Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Dana Vollmer Is Back


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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bobo gigi

“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!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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