U.S. Olympic Swim Trials: Day 5 preview

What to watch for Thursday
Posted at 10:31 AM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 11:31:19-04

What to watch for Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. 


Schedule of Events: 


Prelims – 10 a.m.
Women’s 100m Free

Men’s 200m Back

Women’s 200m Breast

Men’s 200m IM                        


Finals - 6:45 p.m.

Men’s 200 Breast - FINAL

Women’s 100m Free - Semifinal

Men’s 200m Back - Semifinal

Women’s 200 Fly - FINAL

Men’s 100m Free - FINAL

Men’s 200 IM - Semifinal

Women’s 200 Breast - Semifinal


Recapping Wednesday night


It was a good night for some of the big names in swimming, with both Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky winning their respective events. 


Phelps secured his record fifth Olympic berth with a win the 200m Fly. He joins Dara Torres as the only American swimmers to qualify for five Olympic teams, and the first male to accomplish the feat. Phelps bettered Tom Shields by just under one second to capture the win. 


After the race, Phelps told reporters it wasn’t as easy for him as what it might have looked. “That was probably harder than any swim I've had in my life,” said Phelps. “I didn't feel good the first two swims and didn't really feel that good tonight, but getting on the team was the most important thing, and that's the only thing I had to do tonight. So I tried to take it out and prayed to God that I was going to hang on.”


Ledecky was equally as impressive in the Women’s 200m Free. She posted a time of 1:54.88, just under two seconds off the world record, held by Federica Pellegrini of Italy. She was asked about potentially chasing the world record after the race, saying ““I know what it is, and I’d like to go as close as I can to it. But that’s a tough one, and I’ll just be happy to get faster, and I think the main goal this year is just getting into that race and racing. It’s all about racing, this event.”


Perhaps the biggest winner of the night was Missy Franklin, who finished second behind Ledecky in the 200m Free. It secures a spot on the Olympic team for Franklin, who looked unimpressive Tuesday night in the 100m Backstroke. 


“That was probably the most proud race of my entire career,” said Franklin. “I was telling myself (Tuesday night) I’m not done fighting.”


Now that she’s officially made the Olympic team, expect Franklin to have a solid rest of the week. She seemed to be under a lot of pressure early on, and there should be significant weight lifted from her shoulders. The 100m Free and 200m Backstroke have the potential to be big events for Franklin. 


Maya DiRado managed to make it a clean sweep in the Women’s IM events, capturing the title in the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.54. She held off a hard charging Melanie Margalis, who swam a 30.26 freestyle leg to out-touch Caitlin Leverenz. 


Big field Thursday in Men’s 200 IM


Among the expected starters in the event are world record holder Ryan Lochte (1:54.00) and Michael Phelps. There will be plenty of attention on Lochte, who continues to recover from a groin injury. The breaststroke leg could be particularly painful for Lochte, where it appeared to cost him significant time in the 400 IM earlier this week. 


Phelps enters with the top seed time in the event at 1:54.75. Given how close he is to the world record mark, it’s fair to question if he’ll challenge it at some point this summer, whether in Omaha or down the road in Rio. Phelps hasn’t been thrilled with how he’d swam so far in these trials, so this race could be his breakout moment. 


Nathan Adrian leads 100m Freestyle field


Defending Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian is the top seed entering the final of the Men’s 100m Freestyle Thursday night. He’s also he American record holder in the 50m Freestyle, and one of the top sprinters in the U.S. camp. 


35-year old veteran Anthony Ervin is also in the finals field. Ervin won gold in the 50m Freestyle (tied w/ fellow American Gary Hall, Jr.) at the 2000 Sydney games, before taking an extended layoff from swimming prior to mounting a comeback in 2012. He’ll need a top four finish to ensure a spot on the 2016 team, although a top six finish will likely earn him spot in Rio. 


So wait, is it top four that qualify in each event, or top two, or top six…? 


In case you missed this from yesterday: 


How do swimmers qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Swimming? 

The USA Swimming Athlete Selection Procedures (pool) for the 2016 Olympic Games are posted on and outline the official qualifying procedures for athletes vying to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. 

Here is an explanation of how the roster is filled: 

1. Athletes must qualify for and compete at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Swimming, held June 26-July 3, in Omaha, Nebraska. If athletes don’t compete here, they cannot make the Olympic Team in the pool events. The open water athletes were selected based on top-10 finishes at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. 

2. Swimmers who finish in the top four of the 100- and 200-meter freestyle at Trials, along 

with the first-place finishers in all other events are named to the team first, provided they have achieved a FINA Olympic qualifying time standard. 

3. A maximum of 26 men and 26 women can be named to the Olympic Team, so the second-place finishers in each of the other events will be added to the team in a priority order based on an integrated world ranking from 2015 and 2016 until the cap of 26 is reached. 

4. If, after adding the second-place finishers from each of the other events there is still room on the team, the fifth-place finishers from the 100 and 200m free are added (using the same world ranking as listed in #3 above). 

5. If, after adding the fifth-place finishers from the 100m and 200m free there is still room on the team, the sixth place finishers from the 100m and 200m free are added. 

For your average spectator, that’s really all there is to know. Since the Olympic Trials have taken on this format, the top six swimmers in the 100m and 200m free, along with the top two swimmers in each of the other events, have made the U.S. Olympic Team for every Olympic Games. 

The terms and conditions of the official written selection procedures available online shall take priority over any verbal explanation, clari cation or interpretation of the selection procedures.