Americans Pull Up Romano; Coughlin for Finals in 400 Free Relay

YOU CANNOT QUESTION MEGAN ROMANO’S RELAY ABILITIES!

Megan Romano stepped up on Sunday morning’s prelims at the 2013 FINA World Championships and made official what we’ve been saying: she is a relay monster, and needs to be on every American freestyle relay between now and Rio, regardless of what happens at trials.

She split a 53.24 in prelims on the anchor leg, and that was enough to earn her a spot on the finals’ relay, along with Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, and Shannon Vreeland. They’ll need her to do it again if the Americans are going to have any shot at holding off the defending Olympic champion Australians.

The Americans chose Coughlin over Manuel, despite on actual “block-to-finish” time Manuel being a bit faster.

The Australians, meanwhile, will have an all-star lineup of Cate Campbell leading off, Bronte behind her, then Emma McKeon and Alicia Coutts finishing things off. McKeon got the call-up after splitting 53.71 in prelims on a rolling start.

The full relay lineups:

Germany: Brandt/Steffen/Wenk/Schreiber
Russia: Popova/Andreeva/Baklakova/Nesterova
Canada: Poon/Mainville/van Landeghem/Cheverton
USA: Franklin/Coughlin/Vreeland/Romano
Australia: Cate Campbell/Bronte Capbell/McKeon/Coutts
Sweden: Coleman/Hansson/Sjostrom/Linborg
Netherlands: Bouwens/Heemskerk/Dekker/Kromowidjojo
Japan: Ueda/Yamaguchi/Uchida/Matsumoto

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Philip Johnson
8 years ago

How one year can change everything. Everyone on that US relay except for Franklin did not swim in the Olympic final in London.

The US has the edge going into the final.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Scandalous choice for USA! 😡
Are they crazy?
Simone Manuel deserved her place.
I hope it’s not another “political” choice.
And I have nothing against Natalie who is one of my favorite swimmers.
But again Simone Manuel has swum 53.86 in Indianapolis. She was in 54.24 at the start in the prelims. Natalie has just swum a 54.09 relay split this morning, which is much slower in comparison.
You will probably answer me it’s the choice of experience.
I support the US relay tonight and I wish them the best but I’m really angry with that decision.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

I agree, the “experience” argument could be used, but Manuel deserves a spot.

suzzie2012
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

I posted the same under different headline.. As long as McKeever is one of the coaches..Scandalous!

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

She was voted a team captain so the rest of those girls look up to her as a leader. The team is not going to be as confident with Manuel. The other girls will be able to use that confidence that they will have with their captain on the relay and it will show in their swims. My guess is that confidence boost alone will make up for the .3 split difference.

coach
Reply to  Tony Carroll
8 years ago

Wow – She had better step up, cuz scandalous is a great word. We have a rising super-star who was 53 mid a month ago – without a coach on staff – being left off the relay for a 54. relay start? I don’t think if Coughlin is getting caught the last 15 meters of the race that Vreeland is going to feel anymore confident cuz Natalie used to be the best swimmer in the world. I’d love to know what the morning swimmers were told going in.

Coughlin better step it up – or dave and teri are gonna lose some credibility.

cowboy
Reply to  Tony Carroll
8 years ago

Ricky Berens was voted team captain too. He wasn’t put on the relay at finals.

cowboy
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Political and all about the money. How much money does McKeever get with Natalie swimming at night?

Tiger
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Boom. Right choice. Love it.

SwimFanFinland
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

When it comes to Natalie, the choise was correct. As we all now know. Coaches knew.

whoknows?
Reply to  SwimFanFinland
8 years ago

Actually we don’t know. Simone was left off the relay. Anyone who has watched her come up the ranks loves to watch how well she races. I believe she was almost a second faster from prelims to finals at Trials to make the team. Pure racer.

Great swim for Team USA, but was it the best swim we had in us?

Nothing again Natalie at all. Everything against politics.

whoknows?
Reply to  SwimFanFinland
8 years ago

We all don’t know. No one knows what Simone would have gone on that relay. I’m not convinced that was the fastest we could have gone.

IHEARTVollmer
Reply to  whoknows?
8 years ago

Simone Manuel may have gone fast, but I don’t believe she could have gone under 53 seconds like Coughlin did.

liquidassets
8 years ago

Yeah, Manuel was about .3 faster using “block to finish”, but I guess they went with experience. But despite her experience, Coughlin was never a great relay swimmer relative to her individual performances. Anyway I think it’s a mistake, but on the other hand, Coughlin is one of my most, if not THE most, favorite female swimmer all-time, so I would be VERY happy if she proved me wrong.

suzzie2012
Reply to  liquidassets
8 years ago

As you stated, she is YET to deliver in a relay.. Never ever swam best times in any relay.

Nadador
Reply to  liquidassets
8 years ago

SORRY, but you both are wrong: Coughlin has consistently swam better at relays. In Athens 2004, her time in the 4×200 would have given her a gold medal. In Montreal 2005, she swam better times at relays…

And the list goes on and on…

Zanna
8 years ago

Yes, why Natalie. Lets just hope she doesn’t lose steam towards the end of her leg. Perhaps Simone has less experience in relays and the US coaches do not want to take the risk of her jumping off the blocks early.

WHOKNOWS
8 years ago

If Natalie swims average it will be a poor choice, if she swims great it will be a great choice. The coaches have more of an overall feel of what the athlete’s mindset is at this team than armchair fans… Wishing the best for the foursome!

bobo gigi
Reply to  WHOKNOWS
8 years ago

Of course and I hope Natalie will be great but I find it not very nice for Simone Manuel who has an amazing season so far.

Mick
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

I agree!

IHEARTVollmer
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Natalie is already 30. Simone is only 16 and has plenty of relays ahead of her.

coach
Reply to  IHEARTVollmer
8 years ago

That is not a given, and this is all about paying Natalie back for not putting her on the relay in London last year. Listen to the talk on deck at US Open. Natalie knew about this before the meet even began.

Club coaches are enraged, although the Stanford coaches probably love it.

tm
8 years ago

better lineup than the men, but it will be hard to hold off austalia. surprised the dutch did not do in the heats, but they should medal in the final.

beachmouse
Reply to  tm
8 years ago

The Dutch have nowhere near the depth the Americans and Australians do. They simply can’t replace Velhuis with anyone close, and will be lucky to get bronze.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Anyway it will be a great final.
The first leg with Missy against Cate Campbell will be epic! How fast can swim a fresh Missy?

NoLochteFan
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

52.9 would be my guess for Missy on the first leg.

Gut
8 years ago

This is absurd!! Simone has earned that spot. Don’t care what Natalie has done in the past,Simone is the present and future of USA Swimming-and she out split Natalie.

Big mistake.

NoLochteFan
Reply to  Gut
8 years ago

It’s probably not that big of a deal. They were fairly close time wise and they haven’t seen Simone swim enough to know how she’ll handle the pressure. I personally think she would have done fine, but these coaches definitely give the nod to the experienced stars.

coach
Reply to  NoLochteFan
8 years ago

They gave the nod to Lia Neal last year at the Olympics, and Lia did great. Natalie went even slower this year than she did at the Olympics when she was not put on the relay at night.

54.09 (with a relay start) and 54.22 (with a flat start) are not close in time.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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