US Olympic trials for swimming

Since there’s already a thread on Track & Field I figured I’d start one for swimming which starts today, June 25 and runs through July 2.

You can find the TV schedule here, though it seems to be every night from 8-9 on NBC for finals and the prelims will be on NBC Sports.

Phelps is swimming, in order of psych sheets, 400 IM, 200 Free, 200 Fly, 100 Free, 200 Back, 200 IM and 100 Fly. Should he make them all that means he could get 10 medals with the three relays. I don’t think he’ll make the 100 free, though he is seeded 2nd.

Ryan Lochte is swimming the 400 IM, 400 Free, though seeded 31st, 100 Breast, seeded 26th, 200 Free, 100 Back, 200 Fly, seeded 99th!, 100 Free, 200 Back, 200 IM, 50 Free, seeded 111th and 100 Fly. That’s 11 events right there. I wonder why he’s doing that.

I don’t keep up with too many other people, though Janet Evans is coming back for the 400 and 800 Free.

Hopefully there will be some interest in the swimming, there’s going to be some good swims between Phelps and Lochte.

There are too many swimming events IMO. The fact that Phelps has like two dozen medals for doing the same thing in a slightly different manner kinda mitigates his greatness IMO.

That’s a bit like saying there’s too many track and field events. The 100 meter dash is nowhere near the same as the 100 hurdles. The 100 fly is nowhere near the same as the 100 back, or even the free for that matter. That’s also why you don’t see people doing the 100 free and the 1500 free, they are different races, they just happen to be in the pool.

That’s what makes someone like Phelps or Lochte great, it would be like there being a runner who could win the 100, 200, 400, 800 and hurdle events in a week or so. I don’t know of anyone who’s done it and I don’t even know of anyone who’s tried.

Yeah, just because you’re good at one distance and/or stroke doesn’t mean you’re good in every distance/stroke.

Lochte pulled out of the 400 free. Today’s results are here. The 400 IM and 400 free finals are set up for tonight.

Can’t wait to see if Dara Torres, Amanda Beard, and Janet Evans make the team!

But the fact that there people like Phelps who are good at many events does seem to indicate that there isn’t as much differentiation between them, compared to the track events.

There’s only a handful, and doing all four at world class and even world record class there is only one. Most people do all of one or two events though they may try others. I’ll bet that you could get a hurdler to switch to being a straight runner faster then you could get a free stylist going to breast stroke.

I would think that if some track athletes tried doing two or more different events there would be a few trying out multiple events. I just don’t think people are encouraged to do it though.

Total number of men’s swimming events at the Olympics (including medleys and relays) = 17

Total number of men’s running/walking events at the Olympics (including relays, hurdles, steeplechase and 2 walking events) = 15

Seems about equal to me.

Just so everyone knows. The finals are live on the east coast and delayed on the west so lets not spoil anything for a couple of hours for those that maybe waiting.

Watching Lochte and Phelps was great, seeing them do their thing in London will be awesome!

Beisel did a terrific job, I think she’s one to watch.

That was a great 400 free race too. I couldn’t believe there were 4-5 guys that close near the end. I hope there are a lot of races like that at the Olympics.

That’s kinda the point though. But I suppose that is a rant for a another thread.

I’m a former competitive swimmer. Certainly not world class, nor even great. I was good in high school, and probably could have swum in college, but I didn’t.

The thing with swimming is that the four strokes aren’t a little different, they have completely different mechanics for each of them. Pretty much all swimmers have a competent freestyle, and all of the elite swimmers CAN swim all four strokes, and probably all four relatively well, but very, very, very few can swim all four strokes equally well. Even world class IMers (individual medley) are not generally world-class in all four strokes. Phelps is an amazing freestyle and butterfly swimmer, and does very well in backstroke, but he would not win a medal in the breaststroke events, even at his peak.

I was a very good breaststroker. (I generally placed first or second in meets and was the 4th fastest in our school history when I left) I was also a pretty darn fast butterflyer, but I couldn’t keep the speed up very long. I was good for a 50 fly, but even the 100 fly would have me fall off too much the final 50 to really be worth a darn, but I swam Fly in the medley relay on occasion, and I swam the 200 IM for a few years. My freestyle was good, but not great (usually good for 2nds and 3rds in individual meets).

My backstroke was abysmal. I was one of the few IMers whose breaststroke leg usually was faster than the backstroke leg. :slight_smile:

I guess the whole point is that the mechanics in the four strokes are so different that they really do need their own events. It’s even more different than sprinting to hurdles or the like…I mean, the mechanics of running are generally very similar, it’s not like a two legged hop is an efficient means of propelling one over ground, while all four strokes in swimming can be fast. Breaststroke is the slowest, but it’s also one of the most common means of swimming for anyone, though most recreational swimmers don’t really swim it correctly.

They did make one mistake concerning qualifying. Although it is possible for the third through sixth-place swimmers in the 100 free and 200 free to qualify for the appropriate relay team, only the top four are guaranteed.

There are two rules in play:
First, only 26 men and 26 women can qualify for USA swimming for the Olympics;
Second, only 12 men and women combined can qualify as “relay-only” swimmers.
(Note that the 4x100 Medley relay will have its swimmers chosen in London from those who have already qualified in other events.)
The priority is:
(a) Event winners
(b) Second, Third, and Fourth in 100 free and 200 free
© Second in other events
(d) Fifth in 100 free and 200 free
(e) Sixth in 100 free and 200 free
If adding everybody in ©, (d), or (e) would cause either the 26-per-gender or 12-relay-only limit to be exceeded, priority is based on the swimmers’ world rankings.

Notice that, theoretically, it is possible for someone to finish second in an event and not make the Olympic team, if there are more than 26 swimmers of that gender who finished first or second (or, in the 100 free and 200 free, third or fourth). However, this would be a problem only if there were no more than three swimmers who “qualified” in two or more events, or one qualifying in three events and one qualifying in two.

Also note that USA Swimming had its act together in one place where USA Track & Field did not; there was already a procedure for handling ties (in a two-way tie for first, both swimmers qualify; otherwise, a swim-off is necessary).

So far the best races have been the 200s. Should make for some great Olympic races.

When I was swimming competitively, my freestyle was my fastest stroke, which isn’t weird. My breaststroke and butterfly were shitty, but my backstroke was very strong until my backstroke started getting faster than my freestyle. I also did better with longer distances. To my dismay, I’d always get put in the 500 or 1650, which got boring, swimming in a race for 44/22 laps.