Top 20 (+1) Quotes from Olympic Trials Day 2 Prelims (Video)

Reported by Mitch Bowmile.


After an eventful night one at the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials, more of America’s big stars will step up to the blocks for their first races including Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, and Katie Ledecky.

Coughlin and Franklin will be facing off in the 100m backstroke this morning in order to both secure a spot in the semifinals. Coughlin’s been on the come-up in this event after shying away from it post-London, but a promising return to it at the Pan American Games on the relay brings her back in full swing.

The men’s 200 free will give us an idea of a possible six that could be on the relay come Rio. Redemption is also in order for Ryan Lochte as he’ll look to make the semifinals in hopes of qualifying for the team later on in the meet after failing to in the 400m IM on night one.

Katie Meili will have her work cut out for her in the top seed of the 100m breaststroke. With plenty of new talent emerging in this event, the prelims should give us a clear cut idea as to who’s on their game, setting up a picture of who the finalists might be.

Just like the women’s 100m breaststroke, there’s plenty of depth in the men’s 100m backstroke as always. Ryan Murphy is the talk of the town, and today will give us a first picture of what he looks like primed at the Olympic Trials.

Katie Ledecky will be making her first appearance as she attempts to qualify for the final in the 400m freestyle. As always, Ledecky has been throwing down superb in-season swims so there’s no telling just how she’ll swim in Omaha.

With six roster spots on the line tonight, once again things are getting heated.


2016 Top seed: Natalie Coughlin (59.05)
World record: 58.12 – Gemma Spofforth (Britain)
American record: 58.33 – Missy Franklin
U.S Open record: 58.67 – Missy Franklin
U.S Nationals record: 58.67 – Missy Franklin
JR World record: 59.37 – Minna Atherton (Australia)
2012 Winning Time: 58.85 – Missy Franklin

Neither Natalie Coughlin or Missy Franklin stole the show this morning; rather it was Olivia Smoliga and Amy Bilquist who posted the top two times to lead the charge heading into tonight’s semifinals.

Swimming in heat 14, Smoliga was the first one under one-minute sporting a 59.65 at the touch. Right behind her wasHannah Stevens in 59.72 who took the third overall seed behind Smoliga and Bilquist.

Despite a slow start, Missy Franklin came back to win heat 15 in a time of 1:00.35. Although the time doesn’t stand out, it gets her a second swim in tonight’s semifinals which is all she needed.

Bilquist won the final heat, taking down both Ali Deloof, who was a 1:00.09, and Coughlin. Coughlin finished third in the final heat well off her best time with a 1:00.75. Just like Franklin, it’s not a standout time, but will secure her a spot in the semifinals.

TOP 16

  1. Olivia Smoliga (59.65)
  2. Amy Bilquist (59.67)
  3. Hannah Stevens (59.72)
  4. Ali Deloof (1:00.09)
  5. Missy Franklin (1:00.35)
  6. Clara Smiddy (1:00.38)
  7. Natalie Coughlin (1:00.75)
  8. Grace Ariola (1:00.79) T
  9. Kathleen Baker (1:00.79) T
  10. Lucie Nordmann (1:00.80)
  11. Tasija Karosas (1:01.06)
  12. Danielle Galyer (1:01.07)
  13. Regan Smith (1:01.17)
  14. Alex Walsh (1:01.20)
  15. Annie Ochitwa (1:01.25)
  16. Taylor Garcia (1:01.32)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: Ryan Lochte (1:45.36)
World record: 1:42.00 – Paul Biedermann
American record: 1:42.96 – Michael Phelps
U.S Open record: 1:44.10 – Michael Phelps
U.S Nationals record: 1:44.10 – Michael Phelps
JR World record: 1:47.10 – Maxime Rooney
2012 Winning Time: 1:45.70 – Michael Phelps

Conor Dwyer made sure to put himself way in front of everyone else this morning with a swift 1:46.65 performance to give him the number one seed. Racing right beside him in heat 10 was Texas standout Jack Conger who moved up on Dwyer on the last 100 to take the second overall seed in 1:47.25.

The two bettered the 1:47.68 performance from Clark Smith in heat nine; a time which gave him the third overall seed ahead of Townley Haas.

Much like the Dwyer-Conger showdown, heat 11 featured Haas chasing down mulit-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte. Lochte had control of the race for 190 meters, but on the final 10 Haas charged him down. A long slow finish by Lochte gave the heat 11 win to Haas in 1:47.74 as Lochte finished in 1:47.77.

Gunnar Bentz, Blake Pieroni, and Tyler Clary make up the remaining top eight.

The most notable absent name from the top 16 is Texas swimmer Clay Youngquist, who was a member of the 2015 World Championship team for the states although he didn’t swim at the meet.

Only two swimmers from the London 2012 4x200m freestyle relay (Lochte and Dwyer) will compete in these semifinals.

TOP 16

  1. Conor Dwyer (1:46.65)
  2. Jack Conger (1:47.25)
  3. Clark Smith (1:47.68)
  4. Townley Haas (1:47.74)
  5. Ryan Lochte (1:47.77)
  6. Gunnar Bentz (1:47.85)
  7. Blake Pieroni (1:47.93)
  8. Tyler Clary (1:48.11)
  9. Reed Malone (1:48.24)
  10. Michael Weiss (1:48.28)
  11. Zane Grothe (1:48.29)
  12. Michael Wynalda (1:48.30)
  13. Michael Klueh (1:48.48)
  14. Maxime Rooney (1:48.57)
  15. Connor Jaeger (1:48.59)
  16. Jonathan Roberts (1:48.63)

For official results click here.


2016 Top seed: Katie Meili (1:05.64)
World record: 1:04.35 – Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania)
American record: 1:04.45 – Jessica Hardy
U.S Open record: 1:04.45 – Jessica Hardy
U.S Nationals record: 1:05.34 – Rebecca Soni
JR World record: 1:05.39 – Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania)
2012 Winning Time: 1:05.92 – Breeja Larson


2016 Top seed: David Plummer (52.51)
World record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
American record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
U.S Open record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
U.S Nationals record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol
JR World record: 53.67 – Javier Acevedo (Canada)
2012 Winning Time: 52.08 – Matt Grevers


2016 Top seed: Katie Ledecky (3:58.37)
World record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky
American record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky
U.S Open record: 3:58.86 – Katie Ledecky
U.S Nationals record: 3:58.86 – Katie Ledecky
JR World record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky
2012 Winning Time: 4:02.84 – Allison Schmitt

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »