Dana Vollmer expects to be 52 in the 100 free (Video)

Produced by Coleman Hodges.

Reported by Jared Anderson.

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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John
5 years ago

What a super interview. Thank you. Articulate, sensible, humble, informative – and she never said “awesome”!

ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

Would be great to have Vollmer on that Us 400 free relay .

bobo gigi
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

She has 2 rounds of 100 fly on the same day 1. Not the best way to prepare a relay in which USA will fight for silver or bronze.

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Can we tell the same thing to Penny Oleksiak, Emma McKeon, Sarah Sjostrom, Rikako Ikkee, Chen Xinyi etc who will have exactly the same schedule? After all, they all are needed critically for their 4×100 free final and they will swim the relay prelims as well.
I am confident American top swimmers are not that fragile as you believe they are.

completelyconquered
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

#Bobowned

Rafael
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Emma Mckeon is needed on prelims ? May I laugh now???

Pvdh
Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Well you have to use her or one of the Campbell sisters.

commonwombat
Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

Sorry but they’re unlikely to NEED to use them to qualify for the final. Elmslie is likely to be the only “relay only” swimmer used for either the heats or final. They can co-opt any others on the team who are qualified for individual events of which Seebohm, Wilson, Ngawati or Coutts would be the most likely suspects. All of these are either sub54 or 54flat swimmers and would produce a time good enough for a fairly central lane at worst.

They MAY give McKeon or C2 a run-out in the heats but barring unforseen circumstances, they’re unlikely to need to do so.

All Swimmers Matter
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Man, you exposed Bobo!

MrBriefStroke
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

People say the day about Matt Grevers schedule(even though he is no guarantee got that stacked US 100 back), but I bet he will prove to be clutch in a relay if they need him for either prelims or finals. Because what other event would Grevers swim besides the 100 back? Clearly 100 free is his second best event and he’s not going to just say “well I am tired after that semi so I’ll give up my relay spot”

MrBriefStroke
Reply to  MrBriefStroke
5 years ago

People say the same thing*

Devil\'s Advocate
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Bobo will never understand because he was never a swimmer. It’s very possible and not actually too difficult to swim more than one event on the same day, especially with 100s. You way overestimate how much of a toll events take on your body, especially shorter races. American kids grow up swimming 6 individual events at their championship meets that are 3 days long and prelim final (not to mention relays). Swimmers are some of the most highly conditioned athletes in the world, not fragile and easily burned out

All Swimmers Matter
Reply to  Devil\'s Advocate
5 years ago

Bobo is not a swimmer? Then how did he make all these kinds of propositions with such conviction?

I also saw that he kept referring to recovery needed by track runners when claiming swimmers shouldn’t swim more than two races within 24 hours. All the while either forgetting or being completely unaware that running and swimming works physiologically different on the body.

Devil\'s Advocate
Reply to  All Swimmers Matter
5 years ago

Nope, he never swam. He apparently started following the sport in adulthood (his words not mine). He has no basis to make these kinds of predictions without experience to back it up

Admin
Reply to  Devil\'s Advocate
5 years ago

Devil’s Advocate – by espousing that only former swimmers are allowed to be swim fans (and I’m sure the next step would be drawing a line as to what you define as being a swimmer versus not), you are destroying the marketability of the sport. Congratulations.

Devil\'s Advocate
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

Not at all what I’m saying. Some of the biggest and my most favorite swim fans out there are not former swimmers (parents). What I’m saying is that Bobo makes many generalizations and assumptions that get slightly annoying after awhile. He never experienced swim meets for himself so he doesn’t really have room to make such bold statements about athletes not being able to swim multiple events a day.

cbswims
Reply to  Devil\'s Advocate
5 years ago

‘It takes one to know one’?!? That tired, faulty, argument been around the block so many times. Sure, if you haven’t swam you may not have that intrinsic familiarity with the sport – but that familiarity does not equal knowledge. Just take opinions for what they are; time will tell if they play out.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

She will probably be entered at Trials in the 100 fly , 100 free , 200 free

thezwimmer
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

maybe the 50, too?

dmswim
5 years ago

Simone Manuel went 53.75 in prelims at Santa Clara (which I assume is considered “post-Charlotte”), so the relay would actually be .05 faster.

Dino
5 years ago

Dana is the second US female swimmer I heard she said she wants to help US in the relay.
The other one is Ledecky.
Such a team player.

dmswim
Reply to  Dino
5 years ago

Just because it hasn’t come up in interviews with others, I wouldn’t assume other women aren’t interested in helping out the relay. It can be an awkward thing to discuss because it can come off sounding cocky if not said right. I am confident that Simone Manuel, Lia Neal, Abby Weitzeil, Missy Franklin, and all others in contention would be honored to represent their country on a relay.

Dino
Reply to  dmswim
5 years ago

Saying it out loud I think is one kind of confidence express, showing that they know what they’re doing.
Two of them really showed that they intend to carry the relay on their back.
For me, to know they have this kind of thought makes me happy!
No hard feeling for those names you had mention, everyone could find their own way to help Team USA.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

For the 486th time, USA doesn’t need only 52-second splits. USA finally needs 52-second girls flat-start. That’s a disgrace that the best swimming nation in the world for so long with such a domination in most of events can’t produce world-class female sprinters able to win gold medals. A mystery. Hopefully it quickly changes. I would be thrilled to see a 52 at trials. That’s all I want.

About Dana Vollmer, she’s such a great leader in that US team. A great example for the youngsters.

Phelps changed everything
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

What would you expect with a lot of top clubs in America caring about NAG’s over proper development of potential future stars. With most other countries looking to the Olympics and us caring for smaller accomplishments we continue to fall short. I also feel as though a majority of high end coaches don’t share information and things they’ve found in their training to continue to pursue excellence as a nation. Look at the women’s training group in Europe, some of the top talent in the world training against each other daily working together to become the world leaders. We’re doing well don’t get me wrong but we can achieve much more

PVSFree
Reply to  Phelps changed everything
5 years ago

I don’t follow your logic, what’s the difference between training for a NAG record and the development of a swimmer who can break a NAG record?

Person
Reply to  PVSFree
5 years ago

Sometimes people overtrain and start lifting weights as a, say, fourteen year old which gives them an advantage for a couple years but overall stunts their development. They basically train too much too early and “burn out” before they get to the top tier.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  PVSFree
5 years ago

I agree. As if achieving a NAG is bad thing.

I get Bobo’s point, we are contending with a couple of gals who can flat start 52 on the Aussie team, but we also need to be reasonable here. Let’s get these girls splitting 52 first and then worry about that flat start.

We only have a few months before Rio so I’m not sure what Bobo wants us to do? Should we not even comment on the matter until somewhere down the line the US has some girls who can flat start a 52? We are well aware of his stance, we heard it the first 485 times 🙂

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

How do we make our female sprinters as tall as the Aussies, that’s the key!
If only she were a little bit taller, maybe as tall as as Bronte Campbell or Melanie Schlanger or Emily Seebohm or Emma mcKeon or Brittany Elmslie, I’m sure she’d have gone 52 flat start easily!

Hswimmer
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Totally agree!

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  Hswimmer
5 years ago

Finally there is someone else who believe in this theory aside from messr. Gigi and me !!!

Uberfan
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Vollmer is 6′ 1″ USA girls tower over the Australians

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

Missy is pretty tall too – as well as Manuel and Schmitty .

Uberfan
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 years ago

Yeah so I feel like height isn’t the issue here.

Dave
Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

Guys, this is a running joke based on a comment from last month in a thread on this topic.

Quinn
Reply to  Dave
5 years ago

Link?

be a better historian
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Check the results of the olympic relays since their inception and you will find a common theme. Team USA. We will be in the fight for the gold. They may not win but they always show up to the biggest stage ready to play. Underestimating them is silly.

Devil\'s Advocate
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

The USA can’t be the best at everything. Australia has a golden generation of female sprinters right now and it’s somehow disgraceful that Americans can’t compete with that right now? And why are you always ragging on the American female sprinters?

Wagga Wagga
5 years ago

Great swimmer.
How did she survive Tasmania! 🙂

REMMAWS
5 years ago

These comments about the US not having world class athletes in certain events are more than outlandish. I don’t believe people [non US athletes] are familiar with how training and taper work in the US. Many collegiate athletes train all year round to taper for NC’s and maybe summer nats. In season, especially in yards, they throw down insane times to make NC’s and then taper to swim even faster. Most viable contenders for the Olympic Team, whether NCAA or professional athletes, have not tapered in LC for a few seasons now, so they are swimming fast with their bodies broken down, in hopes of hitting a killer taper this summer. I think the rest of the world will be… Read more »

Jimswim
Reply to  REMMAWS
5 years ago

But still no Olympic gold in 100m Free in decades!

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  REMMAWS
5 years ago

Are you seriously saying that American top swimmers will taper for the Olympics trials?
Shock, horror!
But but..if they taper for the trials, they will NOT win Olympics golds! 🙁

REMMAWS
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Did I ever say who will be tapering for what? No, I said they will be fully tapered this summer… Yes, some athletes will have to taper to make the team. In some events, making the team is more competitive than the actual games. Whereas in other events there is a clear top 2. But trials are very unexpected. Some rise up and swim out of their minds, while others falter and miss the team. US swimmers are also so used to double tapering in season to qualify for bigger meets, so I wouldn’t be too worried about that 😉

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  REMMAWS
5 years ago

Oohhh…double taper! of course!
How and Why did I believe that American swimmers shouldn’t taper for the trials lest it hurts their chances to win Olympics gold?!

Distant Third
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Smoothswimmer, you are relentless in your sarcastic attacks of Bobo Gigi, and I wish you would stop. I always look forward to Bobo Gigi’s comments and insights, but never yours. Instead, your comments are obnoxious, boring, and utterly predictable. Please get another hobby, and try to be a contributor to this site, not simply a person always on the attack.

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  Distant Third
5 years ago

Attack?
I like messr Gigi!
Please have some positive thinking and attitude, mister!
Your comment above is obnoxious, boring, and bullying against me.

dawser
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Give it up, man, really.

caleb
Reply to  Distant Third
5 years ago

I couldn’t agree more, I can’t believe our friend hasn’t been given a time out for personal harassment that’s lasted at least a week now. The first one or two comments were amusing, the last 50 or 60, not so much.

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  caleb
5 years ago

So you want me silenced just because I have different opinion than you?
How considerate and democratic of you, mister.

Peter
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Smoothswimmer, just stop or tone it down. Some people just want to advise you against your utterly childish behaviour okay? I am a high school student and I am 100% sure all of my classmates are not as childish or immature as you are. I agree that Bobo doesn’t always express the correct/agreeable opinion, but isn’t that what makes discussions interesting? If you don’t agree with what he says, fine. Just don’t go on a personal attack against someone you don’t even know in person

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  Peter
5 years ago

You are wrong. I actually agree with some of messr. Gigi’s theories. I thought his opinions are gems. Especially the ones which he recurrently writes to make us understand them better.

As personal attack, isn’t that only in your head and your own prejudice? How can you accuse me of making personal attack against messr. Gigi when I’ve done nothing but praise him. And how about when people call me stupid, pathetic, childish, I mature, etc. That’s not personal attack?

And thank you for letting us know you’re in high school. High school students are indeed exceptionally mature.

Sean
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

Please seek medical help.

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  Sean
5 years ago

Why thank you for your concern, sir. I have a little bit of flu today, but no need to go to a doctor.

Caleb
Reply to  Smoothswimmer
5 years ago

On the bright side, I think we now know who’s been auto-downvoting Bobo’s comments for the last year or two.

Smoothswimmer
Reply to  Caleb
5 years ago

Who?
Someone auto-downvoted Bobo? You serious? I never thought of that, I just thought there are many people who just don’t like his comments.

Dave
Reply to  REMMAWS
5 years ago

Every Olympic cycle, the late US Trials combined with the SCY format of NCAAs always result in excessive hand wringing on the part of US swimming fans and unwarranted glee on the part of non-US swimming fans. This year, the effect is especially strong due to the disaster of Kazan 2015. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.

I don’t believe that the US women will challenge for gold in the 4×100 but I also don’t believe that we can predict US performance in this event until at least Trials.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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