Matt Grevers Enters 200 Back, Plus 3 More Races at USOT

2016 U.S. Olympic Trials

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 100 backstroke Matt Grevers is looking to occupy more than just one spot on the US Olympic Team roster in Rio.  Released today, the psych sheets for the US Olympic Trials show that Grevers is entered in the 200 backstroke, an event which until now has been somewhat experimental for the sprinter.  Grevers is entered in a total of four events in Omaha: the 50 and 100 freestyles and the 100 and 200 backstrokes.

Grevers will have to contest Olympic Gold Medalists Tyler Clary (2012) and Ryan Lochte (2008), as well as Cal Berkley duo Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley at Trials.  At NCAA’s Murphy obliterated the American Records in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, and since March has posted some impressive times in the long course versions of each event.  Grever’s entered time of 1:57.24, swum at the 2015 Winter Nationals in December, ranks him 6th within the deep field.

At the 2012 Olympic Trials Grevers was ranked 3rd in the 200 back going into the semifinals, though he scratched and did not compete in the semis, focusing instead on the finals of the 100 free.  The 100 free finals fall on the same night as the semis of the 200 back, with the backstroke coming first.  Grevers was only .09 seconds away from qualifying to swim the 100 free individually in London, placing third behind Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones.

Grevers has been a consistently good sprint freestyler, and has a good shot at placing in the top-6 in the 100 free this year.  At the 2015 Duel in the Pool in December, Grevers split a 45.87 on the 4 x 100 SCM free relay.  The 50 is a much more difficult event to predict, and Grevers’ entered time of 22.22 is probably not indicative of what he is fully capable of doing, but he will have serious competition from sprint stars Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel, among others.

Grevers has been focusing on the 200 backstroke as a training event for a while now, and at the 2015 Duel in the Pool, Grevers was victorious in the 200 SCM backstroke.  His time of 1:48.97 was well ahead of the rest of the field, including American SCM record holder Ryan Lochte.  In the same meet Grevers also took down the world record in the 100 SCM backstroke with a 48.92.

It is somewhat surprising to see Ryan Lochte entered in the 200 back, as many had expected Lochte to forgo the backstroke and focus on the 200 IM, where he can seriously challenge Phelps for the gold medal Rio.  Then again, Lochte and Phelps are both so far ahead of the rest of the US field in the 200 IM, he could swim the 200 back-200 IM double and almost certainly still make the US team in the IM, no matter what happens in the backstroke, as he has done twice before.

For Grevers, if he keeps his schedule as-is and advances to the finals of every race he is entered in, he would swim the following sessions:

  • Monday, June 27th:
    • AM: Men’s 100 Back Prelims
    • PM: Men’s 100 Back Semifinals
  • Tuesday, June 28th:
    • PM: Men’s 100 Back Finals
  • Wednesday, June 29th:
    • AM: Men’s 100 Free Prelims
    • PM: Men’s 100 Free Semifinals
  • Thursday, June 30th:
    • AM: Men’s 200 Back Prelims
    • PM: Men’s 200 Back Semifinal, Men’s 100 Free Finals
  • Friday, July 1st:
    • AM: Men’s 50 Free Prelims
    • PM: Men’s 50 Semifinals, Men’s 200 Back Finals
  • Saturday, July 2nd:
    • PM: Men’s 50 Free Finals

Only time will tell if Grevers will scratch out of any of the four events he is currently entered in.  His best shots at making the Olympic team come in the 100 back and 100 free, though it’s never wise to doubt an athlete of Grevers’ caliber.

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6 years ago

Grevers for a relay spot on the 400 free relay . I believe in his abilities to make the team on that relay . 100 back and 400 free relay .

6 years ago

in all probability … scratch…

6 years ago

I think he could make the relay for free, and hopefully the 100 back. I have never seen something like this. It’s like Ian Crocker, Michael Phelps and Chad Le Clos if he were american, in the 100 fly.

bobby gan
Reply to  SwimmerFoxJet
6 years ago

What do you mean you have not seen something like this? (I assume you mean US men’s deep 100 back line up)
It has happened many times before at higher level. It has even happened this year at the Aussie trials in women’s 100 free.

And please, Ryan Murphy (as fast as he is and may win gold) and Plummer are nowhere yet on the level of Ian Crocker and Chad Le Clos in 100 fly, let alone Phelps. Ryan Murphy and Plummer are not even on the same level as Larkin, Lacourt and Irie in terms of accomplishments.

bobby gan
Reply to  SwimmerFoxJet
6 years ago

In fact, this actually has happened in the very exact event in 2012 trials:

Grevers and Thoman got to go to London and won gold-silver.
Meanwhile, this year USA is not even guaranteed to win the same gold-silver as there’s Larkin to spoil the party.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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