Barksdale Continues Strong Run at U.S. Olympic Trials
June 28, 2016
OMAHA, Neb. – The 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials continued on Tuesday, with rising sophomore Emma Barksdale once again stealing the show for the Gamecocks. Barksdale was in the pool for the women’s 200 IM and finished the prelims session in 17th place, her second top-20 showing of the meet.
Barksdale swam a lifetime best of 2:15.85, more than one second faster than her previous top performance. She won her heat by almost three seconds, once again taking the lead on breaststroke and blowing the field away on freestyle. Barksdale’s time was the best of the first eight heats, though she slipped to 17th and just .05 seconds out of a semifinal berth after the last prelims race.
Quoting Head Coach McGee Moody
“Emma had another huge swim today, with another lifetime best. She was just a few hundreths of a second short of making the semifinals, but sometimes missing out on advancing can spur you on to bigger and better things. I look for her to use the momentum from her first two swims here at Olympic Trials to carry her to a great performance Thursday in the 200 breaststroke, where she is once again a candidate to make semifinals.”
Alumnus Michael Flach was the first of the two Gamecocks in action Tuesday, as he swam the final heat of the men’s 200 fly alongside 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. Flach stopped the clock in 2:01.06, good for 32nd place overall.
Barksdale continued to establish herself as one of the best young medley swimmers in the nation with her 200 IM effort on Tuesday, where she finished a whopping 37 spots above her qualifying seed. The 17th-place swim followed on the heels of Sunday’s 400 IM, where the Davis, Calif., native finished 14th and swam a time of 4:44.80, the best performance by an 18-and-under American this year. The swim booked Barksdale a spot at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, to be held Aug. 24-27 in Maui, Hawai’i.
- One future Gamecock also qualified for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships on Tuesday. Richmond, Va., native Will Riggs swam a time of 2:00.90 in the men’s 200 fly, finishing 28th. Riggs will also swim at the 2016 Speedo Junior National Championships, Aug. 8-12 in Minneapolis, Minn.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks are idle on Wednesday before three more members of Moody’s team compete on Thursday. Barksdale is back for the women’s 200 breaststroke alongside teammate Kersten Dirrane, and Jack Smith takes part in the men’s 200 IM. Prelims start at 11 a.m. ET, with the first Gamecock swimming at approximately 12:06 p.m. Live streaming is available through the NBC Sports Live Extra app.