July 3, 2016
By Russell Dorn
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Under the bright lights of the CenturyLink Center at the 2016 United States Olympic Swimming Trials, 16 University of Notre Dame standouts performed admirably, posting personal bests and top-35 finishes throughout the course of the week-long meet.
Here’s what you need to know about the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials from an Irish perspective:
REANEY IMPRESSIVE IN OMAHA: After overcoming an injury that sidelined her for part of the winter, 2015 Irish graduate Emma Reaney turned in one of the best performances of her career at the trials. She tallied semifinal swims in both the 100 and 200 breast, finishing in 13th and ninth place, respectively. She also claimed 22nd in the 200 IM (2:16.60). Her best performance came in the 200 breast, however, which is the same event she won a national championship in in 2014. The Lawrence, Kansas native dropped her 200 time by eight seconds from a year ago, stopping the clock at 2:26.97 in the semifinals.
LEADING THE WAY: Seven different swims placed Notre Dame standouts in the top 35, an impressive feat considering the number of competitors in each event. In addition to Reaney’s performances in the 100 breast (13th), 200 breast (9th) and 200 IM (22nd), Tom Anderson placed 35th in the 400 IM (4:26.85), Matthew Grauslys claimed 27th in the 200 fly (2:00.83) and 35th in the 100 fly (53.85), Robert Whitacre touched the wall in the 200 back in 24th place (2:01.81) and Alice Treuth finished 28th in the 200 back (2:13.19).
PERSONAL BESTS: Five different Irish swimmers turned in six personal bests throughout the week, highlighted by Grauslys posting career bests in both fly events. He touched the pad in the 200 fly in 2:00.83 and in 53.85 in the 100 fly.
QUOTABLE: "I am incredibly proud of our student-athletes. This is the toughest environment to compete in, and to excel at trials is a testament to our group,” said head coach Mike Litzinger.
"Only about 17% of the athletes entered improve upon their seed times, and the bulk of our performances fell within that number."
"Emma's performance in the 200 breast was incredible. Making the semifinal was expected, but her swim in the semi's was as gutty a performance as I have seen in a long time. Her final time was her best in over two years (She was 2:26 compared to 2:34 last summer), and the race itself was amazing. Unfortunately, the reality of the trials hits everyone and a ninth place finish is bittersweet. I am very proud of how far she has come. She represented Notre Dame well."
200 Back (Prelims): T-24th – 2:01.81
100 Back (Prelims): T-61st – 56.56 (Personal Best)
100 Breast (Prelims): 13th – 1:08.24
100 Breast (Semifinals): 13th – 1:08.40
200 IM (Prelims): 22nd – 2:16.60
100 Fly (Prelims): 74th – 1:01.15
100 Back (Prelims): 60th – 1:02.81 (Personal Best)
200 Back (Prelims): T-36th – 2:14.34
50 Free (Prelims): T-106th – 26.43
For more information on the Notre Dame men's swimming & diving team, follow the Irish on Twitter (@NDMensswimdive). For Notre Dame women's swimming & diving information, check out @NDWSwimdive.
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in history before earning his master's degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.