By Joe Quinn
What to watch for Monday at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.
Schedule of Events:
Prelims – 10 a.m.
Women’s 100m Back
Men’s 200m Free
Women’s 100m Breast
Men’s 100 Back
Women’s 400 Free
Finals - 6:45 p.m.
Women’s 100m Fly - FINAL
Men’s 200m Free - Semifinals
Women’s 100m Breast - Semifinals
Men’s 100m Breast - FINAL
Women’s 400m Free - FINAL
Men’s 100m Back - Semifinal
Women’s 100m Back - Semifinal
Recapping Sunday night
A total of six tickets to Rio were handed out Sunday night, with the first two of the meet going to first time Olympians Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland in the 400m IM. Litherland and Kalisz charged past Ryan Lochte over the final 100 meters to secure their spots in Rio.
Lochte came out of blocks on fire, but faded over the breaststroke and freestyle legs to finish third. He’ll have other chances, but has to be disappointed with the way the meet started. More on Lochte in a moment.
Connor Jaeger will be making his second trip to the Olympics after his win in the 400m Free Sunday night. He was sixth in the 1500m Free at the 2012 games. He’ll be joined by Conor Dwyer, a training partner and longtime friend of Michael Phelps.
The final two Olympic berths went to Maya DiRado and Elizabeth Beisel in the women’s 400m IM. It will be the first games for DiRado, while Beisel is the defending gold medalist in the event. DiRado cruised to victory last night, putting up the fifth fastest time in the world this year.
The real action was in the semifinal races, where Kevin Cordes capped off the night setting an American record in the 100m Breaststroke with a time of 58.94, also good for second fastest in the world this year. There isn’t a returning Olympian in the final field, so two new athletes will punch their tickets to Rio tonight.
In the Women’s 100m Fly, a finals showdown between defending gold medalist Dana Vollmer and Kelsi Worrell is set. It should be one of the best battles of the week for the top two spots on the podium.
Speaking of Mr. Lochte, he reportedly injured his groin swimming the breaststroke leg of the 400m IM in the prelims on Sunday. He gave it a go in the finals, but faded dramatically on the breaststroke leg once again.
The injury could complicate the rest of the meet for Lochte, who is entered in five other events, starting with the 200m Free on Monday. He probably wasn’t going to swim all of the them anyway, but could be forced to scale back even more. The 200m Free and 200m Backstroke on Thursday are probably his best shots at making the team.
The 400m IM is a grueling race, and one can only hope the injury doesn’t cost him too much later in the week.
Missy makes her debut
Missy Franklin is expected make her trials debut today in the Women’s 100m Backstroke. She’s the American record holder in the event, and enters with the second fastest qualifying time, trailing only multi-time Olympian Natalie Coughlin.
Six swimmers in the field have seed times of under 1:00. Prelims hit the pool at 10 a.m., with semifinals Monday night.
The big guns come out
While it remains to be seen how many will actually start the race, all the big names on the men’s side are qualified for the 200m Freestyle.
Ryan Lochte leads the pack with a seed time of 1:45:36, but what toll the groin injury could take remains to be seen. A member of his camp told Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports that he plans to swim in this event.
This is also likely the event where Michael Phelps will make his trials debut. He holds the American record at 1:42:96, but enters with just the 12th fastest seed time at 1:48:21.
Katie Ledecky starts her Olympic quest
Expect Katie Ledecky to hit the pool for the first time in the Women’s 400m Freestyle. She holds the world and American records in the event at 3:58:37.
She’s a heavy favorite, entering with the best seed time by nearly five seconds.