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


Four of USA’s biggest stars will be competing this morning as the top seeds in their respective events.

The first event will be the men’s 50m freestyle where Nathan Adrian is the top seed. Adrian has been on fire this season coming off a big 2015. At the World Championships, Adrian broke the 50 free American record and has been keeping the momentum ever since.

Look for Florida’s Caeleb Dressel to have some speed too. He was electric at both SECs and the NCAAs this year breaking the American record in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyles.

Next is the 800m freestyle, Katie Ledecky‘s go-to. She’s so strong in this race, almost every time she enters it there’s a threat of a world record. The more interesting storyline in the 800 is whether or not Leah Smith can once again close the gap on Ledecky. In the 400 freestyle, she cut the lead significantly en route to a second place finish.

Michael Phelps is up after Ledecky in the men’s 100m butterfly. He can easily qualify, and likely won’t be going too fast this morning in order to conserve energy for the 200m IM final tonight. Tom Shields and Ryan Lochte will be in the same heat next to each other, adding some more excitement to the event.

The final event of the morning will be the women’s 200m backstroke. Missy Franklin is the world record holder and reigning Olympic champion in this event, but hasn’t had the greatest meet so far. She missed the team in the 100m backstroke and missed the final in the 100m freestyle. She’s going to have to be on her game to make the team in this event.


Top seed: Nathan Adrian (21.37)
World record: 20.91 – Cesar Cielo
American record: 21.37 – Nathan Adrian
U.S Open record: 21.14 – Cesar Cielo
U.S Nationals record: 21.47 – Nathan Adrian/Garret Weber-Gale
JR World record: 22.00 – Yu Hexin (China)
2012 Winning Time: 21.59 – Cullen Jones

Caeleb Dressel brought out the speed this morning to drop a 21.76 in the heats of the men’s 50m freestyle to lead the way into tonight’s semifinals. While his time was the fastest, he’s going to need a lot more in his tank if he wants to win this one.

Anthony Ervin was a 21.80 to win his heat, Cullen Jones was a 21.84 to finish second to Dressel, and Nathan Adrian was a 21.96. Although Adrian is seeded fourth he arguably looks the best heading into the semifinals.

After 35-meters Adrian completely shut things down turning his race into the easiest 21.96 we at SwimSwam have ever seen. Adrian’s on fire this week and if his prelims swim is any indication of his potential, he should be very fast in the 50.

All the members of the 4x100m freestyle relay who qualified last night will be present in the semifinals with the exception of 6th place Clark Smith who didn’t swim the 50 free.

TOP 16

  1. Caeleb Dressel (21.76)
  2. Anthony Ervin (21.80)
  3. Cullen Jones (21.84)
  4. Nathan Adrian (21.96)
  5. Jimmy Feigen (22.11)
  6. Paul Powers (22.22)
  7. Michael Chadwick (22.24)
  8. William Copeland (22.25)
  9. Michael Andrew (22.27)
  10. Payton Sorenson (22.29)
  11. Josh Schneider (22.32)
  12. John Murray (22.34)
  13. Ryan Held (22.37)
  14. Dillon Virva (22.40)
  15. Bowen Becker (22.45)
  16. David Williams (22.45)

For official results click here.


Top seed: Katie Ledecky – 8:06.68
World record: 8:06.68 – Katie Ledecky
American record: 8:06.68 – Katie Ledecky
U.S Open record: 8:06.68 – Katie Ledecky
U.S Nationals record: 8:17.12 – Janet Evans
JR World record: 8:11.00 – Katie Ledecky
2012 Winning Time: 8:19.78 – Katie Ledecky

After the prelims of the women’s 800m freestyle Katie Ledecky now owns all 10 of the fastest performances in the history of the event. Ledecky swam an 8:10.91 to smash the U.S LC Nationals record held by Janet Evans and completely erase her from the record books.

With Ledecky’s performance, she has all major records in the 400, 800, and 1500m freestyles. This record was the last one that Evans’ held. Amazingly enough, Evans was on deck during Ledecky’s performance.

Ledecky hardly kicked for the first half of the race, then continued to descend heading into the final stretch. On the last 15-meters, Ledecky put her head down and swam the final few meters as if it were a 50, not breathing once. Her world record is in jeopardy tonight.

Leah Smith qualified second behind Ledecky in 8:21.65 and is the second seed by a wide margin. It appears as though tonight’s race will likely be between Ledecky and Smith.

Smith seems out of it now, but she made a case in the 400m freestyle that she can keep things closer to Ledecky than anyone else in the world.


  1. Katie Ledecky (8:10.91)
  2. Leah Smith (8:21.64)
  3. Ashley Twichell (8:28.96)
  4. Haley Anderson (8:30.96)
  5. Lindsay Vrooman (8:31.53)
  6. Cierra Runge (8:31.59)
  7. Stephanie Peacock (8:31.81)
  8. Sierra Schmidt (8:32.46)

For official results click here.


Top seed: Michael Phelps (50.45)
World record: 49.82 – Michael Phelps
American record: 49.82 – Michael Phelps
U.S Open record: 50.22 – Michael Phelps
U.S Nationals record: 50.22 – Michael Phelps
JR World record: 51.33 – Li Zhuhao (China)
2012 Winning Time: 51.14 – Michael Phelps

The men’s 100m butterfly looks to be in good shape as six swimmers were under 52-seconds this morning make the event one of the most competitive one’s in the United States.

The top six were all within 0.26 seconds of each other, remarkably close. Matthew Josa took the top overall seed with a 51.61 to top Tim Phillips 51.68.

Seth Stubblefield was third in 51.70, Tom Shields fourth in 51.72, and Jack Conger was fifth in 51.80.

Michael Phelps was surprisingly beaten by both Phillips and Stubblefield in his heat, clocking in at 51.87 to take sixth overall heading into finals.

Phelps had another poor turn at the halfway point, something that’s been a common occurrence for him here in Omaha. He was very close to the wall on his touch.

Caeleb Dressel took the seventh seed with a 52.22. Ryan Lochte was ninth in 52.66.

TOP 16

  1. Matthew Josa (51.61)
  2. Tim Phillips (51.68)
  3. Seth Stubblefield (51.70)
  4. Tom Shields (51.72)
  5. Jack Conger (51.80)
  6. Michael Phelps (51.87)
  7. Caeleb Dressel (52.22)
  8. Andrew Liang (52.65)
  9. Ryan Lochte (52.66)
  10. David Nolan (52.70)
  11. Will Glass (52.74)
  12. Giles Smith (52.83)
  13. Carl Wiegley (52.24)
  14. Michael Andrew (53.25)
  15. Kyler Vanswol (52.26)
  16. Andrew Sansoucie (53.28)

For official results click here.


Top seed: Missy Franklin (2:06.34)
World record: 2:04.06 – Missy Franklin
American record: 2:04.06 – Missy Franklin
U.S Open record: 2:05.68 – Missy Franklin
U.S Nationals record: 2:05.68 – Missy Franklin
JR World record: 2:07.43 – Daria Ustinova
2012 Winning Time: 2:06.11 – Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin may be down this week, but she’s not out. Franklin is the top qualifier in the 200m backstroke after posting a 2:09.69 this morning.

Her 200 speed looks fine as she heads into tonight’s semifinals. Maya DiRado and Elizabeth Beisel, who are already on the team, qualified second and third. DiRado was a 2:09.76, Beisel a 2:10.01.

Beisel swam the race with a taped up pinky on her left hand after she injured it in warmup a few days prior. Beisel didn’t appear to be troubled by the injury during her swim.

Danielle Galyer was fourth overall in 2:10.35, Bridget Alexander was fifth in 2:10.90. All other qualifiers were above 2:11.

TOP 16

  1. Missy Franklin (2:09.69)
  2. Maya DiRado (2:09.76)
  3. Elizabeth Beisel (2:10.01)
  4. Danielle Galyer (2:10.35)
  5. Bridgette Alexander (2:10.90)
  6. Eva Merrell (2:11.02)
  7. Tasija Karosas (2:11.23)
  8. Erin Voss (2:11.24)
  9. Melissa Postoll (2:11.67)
  10. Alex Walsh (2:11.58)
  11. Amy Bilquist (2:11.77)
  12. Lisa Bratton (2:11.92)
  13. Clara Smiddy (2:11.98)
  14. Ally Howe (2:12.08)
  15. Callie Dickinson (2:12.14)
  16. Quinn Carrozza (2:12.19)

For official results click here.

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

I’ve just seen Adrian swim. Sooooooooooooo easy!
But I remember he was so easy in semifinals at worlds last year too.
And in final he lost to Manaudou.
It’s one thing to swim relaxed ahead in semis. It’s another thing to swim as well in a final with Manaudou who takes a monster start next to you.
Having said that, I think that Adrian sends a very clear message this week to the rest of the world. Guys, you will have to beat me if you want the golds.

In the same race Schneider has totally missed his start.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Nascar is over. Finally.
Rowdy Gaines has just said that Anthony Ervin is the most talented sprinter he has ever seen.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

No Love for Popov? Ervin is amazing, probably the best over the water of the ones who are still swimming..but Popov was something else..

bobo gigi
6 years ago

I watch NBCSN, I’ve found a good link, for prelims recorded and they still show that stupid Nascar with cars going around in circles…. 🙄

6 years ago

Is there video anywhere of the 50 free prelims? I want to see what everyone was talking about with adrian.
This is where I say work sucks and national holidays should be reserved for important sporting events only haha

Stay Human
6 years ago

Does anyone know why Katie Baker decided not to swim the 2Back? She could have been a dark horse if one of the top 2 faltered and it doesn’t look like she has other events. Or did she swim it and I just can’t find her in the results?

Reply to  Stay Human
6 years ago

just fyi, i don’t think she goes by katie baker and just kathleen baker. her teammate at cal is katie mclaughlin

Stay Human
Reply to  speedo.man1
6 years ago

I’ve seen both used for her in various places. But Kathleen is better for the fans, there are way too many Katie’s, Kate’s, Kaitlin’s, in the world, not enough Kathleens. 😉 Any clue on what happened with her 2BK?

6 years ago

So excited for finals tonight. Phelps vs Lochte AND Clary’s last shot vs the Cal young guns.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

The French reporter of L’Equipe Maxime Mallet who covers that meet is a joke.
All his articles are crazy stupid. He analyzes all prelims as they were olympic finals.
No reflection. I have never seen that.

Back to day 6 prelims,
Adrian and Ervin were my picks in the 50 free before the meet. Adrian is probably in the shape of his life. Ervin maybe too. Dressel will have to beat one of both veterans. He can count on his monster start. But in the pure swimming he’s beaten. The key for Ervin is his start. Give to Ervin the start of Dressel and he swims under 21!

KL will break the world record tomorrow. Useless to… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Bobo- yet again you severely underestimate the ability of swimmers to recover between events, and i think it has to do with your fandom of track and field. Runners almost never compete in multiple events and focus on at most two events (100/200, 5k/10k). By its nature, it is hard to recover well from a hard run. By its nature, it is rather easy to recover from a hard swim. Dressel will cool down and get that 100 fly prelim out of his system in plenty of time to swim a lights-out 50 free. Every swimmer will manage their doubles and extra swims and whatnot fairly easily. The cold water and 0 impact of swimming is perfect for recovery. It’s… Read more »

Joe Bagodonuts
Reply to  Paul
6 years ago

Not sure how to respond to your multiple “by its nature” phrases, or that science would bear them out. I think comparing swimming recovery to track recovery has more to do with the fact that even sprint swimmers are swimming several thousand yards per day, whereas sprint runners do not. In that sense, I think it is more a matter of conditioning than the “nature” of the muscle recovery required.

Reply to  Joe Bagodonuts
6 years ago

I think what Paul is saying is obviously true; the constant jolting and strain that results from gravity makes running a much more physically rugged sport, than swimming. It’s true that track sprinters don’t train nearly as long or as far as sprint swimmers, but that’s because their body would be too beaten down. Distance runners don’t spend anywhere near the time running that distance swimmers do (or even mid-distance swimmers, or age-group sprinters). I don’t know all the physiology but it’s obvious the two sports are different in how well the body can handle and recover from intense work.

short rest interval running
Reply to  Caleb
6 years ago
short rest interval running
Reply to  Caleb
6 years ago
6 years ago

Random i know but does anyone know what ever happend to gil stovil? Was lookinng over the 08 trials results and was surprised to see a guybId never even heard of had gone a 1:53 200 fly.. how did his career turn out??

Lane Four
Reply to  Q-tip
6 years ago

I wondered the same. Maybe making the Olympic team was enough for him and he retired?

Reply to  Q-tip
6 years ago

After not making the final in Beijing he decided that was it. He’s coaching now and living a good life.


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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