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

Comments

  1. Philip Johnson says:
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    Schmitt will probably be the fourth swimmer prehaps? anyone from the inside got any word?

  2. liquidassets says:
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    Thanks; do you know what time do finals start?

  3. swimmer 2 says:
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    Starts with “D” ends with “ana Vollmer”

  4. Missb says:
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    ok i am confused.. Did NatCo have the fastest split in the prelims? if so how can they not put her in the final :(

    • Coach says:
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      Because this is the Olympics where you put your fastest 4. Dana Vollmer is clearly on fire (and healthy).

      • Jcoach says:
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        Wow – It’s hard to believe Lia is our 4th best 100 swimmer, but I guess she took advantage of her chance. I wonder if that’s our best 4 x 100 relay – but that job is a crazy tough job. I gotta imagine there is more stress and drama figuring out the relays than any other part of the job. Remember Gary Hall Jr getting all ticked off at Reese and Co in Athens – and the drama with the women’s 800 FR in Athens?

        Is is true that Coughlin had a .00 on the relay takeoff? That’s crazy if true.

    • Phil says:
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      Her RT was .00, I’m guessing that was factored into the time difference between her and Schmitt. And Schmitt is the one capable of doing a low-53

  5. ZYNG43 says:
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    Go with Vollmer. She is ready to go

  6. Philip Johnson says:
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    Vollmer’s fly look real impressive, but does that translate into a good free?

  7. shiki says:
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    I hope Hardy swim the first leg. I will be very worried if she swim final leg.

  8. European says:
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    ”That means that Natalie Coughlin and Amanda Weir will have to sit and watch which medals they will earn.”

    A bit cocky,don’t you think?

  9. swim stats says:
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    From usswim.org
    Lia Neal (RT. 75)
    Weir (RT .48)
    Natalie (RT .00!!!)- Wow
    Schmitt (RT .29)

    Personally I would go Missy, Schmitt, Neal, Vollmer, but I do relaize that Hardy is guaranteed a spot, so probably sub out Schmitt for Hardy.

    • liquidassets says:
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      Hardy is not guaranteed a spot, they can swim any Olympic team member on any relay. But she must have done OK in training camp. I’m not surprised they picked Neal and Schmitt over Coughlin, but slightly surprised they didn’t give Vollmer a shot, but I’m guessing her free hasn’t been as good as her fly in training camp.

  10. DCD3 says:
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    Prediction: USA flips first at the 150M mark

  11. Sean says:
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    Does Omega have live results for the meet?

  12. Jean Michel says:
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    Usa has a shot for gold but without Caughlin , hard to say from now ;;;; let’s seee

  13. Swmguy70 says:
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    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.

    • liquidassets says:
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      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.

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

  14. Kim says:
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    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……..

  15. wilson shum says:
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    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.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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