Day 1 of Pac-12 swimming coverage is pretty much done, but more than a few swimmers still have yet to start or fully complete their journeys. In Day 2 of the Pac-12 swimming odysseys, more of the conference's heavyweights get into the action, including budding freestyler Nathan Adrian and breaststroke queen Rebecca Soni.
If you have access to online coverage on NBCOlympics.com and have a cable or satellite provider that supports MSNBC and/or CNBC, you should be able to watch the streams of all events live online. The link to the prelim events in the middle of the night is here; the link to the semifinals/finals in the late morning/afternoon is here. Note: You have to watch the semifinals/finals live because NBC will remove it so as to preserve the interest in their tape-delayed broadcast in primetime.
All times below are Pacific.
Women's 100 m backstroke heats (12:49 PM will be the semis)
- Rachel Bootsma (Cal) had decent odds to medal in the 100 meter backstroke, although her odds are a bit steeper than her US counterpart Missy Franklin. Bootsma has come a long way to qualify for these Olympics though.
Bootsma's coach with the Minnesota Aquajets, Kate Lundsten, impressed upon her then how many talented swimmers there are and that "there's a .001 chance you're going to make an Olympic team." Bootsma listened; she dropped soccer to concentrate
on swimming, then two years ago added weightlifting to her routine to improve her upper-body strength.
According to Lundsten, Bootsma has become more determined, stronger and mature.
"She sets her mind to something," Lundsten said, "and she'll get it done."
- Stephanie Au (Cal, Hong Kong team) isn't considered a likely contender to medal.
Men's 200 m freestyle heats (11:37 AM will be the semis)
- Dominik Meichtry (Cal, Swiss team) has a decent shot to make the final group. Will be tougher for him to medal.
- Ous Mellouli (USC, Tunisian team), Cristian Quintero (USC, Venezuelan team), Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or (Arizona, Israeli team), and Darian Townsend (Arizona, South African team) have very remote shots to win, although one of them might sneak in to the next round.
Women's 100 m breaststroke heats (11:50 AM will be the semis)
- Rebecca Soni (USC) is the prohibitive favorite in this event and a near shoo-in to advance to the finals barring disaster. She also seems to live the chillest grueling life of an Olympic swimmer.
Soni would get up at 5:30 each morning for grueling morning training at USC with Berens, a fellow Olympian, eating breakfast along the way. Then she'd come home, eat a second breakfast, do an hour of Pilates or yoga nearby, eat lunch and go into the ocean.
Sometimes, she went pretty hard and tested herself in the open sea; other times she took it easy and spent an hour bodysurfing.
"Whatever it feels like that day, I'll do," said Soni, 25, a quiet, unassuming New Jersey native and USC alum. "It's more about being in the water, having fun and not pushing myself too hard."
Men's 100 m backstroke (12:28 PM is the semifinals)
- Nick Thoman (Arizona) is considered a medal contender in the 100 meter backstroke, although Matt Grevers is the likelier contender. Thoman seems to be in the right spot to make noise, as he has other interests outside the sport.
Besides racing fast, Thoman’s idea of fun is burying himself in books. He has read six or seven since leaving for training camp in England, purchasing a Nook to download e-books.
Thoman’s interest in understanding the world extended to his education. Raised a Presbyterian, he studied comparative religions at Arizona in order to get “a taste of this, a taste of that,” he said. “History is a little dry. Religions always seemed appealing to me in the way a history textbook or a math book couldn’t.
“Religious history and religious culture and all that kind of stuff is just fascinating to learn about. And I’m always learning something new.”
- Vladimir Morozov (USC, Russian team) has a good shot of making it to a semifinals, very tough to imagine him going further.
- Mathias Gydesen (Cal, Danish team), Marcin Tarczynski (Cal, Polish team) are not likely to advance far.
Women's 400 m freestyle heats (12:18 PM is the final)
- Lauren Boyle (Cal, New Zealand team) is a dark horse to make the finals.
Men's 4 x 100 m freestyle heats (1:00 PM is the final)
- Nathan Adrian (Cal) will almost certainly be swimming the final tonight. Considering he won the event in Omaha, it's unlikely he'll participate in the heat. Adrian has been adjusting to try and become more of an individual rather than team swimmer, but his team skills will be needed in tonight's competition.
- Vladimir Morozov (USC, Russian team) and Russia is considered one of the main competitors to medal along with the United States and Australia.
- Graeme Moore (Cal, South African team) has an outside chance to medal, and a good chance of getting into the final.
- Milorad Cavic (Cal, Serbian team) doesn't have a strong enough Serbia to get his team into the final.
Women's 100 meter butterfly
- Dana Vollmer (Cal) set an Olympic record in her first heat and breezed to first in her semifinal. Can she complete the saga with a first place finish and her second gold medal? As this awesome New York Times feature points out, Vollmer's stance to becoming the best swimmer she can be is all about becoming "One With The Water".