SwimSwam Pulse: 70% Bullish On Ryan Lochte’s 2020 Olympic Hopes

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers about Ryan Lochte‘s chances at a fifth-straight Olympic berth:

RESULTS

Question: Will Ryan Lochte make the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team?

  • Yes – 70.3%
  • No – 29.7%

About 70% of SwimSwam voters said Ryan Lochte would make the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, which would be his fifth straight.

That’s a strong vote of confidence from fans after Lochte missed more than a year on suspension for an illegal IV drip. Lochte returned to action at the end of this past summer, putting up some key swims at U.S. Nationals.

For last season, he ranks 4th among Americans in the 200 IM (1:57.76), likely his best shot at another Olympic qualifying run. Lochte also swam the 200 free (1:50.25), 100 back (55.08) and 100 fly (53.25). In 2016, he made the U.S. Olympic team as an individual in the 200 IM, and also qualified as part of the 4×200 free relay, where he won gold. He was 5th in Rio in the IM.

Here’s a look at last season’s U.S. ranks in the 200 IM:

  1. Chase Kalisz – 1:56.78
  2. Michael Andrew – 1:57.49
  3. Abrahm DeVine – 1:57.66
  4. Ryan Lochte – 1:57.76
  5. Carson Foster – 1:58.46

Kalisz had a major down season after going 1:55.4 in 2018. DeVine, too, added time from a year prior and had a change in training bases this year. Meanwhile Andrew is probably a better bet to focus on events like the 50 free or 100 breast, though he could still swim the 200 IM at Olympic Trials. All that combines to leave the door still open for the 35-year-old Lochte to qualify for yet another Olympic team.

 

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Matt Parrish
2 years ago

Karma catches up with people.
My bet is that both Fosters beat him at trials. Jake swimming with the greatest coach of all time at Texas! Carson on a role and a year of maturity to that already talented individual…. that being said. All three may miss 2 Olympic spots (but my 2 cents, is that a Foster will be a 200 IM Olympian)

Tea rex
Reply to  Matt Parrish
2 years ago

Fosters might have a better shot at 400 IM – that may be the event most likely to peak in late teens/early 20s. Litherland came back from the dead this year, and Kalisz is boss, but if either of them are off, 4:10 is more likely to qualify than 1:56 mid/hi.

FlyNDie
Reply to  Tea rex
2 years ago

You’re forgetting my man Bobby Finke. Who’s to say that he doesn’t focus on the 400IM as maybe a 3rd event for trials?

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Matt Parrish
2 years ago

Karma is also putting in the work & succeeding with more experience than any other Imer in the Us

Hank
2 years ago

Lochte will go 1:54.9 at trials. Who else on that list can?

Thomas
Reply to  Hank
2 years ago

And then 1:57 in Tokyo. I really hope we can send two people who didn’t have to full taper to qualify

Fulltaper
Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

I’m pretty sure everyone has to full taper at trials to make the team. Making the US team is generally harder than making the podium.

Admin
Reply to  Fulltaper
2 years ago

“Making the US team is generally harder than making the podium.” – this may have been true once upon a time (not sure), but definitely isn’t true anymore.

A quick scan shows that there were only 3 events where it took a faster time to make the US team than it did to make the Olympic podium in 2016:

Men’s 100 back
Men’s 200 IM
Women’s 400 free

eagleswim
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Just for fun I decided to look at 200 IM in particular since that’s the event we’re talking about. Since 1984, the bronze medal time has been faster than second place at USA trials only three times, ’92, ’96, and ’04 (that one surprised me).

Aquajosh
Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

If you look at Troy’s track record of getting his swimmers on the US Olympic Team and then getting them to swim faster at the Games, maybe you’d think differently. Even when Beisel knew she was in the twilight of her career in Rio, she still swam 2 seconds faster in finals at the Olympics than she did at Trials. Lochte, Beisel, Dwyer, Burckle, Dressel, Vanderkaay, all faster at the Olympics,

Aquajosh
2 years ago

I think he’s got it. He’s training with the coach who knows him best, with training partners that will push him to be the best, has gotten his head on straight, is getting back in great shape, and has his family right there with him. Don’t forget, he swam two 1:57s and a 1:58 in four days while carrying 20 extra pounds and training intermittently because he had a newborn at home. When he’s on and rested, he can go a 1:55 in his sleep.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Aquajosh
2 years ago

i think so too ……

John
2 years ago

Best headline/photo decision of the year right there

Austere Religious Scholar
2 years ago

I know whom I WON’T BE CHEERING FOR to make the US team in the men’s 200 IM.

Anonymoose
Reply to  Austere Religious Scholar
2 years ago

DeVine right?

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 years ago

great answer

KNOWS NOTHING
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 years ago

Two and half years ago everyone hated Ryan. Abram too can be redeemed (but maybe not by next summer).

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  KNOWS NOTHING
2 years ago

correct as well

Thomas
2 years ago

Even if he does not make the team, I would love to see him continue one more year of swimming and take advantage of ISL/World Cup before he retires. With Olympics and WCs out of the picture, some swimmers could take home some serious money when focusing on these meets and an athlete like Lochte deserves to make some big bucks before he steps away entirely.

Thomas
Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

But, I believe he may not be eligible for ISL. And focusing on the World Cup would keep him away from his family a lot.

Admin
Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

That’s correct – he wouldn’t be ISL eligible, based on what we can get out of the ISL.

Lane 8
2 years ago

I voted “no”. With Andrew focusing on this event and Foster improving, I think it will take a lot of work and luck for him to succeed.

Blackflag317
Reply to  Lane 8
2 years ago

I think Foster will be a low 1:57/high 1:56 which would still be a ton of improvement for him, but is going to leave him just outside of it this quad. Andrew is kind of an unknown if he really decides to focus in on the 200 IM, but I see him at a mid 1:56 unless he can figure out his freestyle, and I think even if that’s where Lochte is, he’s such an intense competitor that he’s going to take it.

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

He has more talent in his pinky than most elite swimmers have in their body. I remember the Marsh quote when Lochte first joined SwimMaC: “the way he moves through the water, it is very special. He has a relationship with the water I’m not sure even he understands.”

Drewbrewsbeer
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

I mean…

Markster
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Yeah he probably doesn’t

Hank
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Lochte is a genetic beast. The others are mere boys.

Tea rex
Reply to  Hank
2 years ago

I’ve always admired Lochte because he peaked at Phelps-level, withOUT Phelps’ genetic gifts – the extra long wingspan, hyperflexibility, and freakish ability to not produce lactic acid.

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Tea rex
2 years ago

He and Tony Ervin have always been marvels to me for that reason.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
2 years ago

thanks Buddy 😅

Sqimgod
Reply to  Tea rex
2 years ago

Pretty interesting how it worked. Lochtes technique was no where near as smooth as Phelps and his speed never matched him due to that but he made up for it with monster endurance and the best underwaters in the world at that time.

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Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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