsi Worrell (54.02)
  6. Katie Ledecky (54.04)
  7. Lia Neal (54.06)
  8. Madison Kennedy (54.24)
  9. Missy Franklin (54.41)
  10. Olivia Smoliga (54.62)
  11. Natalie Coughlin (54.73)
  12. Shannon Vreeland (54.87) – TIE
  13. Margo Geer (54.87) – TIE
  14. Allison Schmitt (54.95)
  15. Mallory Comerford (53.14)
  16. Kirsten Vose (55.32)

For official results click here.


Top seed: Tyler Clary (1:54.73)
World record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol
American record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol
U.S Open record: 1:53.08 – Aaron Peirsol
U.S Nationals record: 1:53.08 – Aaron Peirsol
JR World record: 1:56.79 – Li Guangyuan
2012 Winning Time: 1:54.54 – Ryan Lochte

Jacob Pebley of Cal made a statement this morning that he was in the mix to win the 200m backstroke tomorrow night after dropping a smooth 1:56.39 in prelims.

Pebley was out quick and came back strong and smooth before turning off the jets down the final stretch. His time leads the way to tonight’s semifinals ahead of reigning Olympic gold medallist Tyler Clary.

Clary hasn’t had a great meet thus far, scratching from the 400m IM final, missing a relay spot in the 200m freestyle, and missing the final of the 200m butterfly.

The 200m backstroke might be has last chance to qualify for the team, and Clary isn’t wasting it. He was a 1:56.85 this morning to take the second seed behind Pebley.

Ryan Murphy swam what appeared to be an easy 200m backstroke, throwing down a 1:57.35 which easily qualifies him for the semifinals. In the lane beside him Michael Taylor was churning away to almost go par with the 100m backstroke champion, clocking in a 1:57.92.

Reigning 100m backstroke Olympic champion Matt Grevers qualified in 14th overall. The 200m backstroke will be Grevers’ last chance to make the 2012 Olympic team.

TOP 16

  1. Jacob Pebley (1:56.29)
  2. Tyler Clary (1:56.85)
  3. Ryan Murphy (1:57.35)
  4. Michael Taylor (1:57.92)
  5. Robert Owen (1:58.01)
  6. Sean Lehane (1:58.04)
  7. Hennessey Stuart (1:58.32)
  8. Austin Katz (1:59.05)
  9. Jay Litherland (1:59.30)
  10. Joey Reilman (1:59.55)
  11. Justin Ress (1:59.60)
  12. Carter Griffin (1:59.74)
  13. Patrick Mulcare (1:59.86)
  14. Matt Grevers (2:00.03)
  15. Drew Cosgarea (2:00.04)
  16. Jake Taylor (2:00.31)

For official results click here.


Top seed: Micah Lawrence (2:22.04)
World record: 2:19.11 – Rikke Moeller-Pedersen (Denmark)
American record: 2:19.59 – Rebecca Soni
U.S Open record: 2:20.38 – Rebecca Soni
U.S Nationals record: 2:20.38 – Rebecca Soni
JR World record: 2:19.64 – Viktoria Gunes (Turkey)
2012 Winning Time: 2:21.13 – Rebecca Soni

Top seed Micah Lawerence led the way this morning in the heats of the 200m breaststroke. Coming home strong Lawrence dropped a 2:26.27 to be one of two swimmers under the 2:27 mark.

Bethany Galat of Texas A&M dominated her heat from an outside lane, coming back strong on 100m breaststroke champion Lilly King, Laura Sogar, and Molly Hannis. Galat touched in for a swift 2:26.72.

Annie Lazor grabbed the third overall seed in 2:27.48, clocking in just slightly ahead of King’s 2:27.55. A huge clump of swimmers were in the 2:27.5 range. Tennessee’s Hannis was a 2:27.62, Breeja Larson was a 2:27.65, and Andee Cottrell was a 2:27.67.

Laura Sogar and Emmea Reaney finished ninth and 10th overall respectively. Last night’s 200m IM runner up Melanie Margalis was 15th in 2:29.03.

Surprisingly 100m breaststroke runner-up Katie Meili missed the semifinal, finishing 23rd overall with a 2:30.66.

TOP 16

  1. Micah Lawrence (2:26.27)
  2. Bethany Galat (2:26.72)
  3. Annie Lazor (2:27.48)
  4. Lilly King (2:27.55)
  5. Molly Hannis (2:27.62)
  6. Breeja Larson (2:27.65)
  7. Andee Cottrell (2:27.67)
  8. Emma Schoettmer (2:28.01)
  9. Laura Sogar (2:28.15)
  10. Emma Reaney (2:28.57)
  11. Olivia Anderson (2:28.60)
  12. Sarah Henry (2:28.74)
  13. Zoe Bartel (2:28.94)
  14. Taylor Vargo (2:28.98)
  15. Melanie Margalis (2:29.03)
  16. Emily Escobedo (2:29.12)

For official results click here.

MEN’S 200m IM

Top seed: Michael Phelps (1:54.75)
World record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte
American record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte
U.S Open record: 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte
U.S Nationals record: 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte
JR World record: 1:59.44 – Joseph Bentz
2012 Winning Time: 1:54.84 – Michael Phelps

Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps are set up for one more showdown. The dynamic duo took the top two seeds in prelims and look to lead things heading into tonight’s semifinals.

Both Lochte and Phelps demonstrated a strong 150-meters before shutting things down towards the end of the race. Lochte was a 1:58.05 to take the top seed.

After missing the team in the 400m IM earlier in the meet, Lochte claimed that a “pulled groin” injury had occurred effecting his breaststroke. Today, Lochte showed no signs of pain during or after his race on the breaststroke leg.

Splitting a swift 34.24, Lochte looked smooth on his breaststroke. From SwimSwam’s point of view, it appeared as though Lochte had somewhat altered his kick, shortening it and keeping it tighter.

Phelps took the second seed behind Lochte in 1:58.95. Gunnar Bentz was third overall in 1:59.46, Andrew Seliskar was fourth in 1:59.89.

Jay Litherland, who ran down Lochte to qualify for the team in the 400m IM earlier this meet, qualified for tonight’s semifinal sixth in 2:00.35.

Both Will Licon and Chase Kalisz no-showed their heats this morning.

TOP 16

  1. Ryan Lochte (1:58.05)
  2. Michael Phelps (1:58.95)
  3. Gunnar Bentz (1:59.46)
  4. Andrew Seliskar (1:59.89)
  5. Austin Surhoff (2:00.26)
  6. Jay Litherland (2:00.35)
  7. Kyle Whitaker (2:00.36)
  8. David Nolan (2:00.50)
  9. Michael Andrew (2:00.79)
  10. Christian McCurdy (2:01.19)
  11. Max Williamson (2:01.46)
  12. Abrahm Devine (2:01.51)
  13. Nick Thorne (2:01.61)
  14. Adam Hinshaw (2:01.72)
  15. Brandon Fiala (2:01.91)
  16. Michael Weiss (2:01.96)

For official results click here.

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Ralph Eatsbeef
6 years ago

I love USA Swimming!
The Trials (to me!) are almost better than the Games, because of the mass of old and new of America’s best swimmer so coming together with everything on the line. Go USA!

6 years ago

No disrespect to the other ladies – But I would love to see Amanda Weir get an individual swim in Rio. My heart wants Weir & Neal – My head says Weitzeil & Manuel.

6 years ago

Matt Grevers = Class Act

I know he is proud he has handed the baton off to some amazing future backstrokers for USA for 2016. I will miss the years of dominance and that ever-present smile and sense of good humor in RIO.

I would not count out a highly focused comeback in the next quad – which I would wish for.

Best of everything Matt!

bobo gigi
6 years ago

By the way happy birthday to Michael Phelps who turns 31 today.

6 years ago

My take away is good or bad most time are amazingly slow and not looking good for olympics unless really bad in tapering cycle.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

By the way unlike everybody else, I think that this meet is a dream meet for Lochte.
No no, I’m really serious!
Since last year I repeat that his only individual gold medal chance (even simply individual medal chance) in Rio will be the 200 IM.
He will not swim the 400 IM there.
He will not swim the 200 free there.
He will not swim the 4X100 free relay there.
He will not swim the 200 back there.
Before the 200 IM he will swim only the 4X200 free relay prelims or final.
He will be fresh and ready.
That’s the perfect scenario for a very old man like Lochte.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

What do you think would be phelps best schedule? Especially when he will be 100 percent fresh then compared to now?

bobo gigi
Reply to  Beachbumj343
6 years ago

It’s not popular to say that on swimswam but I don’t think he should swim the 200 fly.
My heart says “swim it, you have a revenge to take and that’s your baby event” but my brain says “drop that event MP, you are too old to endure 3 hard rounds of such a grueling event and it could cost you much for the rest of the week”.

About MP olympic schedule, the problem is that we know anything more about the state of his freestyle.
So will he swim both relays? No idea.
I will not change my longtime MP schedule hopes for Rio. 200 IM/100 fly and the 3 relays are well enough.

But I’m… Read more »

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

We don’t know anything about the state of his freestyle because he hides it since the summer of 2014. Last summer no freestyle fully tapered. And this week no freestyle either. I’m not too worried. I can’t believe he has a specific problem of freestyle. Anyway his coach is not stupid. He’s also the US men’s team coach and if he sees at the training camps that MP freestyle is not where it should be, he will not take the risk of putting him in a relay final.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I think he chose not to swim freestyle this meet because he isn’t fully tapered and doesn’t want everybody to count him out yet because of an untested meet. I think he needs a much larger taper now that he is so much older and I think he’s saving it for rio. Based on last nights time and what he went In August I refuse to believe that just after anoter year of great training that he has deteriorated so much. He’s going to peak in rio and hopefully go 3 for 3 individual gold and maybe swim the free relays and hopefully go one last best time before he hangs up the cap and goggles for good.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I think he chose not to swim freestyle this meet because he isn’t fully tapered and doesn’t want everybody to count him out yet because of an untested meet. I think he needs a much larger taper now that he is so much older and I think he’s saving it for rio. Based on last nights time and what he went In August I refuse to believe that just after anoter year of great training that he has deteriorated so much. He’s going to peak in rio and hopefully go 3 for 3 individual gold and maybe swim the free relays and hopefully go one last best time before he hangs up the cap and goggles for good.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I have a strong feeling that Phelps won’t swim 800 free relay.
He might swim 400 free relay
N rest 4 events we know are a sure lock.
That’s my prediction !

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

200 im at Rio will be the best event after 200 fly for me.
Hagino vs lochte vs Phelps !

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I personally hope that he does all three individual events and leave the relays for the kids and shields can do the medley for butterfly leg.

Lazy Observer
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I kinda love when you say “Take a revenge.” But as an FYI, it would be either “you want revenge” or “you want to get revenge.”

And the more I type it, the weirder that word seems.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Why some people want to see Licon and Prenot in the 200 IM?
Both guys have their best event tonight and it’s their only chance of qualification.
Why wasting energy in the morning to swim an event in which, at best, you can take the 3rd place 2 or 3 seconds behind MP and Lochte?
Very smart schedule stategy. It’s not so common this week. 😆

For the rest, looks like Abbey is ready for the performance I hope. Go out hard Abbey! Take your mind off! And see what happens!
It’s likely to see Kelsi Worrell scratch the semis tonight to focus on her 200 fly final. I don’t see the interest of that morning… Read more »

6 years ago

Go Amanda….lol gotta cheer for a Georgia resident and Swim Across America supporter!

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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