Ryan Murphy on Olympic Pressure: “I think nerves are motivating”


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • World Record: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.85 (2016)
  • American Record: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.85 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA) – 51.94 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 52.53 (2018)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.97
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Ryan Murphy – 52.26
  • Wave I Cut: 56.59
  • Wave II Cut: 55.51
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 53.85
  1. Ryan Murphy (CAL), 52.33
  2. Hunter Armstrong (OSU), 52.48
  3. Shaine Casas (TAMU), 52.76

Ryan Murphy held off an unbelievable late push from the upstart Hunter Armstrong to win his second straight Olympic Trials 100 backstroke title in a time of 52.33, adding just over a tenth to his season-best (52.22) from last night.

That swim from the semi-finals ranks Murphy second in the 2020-21 world rankings.

Armstrong, a 20-year-old out of Ohio State, surprised many when he popped off with a 52.67 swim in the semi-finals, and he went almost a full two-tenths quicker tonight to make the team (most likely) in the second spot.

Turning seventh at the 50 in 25.73, Armstrong turned on the jets coming back, marking the only swimmer in the field to close sub-27 in 26.78. That moved him past early leader Shaine Casas to snag the runner-up spot in 52.48, making him the fifth-fastest American of all-time.

Casas, who owns a PB of 52.72, blasted out in 25.18 but faded a bit coming home, taking third in 52.76, while Bryce Mefford went sub-53 for the third time in two days for fourth in 52.91.

Two of the men expected to challenge for the second spot coming into the meet, Justin Ress and 2012 Olympic champ Matt Grevers, finished fifth and sixth in 53.00 and 53.27, respectively.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

Wrote this on other articles but the back ranking is wrong
Kolesnikov went 52,13 opening the men medley relay at europeans.

Extra Broccolini
3 months ago

Not a larger-than-life attention seeker, and not peeing on gas stations. Ryan Murphy is exactly the steady man Team USA needs right now. Thrilled to see him back on the team.

Reply to  Extra Broccolini
3 months ago

Murph is really becoming a great leader for the team, I love it. Fantastic ambassador for the sport

Reply to  Extra Broccolini
3 months ago

It’s fighting with soap dispensers at gas stations.

Reply to  Extra Broccolini
3 months ago

Great champion and fierce competitor, love the technical level he brings to the sport, BUT… Booooring… a great example of why swimming won’t ever sell

Dispute of that little ISL drama between him and that other dude I don’t remember the name

Last edited 3 months ago by Olympian
Reply to  Extra Broccolini
3 months ago

Lochte did not do anything near what he was portrayed to have done. Of course peeing on a gas station wasn’t the best choice. Stretching the truth about what happened was foolish. But he really did very little wrong. Phelps driving drunk is 100x a bigger deal. Why don’t you bring that up?

Jeffrey Lee Stewart
3 months ago

Look OUT for the ‘Dover Dynamo’, Hunter Armstrong!.. He’s about to turn more heads in TOKYO!~

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 »