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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5 years ago

So many loaded events today. Going to be an exciting prelims session, and an even more exciting semi/finals session.

5 years ago

Ladies and Gentlemen! Let’s get ready to……….R..U..M..B..L..E..!!!!!!!

Can’t wait to see Caleb and Nathan in the 50Fr. Can’t think of another race where it is likely everyone is at 100% – no room for error or misjudging how others will come up on you.

KL – 800Fr will amaze us I think this morning…

100Fly – what’s to say

200Bk – Go Missy!

Reply to  Back2Back
5 years ago

What about Ervin in that 50…

Reply to  Hina
5 years ago

Too old…………………….OK – just kidding. I would not be surprised to see some newbies popping one this morning.

Reply to  Hina
5 years ago

The 50 is another event where I wish we could take 3. Track and Field get 3 per event. Why can’t swimming?

Eddie Rowe
Reply to  Dan
5 years ago

1976. To many sweeps by usa men

Reply to  Back2Back
5 years ago

do u know that saying is copyrighted ? lol !

5 years ago

Ervin looks like a real threat to crash the Adrian/Dressel 50 free party. Out in 22.35 yesterday?! Rumours of him going 21s in practice. Think we will see him under 21.3 in semis or finals.

Reply to  Teddy
5 years ago

Sorry, 22.37. Just as ridiculous

Reply to  Teddy
5 years ago

U are right – that was a ridiculously fast first 50 yesterday in the final by Ervin – it felt like a rocket out of a launch gear … very impressive .

Reply to  Teddy
5 years ago

I think Tony will go a PB…..question is where will that get him?

5 years ago

M 50 free lead by Ervin this morning 21.8
Adrian Cruises to 22.2
Dressel also 22.2
Held gets in with 22.4
W 800 Free Ledecky goes 8:19 to lead the morning
Smith second in 8:29
M 100 Fly
Phelps leads 51.7
Conger in 51.9
Shields in 52.1

Reply to  Track
5 years ago

No way Smith is 10 seconds slower after making the 400, even in prelims unless ledecky goes all outline usual.

Reply to  Track
5 years ago

I’m all excited about Ervin now. How awesome would it be if he got the individual qualification and then gold. 16 years later!

Reply to  Teddy
5 years ago

Sure he was off for a year or two this quadrennial but he also was off for a decade and did just fine

Reply to  Teddy
5 years ago

“well rested”

Reply to  Track
5 years ago

These are prelims predictions

5 years ago

Who’s doing the commentary with the NBC guy?

Reply to  Track
5 years ago

Garrett Weber-Gale

5 years ago

Pegman – 22.59! early heat

Years of Plain Suck
5 years ago

Lot of very good sprint insights from Garrett Weber-Gale. I’d team him up with Ariana Kukors for a valuable seminar on swimming wisdom from young retired vets. Nice job!

5 years ago

Zach – 22.69

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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