Watching the clock is nothing new for swimmer. What Emma Seiberlich had to do two weeks ago, though, wasn’t what any swimmer is used to.
In early August, Seiberlich set her personal bests at the Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif., the culmination of a wildly successful summer for the Episcopal Academy sophomore and reigning Daily Times female swimmer of the year. Her time in the 200-meter backstroke, in particular, was tremendously fast, nearly 2.5 seconds quicker than the Olympic Trials cut from 2012. But Seiberlich new that within a matter of weeks, the standards for the 2016 Trials would be rolled out, all expected to be faster than the old qualification marks.
All that was left for Seiberlich was to wait and see if those times would be good enough to make the 2016 Trials. That news came through Sept. 17.
Seiberlich’s time of 2:15.51 in the 200 back turned out to be well under the new trials cut of 2:16.59, guaranteeing her a trip to the 2016 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.
Seiberlich is also just a hair away from qualifying in the 100 back, her time of 1:03.54 a scant .15 seconds off the cut. (For more on Seiberlich’s story, visit EA’s website.)
Seiberlich isn’t alone in getting good news from USA Swimming’s new standards, one of four Delco swimmers already booking their trips to Trials in the first two months of the open qualifying period (which began July 30). Haverford High graduate Shane Ryan (Penn State) is qualified in the three events.
The national teamer’s time of 23.10 seconds in the 50 freestyle is under the standard of 23.29. The three-time Daily Times swimmer of the year has the ninth-fastest time in the nation in the 100 free (49.27) and seventh-fastest in the 100 back (53.90).
A pair of Suburban Swim Club swimmers also booked their tickets to trials. Allyson McHugh, a senior at Little Flower High School, was the last qualifier in the 200 individual medley, her top time of 2:18.68 making the cut by one-hundredth of a second. McHugh’s qualification in the 400 IM was much more comfortable, getting inside the standard by nearly three seconds at 4:52.05. The Penn State commit is also within range of the 200 breaststroke cut with her time of 2:35.53, just over a half-second from the standard of 2:34.99.
The fourth member of the Delco Trials club has yet to swim in high schools: 14-year-old Alex Sumner of Suburban, who is enrolled at Strath Haven. Her time of 2:16.50 is less than a tenth within the cut of 2:16.59.
For a full list of qualified swimmers, visit Swimming World’s database.