2012 Olympic Trials: Day 6 Prelims Report
Here are some notes from prelims on day 6. The top 16 swimmers from each event will go on to swim in tonight’s semifinals:
Men’s 50m Freestyle
The big story coming out of the prelims of the men’s 50m freestyle is Anthony Ervin’s top-seed qualifying time of 21.83.
Ervin, who tied for gold in this event at the 2000 Olympic Games with teammate Gary Hall Jr., retired from the sport in 2003 at the age of 22. Now in the culmination of his comeback bid, Ervin’s time Saturday morning was faster than his gold medal time of 21.98 at the Olympics 12 years ago.
“I wanted to believe I had it in me, but I didn’t know,” Ervin said. “Hopefully I have a couple more in me.”
One night after qualifying for the team in the 100 free, Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones are second and third seeds in the 50 in 22.06 and 22.09.
Women’s 800m Freestyle
The legendary Janet Evans swam her last Olympic Trials race this morning in the women’s 800m freestyle, capping a two-year comeback to the sport at the age of 40. She finished 53rd in the field with a time of 9:01.59.
Evans said she signed her retirement papers immediately after the race. Even after this, her second retirement, Evans’s American record in this event still stands at 8:16.22. It was set back in 1989. She also still holds the U.S. Open and the U.S. National meet records of 8:17.12, which she set in 1988. She won 45 U.S. National titles over the course of her career.
“I’m proud of doing it,” Evans said of her comeback. “I’m proud of the courage to try. Just getting out of bed every morning and no giving up – I could have slept in every morning, but I got up and did it. I’m proud of that. It became something bigger than making the Olympic Team.”
The finals of the women’s 800 free will be swum in Sunday night’s session, giving the swimmers a chance to rest overnight. Kate Ziegler, Katie Ledecky and Gillian Ryan are the top three seeds in 8:27.61, 8:27.91 and 8:28.99.
Men’s 100m Butterfly
Few surprises in Michael Phelps and Tyler McGill qualifying as the top two seeds of the men’s 100m butterfly with times of 51.80 and 51.87. The two have been the U.S.’s top swimmers in this event since the 2009 World Championships, and won gold and bronze at the 2011 World Champs. Davis Tarwater qualified third in 52.13.
Phelps will be swimming a double tonight in these semifinals and the finals of the 200 IM.
“The biggest thing was to make sure I got in the second heat tonight so I have that extra three minutes of rest,” Phelps said. “I’m happy with it. It’s probably my fastest morning swim ever.”
Ryan Lochte raised some eyebrows qualifying sixth in 52.21. If Lochte decides to swim in the semifinals tonight, he will be doing an unprecedented triple, first swimming in the finals of the grueling 200 backstroke and 200 IM.
Women’s 200m Backstroke
Missy Franklin is the No. 1 seed after prelims of the 200 back, turning in a time of 2:08.36. Franklin is the American record-holder and defending world champion in the 200 back. She has already qualified for the team in three events and set the American record in the 100 back on the third night of competition. Elizabeth Pelton and Elizabeth Beisel round out the top 3 seeds in 2:08.89 and 2:09.36.
For more information about the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, including complete results, go to www.usaswimming.org/trials. Also, follow all the action from Trials on your mobile device with DeckPass Plus, available now for your iPad, iPhone or Android.