2016 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS
- Sunday June 26th-Sunday July 3rd, 2016
- Century Link Center – Omaha, Nebraska
- Friday-Sunday – Prelims – 11:00 am EDT Finals – 7:45 pm EDT
- SwimSwam Preview Links & Schedule
- NBC Televison Coverage Schedule
- Psych Sheets
- Thursday heat sheets
- Live results
There’s been a lot of concern over the state of sprinting in this country, and while through two rounds the men have left things a little fuzzy, the women have so far answered the call in prelims.
At this time in 2012, Dana Vollmer led the way after the morning heats with a 54.35, and only the top ten swimmers made it in under 55. Two months later in London, the women (Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal, and Allison Schmitt) finished with a bronze medal 3:34.24.
This year, the top time posted in the women’s 100 free prelims is nearly three quarters of a second faster than this time last cycle; Abbey Weitzeil posted 53.58 today, which certainly foreshadows strong swims to come. Her time this morning (in prelims!) puts the 19-year-old at the 6th-fastest American in history.
However, the shadow of the Australian greats looms over the aquatic center here in Omaha. Dynamic sister act Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell hold the two fastest times in the world this year with 52.38 and 52.58 from the Australian Olympic Trials. As if that’s not scary enough for the Americans, the Aussies add in Emma McKeon, the fourth fastest woman in the world this year, who posted 52.80 at their Trials. Likely fourth-woman Brittany Elmslie ties for eighth in the world with 53.54.
But, the Americans are answering the call. To prove the success of the our sprinters, go back to this morning’s results. Today, behind Weitzeil, Amanda Weir (53.76), Dana Vollmer (53.80), and Simone Manuel (53.84) all came in under 54. In the finals of this event in 2012, only Jessica Hardy finished under 54, and just barely, with 53.96.
Furthermore, represented in the semifinals tonight, we will see nine of the top ten American 100 freestylers in history. Weir, Manuel, Vollmer, Franklin (9th this morning, 54.41), Natalie Coughlin (11th, 54.73), Katie Ledecky (6th, 54.04), Weitzeil, and Shannon Vreeland (tied for 12th, 54.87), represent nine of the top ten Americans in history, less only Dara Torres, the eighth-fastest American in history. Though many of us (myself included) spent months leading up to this event shaking with anticipation of the women’s 200 freestyle, the 100 free could end up being the more competitive final.
The Australians may prove unbeatable (although we certainly learned our lesson about calling any 4×100 relay invincible back in 2008), but it’s high time swimming fans stop writing the American women’s sprinting program’s obituary.
See the full results of the women’s 100 free prelims here.