OMAHA, Neb. – Ivy Martin got things off and running for Badgers at the 2016 U.S. Swimming Olympic Team Trials with a lifetime-best performance in the 100-meter butterfly on Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska.
After she finished the morning with the 14th-fastest time at 59.65 seconds during preliminaries of the 100 butterfly, Martin returned to the pool later in the evening to compete in semifinals of the event. The Madison, Wisconsin, native finished sixth in her semifinal heat and 13th overall with a lifetime-best time of 59.39 seconds.
“Overall we had a great day and Ivy was awesome,” Wisconsin head coach Whitney Hite said. “Ivy’s 50-meter split was the fourth-fastest today, which bodes well for her later on in the week. For her to finish 13th overall and with a lifetime best by almost a second was really great.”
Fellow UW alum Michael Weiss also earned himself a spot to compete in the first day of finals at the U.S. Olympic Trials after his performance in prelims of the 400-meter individual medley. Weiss finished in 4 minutes, 15.21 seconds in prelims and earned the seventh seed for finals, but ultimately chose to scratch the event and focus on future swims he has coming up later in the week.
“We had to make a really tough decision with Michael,” Hite said. “We ultimately decided to scratch him today because we feel his best shot at qualifying for the Olympics is in the 800 freestyle relay and the 200 freestyle is tomorrow. Michael feels really good going into tomorrow and he’s very confident. He knows what to do and he really rises up in moments like these.”
Entering Monday’s 200-meter freestyle seeded ninth, Weiss has an excellent chance to qualify for the Olympics in the 800-meter freestyle relay, as the top six swimmers from the 200 freestyle make the U.S. Olympic Team.
There were six other current and future Badgers competing during the first day of preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
A senior for Wisconsin next season, Dana Grindall won her preliminary heat of the women’s 100-meter butterfly in 59.95 seconds. Incoming freshman Megan Doty finished her swim in the 100 butterfly prelims in 1:02.32, while fellow UW newcomer Beata Nelson swam 1:03.60.
“For Dana to swim the way that she did today and to end up finishing 20th was great,” Hite said. “Her performance bodes really well for her 200 butterfly moving forward and into the future.”
In the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, recently graduated Jake Mandli finished prelims with a time of 1:03.90.
Also competing with Weiss in prelims of the men’s 400-meter individual medley were future UW freshmen Michael Milinovich and Cooper Hodge. Milinovich swam a time of 4:28.82 and Hodge clocked in at 4:29.28.
Competition resumes Monday at the U.S. Swimming Olympic Team Trials at the CenturyLink Center. A complete schedule and order of events is linked to this release.