Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Dana Vollmer Is Back

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Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

It’s been a stellar career resurgence for California Aquatics Olympian Dana Vollmer.

It’s easy to forget that just 10 months ago, Vollmer wasn’t even competing. A two-year break after the 2013 World Championships left Vollmer appearing as a long shot for the U.S. Olympic roster even in the 100 fly, an event in which she won Olympic gold in London with a new world record.

Since her first swim of the comeback tour – which came last July – Vollmer has risen extraordinarily fast. And while she’s set herself up as a frontrunner for a 100 fly spot, her performances at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Charlotte suggest that she could once again be a multi-event Olympian.

Vollmer went 53.59 in the 100 freestyle in Charlotte – her best swim in that race since 2009 and easily her best of the textile era.

Previously, Vollmer had only been 54.44 during her career comeback run, a time that wouldn’t have been a factor on Team USA’s 4×100 free relay.

But Vollmer’s swim last weekend jumped her to the top of the American rankings for 2015-2016, and it also put her in the driver’s seat for a key leg on the U.S. relay come Rio. Here’s a look at what the projected relay (based on the top 4 Americans this season) looked like before and after Vollmer’s big swim:

Pre-Charlotte Post-Charlotte
Katie Ledecky 53.75 Dana Vollmer 53.59
Abbey Weitzeil 53.77 Katie Ledecky 53.75
Simone Manuel 53.80 Abbey Weitzeil 53.77
Lia Neal 54.01 Simone Manuel 53.80
3:35.33 3:34.91

Vollmer’s time also puts her #9 in the world for this season. Though catching Australia may be out of the question for any relay in Rio, the Americans now have at least four big talents with a shot to challenge for 52-second splits – proving that all the fan hand-wringing about the state of American sprinting may be a bit premature.

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4 Comments on "Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Dana Vollmer Is Back"

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“All the fan hand-wringing….” 😆 Why I’m taking it personally? 😆 I’ve never said the US women’s 100 free was awful or horrible. I’ve just wondered why USA struggles for such a long time in that event while being great in most of other events. USA is not dominant in the women’s 100 free. To say the least. And for a very long time now. I think you agree? Jared, USA doesn’t need 52-second splits but girls in 52 flat-start. That’s a little bit different. Maybe the miracle will happen at trials. That’s all I want! Then about Dana Vollmer, yes she looks amazing, but the women’s 4X100 free relay final in Rio is on the same day as her… Read more »
Irish Ringer

All I got out of this article is that things are looking up for the US women in the 4×100 free, but I didn’t see any medal predictions. I do agree, the US could use some women with a 52 flat start, but until that happens it doesn’t hurt to recognize when they are making some progress.

Make no mistake about it though, Jared definitely fired a shot in Bobo’s direction. Let the games begin 🙂

So awesome to see her continued success!

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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