The Americans will be leading off with Natalie Coughlin, Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell, and Allison Schmitt during the prelims of the 4x100m medley relay at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
As per rules at these games, a team may only sub out two athletes from their prelim team for other athletes in finals. Right now, the Americans have their top 100m freestyler (Coughlin), top flyer, and top breaststroker performing in the morning.
None of these four athletes are competing individually today, so it’s very possible that this is the final line up for the United States.
Katie Meili and Kelsi Worrell are likely going nowhere. They were red-hot this meet and will be a huge asset to the Americans.
The biggest shocker is having Coughlin lead-off on the backstroke. Coughlin is focusing on sprint freestyle right now, and her best backstroke time this season is a 1:00.08.
Just yesterday, Olivia Smoliga swam a 1:00.06 in the 100m backstroke at the Pan American Games, and is a viable option for that leg.
Assuming that Worrell and Meili are staying on the relay. The options are to kick off Coughlin and Schmitt. We at Swimswam believe that it completely depends on how Coughlin and Schmitt swim this morning.
If Coughlin can swim a sub-minute 100m backstroke and the coaching staff believe that she will be the best option for the team, there’s a possibility that this relay will be in the exact same order for tonight as well. Schmitt swimming a good freestyle leg will also help make a good case for keeping the same order.
The other option is that Coughlin could just be getting a time in the 100m backstroke, and then will be switching to freestyle come finals. That would leave Schmitt off tonight’s relay and Olivia Smoliga would then swim the backstroke.
Smoliga was the winner in the 100m backstroke and posted the 13th fastest time in the world yesterday.