Olympic Update: Swimming and Diving Decide Berths

Among the group is a first-time diver who barely missed out by .042 of a point in 2012

The women’s 3 Meter springboard final at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis featured a first-time qualifier for the Olympics.

Her name is Kassidy Cook, who turned 21 on May 9.  She suffered multiple shoulder and knee surgeries before coming back stronger than ever to win at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Sunday afternoon.  Her family has six brothers and sisters all starting their names with the letter “K”.  Cook finished was simply impressive in each of her key dives and finished the Trials with over 1,000 points and qualified for Rio.

The other berth went to a veteran, but from a different discipline.  Abby Johnston, 26, had over 940 points to outdistance the rest of the field and earned her second Olympic berth–with her first coming in 2012 when she earned a silver medal in synchronized springboard diving.

Repeat winner for the men

David Boudia is back to defend his 10m platform title that he claimed gold in London from 2012.  This will be his third straight Olympic appearance after winning in the trials with 1534.40 points.  His partner will be Steele Johnson, who had to rally after missing a dive early in the Trials to finish second with 1475.15 points.

In swimming, Katie Ledecky continues to shine

Only 19 and still shattering records in the pool, Monday night in Omaha, Nebraska nearly saw more history.  Ledecky qualified again for Rio in the 400 meter freestyle event finishing at 3:58.98–only .61 ahead of her world record pace from 2014.

Finishing second was Leah Smith who clocked in at 4 minutes and .65 seconds.  Missing out in fifth place was 2012 Olympic silver medalist Allison Schmitt, finishing nine seconds off the pace at 4:09.25.

In the 100m butterfly, recent mom Dana Vollmer returns to defend her title after winning in the trials.  This is her third trip and second consecutive Olympics, having also won in 2004 at Athens winning gold in the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.

For the men, a pair of first timers will be heading to Rio as Kevin Cordes and Cody Miller punched their tickets with some cool times of 59.18 and 59.26 in the 100m breaststroke.

Ryan Lochte missed out on qualifying for the 400m, but he is hoping to make it as part of a team where the top six finishers will comprise of the 4 x 200m freestyle relay.

But I decided to save the best news for last:

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic medalist in history with 18 hopes to qualify soon enough in some key disciplines over the next few nights.  He was commentating on NBCSN on Monday night.

There were also spots decided in the ultra competitive sport with very little margin for error and that is gymnastics.  For the men–Sam Mikulak, John Orozco, Jake Dalton, Chris Brooks and Alex Naddour qualify for Rio.

For the ladies, these 15 names will be determining five spots in San Jose on July 8 and 10:

  • Alyssa Baumann
  • Simone Biles, who turned in a noteworthy performance on Sunday night
  • Christina Desiderio
  • Gabby Douglas, 2012 Olympic gold medalist
  • Brenna Dowell
  • Rachel Gowey
  • Laurie Hernandez
  • Amelia Hundley
  • Madison Kocian
  • Ashton Locklear
  • Maggie Nichols
  • Aly Raisman
  • Emily Schild
  • MyKayla Skinner
  • Ragan Smith

Good luck to everyone involved.

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