2016 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS
- Sunday, June 26 – Sunday, July 3, 2016
- CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska
- SwimSwam Preview Links & Schedule
- Psych Sheets
- NBC Broadcast Schedule
2015 NCAA champion and 2016 runner-up in the 400 IM Will Licon will not swim the event at US Olympic Trials, a bit of a surprise considering his SCY success in the event over the past two years. Licon has entered just three events for Trials: the 100 breast, 200 breast, and 200 IM.
There were a lot of questions as to whether Licon would enter this race, and if he did how he would fare, based on his performance at US Nationals in August. Licon, who reportedly had mono prior to the meet and missed five weeks of training, put up a time of 4:20.70 in the 400 IM prelims at US Nationals before scratching the B final. He did turn things around later in the competition, winning a pair of silver medals in the 200 breast and 200 IM.
The 400 IM final and the 100 breast semis are both on the first night, which probably factored into Licon’s decision to not swim it, but the reality is might just not be an event that meshes well with him long course. It is also a very tough race to put yourself through twice on the first day of a long eight day meet, especially when you think your best shot at qualifying comes later on in the competition.
Licon has been picked by many to qualify in the 200 breast after his American and NCAA record setting swim en route to his second straight title at NCAAs in March. He will have to deal with 2015 World silver medalist Kevin Cordes and 2015 World University Games gold medalist Josh Prenot, among others. Seeded just 6th with his time of 2:10.02 from US Nationals, Licon will need to get down into the 2:07-2:08 range to earn a spot.
Licon’s two other events will be much tougher to qualify in. The 200 IM is spear-headed by three-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps and four-time World Champion Ryan Lochte. Licon, seeded 5th, will likely be in a dog fight with the rest of the final for the 3rd position. The 100 breast has never been one of his primary events throughout his collegiate career, but he did break Brendan Hansen‘s Texas Longhorn School record in the 100 breast on the way to his 200 breast NCAA title. He is seeded just 22nd in the event at 1:01.24, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make the final and challenge the favorites.