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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carlo
6 years ago

M PALOTA ledecky can win on paper. Just saying.

Deraj
6 years ago

After some serious research, I believe I found the fastest 100 freestyle relay split swum by an American woman. Dara Torres anchored the 400 medley relay at the 2008 Olympics in a 52.27. To think that the fastest 100 ever swam by an American woman was 8 years ago, by a then 41 year old, whose focus was really only on the 50… The next fastest are Megan Romano (52.60), Missy Franklin (52.79), Natalie Coughlin (52.98). So in total: 0 Americans under 52, 4 under 53 on relays.

Deraj
Reply to  Deraj
6 years ago

I tried to be as accurate as possibly but, if I made any mistake please feel free to correct me. 🙂

Hswimmer
Reply to  Deraj
6 years ago

I miss Dara!! Such a beautiful sprint freestyle stroke. Butterfly was quite nice as well.

Rafael
Reply to  Deraj
6 years ago

You know which of these splits were on textile?

gosharks
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

All textile: Megan Romano (52.60), Missy Franklin (52.79), Natalie Coughlin (52.98).

Franklin’s split was from 2011 Worlds. Coughlin and Romano from 2013 Worlds.

pooholla
6 years ago

go girl!

tm71
6 years ago

I don’t know what the debate is about. I think it is clear that Australia will win the 4×1 unless they get DQed. The US has enough depth, easily eight swimmers that can produce 53 splits (Manuel, vollmer, ledecky, Weitzel, Franklin, Neal, Schmidt and couglin) and that should enough for silver or bronze.

Person
Reply to  tm71
6 years ago

Yeah, I’ve given up on the Americans winning the 4×1. Not to say it’s impossible! Injuries and break-out swims are always a chance, but on paper there’s just no way.

Dave
Reply to  Person
6 years ago

The same thing was said prior to London about the Aussie men’s 4×100. The 2012 Aussie men were portrayed as a complete lock for gold. I’m not drawing a direct comparison (the current Aussie women are more of a lock than the 2012 Aussie men) but let’s wait until Trials and (more to the point) Rio until we put gold in Aussie cabinets.

Anon
Reply to  Dave
6 years ago

The difference is the Australian women have consistently proven they don’t choke. They are the defending Olympic champions, broke the super suit world record in 2014 and won the world championships last year. They have 3 girls under 53 (with one capable of going under 52) and in recent weeks have demonstrated they can swim fast even untapered (c1 52.38, mckeon 53.3), they have enough depth to cover injuries and enough leeway to do super safe changes. They are as sure of a gold as ledecky is in the 400/800m

commonwombat
Reply to  Anon
6 years ago

Illness/injury can “take out” anyone from the multiple world champion to the rank amateur so it is correct to say that no one’s name is engraved on any medal at this point,

Having said that, its fair to say that barring those two abovementioned intruders and/or breaks ( in the case of relays); the following would have to be said as the surest bets on the program:

Ledecky (W400/800), USA W4X200, AUS W4X100, Sjostrom (W100FLY) & probably USA M4XMED

With regards to sub52 relays splits, actually both C1 & C2 have multiple 51s on their CVs. Heemskerk (NED) dropped one at last year’s Worlds but doesnt appear to be in that form this year. Sjostrom hasn’t been there yet but… Read more »

Deraj
Reply to  commonwombat
6 years ago

Kromowidjojo is already a 51 second split club member. 51.9 anchoring the Dutch 400 freestyle relay team at 2012 Olympics.

KeithM
Reply to  commonwombat
6 years ago

I would include Katinka for the 200IM in the safest bets department.

MarkB
Reply to  commonwombat
6 years ago

The surest bet on the Women’s side at the 76 Olympics was also the 400 Free Relay. How’d that turn out? This would be less unbelievable than that.

M Palota
Reply to  tm71
6 years ago

Nobody’s ever won a medal of any colour on paper. The odds are heavily in favour of the Aussie women but Leicester City won the Premiership… The Yanks have a chance. It’s a slim one but it is a chance nonetheless.

E GAMBLE
6 years ago

If I’m not mistaken, Simone fastest LCM 100 free was when she was still with First Colony. She really has not improved in the 100 LCM free.

swammer81
6 years ago

She got mom strength!

Stephen
6 years ago

Rumor has it the Campbell sisters are doing 51’s now

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Stephen
6 years ago

check videos , no rumors – much better choice for true proof of that

Stat
Reply to  Stephen
6 years ago

Isn’t bronte Campbell injured, not swimming well???? At the Japan meet a few weeks ago she wasn’t swimming that fast

commonwombat
Reply to  Stat
6 years ago

She’s had hip issues for most of the year. Was some thought that it may impede her times at Trials but didnt appear to do so in the 100 where she was right on her PB. Was off her best in the 50. Looks like its likely to be a niggle factor but at this point, not clear that it will necessarily be an inhibiting factor. Still both of them tend to be fragile when comes to health and physically so may be some fingers crossed they go in healthy and fit.

With regards to Japan Open,she IS usually reasonably quick in season but as yet, not to the level of big sister.

taa
6 years ago

USA still stuck at 53 high. We must be doing something wrong maybe our sprinters need to taper more often so they are used to swimming fast. We are not going to medal individually and we just need a medley relay anchor. Dana is swimming fly so her time really doesnt impact anything unless Worrell throws down a 56 flat and frees up Dana to swim the free. Even then its probably not an improvement but gives the coaches some options

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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