Omaha, Neb. ——Dana Vollmer got the first women's race, the 100-meter butterfly, off to a blazing start, setting a U.S. Open and trials record in the preliminaries with a 56.59-second finish. It lasted only until the semi-finals Monday night, when it was broken by a 56.42 finish by … Dana Vollmer.
Elizabeth Beisel won the women's 400-meter individual medley with the 10th fastest ever time of 4 minutes 31.78 seconds. Katie Hoff, who formerly trained at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, still holds the world record of 4:31.12, which she set at the 2008 trials. She bowed out of the event this time around, opting to focus on freestyle events.
Maryland well represented
Swimmers from Maryland had a busy first day at the Olympic qualifying trials. Rising Loyola senior Brennan Morris entered the 400-meter individual medley but was disqualified. North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmers Kevin Webster and Austin Surhoff also entered but didn't make the finals, although their teammates, a guy named Michael Phelps and Chase Kalisz did. Navy simmer Justin Vagts also swam in the prelims but not the finals.
NBAC swimmer Felicia Lee and University of Maryland swimmers Ann Fittin and Megan Lafferty competed in the 100 fly but didn't make the semi-finals, although Lafferty came close, tying for 20th. Lafferty came in 20th in a race that required a swim-off for the final spot in the semi-finals.
NBAC's Webster and Drew Cosgarea also entered the 400 free, while teammates Kendall Surhoff and Willa Wang entered the women's 400 IM, but none got past the prelims. Navy's Sean Murphy was a prelim racer in the 100 breaststroke.
Phelps v. Lochte, again
Tuesday's line-up promises some good races.
Phelps will compete in the 200-meter freestyle preliminaries, and then the semifinals if he makes the cut, again against main rival Ryan Lochte. The race draws some of the deepest fields in the sport, both nationally and internationally, swimmer Ricky Berens said this weekend.
"The 200 free is probably one of the deepest races out there in the world," said Berens, who upset Phelps in the race in the Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix held in his hometown earlier this year. "Yannick [Agnel] in France, Paul Biedermann [of Germany], Park Tae-Hwan [of South Korea]. … The finals in the World Championships in 2011 was stacked. I watched that race the other day. Those guys touched boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and I think that's exactly how the finals is going to be, it's going to come down to the touch and that last 50 [meters]."
The women's 100-meter backstroke race will feature 17-year-old phenom Missy Franklin in her first event at trials, and another deep field that includes veteran Natalie Coughlin and Elizabeth Pelton.
The men's 100-meter backstroke will get underway, as will the women's 100-meter breaststroke and 400-meter freestyle. In the latter race, Allison Schmitt of NBAC and Hoff are among the top seeds.