Dana Vollmer finished fourth in her first final since the Rio Olympics and her second childbirth, swimming her trademark 100m butterfly at the winter nationals in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday night.
Vollmer, a 31-year-old, five-time Olympic champion, clocked 59.38 seconds to finish 1.58 seconds behind winner Amanda Kendall.
Vollmer returned from having son Arlen in March 2015 to make her third Olympic team in Rio. She’s now going for a fourth Olympics after welcoming her second son, Ryker, on July 4, 2017.
She raced at two other meets since Rio, swimming a 50m freestyle while 26 weeks pregnant last year and a 50m free and a 50m fly last January. We now know where she stands in the 100m butterfly, which she won at the 2012 Olympics.
Vollmer’s 59.38 ranks 24th in the U.S. this year. She has 18 months to improve until the Olympic Trials, where it will likely require a time in the low 57s to qualify for Tokyo. At this point in the last Olympic cycle, Vollmer was six months pregnant.
In other events Friday, Katie Ledecky topped fellow Olympic gold medalist and Stanford training partner Simone Manuel by 2.6 seconds in the 200m freestyle, clocking 1:55.32. While Ledecky is Olympic champion in the event, Manuel focuses on the 50m and 100m frees.
Ledecky hasn’t lost a 200m free to another American in nearly five years, but she took second at the 2017 Worlds and third at August’s Pan Pacific Championships. A showdown with Canadian Taylor Ruck and Japanese Rikako Ikee at July’s worlds will be much anticipated.
Ledecky and Manuel will match up again in the 100m free on Saturday, the final day of nationals, streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app at 5 p.m. ET.
Olympians Jacob Pebley (200m free) Kylie Masse (100m back), Micah Sumrall (100m breaststroke) and Jay Litherland (400m individual medley) also won Friday.
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