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.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

Has anybody else noticed that the Swim MAC women are swimming great, while the men seem to be missing the mark a bit? In fact, it seems like David Marsh has done a great job building the confidence of the elite women on his team over the last quad so that now they are making the Team and swimming times that look like they’ll be in contention in Rio. The men, not so much, but this is a small sample size, so I’m not implying David can’t coach men, just that I’m glad he’s the Head US WOMEN’S Olympic Swimming Coach, not the Men’s Coach.

Similarly, Dave Durden seems like a magician for the men at Cal. I know he… Read more »

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

It doesn’t help that a lot of the men are old

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

LOL! Well, MATURE anyway! 😉

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

not Ryan :p

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

That’s why Durden left Auburn. He claimed credit from his best friend Marsh for the men, proposed he be the head men’s coach and Marsh be head women’s and Marsh said no. They’re still great friends regardless but that’s the story as told to me by both men

Cynthia mae Curran
5 years ago

This is my comment, sometimes the best swimmers in an event don’t make the Olympics and sometimes some one out of the blue does. Here’s an example of a great swimmer that didn’t make the Olympics.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mohler. This is why we should not get down on top swimmers sometimes.

Reply to  Cynthia mae Curran
5 years ago

You often hear that the best swimmer on the day of the OT final makes the US Team, but I’m not sure that’s always true. I can only imagine how nervous one would feel before a race when you’ve been training for so many years to make an Olympic Team; the weight of expectation must feel like an anvil on your back threatening to drown you, especially if you really only really have a chance in one event, which makes what David Plummer did the other night, for example, extremely impressive!

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Not to mention sleeping problems

5 years ago

Which is more realistic,
Missy Franklin winning the 100 free or Katie Ledecky winning the 100 free.

IMO: Ledecky

PK boo I\'m sad my name is too short now
Reply to  SeanSwimmer
5 years ago

I know I’m going against the grain here, but I would answer Franklin to this question. Ledecky pretty clearly isn’t fully rested, which I think will affect her speed more than it affects her ability to swim distance races. I think she’s going to have a tougher time getting out in front with these girls, and as such even her monster second 50 probably won’t get her there.

I don’t think it will matter either way, because I think we get a Weitzel win, but in terms of probability of winning the event, I do think Franklin would be slightly over Ledecky for me.

5 years ago

Let’s go Natalie Coughlin!

5 years ago

With Dwyer out an injured lochte is now safe for 200im even if he underperforms

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

I wouldn’t say that… mentioned it on another thread, but Licon and maybe even Kalisz or Nolan could get down in the 1:57s… not convinced Lochte will be faster than that.

Reply to  Caleb
5 years ago

Well, no Kalisz or Licon either! Feels like a conspiracy of NBA-proportions!

Lyin Ted Cruz
Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

bentz is having a monster meet. Could get in the 1:57s as well

Reply to  Lyin Ted Cruz
5 years ago

True, he could be in the mix. Forgot, since he scratched the 400.

5 years ago

I’m convinced that the veterans who underperform at the trials just don’t realize how much rest they need. They ramp up their training and don’t compensate for the extra workload an the effects of aging. Resting enough as you get older is scary. It’s a journey into the unknown and it takes courage to have faith that it will work.

Also, 30+ year olds can reach the same speeds as when they were younger, even surpass them, but recovery between multiple events requires a lot more time.

Reply to  FluidG
5 years ago

I feel like Phelps and Bowman got the memo, which is why he didn’t bother with the 100/200 free. I’m still not convinced he should do the 200 fly in Rio, actually, because I’m afraid it will affect his 100 fly and 200 IM performances later in the meet; but I’ll have to assume MP and Bob know what they’re doing…

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Curious about his 100 fly if it’s on the same level of 200 he might be out of top 2

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

I think his time for the first 150 of that 200 fly race was fine, he only faltered on the final 50 IMO, but I’m curious as well.

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

I don’t think he is rested a bunch which is why we saw a really good first 100 and okish third 50 and a not very good last fifty when compared to the rest of the race. In rio he will be a lot better and probably won’t fade as hard.

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

I mean looking at the first 150 of that 200 fly i think his 100 is actually gonna be pretty good. 24.9 and 53.0 are blazongly fast. Wouldnt be surprised if he goes faster that he did at nationals last summer in the 100. Especially with that 51.6 a few weeks ago Looks like he has good speed right now just has trouble finishing 200s

Reply to  Q-tip
5 years ago

think age has helped with his strength.. which is obviously a huge benefit for sprinting

but I initially thought he would focus on the sprints during his comeback (100 fly, 100 free and maybe the 2IM.. or 100 fly and 200 IM and then relays)

he looked great on the first 150, but just seemed like from the short stroke going into the wall his last 50 was pure struggle.. just gotta hope he’s better come rio with a full taper

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

He should do 200m fly in Rio just because to get revenge on LeClose. Its last mission in his career. Its the most important race for him

Reply to  Damiansport1
5 years ago

That’s not a good reason to do it. If he gets smoked his wonderful legacy will be tarnished.

Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

The guy has acomplished more than an athlete has ever done and ever will. He has nothing to prove. Let us enjoy the last races of his career, and the last 200 fly also in rio..

Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

No, that’s simply not true. He was, is and will be the GOAT.

Reply to  Brownish
5 years ago

Plus this event is his baby! Not quite like Boomer Robert though !

Lazy Observer
Reply to  tm71
5 years ago

Replace that last exclamation point and this joke delivers. You were under-appreciated on this one.

Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

This entire Olympic cycle is just icing on the cake whether he goes 3 for 3 gold or places 4th in all his races his legacy will not be tarnished.

Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

there is absolutely nothing phelps can do in rio that will tarnish his legacy as the greatest swimmer of all time.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

How will his legacy be tarnished? Are they going to take away some of his medals?

Reply to  Damiansport1
5 years ago

Cseh will win it.

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 years ago

Don’t forget that Michael completed the ultimate ironman schedule in Beijing. What, 30 races in one week? He knows how to manage his energy and fatigue better than anyone. That was the real challenge of winning 8 and no one else has ever had enough cushion to cruise their way through so many rounds. The success Bowman and Phelps enjoyed last summer gave them invaluable data for this year. I believe they have the experience to dial this in for Rio. Trials is another opportunity to take measure of where they are and adjust their program leading into the only meet that really matters to them.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  FluidG
5 years ago

Completely agreed. Assuming it’s part over-training and part under-resting. Which is definitely super scary, both things are equivalent to “working less.” Definitely not something those guys are used to.

5 years ago

Lets go Abby Weitzeil! I’m hoping she throws down something crazy today. She looked really fast in the 200. I think she will take down the AR in the next couple of days.

Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Is anyone else having problems with the live stream?

Reply to  Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Yep. Just died after flickering for last minute or so. Classy.

ct swim fan
Reply to  JudgeNot
5 years ago

Absolutely awful stream. Picture is jerky and goes on and off and the audio is awful as well. NBC ought to be ashamed.

Reply to  Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Yep. It’s not working well at all this AM.

Franklin Guill
Reply to  Hint of Lime
5 years ago

Yes I AM. It is about to run me crazy!! I sent an email to NBC la la land… We will see if they respond.

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 …

Read More »