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Olympic Trials: Day 2 Review

Women’s 100 Fly Finals:

Kelsi Worrell and Dana Vollmer go 1-2, as expected.  This is the best we’ve looked in the Women’s 100 Fly in my lifetime.

Kendyl Stewart and Claire Donahue both were out in 26.6 but neither could bring it back quick enough to upend Vollmer.

I’m looking forward to Cassidy Bayer and Hali Flickinger’s 200 Fly.

Men’s 200 Free Semis:

As pointed out by TIDE Head Coach, Josh Fulton, on Twitter, Jonathan Roberts of Texas went from 16th to 8th and now has himself a great opportunity to make America’s Olympic Team.

Maxime Rooney, a highly touted high schooler, came home faster than the entire Top 8 but it wasn’t enough.  Rooney misses out but he has an incredible future.  We will see a lot more from him over the next 4 years.

Tyler Clary and Ryan Lochte both shook off those “injuries” to make Finals.

Jack Conger once again swam very well and Townley Haas hasn’t really pushed the envelope just yet.

Clark Smith took it out fast and was one of the slower to come home which unusual for him.  A couple weeks ago he destroyed the final 50.  Hopefully he settles in, brings it home better, and grabs a spot.  This guy, IMO, has the talent to be as good as his brain can believe he can be.

Women’s 100 Breast Semis:

Nobody catches more water with higher elbows than Indiana’s Lilly King.  Her teammate, Cody Miller, is headed to Rio in the same event.  Ray Looze at Indiana has done an incredible job creating America’s greatest breaststrokers.

Molly Hannis of Tennessee put her super-undulation and crazy stroke count on display to qualify 2nd in 1:06.24.

Missing the Finals was 2012 Olympian and Trials Winner in this event, Breeja Larson.  Also taking a back seat is Team Elite’s Micah Lawrence.  Like I said in previous blog posts, there will be many remarkable breaststrokers left behind on the Women’s side.

Men’s 100 Breast Finals:

Kevin Cordes still hasn’t put together that perfect race but it was good enough to win.  Sergio Lopez continues to help superstars make their respective Olympic Teams.

Michael Andrew again broke his NAG with a 4th place finish in 59.82.  Andrew Wilson, of D3 Emory, went out like a bullet but couldn’t hold on.

Watch out for Josh Prenot in the 200 Breast — he’s going to crush it.

Women’s 400 Free Finals:

 

Swim of the night goes to Leah Smith.  She dropped over 2 seconds from her PB to actually be in the screen along with Ledecky.  She posted a jaw dropping 4:00.65.  American women are beginning to look stronger than the Men as Team USA begins to take shape.

Allison Schmitt went the wrong way, adding 3 more seconds to her time.  I really thought she had turned a corner and was headed back to her winning ways.  Her 200 should still be very competitive and should make the team on the corresponding relay.

It was interesting to watch Smith and Schmitt go head-to-head in Prelims because of how opposite their strokes are.  Smith has a high turnover rate with very little kicking — she kind of reminds me of Greg Paltrinieri of Italy but more controlled.  Schmitt, on the other hand, has a 6 beat kick and stays super long.

The other big surprise is Becca Mann placing 14th after making the Final 4 years ago.

Men’s 100 Back Semis:

We have three Americans that could potentially join Aaron Peirsol as the only dudes ever to break 52 seconds.

Ryan Murphy and David Plummer were both under World Record pace at the halfway mark.  If you re-watch Peirsol’s race, you’ll never see a better 2nd 50.

25.35/26.59 = WOW

Fastest 2nd 50 last night was Matt Grevers’ 26.95.  Ryan Murphy has the ability to come back much faster than the 27.21 he posted.  I still expect him to take down the World Record tonight — out faster than Peirsol was, back slower, but still quicker overall.

Jacob Pebley nearly broke 53 and Michael Taylor (17 year old from Dynamo) makes his first Olympic Trials Final.  He’s the future of America’s backstroke.

Women’s 100 Back Semis:

Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin snag the last two spots and will both be in outside lanes tonight.  If I hear a commentator say “outside smoke” one more time I might throw up but this is expected tonight.

There has been a lot of concern regarding Franklin, who has not even come close to her best times from London over the last 4 years.  Perhaps she slipped on the start.  Perhaps her Free is on and her Back isn’t clicking.  We will find out today, as she swims the 200 Free this morning and the Final of the 100 Back tonight (after another 200 Free).

My gut is telling me Coughlin and Franklin will not be competing for America in the 100 Back in Rio.

Olivia Smoliga is really looking strong from start to finish.  Her closing speed is 2nd to none.  Kathleen Baker put together a fantastic swim in Semis for the 2nd seed, as did Amy Bilquist.

Bilquist is a tall, lanky string bean.  If she can get out faster tonight she will give Baker a run for her money.

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