Chicago-Area Swimmers Compete in Finals, 3 Qualify for Rio

Chicago was well represented at the final events in the U.S. swimming trials Tuesday night, with four local athletes competing for a spot in Rio, and two emerging victorious. 

Conor Dwyer, of Winnetka, Matt Grevers, of Lake Forest, Olivia Smoliga, of Glenview, and Sean Lehane, of Naperville, all raced in final events in the U.S. swimming trials. In each race, the top two finishers qualified for a spot on the U.S. team. 

Dwyer already qualified for the Games after a second-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle final Sunday, marking his second consecutive Olympics representing the U.S. team in the event.

Dwyer led the 200 free prelims with a time of 1:46.66, then came in second Tuesday night with a time of 1:45.67, just behind Townley Haas with 1:45.66. 

On Monday, Smoliga beat out defending Olympic champion Missy Franklin, one of America’s biggest stars at the London Games four years ago, finishing first in the semifinal for women’s 100 backstroke. Franklin finished in seventh, barely qualifying for Tuesday’s final.

On Tuesday, Smoliga finished first once again with a time of 59.02, qualifying for the event in Rio. Kathleen Baker came in second with a time of 59.29.

Two Chicago-area natives competed in the men's 100-meter backstroke Tuesday. 

Defending Olympic champion Grevers finished third in the finals, falling just short of qualifying with a time of 52.76. And Sean Lehane finished in seventh place, with a time of 54.72. Ryan Murphy and David Plummer finished in 52.26 and 52.28, respectively, earning their spots on Team USA. 

Kevin Cordes, of Naperville, qualified for the men's 100-meter breaststroke Monday night, finishing first in the final round with a time of 59.18. This will be his first Olympic games. 

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