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Cal Bears at USA Swimming Olympic Trail Day 3 Recap and Day 4 Preview

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Two more Golden Bears (and current Cal student-athletes) - Ryan Murphy and Kathleen Baker have made the U.S. Olympic Swimming team for the first time. 6 Bears (Franklin, Runge, McLaughlin, Shield, Seliskar, and Leverenz) have made Wednesday night finals.

It's a mild surprise that Missy Franklin has yet to qualify for the Rio game. She's got her 2nd shot tonight in 200 Free.
It's a mild surprise that Missy Franklin has yet to qualify for the Rio game. She's got her 2nd shot tonight in 200 Free.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Day 3 (Tuesday) Recap:

Congratulations to Ryan Murphy and Kathleen Baker for being first time Calympians! Both of the current Cal student-athletes qualified via the 100 Back, besting other Cal Golden Bears in the process.

Men's 200m Free - Final

This was a rare event in this U.S. Swim Trial that Cal fans can take a break from.

Women's 100m Back - Final

Despite being the crowd favorite, Natalie Coughlin will have to wait for the sprint events - 50 free and 100 free for her shot to make her 4th Olympic games.

With half of the final being Golden Bears, it was sophomore Kathleen Baker who edged fellow sophomore Amy Bilquist to make the U.S. Olympic squad along with Georgia's Olivia Smoliga.

Somewhat disappointingly, Missy Franklin finished 7th. Both Missy (who still owns the American record in this event) and Natalie couldn't break the 1 minute barrier. Missy in 2012 and Natalie in 2008 and 2004 owns the last 3 Olympic golds in women's 100 Back.

Missy Franklin still has a good shot to make the team in 200 Free and 200 Back. Natalie Coughlin has concentrated on the sprint events for a few years since 2012, before deciding to give her old signature event - 100 back, a try as well last year.

Men's 100m Back - Final

After owning the 100 Back in NCAA for the past three years, Cal senior Ryan Murphy won the 100 Back on Tuesday night to book his spot on the US delegation to Rio in a month. Murphy, who is also the favorite to win 200 Back, edged David Plummer by 0.02 second for the win. Recent Cal graduate Jacob Pebley ends up finishing 4th in a very close race. Pebley has a bit better shot of making the squad in 200 Back.

Women's 100m Breast - Final

Despite being one of the top breaststroker between 2012 and 2016, Jessica Hardy will once again not make the 100 Breast event in the Olympic. Hardy finished 6th in the 100 Breast final behind a couple of youngsters who qualified for Rio.

Hardy also has the sprint events (50 free and 100 free) to make a return to the Olympic games.

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List of Cal Bears' times from CalBears.com (again, CalBears.com just doesn't list Jessica Hardy updates even though she's an alum):

Night Session

  • Women’s 200-meter freestyle semifinal – 4. Missy Franklin 1:57.33; 8. Katie McLaughlin 1:58.43
  • Women’s 100-meter backstroke final – 2. Kathleen Baker 59.29; 3. Amy Bilquist 59.37; 7. Missy Franklin 1:00.24; 8. Natalie Coughlin 1:00.48
  • Men’s 100-meter backstroke final – 1. Ryan Murphy 52.26; 4. Jacob Pebley 52.95
  • Men’s 200-meter butterfly semifinal – 3. Tom Shields 1:56.35; 8. Andrew Seliskar 1:57.10; 13. Adam Hinshaw 1:58.09
  • Women’s 200-meter individual medley semifinal – 4. Caitlin Leverenz 2:11.42; 13. Celina Li 2:14.66

Prelims

  • Women’s 200-meter freestyle – T7. Missy Franklin 1:58.61; 14. Katie McLaughlin 1:59.76; 25. Abbey Weitzeil 2:00.57; 51 Elizabeth Pelton 2:02.36; T53. Melanie Klaren 2:02.50; 82. Rachael Acker 2:04.03
  • Men’s 200-meter butterfly – 8. Adam Hinshaw 1:57.60; 10. Andrew Seliskar 1:57.77; 12. Tom Shields 1:57.96; 36. Mike Thomas 2:01.16; 53. Justin Lynch 2:02.40
  • Women’s 200-meter individual medley – 2. Caitlin Leverenz 2:11.89; 15. Celina Li 2:15.60; 60. Maija Roses 2:18.92; 68. Keaton Blovad 2:19.71

Day 4 Events:

Men's 100m Free - Semifinal
Women's 200m Free - Final
Men's 200m Fly - Final
Women's 200m Fly - Semifinal
Men's 200m Breast - Semifinal
Women's 200m IM - Final

For all of today's finals with the exception of Women's 200 Free, only the top 2 swimmers will make the U.S. Olympic team. The top 6 swimmers in Women's 200 Free will make the Rio games.

Link to Day Four Heat Sheet (please let me know in the comments if there are other Cal swimmers that I missed)

Viewing Info:

Prelims: 8 AM PT (LIVE on NBC Sports App/Live Stream)

Prelims tape delayed on TV: 3:30 PM PT on NBC Sports Network

Finals: 5 PM PT on NBC

Results: USA Swimming site has links to the corresponding Omega time sheets

CGB overall preview of the 2016 USA Swim Olympic Trials (6/26 - 7/3)

*****

Men's 100m Free - Semifinal

SwimSwam preview of this event

Nathan Adrian's quest to repeat as 100 Free gold medalist starts on Wednesday morning. The top seed coming into this event, Adrian, who can be found in the upcoming ESPN the Magazine The Body issue, is the favorite to break the streak of no repeat winner, thus far, between the 2012 and 2016 swim trials.

Tom Shields and Ryan Murphy have scratched this event. Several other Golden Bears are still in the mix, however. Kyle Coan, Trent Williams, Seth Stubblefield, Justin Lynch, and Anthony Ervin will also race in this event.

Recent graduate Stubblefield and junior Lynch have outside chances to make the semifinals tonight. Anthony Ervin, who is now training down at USC, should be able to make the final, despite some poor results recently. Seeking his 3rd Olympics, Ervin has been a bit stronger in the 50 Free than the 100 Free lately.

Mere fraction of a second will decide who can make the final tomorrow.

Women's 200m Free - Final

On Tuesday night, all 3 Golden Bears who made the 200 Free semifinal managed to advance. Missy Franklin (4th), Cierra Runge (7th), and Katie McLaughlin (8th) have qualified for the final tonight. The top 6 in this event will earn a spot on the Olympic team.

I would be shocked if Missy doesn't at least make the relay squad in this event. Katie Ledecky has looked quite strong, but a vintage Missy Franklin (which we have yet to see so far) may be able to challenge Ledecky for the win.

Expecting to be in her prime, Missy Franklin has yet to perform up to her lofty level in the past year since turning pro. I still remember Missy dominating this event at the NCAA in 2015. In addition to this event, Franklin is a favorite for the 200 Back and will swim in 100 Free. Maybe the surprising 100 Back miss will fuel her in these other events.

Men's 200m Fly - Final

Two Golden Bears will be in the mix for the 200 Fly final tonight. Tom Shields' 2nd best shot (behind 100 Fly) to make the Olympic squad is probably this event. Shields finished 3rd in the semifinal behind Michael Phelps (1.18 second behind) and Pace Clark (0.08 second behind).

Also making it to the final is Cal sophomore Andrew Seliskar, who should continue to become stronger and be a future Calympian even if he falls short this year.

Women's 200m Fly - Semifinal

SwimSwam preview of this event

Katie McLaughlin and Celina Li are the lone Golden Bears in this event. Interestingly, top current Cal butterfliers in Farida Osman (Egypt) and Noemie Thomas (Canada) will be Calympians for other countries.

McLaughlin, Cal sophomore who missed the bulk of the season due to a neck injury, actually has the 2nd best seed time in this event. Her performances in other events so far has shown that she's healthy.

Men's 200m Breast - Semifinal

SwimSwam preview of this event

After falling just short of qualifying by placing 3rd in the 100 Breast, Cal just grad Josh Prenot has his best shot to make the squad in 200 Breast.

Other Golden Bears in this event include Nick Silverthorn, Carson Sand, Hunter Cobleigh, Andrew Seliskar, Sean Mahoney and Chuck Katis.

Prenot (of course), Seliskar, Katis, and Mahoney are all capable of making the semifinals tonight.

Women's 200m IM - Final

Two Bears made the semifinals but only Caitlin Leverenz made the final (with a 4th place finish in the semifinals). Celina Li finished 14th in the semi. 200 IM is Leverenz's best chance to repeat as Calympian. She had finished 5th in the 400 IM after representing USA in both 200 and 400 IM for the London 2012 games.

2016 U.S. Swimming Calympians (and events)

  • Dana Vollmer - 3rd Olympic game (2004, 2012, 2016) 100 Fly
  • Ryan Murphy - 1st Olympic game (2016) 100 Back
  • Kathleen Baker - 1st Olympic game (2016) 100 Back

Best of luck to all of the Golden Bears racing today.

GO BEARS!