Thursday, June 21, 2012

Random Omaha Predictions

If you want an exhaustive, borderline over-researched preview of Olympic Trials, you should go to Swimswam to read the previews by "Rain Man" Braden Keith. Make sure you have a whole afternoon free, maybe evening as well depending on how fast you read. Here at the Swimbrief, where attention spans fall somewhere between a gnat and an infant, we're going to provide a different, no less informed preview.

Michael Phelps will definitely swim the 400 IM: Honestly, you saw this coming right? Do you really believe that Michael entered the first event of the meet only to scratch it? It can be confusing, with both Phelps and Ryan Lochte entering a bunch of bogus events that they definitely won't swim (Lochte in the 50 free?). Don't get the 400 IM mixed up in that. Much like 2008, this event will light up the crowd in Omaha from the very beginning of the meet and define what comes after.

The Meet will be "Surprisingly" Fast: Prepare yourself for an onslaught of conversations about how "no one could have predicted this many people would make the meet" and "its amazing how people got faster with the suits getting taken away". It's already a talking point from National Team Director Frank Busch.If it feels like the same people who predicted that time space would fold in on itself records would never be broken unless we banned neoprene and bared male chests are now saying quite the opposite, it's not entirely true. I don't know that Busch, for instance, has ever said that, but his predecessor Mark Schubert certainly intimated that. Maybe we should allow suit technology in the first year after an Olympics every time if only to raise the bar?

More of the major comebacks will "fail" than succeed: I put "fail" in quotes because if Janet Evans, for instance, goes 8:35 in the 800 free I will consider it a success but by the standard of making the team she will "fail".  Likewise for a sub 49 100 free for Anthony Ervin. In order from least likely to most likely to make the team, here are my predictions on the major comebacks:

Janet Evans
Anthony Ervin
Dara Torres
Amanda Beard (is this a comeback?)
Brendan Hansen

The Psych Sheet is More Important Than You Think: Back in 2008, I looked at how likely an athlete was to make the team if they entered the meet as the #1 or #2 seed. The odds were better than even. Sure, there are unpredictable races here and there, but remember this is a swim meet. The faster swimmers will swim faster- don't overthink it.


  1. Phelps put in a facebook update today that he is going to swim 7 events at Trials, which is basically only surprising in that he's gonna try the 200 Back. Methinks it's giving up too big of an advantage over Lochte in the 200 IM, but that can very well change once we see how both men swim next week.

  2. I really doubt that he is going to swim seven events through to finals at Trials.

  3. Me neither, definitely don't think he'd swim all the rounds of the 100 Free. (Unless he's somehow got Magnussen-level speed in a prelim, or something.) Bowman said some of the extra events were more of a contingency type of thing, though he did make the team in the 200 Back in '04.