2016 US Olympic Trials: Day Two Prelims Live Recap


After an eventful night one at the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials, more of America’s big stars will step up to the blocks for their first races including Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, and Katie Ledecky.

Coughlin and Franklin will be facing off in the 100m backstroke this morning in order to both secure a spot in the semifinals. Coughlin’s been on the come-up in this event after shying away from it post-London, but a promising return to it at the Pan American Games on the relay brings her back in full swing.

The men’s 200 free will give us an idea of a possible six that could be on the relay come Rio. Redemption is also in order for Ryan Lochte as he’ll look to make the semifinals in hopes of qualifying for the team later on in the meet after failing to in the 400m IM on night one.

Katie Meili will have her work cut out for her in the top seed of the 100m breaststroke. With plenty of new talent emerging in this event, the prelims should give us a clear cut idea as to who’s on their game, setting up a picture of who the finalists might be.

Just like the women’s 100m breaststroke, there’s plenty of depth in the men’s 100m backstroke as always. Ryan Murphy is the talk of the town, and today will give us a first picture of what he looks like primed at the Olympic Trials.

Katie Ledecky will be making her first appearance as she attempts to qualify for the final in the 400m freestyle. As always, Ledecky has been throwing down superb in-season swims so there’s no telling just how she’ll swim in Omaha.

With six roster spots on the line tonight, once again things are getting heated.


2016 Top seed: Natalie Coughlin (59.05)
World record: 58.12 – Gemma Spofforth (Britain)
American record: 58.33 – Missy Franklin
U.S Open record: 58.67 – Missy Franklin
U.S Nationals record: 58.67 – Missy Franklin
JR World record: 59.37 – Minna Atherton (Australia)
2012 Winning Time: 58.85 – Missy Franklin

Neither Natalie Coughlin or Missy Franklin stole the show this morning; rather it was Olivia Smoliga and Amy Bilquist who posted the top two times to lead the charge heading into tonight’s semifinals.

Swimming in heat 14, Smoliga was the first one under one-minute sporting a 59.65 at the touch. Right behind her was Hannah Stevens in 59.72 who took the third overall seed behind Smoliga and Bilquist.

Despite a slow start, Missy Franklin came back to win heat 15 in a time of 1:00.35. Although the time doesn’t stand out, it gets her a second swim in tonight’s semifinals which is all she needed.

Bilquist won the final heat, taking down both Ali Deloof, who was a 1:00.09, and Coughlin. Coughlin finished third in the final heat well off her best time with a 1:00.75. Just like Franklin, it’s not a standout time, but will secure her a spot in the semifinals.

TOP 16

  1. Olivia Smoliga (59.65)
  2. Amy Bilquist (59.67)
  3. Hannah Stevens (59.72)
  4. Ali Deloof (1:00.09)
  5. Missy Franklin (1:00.35)
  6. Clara Smiddy (1:00.38)
  7. Natalie Coughlin (1:00.75)
  8. Grace Ariola (1:00.79) T
  9. Kathleen Baker (1:00.79) T
  10. Lucie Nordmann (1:00.80)
  11. Tasija Karosas (1:01.06)
  12. Danielle Galyer (1:01.07)
  13. Regan Smith (1:01.17)
  14. Alex Walsh (1:01.20)
  15. Annie Ochitwa (1:01.25)
  16. Taylor Garcia (1:01.32)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: Ryan Lochte (1:45.36)
World record: 1:42.00 – Paul Biedermann
American record: 1:42.96 – Michael Phelps
U.S Open record: 1:44.10 – Michael Phelps
U.S Nationals record: 1:44.10 – Michael Phelps
JR World record: 1:47.10 – Maxime Rooney
2012 Winning Time: 1:45.70 – Michael Phelps

Conor Dwyer made sure to put himself way in front of everyone else this morning with a swift 1:46.65 performance to give him the number one seed. Racing right beside him in heat 10 was Texas standout Jack Conger who moved up on Dwyer on the last 100 to take the second overall seed in 1:47.25.

The two bettered the 1:47.68 performance from Clark Smith in heat nine; a time which gave him the third overall seed ahead of Townley Haas.

Much like the Dwyer-Conger showdown, heat 11 featured Haas chasing down mulit-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte. Lochte had control of the race for 190 meters, but on the final 10 Haas charged him down. A long slow finish by Lochte gave the heat 11 win to Haas in 1:47.74 as Lochte finished in 1:47.77.

Gunnar Bentz, Blake Pieroni, and Tyler Clary make up the remaining top eight.

The most notable absent name from the top 16 is Texas swimmer Clay Youngquist, who was a member of the 2015 World Championship team for the states although he didn’t swim at the meet.

Only two swimmers from the London 2012 4x200m freestyle relay (Lochte and Dwyer) will compete in these semifinals.

TOP 16

  1. Conor Dwyer (1:46.65)
  2. Jack Conger (1:47.25)
  3. Clark Smith (1:47.68)
  4. Townley Haas (1:47.74)
  5. Ryan Lochte (1:47.77)
  6. Gunnar Bentz (1:47.85)
  7. Blake Pieroni (1:47.93)
  8. Tyler Clary (1:48.11)
  9. Reed Malone (1:48.24)
  10. Michael Weiss (1:48.28)
  11. Zane Grothe (1:48.29)
  12. Michael Wynalda (1:48.30)
  13. Michael Klueh (1:48.48)
  14. Maxime Rooney (1:48.57)
  15. Connor Jaeger (1:48.59)
  16. Jonathan Roberts (1:48.63)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: Katie Meili (1:05.64)
World record: 1:04.35 – Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania)
American record: 1:04.45 – Jessica Hardy
U.S Open record: 1:04.45 – Jessica Hardy
U.S Nationals record: 1:05.34 – Rebecca Soni
JR World record: 1:05.39 – Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania)
2012 Winning Time: 1:05.92 – Breeja Larson

The 100m breaststroke was anticipated to be one of the tightest races at the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials, and thus far it’s exceeded expectations as plenty of talented swimmers have qualified for tonight’s semifinal.

Lilly King led the way with a 1:06.45, the first sub-1:07 performance of the morning, in heat 12. Flying to the wall she took down Jessica Hardy who touched in with a 1:07.16 which gives her the fourth seed overall.

In heat 13, Katie Meili also managed to dip under 1:07, sporting 1 :06.57 which sets her up as a leader with King. Although the two are out in front, Sarah Haase of Stanford wasn’t too far behind. Haase will take the third seed heading into semifinals with a 1:07.04.

2012 Olympic Trials champion Breeja Larson managed to sneak into the top eight with a 1:07.37 swim. She’s just one seed behind Micah Lawrence who put up a 1:07.35.

With so many talented swimmers in the top 16, tonight’s semifinals should give a clearer picture of who might represent the United States come Rio.

TOP 16

  1. Lilly King (1:06.45)
  2. Katie Meili (1:06.57)
  3. Sarah Haase (1:07.04)
  4. Jessica Hardy (1:07.16)
  5. Andee Cottrell (1:07.21)
  6. Molly Hannis (1:07.27)
  7. Micah Lawrence (1:07.35)
  8. Breeja Larson (1:07.37)
  9. Melanie Margalis (1:07.85)
  10. Annie Lazor (1:07.89)
  11. Katharine Ross (1:07.94)
  12. Olivia Anderson (1:08.14)
  13. Emma Reaney (1:08.24)
  14. Bethany Galat (1:08.46)
  15. Miranda Tucker (1:08.49)
  16. Allie Raab (1:08.54)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: David Plummer (52.51)
World record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
American record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
U.S Open record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
U.S Nationals record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
JR World record: 53.67 – Javier Acevedo (Canada)
2012 Winning Time: 52.08 – Matt Grevers

Ryan Murphy was the first man to drop a sub 54-second swim this morning with a 53.84. The time was well over his current season best of 52.57, but good enough to get him the fourth seed overall heading into the semifinals.

Heat eighteen had Matt Grevers‘ name all over it, 17-year-old Michael Taylor however wasn’t worried about that. Coming home strong he charged down the 2012 Olymipic gold medallist en route to a 53.77 performance, the second fastest swim by a 17/18-year-old American of all time.

Taylor beat Grevers to the wall who had to settle for second in his head with a 53.98. The two are seeded third and fifth respectively.

The final heat held all the prelim speed as David Plummer stretched out for a 53.22 to take the top spot heading into the semifinals. In comparison to the 52.40 he swam earlier this month in Indianapolis, it’s nothing special, however it puts him in the right position to get into that territory later in the meet.

Jacob Pebley was right behind Plummer in 53.48 to take the second seed overall.

A three-way tie for fifteenth between Austin Katz, Cameron Craig, and Carter Griffin will result in a swim-off later in the session.

TOP 16

  1. David Plummer(53.22)
  2. Jacob Pebley (53.48)
  3. Michael Taylor (53.77)
  4. Ryan Murphy (53.84)
  5. Matt Grevers (53.98)
  6. Sean Lehane (54.49)
  7. Jake Taylor (54.50)
  8. Eugene Godsoe (54.74)
  9. John Shebat (54.91)
  10. Patrick Mulcare (54.94)
  11. Taylor Dale (54.95)
  12. Justin Ress (55.00) T
  13. Ryan Harty (55.00) T
  14. Hennessey Stuart (55.40)
  15. Carter Griffin (55.41)
  16. Austin Katz (55.44)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: Katie Ledecky (3:58.37)
World record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky
American record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky
U.S Open record: 3:58.86 – Katie Ledecky
U.S Nationals record: 3:58.86 – Katie Ledecky
JR World record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky
2012 Winning Time: 4:02.84 – Allison Schmitt

After the first seven heats it’s no Surprise to see Katie Ledecky with the top seed. Ledecky toyed with world record pace for the first half of her swim before putting it on cruise control in order to ease into a 4:02.62.

That time was less than a second faster than Leah Smith who as of now appears to be in a great position to grab the second roster spot behind Ledecky in tonight’s final. She was battling things out with Allison Schmitt.

Schmitt’s time of 4:06.66 is currently the third fastest time this morning and looks as though it will stay that way through the remaining heats.

Top 8

  1. Katie Ledecky (4:02.62)
  2. Leah Smith (4:03.14)
  3. Allison Schmitt (4:06.66)
  4. Cierra Runge (4:07.12)
  5. Stephanie Peacock (4:08.23)
  6. Lindsay Vrooman (4:08.35)
  7. Hannah Cox (4:09.83)
  8. Hannah Moore (4:10.52)

For official results click here.

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6 years ago

Why was Katie Ledecky in Heat 5 (fastest time) but Phelps (fastest time) is in the last heat of his 200FL? My daughter explained that the fastest swimmer is in Heat 5, but then why not Phelps in Heat 5? by choice?

Christine Willetts
6 years ago

Kim & Norris – all eyes will be glued to Kathleen Baker Tuesday night!!… Congratulations!! Will Kathleen be Winston-Salem’s 1st Olympic athlete?? 250,000 strong believe so.. GO WIN KATHLEEN!! ????????

Danny Pengilly
6 years ago

Erin O. #40 today 100 back kickin it as a Millard West Wildcat super star Molly and Julie P’s Dad

6 years ago

Just watched prelims. My gut, although having been wrong before, is that Lochte’s going to put on a show tonight. That last wall had to have scared Townley. It woulda scared me.

6 years ago

What’s with the seeding in the 400 free? The heats are slowest to fastest then back to slowest again? Why is Katie Ledecky in the middle of 11 heats?

Joel Lin
6 years ago

I think we will see a world record in the men’s 100 back tonite.

Reply to  Joel Lin
6 years ago

It may be more beneficial to have an outside lane in the final. Thats my initial thought anyway.

Billy b.
Reply to  TAA
6 years ago

Yeah these are pretty big guys gonna be moving fast… lots of waves. More open water tonight may bring something special.

More likely here than RIO for a WR since it doesn’t sound like the ideal trip…

Stay Human
Reply to  TAA
6 years ago

Why’s that?

6 years ago

My Predictions For Tonight After Prelims


W100 Fly
Vollmer 56.26
Worrell 56.53
Bayer 57.92

Cordes 58.53
Miller 59.01
Wilson 59.39
Andrew 59.44
Fink 59.49

W400 Free
Ledecky 3:57.91 (WR)
Smith 4:02.21
Schmitt 4:03.98


W100 Back
Smoliga 59.23
Missy 59.54
Bilquist 59.67
Coughlin 59.98

M200 Free
Dwyer 1:45.67
Lochte 1:46.54
Haas 1:46.79
Conger 1:46.91
Rooney 1:47.23
Smith 1:47.28
Malone 1:47.45
Clary 1:47.60

W100 Breast
Meili 1:05.83
King 1:05.97
Hardy 1:06.34
Haase 1:06.93
Larson 1:07.14

M100 Back
Plummer 52.34
Grevers 52.51
Murphy 52.67
Pebley 52.98
Taylor 53.31

Reply to  KTHW
6 years ago

That was some spesific times

Stay Human
Reply to  KTHW
6 years ago

I agree with your picks except I’d put Reed Malone at 1:47.44 instead of 1:47.45– he looked pretty sharp this morning.

Reply to  Stay Human
6 years ago

Maybe even 1:47.43 if he really nails his walls.

Reply to  KTHW
6 years ago

good picks, but i don’t see missy being under a minute (or at least that far). Maybe swap her with coughlin

6 years ago

I predict a 1:47.16 for Lochte tonight. That will easily make the final.

Reply to  SwimmerFoxJet
6 years ago

aquajets > foxjets

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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