University of Missouri

Mizzou has several Rio contenders at U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

Here’s a look at a few other Missouri swimmers to remember for this summer’s U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb.:

Michael Chadwick, junior

After a strong showing at NCAA Championships in March 2015, Chadwick had a breakout summer. In July, the Charlotte, N.C., native posted a time of 48.87 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle, which would have made the 2012 Olympic team.

Chadwick’s times over the summer earned him a spot on the U.S. National Team. He competed at Duel in the Pool, a meet between American and European all-star teams, and swam on a relay with Olympic gold medalists Nathan Adrian and Matt Grevers.

His success continued at 2016 NCAA Championships. He earned four first-team All-America honors, helping Missouri to a eighth-place finish.

At U.S. Olympic Trials from June 26-July 3, the top six finishers in the 100-meter freestyle qualify for the Rio Olympics. The top two swimmers will compete individually, and the next four will have a chance to swim on the 400-meter freestyle relay.

“It would be the biggest dream come true possible,” Chadwick said. “It’s something that you only dream about. You almost have to be reserved when even thinking about it.”

Hannah Stevens, sophomore

Like Chadwick, Stevens burst onto the national swimming scene last summer. She posted a 100-meter backstroke time of 1:00.04 in July, good enough for a spot on the U.S. National Team. Her swim was the world’s 21st fastest time in 2015.

Though she felt she could have had a stronger 2015-16 NCAA season, Stevens says feels ready for the Olympic summer if she continues to drop time.

“It should put me right in the running to hopefully make the team this summer,” she said Stevens, from Lexington, Ohio.

To make the Rio Games, Stevens will need to place first or second in the 100-meter backstroke event at the trials.

She was a first team All-American for Missouri in 2016, helping the Tigers’ 400-yard medley relay team to a sixth-place finish. She also placed 14th in the 100-yard backstroke.

Stevens says that she does better in Olympic-sized pools (50 meters) rather than NCAA ones (25 yards). The 2016 meet in Omaha will be Stevens’ first Olympic Trials.

Sam Tierney, graduate

After his graduation in 2015, Tierney has continued to train with the Tigers. In his time at Missouri, he earned first team All-America honors his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Tierney, from Texas, earned a gold medal at the 2015 U.S. Winter National Championships in the 100-meter breaststroke, touching the wall in 1:00.15. His time was the fourth fastest by an American in 2015.

There are currently four graduates training with the Tigers. Tierney and Danielle Barbiea are American, and Dominique Bouchard and Mack Darragh are Canadian. Bouchard qualified for Rio in the 100 and 200 backstroke.

Tierney says that practice has gone well lately. He plans to swim in three more meets before Olympic Trials.

At Trials, the top two swimmers in the 100-meter breaststroke qualify for the Olympics.

“I’ve never represented the United States,” Tierney said. “So, Olympics aside, that in itself would be a huge step for me.”