Monday, July 9, 2012

Final Thoughts On US Trials

A little overdue I will admit but never too late to review the US Olympic Trials.


Lochte, Phelps, Franklin... The big 3 names going into the US Trials came out unscathed and nothing injuring their status heading to London.

Schmitt & Vollmer...  Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer came into the US Trials as well established names to the informed swimming public but after dazzling performances in the mid-distance freestyles from Schmitt and the valid world record pursuit in the 100FL from Vollmer these two ladies stood out as emerging stars.

Gregg Troy...  Troy's program down in Gainsville is kicking ass, with names like Lochte, Beisel, Vanderkaay, and Dwyer making the US team (and some of them on multiple occassions).  The US Olympic team is covered with swimmers from well defined high performance swimming centers and none looked as consistently strong as those training with Troy.

Matt Grevers... B-E-A-S-T!  Stepped up and straight took the 100BK away from a lot of big names like Lochte, Thoman, Plummer, and others.

Anthony Ervin...  The man with the comeback that came to fruition.  Others tried and failed but Ervin showed that time and age have not slowed the enigmatic Californian sprinter who will be a medal contender for the 50FR in London, 12 years after his golden performance in Sydney.

NBC Sports... what fantastic coverage from the guys at NBC.  Pitch perfect, insightful, a big step forward for swimming on television.  Perhaps this view is enhanced by the absolutely amateur coverage of swimming from SportsNet in Canada but after careful thought NBC's coverage is maturing and getting better while swimming coverage changing hands from CBC to SportsNet has been an awful step back for Canadian coverage.


Katie Hoff...  Time for some soul searching after a disasterous Trials and failing to make the US Olympic team.  Olympic glory was never meant to be for Hoff who was once what Missy Franklin is primed to become.

FAST Swim Team... yes, they put Tyler Clary and Katie Ziegler on the team but a couple years ago FAST was "THE" place to be and now... a good team but not what some might thought they could have become.

Dara Torres & Janet Evans... tough to call them "losers", Evans (40) was never really in the fight for an Olympic spot and Torres (45) came amazingly close but neither will be in London.  These two ladies are amazing for how good they still are and we should celebrate them for attempting to do what so many former swimmers talk about but do not have the moxie to do, which is put it on the line and give it one last shot at Olympic glory.

Men's Freestyle Swimming... a quick look at the Olympic landscape the American men look remarkably weaker then usual.  Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin are early medal threats and so too is Ryan Lochte in the 200FR but in the 100, 400, and 1500 the Americans are going to need big swims to get towards the podium.  This bodes poorly for the freestyle relays too where the Americans love to win those relays... it's going to be a tough road ahead.