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


After an eventful first few days of competition it’s finally time to see Michael Phelps return to Olympic trials action. Phelps will be featured in the 200m butterfly final and will give us a first look into what a likely partially tapered 2016 Phelps looks like.

He’s claimed to put in work like he did before Beijing, which means that if what he’s been telling the media is true, he should look smooth as a hot knife cutting through butter today.

Although the Phelps gravy train is claiming the focus of the morning, the women’s 200m freestyle is going to be a fun event to watch. Katie Ledecky threw down a monster first 200 in her 400m freestyle yesterday, demonstrating that she has speed heading into today.

Toss in Maya DiRado, who already made the team in the 400m IM, into the 200m IM heats, and things this morning are going to get toasty.


2016 Top seed: Katie Ledecky (1:54.43)
World record: 1:52.98 – Frederica Pellegrini (Italy)
American record: 1:53.61 – Allison Schmitt
U.S Open record: 1:54.40 – Allison Schmitt
U.S Nationals record: 1:54.40 – Allison Schmitt
JR World record: 1:56.12 – Shen Duo (China)
2012 Winning Time: 1:54.40 – Allison Schmitt

Katie Ledecky continued her freestyle domination here at the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials with a very fast, but easily controlled 200m freestyle that took the top seed overall heading into tonight’s semifinals.

Ledecky was a 1:55.60 at the touch in the final heat to beat Leah Smith. For the second time this meet, Smith closed on Ledecky. She finished almost a second behind her in 1:56.47, but began to creep up on her hip during the last 50 after Ledecky rocketed to a body-length and change lead at the 100.

Melanie Margalis won heat 10, taking down Missy Franklin and Simone Manuel en route to the third fastest time of the morning. Margalis was a 1:57.61, Franklin was a 1:58.61 for seventh overall, Manuel was a 1:59.27 for 10th overall.

Seed fourth is Olympic champion Allison Schmitt who won the first of the circle seeded heats with a smooth 1:57.77.

TOP 16

  1. Katie Ledecky (1:55.60)
  2. Leah Smith (1:56.47)
  3. Melanie Margalis (1:57.61)
  4. Allison Schmitt (1:57.77)
  5. Cierra Runge (1:58.11)
  6. Shannon Vreeland (1:58.29)
  7. Missy Franklin (1:58.61) – Tie
  8. Hali Flickinger (1:58.61) – Tie
  9. Sarah Gibson (1L59.19)
  10. Simone Manuel (1:59.27)
  11. Katie Drabot (1:59.28)
  12. Karlee bispo (1:59.29)
  13. Chelsea Chenault (1:59.67)
  14. Katie McLaughlin (1:59.76)
  15. Mallory Comerford (1:59.78)
  16. Sarah Henry (2:00.00)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: Michael Phelps (1:52.94)
World record: 1:51.51 – Michael Phelps
American record: 1:51.51 – Michael Phelps
U.S Open record: 1:52.20 – Michael Phelps
U.S Nationals record: 1:52.20 – Michael Phelps
JR World record: 1:55.92 – Andrew Seliskar 1:52.20 – Michael Phelps
2012 Winning Time: 1:53.65 – Michael Phelps

In his first swim of these trials, Michael Phelps was smooth as can be in order to take the top seed heading into tonight’s semifinals. After 100-meters, Phelps had already given himself a body-length lead over the rest of the field. Out in 54.49, he came back in a 1:02.19 in order to drop a 1:56.68.

Phelps shut things down after the first 100, and on the last 25 it appeared as though he was tightening up slightly. Altogether, his race looked easy and controlled, a great sign heading into semifinals.

This is the first time in the history of Phelps career that he’s ever taken the top seed after prelims at the Olympic Trials. Previously, his best prelims placing had been second.

Pace Clark of Georgia was the second fastest qualifier behind Phelps in 1:56.90. His Texas rival Jack Conger grabbed third overall with a 1:57.33 performance over Chase Kalisz‘s 1:57.34.

TOP 16

  1. Michael Phelps (1:56.68)
  2. Pace Clark (1:56.90)
  3. Jack Conger (1:57.33)
  4. Chase Kalisz (1:57.34)
  5. Kyle Higgins (1:57.41)
  6. Tyler Clary (1:57.42)
  7. Michael Klueh (1:57.59)
  8. Adam Hinshaw (1:57.60)
  9. Justin Wright (1:57.68)
  10. Andrew Seliskar (1:57.77)
  11. Zach Harting (1:57.94)
  12. Tom Shields (1:57.96)
  13. Mick Litherland (1:58.43)
  14. Bobby Bollier (1:58.44)
  15. Gunnar Bentz (1:58.61)
  16. Christian McCurdy (1:58.70)

For official results click here. 


2016 Top seed: Maya DiRado (2:08.99)
World record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu
American record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors
U.S Open record: 2:08.66 – Katinka Hosszu
U.S Nationals record: 2:09.34 – Julia Smit
JR World record: 2:11.03 – Viktoria Gunes
2012 Winning Time: 2:10.22 – Caitlin Leverenz

Maya DiRado, who already made her way onto the Olympic team with a win in the 400m IM, took the top seed in the women’s 200m IM with a smooth 2:11.66.

Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz was right on that mark as well, sporting  2:11.89 at the touch to put her right up at the top with DiRado. Melanie Margalis will give Leverenz a run for her money in semifinals, and finals if they qualify. She was a 2:12.36 this morning.

Ella Eastin is in the mix as well after a 2:12.87 performance.

Both Elizabeth Beisel and Sarah Henry, who finaled in the 400m IM earlier in the meet, were no-shows this morning which opens up the field significantly.

TOP 16

  1. Maya DiRado (2:11.66)
  2. Caitlin Leverenz (2:11.89)
  3. Melanie Margalis (2:12.36)
  4. Ella Eastin (2:12.87)
  5. Madisyn Cox (2:13.48)
  6. Bethany Galat (2:13.65)
  7. Margaret Aroesty (2:13.99)
  8. Emily Cameron (2:14.21)
  9. Kaitlyn Jones (2:14.26)
  10. Kate Mills (2:14.53)
  11. Kristine Malone (2:15.06)
  12. Karlee Bispo (2:15.20)
  13. Meghan Small (2:15.22)
  14. Brooke Zeiger (2:15.50)
  15. Celina Li (2:15.60)
  16. Meaghan Raab (2:15.80)

For official results click here. 

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5 years ago

Rooting for Tom Shields in that 200 fly! Wish him everything good this week.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Lol
5 years ago

Dodge the piano Tom!

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Irish Ringer
5 years ago

Go Cal Bears and hook em Horn’s!

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Irish Ringer
5 years ago

He didn’t quite dodge the piano.

Reply to  Lol
5 years ago

Tom Shields….were all rooting for you! Show us what you’ve got.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

He was tough that first 50

5 years ago

Thanks for the awesome coverage! Can we get a link to today’s heat sheets?

5 years ago

Does anyone know where Becca Mann is? She was entered in the meet and hasn’t swim yet. I know I’ve asked before, but hopefully it’ll be seen more here.

Reply to  Swimmer24
5 years ago

She swam in yesterday in the 400 prelim

Reply to  Swimmer24
5 years ago

she swam the 400 for sure

Reply to  Swimmer24
5 years ago

she went 4:11 in the 400 free prelim yesterday and failed to make it back

5 years ago

If Congor’s 2FR is any indication – I think he is primed for the 2FLY. Going to be a great morning!

5 years ago

Anyone knows it it’s possible watching it live out of the US?

Reply to  McKea
5 years ago

You could try using a VPN that reroutes through the United States

Sree Akkineni
Reply to  McKea
5 years ago

Yes – just download the Hola chrome plugin. It’a a free VPN like the others have suggested in past threads. Just set it to route through the US

Reply to  Sree Akkineni
5 years ago

If you use this (or any of the other similar plug-ins), be sure to use a spare old computer with nothing valuable on it – this opens a wide open security risk on the computer you use it on.

Philip Johnson
5 years ago

I’m at work so I’m relying on you guys on the good commentary!

5 years ago

Do you guys have the Tuesday morning heat sheet yet? All that’s on here is the Monday morning one.

Reply to  Friuti
5 years ago

The commit swimming website has it. Either go to “heat view” or it also has a link to the Omega PDF

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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