Neal, Schmitt Get 2nd Shot at 400 Free Relay for Americans

  23 Braden Keith | July 28th, 2012 | News

Asphalt Green swimmer Lia Neal, who led off the United States’ prelims relay in a National Age Group Record of 54.15 on Saturday morning, has been slotted to swim the 3rd leg in finals, and Allison Schmitt, who split a 54.1 in the finals, will anchor the finals relay as well.

That means that Natalie Coughlin and Amanda Weir will have to sit and watch which medals they will earn. The Americans also chose not to give Dana Vollmer a shot, though some speculated that with how good her 100 fly has been, she could be the best 4th option.

Despite the relay experience of a Coughlin, recall that Schmitt is still the fastest American 100 freestyler this year with a 53.94 from the Austin Elite Invite in early June. USA Swimming are taking a gamble here to go for gold, whereas Coughlin would have been a more conservative choice.

1. Missy Franklin
2. Jessica Hardy
3. Lia Neal
4. Allison Schmitt

The Dutch relay is laid out just the opposite, and is back-loaded with world-leader Ranomi Kromowidjojo and her 52.75 on the anchor.

1. Inge Dekker
2. Marleen Veldhuis
3. Femke Heemskerk
4. Ranomi Kromowidjojo

The other major contenders are the Australians, who have chosen the young Brittany Elmslie to swim in the final over Libby Trickett, who had a good prelims swim. Elmslie split a 53.4 in the morning, so not a surprising decision.

1. Melanie Schlanger
2. Brittany Elmslie
3. Alicia Coutts
4. Cate Campbell

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23 Comments on "Neal, Schmitt Get 2nd Shot at 400 Free Relay for Americans"

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wilson shum

Coughlin swam a 53.93 in the prelims. Neal swam a 54.15 (but as you know starters splits are adjusted down a few tenths to compensate for starting from a block as opposed to a relay start); Schmitt swam a 54.08.

In the finals, Neal swam a 53.65 and Schmitt swam a 53.54. The Austrians won by almost a full second, most of which was in the last leg. The US team broke their own relay record, clearly showing that they did their best to date. The Aussies just did better.

Where do you see the order for the relay finals? Cant seem to find it anywhere?

Also where do you get the Reaction times from? I miss Omega live timing……..

Wow…..taking Vollmer’s 53.2 off the table? (her anchor split from last year’s Worlds–and remember from last year’s SCM Worlds, the only female in history to split 50. in short meter race).
Not sure this is a wise choice given she’s a monster relay swimmer.
Especially after this morning.
Going to be a lot of questions as to why she wasn’t not only on this relay but anchoring it, if not only do they lose to the Dutch, but fall past silver.
But as I said on another post here, the coaches have been with these girls for weeks now, so I guess they see something that we have not.
Still…………scratching my head over this one.

I think her 50-point was a suited time from 2009. But I agree with you in general.


I feel the same way you do; it must be based on how Vollmer’s freestyle has been during training camp compared with Neal/Schmitt.


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