Shields Scratches 100 FR to Focus on 200 FL at Night 2 Bloomington PSS


Night two of the Bloomington Pro Swim Series will feature the finals of the 100 free, 100 breast, 50 back, 200 fly, and 400 free. Among the notable scratches was Olympian Tom Shields, who scratched his 21st seed in the 100 free, putting Adam Chaney in the C-final. Earlier before the prelims session, Shields tweeted out concerns of a training funk.

In the 100 free, Shields finished with a time of 51.54, two seconds off his 49.67 seed. In the 200 fly, Shields was off pace in his last 100, resulting in a final time of 2:05.45. Despite swimming 10 seconds off his seed, Shields will swim the 200 fly C-final, where he placed 22nd overall.

The women’s 200 fly tonight will be the race to watch tonight. Top seed Katie Drabot scratched her 15th seed in the 400 free, who clocked in at 2:09.93. Behind 17-year-old Regan Smith (2:10.32) and Aggie Sarah Gibson (2:11.85) is 4th seed Asia Seidt, who was 27th in the 100 free. Along with Erica Lening‘s scratch, it gave way for Cierra Runge to sneak into the D-final of the 100 free. Runge will also swim the B-final of the 400 free, where she placed 10th.

NCAA champion Ella Eastin opted out of the 100 breast, where she was 27th overall, to focus on the 200 fly as well. Eastin finished in 5th with a 2:12.68. Also swimming the A-final is 16-year-old Lillie NordmannRemedy Rule, and Makayla Sargent.

Olympic champion Simone Manuel will also save up for her top 100 free spot (53.55) with her 50 back scratch. No. 4 seed Allison Schmitt also scratched her 400 free to focus on the sprint event. 100 breast A-finalist Allie Raab also took out her 400 free swim to ease up energy for the 100 breast.

More Notable Scratches:

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Ol' Longhorn
5 years ago

If there were a time to lay an egg in an Olympic cycle for someone as experienced as Shields, this would be it. Failure is a great motivator for the grind of the next 13 months til OTs. Hopefully, he not only remembers the joy he experienced when he beat Phelps in both flys at summer Nats 2014, but how that lit a fire under Phelps to get back in gear. Tom can do the same, albeit with less of time horizon.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
5 years ago

What’s different is that, if we take him at his word, he’s training as well as ever: which is not something Phelps would have said in 2014.

So, hopefully he figures out where the disconnect is happening and bridges it. I know he’s been trying some different things in the last couple of years, so maybe it’s just a matter of having it “all come together at the right moment.”

5 years ago

I saw that tweet and thought as sad as this is, it’s great he’s sharing. Because I bet a lot more swimmers experience this. I sincerely hope he’s able to figure it out and turn things around.

5 years ago

I love his openness on the situation and I think it can help some younger swimmers out there realize even the elites go through this. All of us swimmers have had these ruts where you just arent anywhere near where you expect to be and constantly look at others succeeding feeling like youre helpless. Hoping he can get back to his old self and be happy in the sport

5 years ago

Shields is one of the most knowledgeable and intelligent athletes in the sport of swimming. I doubt we could figure out what the issue is before he does. If I were him I would seek new training under a different coach if only to change things up. Indiana??

The Original Tim
5 years ago

I’m pulling for him. I was pretty critical with my comment on his swim in the prelims recap and thought something was wrong, but I’ve got nothing but props for him! He was the first non-Phelps flyer I really started watching, I think back in his junior year at Cal, and is still one of my top 2-3 favorite butterfliers to watch.

Speaking both as a coach of 10+ years and a, uh, much less impressive lifelong and currently Masters swimmer who likes to torture himself with the (SCY) 200 fly, I really appreciate the real talk!

I went through two back to back seasons a few years ago where I was in a rut with my 200 fly–great… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  The Original Tim
5 years ago

Best Master’s advice I ever got from a veteran Master’s swimmer: “These are your new best times.”

5 years ago

Strange to see what’s going on with Shields. Hopefully he can get back in shape soon. It’s a great thing that he’s being honest about his disappointment though. Makes him relatable to younger athletes.

Reply to  Ryan
5 years ago

That piano feels heavier and heavier as one gets older

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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