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7 Events At U.S. Trials Where The #3 Seed Is Faster Than 2016’s Winning Time

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2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

As you’d expect, swimming in the United States has gotten faster as a whole in the five years since the last Olympic Trials in 2016.

Looking specifically at the entry times that earn the #3 seed in each event on the program, 18 of 26 are faster in 2021 than they were in 2016 (excluding the men’s 800 free and women’s 1500 free, which will make their Olympic debut this year).

Highlighting how much faster things have gotten in certain events even more so is the fact that seven #3 seeds coming into the 2021 Trials have an entry time faster than it took to win the 2016 Trials, with six of those coming on the women’s side.

Data provided by SwimSwam’s Barry Revzin.

Event 2016 Winning Time 2021 #3 Seed
Men’s 100 freestyle 47.72 47.61
Women’s 100 freestyle 53.28 53.18
Women’s 100 backstroke 59.02 58.43
Women’s 200 backstroke 2:06.90 2:06.84
Women’s 200 breaststroke 2:24.08 2:21.84
Women’s 200 butterfly 2:06.80 2:06.59
Women’s 200 IM 2:09.54 2:08.84

Out of those seven, the most stark difference between 2016 winning times and this year’s seeds come in the women’s 100 back and women’s 200 breast. The winning time from the 2016 Trials would be seeded seventh in both events.

The men’s 100 breast was also close to joining the list, with the third-seeded time of 59.24 falling just shy of the 2016-winning 59.18.

You can check all of the #3 seeds from the last three Trials below:

Women Men
2012 2016 2021 Event 2021 2016 2012
24.86 24.62 24.44 50 Free 21.62 21.55 22.03
53.94 53.59 53.18 100 Free 47.61 48.74 48.49
1:56.47 1:56.23 1:56.09 200 Free 1:46.21 1:47.10 1:46.45
4:05.50 4:04.55 4:04.60 400 Free 3:47.95 3:46.09 3:47.98
8:25.85 8:24.69 8:26.04 800 Free 7:50.14 N/A N/A
N/A N/A 15:55.25 1500 Free 14:59.94 14:56.17 15:01.31
59.65 59.41 58.43 100 Back 52.75 52.57 53.05
2:07.82 2:08.33 2:06.84 200 Back 1:55.79 1:56.29 1:57.26
1:07.17 1:06.16 1:06.38 100 Breast 59.24 59.65 1:00.26
2:24.62 2:23.69 2:21.84 200 Breast 2:08.16 2:08.89 2:09.72
58.05 57.82 57.06 100 Fly 51.21 51.33 51.69
2:06.93 2:07.59 2:06.59 200 Fly 1:55.77 1:55.09 1:56.06
2:10.02 2:10.35 2:08.84 200 IM 1:57.59 1:58.43 1:58.64
4:37.88 4:35.46 4:36.06 400 IM 4:11.46 4:12.43 4:12.51