Led by Weitzeil, U.S. Women Throw Down American Record 4 x 100 Free

2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES

The American women may have taken silver tonight (behind a world-record-setting Australian team featuring the fastest two women in the world, Cate and Bronte Campbell), but they threw down the fastest swim in American history for that second place: a 3:31.89 to outdo the previous record by nearly half a second.

Abbey Weitzeil swam the fastest split of the team, a second-leg 52.56 that was only outdone by the aforementioned Campbells, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, and defending Olympic champ Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Also on the team was lead-off Simone Manuel, who led off faster than anyone else in the field with 53.36. After the last few years, it almost seems like Manuel should already have a whole resume of Olympic experience, but this was her first-ever Olympic event.

Swimming third was Dana Vollmer, taking on her second event of the evening after the semifinals of the 100 fly (53.18). Katie Ledecky served as the anchor in 52.79, winning the first of what could be an Olympic five medals for the week.

The previous record was a 3:32.31 set by Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, Shannon Vreelandand Megan Romano at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

It’s rare that over the course of just three years, the entire relay has seen a complete turnover to be four different swimmers. The Aussie relay broke their national (and world) record tonight from 2014; tonight’s swim featured three of the same swimmers from the previous record.

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Naya Missy
5 years ago

All 4 women did an amazing job tonight. I honestly did not expect them to be that fast. The race was very close. And Ledecky continues to surprise me – I would not be surprised if she becomes a regular 4×100 free swimmer in the coming years.

Shibly
Reply to  Naya Missy
5 years ago

hopefully Ledecky will be a regular face in 400m freestyle relay and do amazing things in future….good luck USA…..

Dexfree
5 years ago

Bay Area domination!! Go Cal and Stanford!!!

PK boo I\'m sad my name is too short now
5 years ago

Really great swim for all 4 girls. One note-Sjostrom outsplit Weitzel as well.

Bob Vitti

Not really. Factor out the reaction times and they had identical swims splits.

Weitzeil has a definite shot to medal.

Sven
Reply to  Bob Vitti
5 years ago

Yes, really. I mean, it’s true that if you factor out the thing that made Sjostrom faster, she is slower, but that’s not how relay splits work.

Relay starts are a skill, and Sarah executed it better (with her teammate’s help on the finish). Since relay starts are a part of relay splits, Sjostrom outsplit Weitzeil.

Pau Hana
Reply to  Sven
5 years ago

True – image you a thumbs-up – but I think Bob’s point was that Weitzel has a shot at medallions (i.e. Beating SJ in the open 100).

Pau Hana
Reply to  Pau Hana
5 years ago

Stupid auto-correct – “I gave” for “image” and “medals” not medallions. ????

Shibly
5 years ago

USA relay future is very good…i hope USA women outsmart Aussies within the next olympic cycle….both Abbey and Ledecky was amazing today……

Prickle
Reply to  Shibly
5 years ago

I think that the dream to have 52 sec American sprinters is coming true. We practically have two of such kind and they both are just 19 yo. One more such talent and Australian relay domination will vanish. This elite club is very exclusive and challenging: Look how bounced back McKeon and Heemskerk.

Gator
Reply to  Shibly
5 years ago

Three out of four on USA relay were 1st time Olympic Relay final swims. Great performances. Also, basically a CAL/Stanford relay – GO BEARS.

Prickle
5 years ago

Not only Campbell sisters were faster than Weitzeil but Kromowodjojo and Sjostrom were as well.
I think that both Weitzeil and Ledecky are capable to break American record at 100 freestyle (53.06 – Weir – 2009)
Overall a great performance by all members of the team. The silver medals are well deserved – Canadians were very close and could’ve easily got the second place should Americans haven’t swum at their best and there wasn’t completely unexpected significant help from Ledecky.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

Manuel was only .3 off of it leading off. I hope Simone and Abbey both break 53 in the 100 free final.

Sportinindc
5 years ago

Thanks for the splits SwimSwam. I would like to see splits in all of the finals.

Pianoback
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

Does that show splits? I could see a list of swimmers but no splits. I’m looking at it on my phone so maybe it’s a mobile Issue.

TheTroubleWithX
5 years ago

I believe I promised on here back in early 2015 that I’d eat my speedo if Ledecky was not on the 4×100 free relay in Rio. Glad I called it right; I hear Lycra is tough to digest.

Prickle
Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
5 years ago

Have you also suggested that she would have 52sec split? It is amazing how fast people got tired to be surprised by Katie and don’t realize that what we witnessed today is actually beyond comprehension.

swim dawg
5 years ago

Why is nobody talking about the call to put Volmer in over Weir. Didn’t Volmer get 6th at trials. And Weir went faster in the prelims than she did at trials when she beat Volmer.

Why didn’t they go Abby, Simone, Weir, ledecky? Or even Lia Neil beat Volmer at trials. ???

Bob Vitti
Reply to  swim dawg
5 years ago

Agreed. The order was strange and Weir should have been on it over Dana.

Order should have been simone, weir, ledecky, weitzeil.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Bob Vitti
5 years ago

My thoughts are that it was open knowledge that Vollmer wasn’t fully tapered at Trials and the coaches decided to go with that Weir and Neil would still get medals anyway. Either that, or the fact that Vollmer’s best time was slightly (.01) faster than Weir was in prelims.

swimdoc
Reply to  iLikePsych
5 years ago

I think you’re right. And Vollmer’s prelims 100 fly time being so fast (especially her first 50 speed) probably confirmed that in Marsh’s mind.

I think the other factor was adding some serious Olympic finals relay experience (Vollmer) to a very young, inexperienced (at least for relays) team. Sure Weir has some experience, but nothing compared to Vollmer, who has always come through big on relays.

SWIM CAT
Reply to  Bob Vitti
5 years ago

Actually it was the right call to include Vollmer in the finals. She was third best out of all the swimmers.

Prelims went like:
Wier (53.60) – Neal (53.63) – Schmitt (53.72) – Ledecky (52.64)

Finals went like:
Manuel (53.36) – Weitzel (52.56) – Vollmer (53.18) – Ledecky (52.79)

Pau Hana
Reply to  SWIM CAT
5 years ago

Not if one accounts for relay starts. 🙂

HulkSwim
Reply to  Bob Vitti
5 years ago

you can’t make relay lineups in a vaccum. you have to consider how the aussies have been lining up. we were heavy underdogs, so you can’t go with the traditional ‘fastest kid anchors’.

weitzel, manuel and whoever else (weir/vollmer- i think they got it right but i can understand the calls for weir) are all ‘known’ 100m freestylers, meaning we’ve seen them perform at peak.

we have no clue what ledecky can do, as she’s never featured it. but we all assume it could be really good. the best scenario for her going ‘big’ is being chased by the aussie anchor.

so you throw your speed out there and hope its enough to put ledecky in first and trust… Read more »

TGM
Reply to  swim dawg
5 years ago

To comply with the “use all 6” rule, and have Ledecky on the relay, USA had to use Vollmer in the final. They used Weir, Neal and Schmidt in the prelim, so only Vollmer was left from the top 6. In hindsight, we could say why not use Vollmer in the prelim and Weir in the finals, though.

Swammom
Reply to  TGM
5 years ago

Vollmer was there for an individual event. She was not a relay-only swimmer, so the rule about using her didn’t apply.

PK boo I\'m sad my name is too short now
Reply to  TGM
5 years ago

We didn’t have to comply with the use all 6 rule with Vollmer because she wasn’t a relay-only swimmer, because she qualified in the 100 fly.

Ole 99
Reply to  TGM
5 years ago

Not true. The rule is that you really only invites need to swim The relay. Vollmer is not a really only invite so she did not have to swim the relay.

CraigH
Reply to  swim dawg
5 years ago

Because the coaches use a lot more then Trials to determine relay lineups. They factor in prior history and experience, and more importantly the times from the camp leading up to the Olympics. Maybe Dana has been on fire for the last few weeks and was putting up better times in Time Trials. We don’t really know.

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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