2016 Trials Throwback: Cammile Adams Fights Through DQ to Return to Olympics

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Cammile Adams after winning the 200 fly at the 2016 trials. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2016 Trials Throwback: Cammile Adams Fights Through DQ to Return to Olympics

Each day during the pre-scheduled days of the 2020 US Olympic Trials, Swimming World will take its readers back four years to the 2016 Trials in Omaha to recap each event, and will offer some insight into what the events will look like in 2021.

The women’s 200 butterfly was one of the most talked about events at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. It had intrigue, controversy and elite swims.

The controversy at the 2016 Trials started in the prelims when the favorite, Cammile Adams, was disqualified. It quickly became the most eventful prelims event at the Trials as she and coach David Marsh had to appeal and look at video review to determine that the disqualification should be overturned — and was.

“Cammile had a very nice morning swim,” Marsh said. “The officials on deck, when they perceive something, they can make a call knowing it’s going to underwater backup camera. We went down, looked into our cameras with Cammile, with Frank Busch and myself and the officials.

“The perception by the official was that she came off the wall on her back, and the underwater camera confirms that it has her toes on the wall, [and] she was fully on her side moving toward her stomach.”

Adams came back more than an hour later, obviously relieved after a stressful morning.

“When I saw, obviously a little bit of panic. A lot of panic,” Adams said. “But just really thankful for the systems we have. Got to go back to the head official and just look at the underwater camera. With it being overturned, I’m obviously very thankful. I have great support behind me with David and Bob [Groseth] on my end and my dad being here as well, and then Frank Busch came down into the room as well just to have the moral support behind me, and I think it makes a big difference.”

The Race

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Hali Flickinger; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The controversy completely overshadowed the actual race, which Adams ended up winning convincingly.

Adams finished in 2:06.80, nearly a second ahead of Hali Flickinger, who also qualified for Rio in 2:07.50.

Flickinger’s time was also nearly a second ahead of the third-place finisher, Cassidy Bayer (2:08.68).

So the race itself was not the talk of Omaha at the 2016 Trials, it was the process and the roller coaster that Adams went through over a two-day period to finish where she was expected in the first place — in first place.

The Results

  1. Cammile Adams, 2:06.80
    2. Hali Flickinger, 2:07.50
    3. Cassidy Bayer, 2:08.68
    4. Ruby Martin, 2:09.96
    5. Christina Bechtel, 2:10.54
    6. Katie McLaughlin, 2:10.87
    7. Kelsi (Worrell) Dahlia, 2:11.85
    8. Hannah Saiz, 2:11.88

On to Rio

Adams recovered from the original disqualification at the 2016 Trials to make the Olympic team, which was truly impressive. That could have mentally shaken anyone into not being able to perform at their best.

In Rio, Adams finished fourth, just seven tenths of a second away from the bronze medal.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won the gold medal in 2:04.85, followed by Australia’s Madeline Groves (2:04.88) and Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi (2:05.20).

Flickinger made the final and finished seventh in Rio at 2:07.71, and is looking to return to the Olympics in Tokyo — and medal.

2016 Trials Throwbacks:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5: