How U.S. Olympic women’s swim team would look based on 2015 times

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Now that the year’s biggest swim meets are finished, there’s an opportunity to compare times and rank the fastest U.S. women’s swimmers per event.

The top two swimmers per event make the U.S. Olympic team at the trials next June and July, plus likely the top six from the 100m and 200m freestyles for relays.

Before getting to the rankings, two notes:

  • Katie Ledecky is the only U.S. woman ranked No. 1 in the world in an event, for the second straight year. Though Ledecky swept the 200m, 400m and 800m World titles (and the 1500m, but that’s not an Olympic event), she is fourth fastest in the world in the 200m in 2015. Ledecky is also ranked No. 42 in the world in the 100m free (ninth among Americans).
  • Natalie Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist who made the London 2012 team only in the 4x100m freestyle relay, ranks No. 2 in the 50m free, No. 3 in the 100m free and No. 1 in the 100m back, ahead of Olympic champion Missy Franklin. If Coughlin makes the Rio team and wins one medal, she will break her tie with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the most Olympic medals won by an American woman.

How U.S. Olympic men’s swim team would look based on 2015 times

Here are the rankings with world ranking in parentheses.

50m Freestyle
1. Simone Manuel — 24.47 (8)
2. Natalie Coughlin — 24.66 (14)

3. Madison Kennedy — 24.71 (15)
4. Amanda Weir — 24.85 (23)

100m Freestyle
1. Missy Franklin — 53.68 (9)
2. Simone Manuel — 53.81 (10)
3. Natalie Coughlin — 53.85 (14)
4. Margo Geer — 53.95 (19)
5. Amanda Weir — 54.24 (29)
6. Allison Schmitt — 54.34 (34)

200m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 1:55.16 (4)
2. Missy Franklin — 1:55.49 (5)
3. Allison Schmitt — 1:56.23 (10)
4. Leah Smith — 1:57.52 (25)
5. Katie McLaughlin — 1:57.55 (26)
6. Melanie Margalis — 1:57.91 (33)

400m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 3:59.13 (1)
2. Leah Smith — 4:04.66 (6)

3. Lindsay Vrooman — 4:07.28 (21)
4. Hali Flickinger — 4:07.93 (25)

800m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 8:07.39 (1)
2. Becca Mann — 8:24.13 (9)

3. Leah Smith — 8:24.74 (10)
4. Lindsay Vrooman — 8:26.67 (11)

100m Backstroke
1. Natalie Coughlin — 59.05 (6)
2. Missy Franklin — 59.40 (7)

3. Claire Adams — 59.58 (9)
4. Kathleen Baker — 59.63 (11)

200m Backstroke
1. Missy Franklin — 2:06.34 (3)
2. Maya DiRado — 2:08.50 (10)

3. Lisa Bratton — 2:09.31 (14)
4. Claire Adams — 2:09.44 (17)

100m Breaststroke
1. Katie Meili — 1:05.64 (3)
2. Jessica Hardy — 1:06.68 (7)

3. Lily King — 1:06.69 (8)
4. Breeja Larson — 1:07.33 (22)

200m Breaststroke
1. Micah Lawrence — 2:22.04 (4)
2. Laura Sogar — 2:23.54 (14)

3. Molly Hannis — 2:25.57 (27)
4. Annie Lazor — 2:26.23 (31)

100m Butterfly
1. Kelsi Worrell — 57.24 (3)
2. Katie McLaughlin — 57.87 (14)

3. Kendyl Stewart — 58.05 (17)
4. Felicia Lee — 58.54 (34)

200m Butterfly
1. Cammile Adams — 2:06.40 (5)
2. Katie McLaughlin — 2:06.95 (8)

3. Hali Flickinger — 2:07.59 (10)
4. Cassidy Bayer — 2:08.03 (17)

200m Individual Medley
1. Maya DiRado — 2:08.99 (4)
2. Melanie Margalis — 2:10.26 (7)

3. Caitlin Leverenz — 2:10.51 (8)
4. Madisyn Cox — 2:10.75 (9)

400m Individual Medley
1. Maya DiRado — 4:31.71 (2)
2. Caitlin Leverenz — 4:35.46 (6)

3. Elizabeth Beisel — 4:36.71 (11)
4. Sarah Henry — 4:38.88 (21)

How Katie Ledecky can be an underdog at the Rio Olympics

Snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter passes away

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Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, has died at 65.

He died Wednesday night in Burlington, Vermont, according to an email sent to the staff of the company he founded. Carpenter had emailed his staff this month saying, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back.” He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but after several months of therapy had been given a clean bill of health.

Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier.

It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe.

“He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much,” Burton co-CEO John Lacy said in his email to the staff.

Grieving Mikaela Shiffrin returns to World Cup Alpine action with fourth reindeer at stake

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The traditional World Cup Alpine skiing season opener last month in Soelden, Austria, was an emotional one for Mikaela Shiffrin.

Shiffrin’s grandmother, Pauline Condron, was in declining health in the days leading up to the race, making Shiffrin wonder if she should head home instead of staying in Soelden. Condron was especially close to Shiffrin, helping to take care of her soon after birth.

Condron passed away Oct. 22, four days before the Soelden giant slalom, at age 98.

“Polly loved sports,” Condron’s obituary said. “She was an avid bowler in her younger years and enjoyed playing tennis and skiing. Few people know that she excelled at ping pong, had a killer serve, gave up very few games and played into her 90s.”

Condron was able to see Shiffrin in person at World Cup races in Killington, Vt. The World Cup will return next weekend to Killington, which has just passed its FIS inspection.

Shiffrin finished second in Soelden’s giant slalom to an upstart rival, 17-year-old New Zealander Alice Robinson. Shiffrin is the reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the giant slalom, but she hasn’t won in Soelden since 2014.

In the slalom, Shiffrin is more dominant. She won eight of nine World Cup races last year, losing only to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, and won her fourth straight world championship despite battling illness. The last time Shiffrin finished worse than second in the technical discipline was in the 2018 Olympics, when she uncharacteristically faltered and finished fourth.

Saturday’s race in Levi, Finland, is a slalom. Shiffrin has won three of the last five races in Levi, which means she also has three reindeer  Rudolph, Sven and Mr. Gru. She can win a fourth on Saturday.

The men also have a slalom this weekend in Levi, racing Sunday.

Both runs for each event stream live on NBC Sports Gold at 4:15 and 7 a.m. ET, with the Olympic Channel also carrying the second runs each day.

MORE: Alpine skiing TV schedule

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