The U.S. Olympic Team Trials is one of the premier events in all of sports. It’s considered one of the fastest and most competitive swim meets in the world. The Trials will be held June 26-July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska. This event serves as the ONLY selection meet for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the pool. Below are our top 10 races of the meet:
10) Men’s 100m Butterfly
3x defending Gold Medalist Michael Phelps faces off against a stacked field of 100m butterfly specialists. The race comes down to the touch, and the first 4 finishers posted world-ranking times. 51.2 is no joke, but just short of making the team for Rio!
9) Women’s 50m Freestyle
Abbey Weitzeil stole the show in the women’s sprint freestyle events at trials. Winning both the 50 and 100 freestyle in impressive fashion. The soon to be Cal Golden Bear is a medal threat in Rio in this event.
8) Men’s 50m Freestyle
Nathan Adrian showed why he’s the best American sprinter winning both the 50 and 100 freestyle races. Like Weitzeil, Adrian will be a medal threat in both sprints. Anthony Ervin joins as the oldest member of team USA (at age 35). Ervin is the Gold Medalist in this event from the 2000 Olympics where he was only 19 years of age.
7) Women’s 200m Individual Medley
Maya Dirado emerged as a stud in the meet winning this event, the 400 Individual Medley, and the 200 Backstroke.
6) Women’s 200m Backstroke
Missy Franklin proved why she’s a serious medal contender in this event, but settled for second behind Dirado. Franklin will have a chance to defend her Gold medal from London.
5) Women’s 100m Butterfly
The showdown between defending Olympic Gold Medalist Dana Vollmer and rising star Kelsi Worrell is great. They’ll both be Gold Medal contenders in Rio.
4) Men’s 200m Breaststroke
One of the most exciting races of the entire competition came in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke, where Kevin Cordes (winner of the 100 Breaststroke) was under World Record pace the first 150 meters in both the preliminary and semi-final races. Josh Prenot stole the show with a lightening fast final 50 to pass Cordes and Will Licon. He established a new American and U.S. Open Record – just shy of the World Record!
3) Women’s 400m Freestyle
Katie Ledecky is a beast! She was under world record split the first 350 meters of the race and just fell short at the touch. She’s dominated this race and the 800 for the last 4 years, and we expect her to put on a show in Rio!
2) Men’s 100m Backstroke
Thought to be one of the most competitive events at these trials, this Men’s 100m Backstroke featured rising stars Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, multi-time Olympian and defending Gold Medalist Matt Grevers, and veteran (and now first-time Olympian) David Plummer. Ryan Murphy and David Plummer could both break the World Record in Rio, and will be serious medal contenders in the event!
1) Men’s 200m Individual Medley
“The greatest rivalry the sport has ever seen” – Dan Hicks on Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Between them, 10 of the fastest performances in history. 5 to Lochte, 5 to Phelps. Michael Phelps is the 3x defending Gold Medalist. Ryan Lochte is the World Record Holder. Looking forward to watching these two battle in Rio!