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Cal Bears at USA Swimming Olympic Trail Day 4 Recap and Day 5 Preview

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Two more Golden Bears have punched their tickets to Rio on Wednesday night. Congratulations to Missy Franklin and Tom Shields. Five more Golden Bears (Prenot in 200 Breast, Adrian, Ervin, Copeland in 100 Free, McLaughlin in 200 Fly) can make the U.S. Olympic squad on Thursday night.

Nathan Adrian will race for the opportunity to repeat as 100 Free Gold medalist in Rio on Thursday night.
Nathan Adrian will race for the opportunity to repeat as 100 Free Gold medalist in Rio on Thursday night.
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Day 4 (Wednesday) Finals Recap (Semi recap are in previews for today's finals below):

Two (and it will likely be three, to be confirmed later) Golden Bears made the U.S. Swimming delegation to the Rio Olympics on Wednesday night.

Missy Franklin and Tom Shields have confirmed spots to Rio. Cierra Runge will have to wait until later but has likely also earned a spot on the relay.

*******

Women's 200m Free - Final

If you watch the NBC coverage of the U.S. Swimming trials, much has been made about Missy's disappointing week so far. Actually, since Missy turned pro and then decided to train back in Colorado, she had not been having the same success. Much of her good but not great performance had been attributed to a back problem, but concerns about her new responsibilities to her sponsors had been mentioned here and there.

With a tempered expectation, it was great to see Missy Franklin not just making the U.S. Olympic team but also earning that coveted 2nd individual spot in the 200 Free.

A great front runner in the last Olympics, it was great to see Missy being able to dig deep and fight her way onto the U.S. squad in this 200 Free race. She even gave Katie Ledecky a scare in the last 50 meters.

Franklin still has her signature 200 Back event left, as well as the 100 Free that is always kind of a crapshoot since the field is so tightly bunched.

Finishing in 5th place is former Cal teammate of Missy Franklin in Cierra Runge (yes, we will still claim her despite she deciding to transfer to Wisconsin after taking 2016 off to concentrate on the Olympics). While the 5th and 6th place finishers are not guaranteed a spot on the relay, they almost always will make the squad.

Finishing at the end of the close field is Cal sophomore Katie McLaughlin. McLaughlin is getting stronger and stronger as she shows that she has fully recovered from the January neck injury while training with the rest of the Cal women's swimming team in Hawaii. The talented sophomore missed both the Pac-12 and NCAA championships. Katie still got more chances to go to Rio (see 200 Fly results below).

Race Results:

  1. Katie Ledecky (1:54.88)
  2. Missy Franklin (1:56.18)
  3. Leah Smith (1:56.63)
  4. Allison Schmitt (1:56.72)
  5. Cierra Runge (1:57.16)
  6. Melanie Margalis (1:57.65
  7. Simone Manuel (1:57.84)
  8. Katie McLaughlin (1:57.84)

Men's 200m Fly - Final

While the NBC coverage skewed a bit heavy on the Michael Phelps side of things, it was also a great moment for Cal alum Tom Shields to make his first Olympics games. Shields fell just short in the 2012 Olympic Trial, before he finally became a regular member of Team USA in World Championships the following year.

While he is even more of a favorite in the 100 Fly, this 200 Fly final was a two men race between Phelps and Shields.

Tom held off the more experienced Jack Conger to become a brand new Calympian.

Cal sophomore Andrew Seliskar probably set more records for his age group but would have to wait until the 2020 Olympic to likely make the squad.

Race Results:

  1. Michael Phelps (1:54.84)
  2. Tom Shields (1:55.81)
  3. Jack Conger (1:56.45)
  4. Gunnar Bentz (1:56.46)
  5. Chase Kalisz (1:56.64)
  6. Pace Clark (1:56.66)
  7. Zach Harting (1:56.92)
  8. Andrew Seliskar (1:58.34)

Women's 200m IM - Final

Unfortunately, a high profile Calympian will not be going to Rio. Cal alum Caitlin Leverenz, the bronze medalist in 200 IM in London, just missed out on a spot to Rio by 0.05 seconds. Leverenz should have one more chance (should she decide to go at it) at an Olympic in her prime.

Race Results:

  1. Maya DiRado (2:09.54)
  2. Melanie Margalis (2:10.11)
  3. Caitlin Leverenz (2:10.16)
  4. Madisyn Cox (2:11.24)
  5. Ella Eastin (2:11.49)
  6. Bethany Galat (2:12.82)
  7. Meghan Small (2:13.31)
  8. Emily Cameron (2:14.16)

Day 5 Events:

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

For all of today's finals with the exception of Men's and Women's 100 Free, only the top 2 swimmers will make the U.S. Olympic team. The top 6 swimmers in 100 Free will make the Rio games (although only the top 4 has immediately qualified).

Link to Day Five 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 200m Breast - Final

Recent Cal grduate Josh Prenot has another shot to reach the Olympics for the first time. Prenot finished 3rd in the 400 IM earlier on the week, but the 200 Breast is his better event. Prenot, who is the 4th seed in the 200 IM has decided to drop that event (prelim and semifinal today) to concentrate on the 200 Breast final.

While Kevin Cordes rewrote the U.S. National record in the semfinal on Wednesday night, Prenot finished 2nd in the event.

Women's 100m Free - Semifinal

SwimSwam preview of this event

A notable Cal related scratch is sophomore Amy Bilquist.

Nevertheless, tons of Cal swimmers are in this event (where the top 6 goes to Rio). Kristen Vredeveld, Rachel Bootsma, Rachael Acker, Dana Vollmer, Natalie Coughlin, Katie McLaughlin, Abbey Weitzeil, Elizabeth Pelton, Jessica Hardy, Madison Kennedy, and Missy Franklin will all race in this event.

Should Natalie Coughlin be able to make her 4th Olympics, it would be either this event or the 50 Free, with more berths from the 100 free due to the relay implications.

Another U.S. Swimming vet and Cal alum looking for her last chance to make the squad in 2016 is Jessica Hardy, after she missed out on 100 Breast.

Incoming Cal Bear Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer, Natalie Coughlin and a now rejuvenated Missy Franklin are probably the best bets to make the team from this event, but obviously there are rooms for even more Bears.

Men's 200m Back - Semifinal

Cal senior Ryan Murphy is the favorite to win the 200 Back along with earlier 100 Back win. His teammate and recent Cal graduate Jacob Pebley should be a stronger contender for this event as well. Pebley finished 4th in 100 Back. He would have to best vet Tyler Clary in the process, most likely.

Jesse Ryckman and Mike Thomas are also in this event.

Women's 200m Fly - Final

Cal sophomore Katie McLaughlin has qualified for the final of this event. Missing both the Pac-12 and NCAA championships due to a neck injury in January, McLaughlin has been a wildcard in this trial. McLaughlin has posted the 2nd best U.S. time in this event in the past four years, but people were not sure if she is healthy.

So far, McLaughlin has surprised by making the final of 200 Free. This is her better event.

McLaughlin finished 6th in the semfinal and would have to beat out one of the favorites like one of Cammile Adams (who was DQ'ed in the prelim and then saw that decision overturned) and Kelsi Worrell.

Men's 100m Free - Final

Nathan Adrian started his U.S. Olympic Trial on Wednesday in the 100 Free prelim. After winning this event in London, Adrian has rightfully earned a lot of attention from the NBC broadcast. He has maintained his dominance in this event, in the U.S. at least, and will likely be more challenged by the international competition in Rio than tonight.

Also in the mix is Cal alum Anthony Ervin, who has recently released a memoir Chasing Water. Ervin, looking for his 3rd Olympic berth, finished 5th in the semfinal. Also in the mix is another Cal alum in William Copeland who got the 6th best time in the semifinal.

Women's 200m Breast - Semifinal

Swimswam preview of this event

With Jessica Hardy concentrating on the 100 Free, no prominent Cal affiliate is racing in this event.

Maija Roses is the only familiar name that I see on the heat sheet, but I may have left out an incoming Bear.

Men's 200m IM - Semifinal

Swimswam preview of this event

Like I have mentioned above, Josh Prenot will NOT be pushing for the double of 200 Breast and 200 IM. While the NBC coverage will surely focus on Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, young Cal sophomore Andrew Seliskar is perhaps the future for Team U.S.A. in this event. Seliskar may surprise folks in this event.

Cal alum Adam Hinshaw will also swim in this event. He's good enough to make the semifinals but would be a surprise to advance beyond that.

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
  • Missy Franklin - 2nd Olympic game (2012, 2016) 200 Free
  • Tom Shields - 1st Olympic game (2016) 200 Fly

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

GO BEARS!