Kelsi Worrell and Lilly King Cook Up American Records at NCAA Championships

Kelsi Worrell had a big day for Team USA at the USA College Challenge - Courtesy of the University of Louisville
Kelsi Worrell had a big day for Team USA at the USA College Challenge - Courtesy of the University of Louisville

Kelsi Worrell and Lilly King set American records on Friday night to highlight action at the NCAA Women’s Championships.

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Comments

Yozhik

If the record of Kelsi Worrell is an indication of progress since last year then it makes her very strong contender for the podium in Rio.
Of cause we should be careful with extrapolation of the success in SCY to the great performance in LCM (Franklin’s super record at 200 free in yards hasn’t materialised in anything spectacular in LCM). But the expectations are rising. At least the confidence is getting stronger that American W 4×100 Medley will be hard to beat. That will make it very attractive for American swimmers and the competition for first spot at individual 100 freestyle and fly will be very strong at trials.

beachmouse

King is starting to look like she might be the one to fill the Soni-sized hole the Americans have had for a few years now. She had some nice long course times in 2015, and the NCAA swims suggest she;s still on an improvement curve.

Yozhik

Both Worrell and King are not strong enough yet to threaten Sjostrom and Meilutyte respectfully. But may win about a second combined against Australians in women Marley relay. Same second that American may lose after at free and back legs.

Yozhik

*Medley relay

aswimfan

Lilly King seems to be peaking at the right moment. Female breaststroke Olympics history is filled with many medalists who were almost complete unknown the year before.
She is definitely a medal contender in Rio if she qualifies.

commonwombat

W100BRS probably looks well in advance of W100FLY both on competitiveness and depth for the US.

They currently have 2 sub 1.07 performers for this 2015-2016 season. Molly Hannis at 1.06.16, King at 1.06.43 & Katie Meili at 1.06.75 (off a 1.05.64 at Pan Ams). What other such as Hardy, Larson & Lawrence may have to say about this is as yet unknown.

100FLY looks more clear cut. Worrell’s current LCM PB of 57.27 is essentially on par with McKeon at 57.24. As to how this current SCY form will play out long course; who knows ? Vollmer has got back to 57highs; whilst another drop may be on the cards a return to her career PB is a very different matter. Others, on career PBs are 57mids.

Both are, potentially, very positive omens for the US W4XMED but far too early to start making major prognostications.

paolo rubbiani

Lilly King has an intriguing improving pace in this SCY season. We’ll see how much she’ll translate these improvements in LCM, but she’s really promising.
Worrell has shown a huge speed (she swam an incredible split in the 200 medley relay at these Ncaa finals), but 100 LCM fly are a lot different from 100 SCY fly (like on the men’s side Austin Staab knows very well 🙂 ) and she will have to race Dana Vollmer. At the moment, difficult prediction between the rising-star Worrell and the Olympic champ Vollmer towards Omaha, like in the 100 breastroke between Meili and King.

Yozhik, about the women 400 medley relay:
1) World champion is China. I think this team must be considered in the predictions
2) Also considering a Franklin far better than last year, Seebohm has the edge for backstroke leg and much more the fastest of Campbell sisters vs the fastest of Us freestylers, so, NOW, just a second looks like a thin margin. But who knows how will perform Weitzeil or Ledecky at trials? Or Missy..So your prediction could be correct. And who knows how will perform in fly and breastroke both the Aussies and Americans. And, even after we’ll know trials results, who knows how the winners will perform in the Brazilian night at the right moment after a week of Olympic races?
At the moment, too many variables also for a great passionate of swimming predictions like me 🙂

aswimfan

The Olympics predictions will start taking shape in less than a month when the trials in Australia, GBR etc begins.
Exciting moments!

Dan smith

I know it,s early but in the women,s medley I,ll give Australia the edge because Georgia bohl seems to improve anytime she gets into the water. I won’t be surprised if she swims a 1:05 mid to low at the Australian trials and we have to bear in mind that the Australian qualifying times are fairly tough. Not as tough as the British and German qualifying times though. The US has more depth in the breaststroke though but that wont matter in the medley relay. Depth is need more in the 2 freestyle relays, (the 4×100 and 4×200 freestyle relays). The depth that the US women have on breaststroke, Australia has on backstroke, as they have 2 women (seebohm and Wilson) capable of breaking 59secs and a potential third swimmer in minna Atherton. We,ll have to wait till the trials to see what happens.

Yozhik

Paolo, I am not making predictions, but do some observations. Observations are not necessarily facts and their interpretation depends pretty much on the mindset of observer 🙂
I think that American W4x100M will be significantly stronger in Rio than it was in Kazan.
I think that it will add some extra incentives for competition among American sprinters at 100freestyle because that is the only Olympic medal they can count for. Maybe they also have some prospects at 4×100 freestyle but for this medal the 6th place at trials will be enough.
I don’t say that Australians and Americans are major contenders for gold in Medley relay. I well remember that they were third and fourth teams in Kazan. It is just convenient to run side by side comparison because we have data, performances, depth. The kind of benchmark that can be used to measure progress. One second is of course very rough estimation just to demonstrate the strength and weakness of each team in different parts of relay.
What do we know about Chinese team, beside the fact that it doesn’t have strong advantage at any leg of this relay but WAS very well balanced. It can go easily any way next year. Either become even stronger or show nothing. And again – no information to talk about.
All other teams are not deep and as many mentioned her it is not time yet to discuss their prospects and chances at this particular relay.

Yozhik

Dan Smith, when I mentioned depth as important factor for medley relay I meant that existence of the depth promotes stronger competition for being chosen for relay. The depth also makes team results more stable and is a protection for the team from mishaps that can happen to one or another member of the team.

Dan smith

Yozhik I agree but I think it is more of a factor in the freestyle relays but depth helps in the medley relay too as it is an insurance against unforseen injuries. Imagine if Missy Franklin gets injured, this means that the backstroke leg of the US medley relay team will be vulnerable or if Georgia bohl gets injured, this means that the breaststroke leg of Australia, s medley relay team will be vulnerable but it is possible to survive a mishap in the medley relay if just one swimmer out it the four is off.
I agree with you though depth makes a medley relay team stronger and Georgia bohl will need someone like Taylor McKeown to push her to be better. Same with Missy Franklin.

aswimfan

Depth also works in Medley relay, not just free relays.

An example: based on the results of their top stroke swimmers, Denmark should have been in the top three since Barcelona, but no, they’ve never won world Medley relay medal due to very thin depth.
In 2014 euro Champs, they’ve won gold with particular anchor swim of 53.0 by Pernile Blume and a 1:06 by Rikke Moeller Pedersen. But in 2015, they finished 5th as RMP swam 1:07 and Blume a 54.4
Its obvious that RMP and Blume were not having the best days in Kazan, but Denmark has no one else nearly as fast to replace them in the relays.

Meanwhile, countries with depth like USA could always swap one stroke swimmer for another almost equally as fast as their best swimmers are having a bad day.

Dan smith

aswimfan I agree but Denmark has never really had 2 gun legs to offset their weaknesses. rikke Moeller pederson should be their gun swimmer but she usually swims 1:07 ( sometimes 1:06) when she should be in the 1:05 range to give them a chance to medal. Jeannette ottesen is usually quite consistent though but pernille blume is their weakness.
Australia has 2 really fast and consistent gun legs. The backstroke with Emily seebohm and the freestyle with either of the Campbell sisters. Both seebohm and the Campbell sisters are consistently fast. This means that they only need above average swims in the other 2 legs to medal or even win a gold medal, something like a 57 low or 56 high in the butterfly and a 1:05 in the breaststroke off flying starts which is very possible at the moment. Their backstroke and freestyle legs gives them that insurance and advantage. Denmark has no such luxury. Pernille plume is not fast as she can swim at most a 53 off a flying start which is a disadvantage.

beachmouse

Meanwhile, the Americans would have done slightly better if they had swum their Pan Ams squad in Kazan rather than their WC squad.

You’d think that USAS would have learned before not to pick a team a year plus out, but….

Yozhik

That ‘slightly better’ was ranked #1 last season. 0.51 sec faster than the world champion team from China.

aswimfan

The women 4×100 Medley results across the board last year were particularly slow though. The last year’s fastest time by USA of 3:56.53 at Pan Pam is actually the slowest yearly fastest since 2005 which is pretty extraordinary considering relays times usually consistently and steadily improve.

And herein lies the key to China’s win at Kazan last year: it’s not so much that their relay was extraordinarily fast with fireworks, it was that they didn’t have any weakness in four legs and everyone performed strongly, while their main rivals USA, AUS and Denmark had at least two slow legs.

I very much doubt that 3:56.53 will win a medal in Rio.

paolo rubbiani

Understood your point, Yozhik.
“Mad April” (a lot of national trials) is looming and we’ll have many data to discuss about.
An interesting women’s medley relay could be, for instance, the Canadian one if the youngsters (Ruck, Oleksiak and others) will step on the gas.., but also the Swedish, the Japanese and the British, beside the Danish team.
At Kazan 4.00.03 was enough for Japan to make the final. In Rio will need a much better time

Yozhik

Asf, we are probably got confused by the same source. If to believe the omegatiming and we probably should then at World Champioships in Kazan last year the Chinese team won W4x100M with the time 3:54.41. Sweden – 3:55.24, Australia – 3:55.56. So the result of American team at Pan American Games in Toronto cannot be the best of the season in 2015. Correct me if this information is inaccurate.

commonwombat

Yozhik, whatever listing that has the USA Pan Am time as no1 for 2015 is incorrect as they only include the heats times from 2015 Worlds. There has been no announcement at any time that the results of the final have been invalidated in any way so the 2015 listing should read 1.CHN; 2.SWE 3.AUS 4.USA (PA).

Indeed the Pan Am tim is only 0.23 faster than the Worlds team and would not have gained them any higher placing.

To the issue of depth; it certainly is very imp-ortant to have an option B as any illness/injury/poor form to any member effectively rules you out of the medal equation or even competing. DEN & SWE illustrate this point but it is also applicable to any nation who may only have one qualifier in one of the disciplines. Even with all fit & firing, you are asking them to swim both heats & finals.

However, it is the quality of the “option B” that is paramount. You would want the “fall-off” from your option A to be as minimal as possible so if your second-stringer is someone who made the final in that event, then in most cases you are not haemorrhaging too badly unless you are up against someone on that leg who is dominant in that discipline.

But, if the fall-off to the other main contenders is significant (second stringer failed to make it out of heats or tailed off in semis), then you would not be wanting to call on them unless illness/injury to top seed necessitates.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

Yep I think we both read the last year’s ranking from fina website.
I didn’t double check with official Kazan results.

No wonder I was so shocked to read how slow the women’s Medley relay last year.
So my faith in relays times progressing steadily but not quickly has been restored.

Yozhik

🙂 it is a good news for all of us, Aswimfan that your faith got restored. If we lose trust in your faith then where will we have another FREE source of valuable historical data that comes with FREE analysis and clasification. Where will we find these wonderful stories about great swimmers. The only option for us to survive wIll be buying golden membership from Craig Lord 🙂
P.S. That FINA… it kills us with another low quality job. It makes of nice people like you and me a laughing stock 🙂

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