2016 U.S Olympic Trials Day 2 Prelims Performance Statistics


Day two of the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials prelims is complete, and by the standard of 2012, swimmers were better at dropping time today than yesterday. The median time changes remain similar, but the proportion of swimmers who dropped time improved relative to 2012. (At this point I think the differences look mostly random, not attributable to some larger factor like a shorter qualification period, or more swimmers participating.)

Here’s a look at the change from seed this morning relative to 2012 (positive is slower):

2016 2012
Median Time Change % Who Went Faster # Faster Median Time Change % Who Went Faster
Women 100 Back 1.2% 20% 31 1.2% 15%
Men 200 Free 0.6% 21% 22 0.7% 32%
Women 100 Breast 1.3% 20% 24 1.5% 16%
Men 100 Back 0.8% 29% 52 0.7% 25%
Women 400 Free 1.0% 18% 18 1.1% 11%

Here are the top time drops of the morning by event:

Event Name Time Drop Seed Prelim Time
Women 100 Back Taylor Garcia -1.9% 1:02.52 1:01.32
Men 200 Free Colin Bone -1.9% 1:51.87 1:49.74
Women 100 Breast Meaghan Raab -2.1% 1:10.89 1:09.39
Men 100 Back Mark McGlaughlin -2.1% 57.06 55.88
Women 400 Free Lauren Pitzer -1.8% 4:16.89 4:12.14

Here’s how time drops were distributed in each event:

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Taylor Garcia had been 1:01.67 in March of 2014.


These statistics are interesting, and I appreciate you putting them up, but in a sense it’s an apples to oranges comparison. Almost all of the seed times were done at night, in finals, so evening finals times are being compared to prelim times. And the vast majority of prelim swimmers here don’t get the chance to swim again in the evening. Plus the swimmers who ARE going to swim again in the evening, especially in events with semifinals, are not going to put forth their absolute best effort in the morning, whereas their seed time represents their best effort in the recent past. Plus, the vast majority of swimmers in the early heats pretty much know they have no chance… Read more »


I love this stuff! But I do respectfully disagree with SWIMHISTORIAN. While it IS an apples to oranges comparison and the points you make about swimming at night and knowing there’s no way that many will return for finals are valid, you have to remember that the comparison IS comparing the same data. The 2012 numbers also included people that only competed in the morning prelims or people that knew they weren’t coming back. So while the numbers may not be stellar, they are looking at the same population.

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