One of the top American breaststroke specialists, Cody Miller, was the only swimmer at the Orland Pro Series this evening to crack a minute in the 100 breaststroke. Miller’s time of 59.94 would have placed him tied for 7th in the world this year, and is less than half a second off his best time.
However, 20 seconds after Miller touched the wall, and before any of the competitors had a chance to exit the pool, the meet announcer informed the crowd that there had been a disqualification in the race. Specifically, the swimmer in lane four — Miller — had been disqualified for “multiple dolphin kicks.”
The race video shows that the disqualification came during the pullout after the turn, as the official in Miller’s lane raised her hand to signal a disqualification even before Miller’s head broke the surface during that pullout. USA Swimming confirmed in an e-mail that Miller was disqualified for taking too many dolphin kicks off the turn.
Breaststroke tends to be the stroke that draws the most disqualifications, and arguments and accusations about the number and nature of dolphin kicks have been a feature of discussion about the stroke for at least a decade now.
However, Miller, more than any other top-level USA breaststroker, has been the target of criticism that his stroke is frequently illegal. Tonight marks the second time he has drawn a dolphin-kick related disqualification at a fairly major meet. At the 2013 NCAA championships, he was disqualified from the A-Final of the 100 breast due to a “downward butterfly kick.”
Miller was part of a group of three breaststrokers, that also included Kevin Cordes and Nic Fink, who represented the United States the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, and those three look to be among the favorites to make the US Olympic team roster this summer.