2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
- Sunday, June 26 – Sunday, July 3, 2016
- CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska
- SwimSwam Preview Links and Schedule
- Psych Sheets
- NBC Broadcast Schedule
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.