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Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

It’s been a long wait, but Day 4 will mark the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials debut of two of the country’s biggest swimming stars, Caeleb Dressel and Kate Douglass.

Dressel will begin his pursuit of a successful Olympic title defense in the men’s 100 freestyle, but it will be a tall order to land an individual berth in Paris with the likes of World silver medalist Jack Alexy, last night’s 200 free runner-up Chris Guiliano, and four others who have been under 48 seconds within the Trials qualifying period.

Douglass comes in as the top seed in the women’s 100 free, where we’ll see Gretchen Walsh show us her freestyle for the first time since breaking the 100 fly world record, while veterans Simone ManuelAbbey Weitzeil and Olivia Smoliga will start their quest to make a third straight U.S. Olympic team. Manuel is the only one of the three that has raced thus far, placing 7th in last night’s 200 free.

We’ll also see prelim heats this morning in the men’s 200 fly, women’s 1500 free and men’s 200 breast.

The men’s 200 fly is headlined by young gun Thomas Heilman, while the 200 breast is spearheaded by 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Matt Fallon.

The 1500 free will be all Katie Ledecky, though she’ll be putting it on cruise control this morning.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY  – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 1:50.34, Kristof Milak (HUN) – 2022 World Championships
  • American Record: 1:51.51, Michael Phelps – 2009 World Championships
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:52.20, Michael Phelps (USA) – 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials
  • World Junior Record: 1:53.79, Kristof Milak (hun) – 2017 European Junior Championships
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: 1:55.06, Zach Harting
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 1:55.78

Semi-Final Qualifiers:

  1. Mason Laur (FLOR), 1:55.09
  2. Luca Urlando (DART), 1:55.52
  3. Dare Rose (CAL), 1:55.94
  4. Colby Mefford (CAL), 1:56.36
  5. Jack Dahlgren (TRI), 1:56.45
  6. Trenton Julian (MVN), 1:56.53
  7. Chase Kalisz (TXLA), 1:56.71
  8. Thomas Heilman (CA-Y), 1:56.77
  9. Zach Harting (CARD), 1:57.30
  10. Kaiser Neverman (UOFM), 1:57.31
  11. Drew Hitchcock (BAY), 1:57.41
  12. Tommy Bried (UOFL), 1:57.60
  13. Alex Colson (SUN), 1:57.62
  14. Mitchell Schott (PRIN), 1:57.90
  15. David Schmitt (EVO), 1:58.32
  16. Carl Bloebaum (VT) / Logan Robinson (GPAC), 1:58.37**

**swim-off required

Florida’s Mason Laur delivered an impressive showing from the penultimate heat of the men’s 200 fly, dropping nearly six-tenths from his lifetime best in 1:55.09 to qualify 1st into the semi-finals.

Cal’s Dare Rose led the heat early on after a sizzling opening 100 in 53.82, and he managed to hang on for one of the three sub-1:56 swims of the session in 1:55.94, good for 3rd overall and just .01 off his lifetime best set last summer.

DART Swimming’s Luca Urlando, who has been on a comeback trail of sorts over the last two years after numerous shoulder issues, looked smooth and strong in the final heat, putting up a time of 1:55.52 to touch 1st and qualify 2nd into the semis. The time knocks a tenth off Urlando’s season-best of 1:55.63 set at the Pro Swim Stop in San Antonio.

Cal’s Colby Mefford brought his best time all the way down from 1:58.01 to 1:56.36 to touch 2nd to Urlando and advance 4th overall into the semis, with top seed Thomas Heilman 4th in the heat and 8th overall in 1:56.77.

Team Triumph’s Jack Dahlgren made some noise from the first cirlce-seeded heat, using some early speed to establish a lead he would not relinquish, touching in 1:56.45 which was good for 5th overall.

Louisville’s Tommy Bried kicked off the morning with a blistering swim out of the first heat, producing a two-second best time in 1:57.60 to advance 12th into the semis.

Virginia Tech’s Carl Bloebaum followed with a 1:58.37 clocking in the next heat, within three-tenths of his lifetime best 1:58.04 set in 2021. GPAC’s Logan Robinson matched that time to win Heat 3, his first time sub-2:00 to move into 34th all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group. Those two ended up tying for 16th and will require a swim-off to determine who advances to tonight’s session.*

Update: A Chase Kalisz scratch means there will be no swim-off and Bloebaum and Robinson will both advance into the semi-finals.

Princeton’s Mitchell Schott also dropped a big best from a non-circle-seeded heat, touching in 1:57.90 to lower his previous PB of 1:59.38 and qualify in 14th place.

Carson Foster, the #2 seed coming in and a 2023 World Championship finalist in this event, was a no show in his heat this morning, the third time he hasn’t scratched but rather DNS’d an event here in Indianapolis. Foster qualified for the Olympics two nights ago in the 400 IM.

Aaron Shackell, who raced two 400 frees and four 200 frees through the first three days of the meet, added five seconds from his best time and placed 41st in 2:00.97. Shackell has solidified his spot on the U.S. team heading to Paris after his big win in the 400 free on Saturday.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 46.80 — Pan Zhanle (CHN), 2024
  • American Record: 46.96 — Caeleb Dressel, 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 47.39 — Caeleb Dressel (USA) / Ryan Held (USA), 2021 / 2019
  • World Junior Record: 46.86 – David Popovici (ROU), 2022
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Caeleb Dressel, 47.39
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 48.34

Semi-Final Qualifiers:

  1. Jack Alexy (CAL), 47.08 US OPEN
  2. Chris Guiliano (ND), 47.65
  3. Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 47.82
  4. Hunter Armstrong (NYAC), 47.93
  5. Destin Lasco (CAL), 48.14
  6. Ryan Held (NYAC), 48.15
  7. Patrick Sammon (SUN), 48.18
  8. Matt King (TFA), 48.26
  9. Kieran Smith (RAC), 48.46
  10. Blake Pieroni (ISC), 48.52
  11. Brooks Curry (CAL) / Henry McFadden (JW), 48.59
  12. Macguire McDuff (FLOR), 48.60
  13. Jonny Kulow (SUN), 48.68
  14. Reese Branzell (ABSC), 48.70
  15. Drew Kibler (NYAC), 48.72

Fireworks went off in the last heat of the men’s 100 free, as Caeleb Dressel‘s meet debut was overshadowed by a stunning performance from Jack Alexy, who looked like he was operating on a different level than everyone else.

Alexy, the 2023 Worlds silver medalist, had the fastest opening (22.44) and closing (24.64) splits in the field to clock in with a time of 47.08, breaking the U.S. Open Record of 47.39 held jointly by Dressel and Ryan Held. Alexy also moves into a tie for #8 all-time in the event, matching Kyle Chalmers, as he downs his previous best of 47.31 set in last year’s World Championship final.

All-Time Performers, Men’s 100 Freestyle (LCM)

  1. Pan Zhanle (CHN), 46.80 – 2024
  2. David Popovici (ROU), 46.86 – 2022
  3. Cesar Cielo (BRA), 46.91 – 2009
  4. Alain Bernard (FRA), 46.94 – 2009
  5. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 46.96 – 2019
  6. Cameron McEvoy (AUS), 47.04 – 2016
  7. Eamon Sullivan (AUS), 47.05 – 2008
  8. Kyle Chalmers (AUS) / Jack Alexy (USA), 47.08 – 2019 / 2024
  9. James Magnussen (AUS), 47.10 – 2012

Although Alexy made him look pedestrian, Dressel showed promising form in his first swim of the Trials, touching in 47.82 to advance 3rd overall in what was his fastest swim in two years.

Alexy moves into #2 in the world this season, while Dressel cracks the top 10 in a tie for 9th.

2 Jack
ALEXY
USA 47.08 06/18
3 Maxime
GROUSSET
FRA 47.33 06/18
4 Chris
GUILIANO
USA 47.49 02/25
5 Josh
LIENDO
CAN 47.55 05/16
6 Alessandro
MIRESSI
ITA 47.61 11/30
7 Kyle
CHALMERS
AUS 47.63 04/20
8 Nandor
NEMETH
HUN 47.78 02/15
9 Egor
Kornev
RUS 47.82 04/19
9 Caeleb
DRESSEL
USA 47.82 06/18

View Top 51»

The second-to-last heat saw another monster swim from Chris Guiliano, as the Notre Dame product followed up on his Olympic qualification in last night’s 200 free by dropping a prelim time of 47.65, just shy of his 47.49 PB set in February.

Hunter Armstrong, who also qualified for the Olympic team last night in the 100 back (pending roster numbers), joined the sub-48 party in 47.93, a tenth off his best time to advance in 4th.

In 5th, Destin Lasco had his best swim of the meet after missing the final of the 100 back, clocking 48.14 for a massive season-best (he had previously only been 49.01) and come within earshot of his 47.87 best time.

Some of the pre-race favorites for relays spots such as Ryan HeldMatt King and Brooks Curry all safely moved through with 48-low-to-mid swims, while Sun Devil Swimming’s Patrick Sammon was a standout as he dropped nearly three-tenths to qualify 7th overall in 48.18.

No major names ended up on the outside looking in, though youngsters and outside relay hopefuls Kaii Winkler (49.22) and Maximus Williamson (49.41) added time and didn’t move through.

WOMEN’S 1500 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2018 Pro Swim Series, Indianapolis
  • American Record:  15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2018 Pro Swim Series, Indianapolis
  • U.S. Open Record: 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2018 Pro Swim Series, Indianapolis
  • World Junior Record:15:28.36, Katie Ledecky (USA)
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky, 15:40.50
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time (‘A’ Cut): 16:09.09

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Katie Ledecky (GSC), 15:39.73
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND), 16:10.13
  3. Rachel Stege (ABSC), 16:15.59
  4. Aurora Roghair (ALTO), 16:17.92
  5. Ashley Twichell (TAC-NC), 16:18.06
  6. Kate Hurst (SCAR), 16:19.09
  7. Mariah Denigan (ISC), 16:22.28
  8. Erica Sullivan (TXLA), 16:25.33

It was another distance swimming clinic for Katie Ledecky in the heats of the women’s 1500 free, as the defending Olympic champion cruised to the fastest time by more than 30 seconds in 15:39.73, the 23rd-fastest swim in history and 22nd-fastest of her career.

Despite Ledecky being a full 50 meters clear of the next-fastest swimmer in the final heat, we ended up seeing five of the top-six qualifiers for the final come out of it.

Rachel Stege charged home with a pair of 30-point closing 50s to touch 2nd in 16:15.59, just two seconds off her best time, while Aurora Roghair continued her standout meet by setting a new lifetime best of 16:17.92 to touch 3rd, just edging out veteran Ashley Twichell and World Junior champion Kate Hurst.

In the first circle-seeded heat it was all Katie Grimes, as the 18-year-old Sandpipers of Nevada star followed up her double in last night’s session by rolling to a time of 16:10.13, advancing to the final in 2nd. Grimes has been as fast as 15:57.31 this season (and 15:44.89 all-time).

Mariah Denigan and Erica Sullivan went 2-3 in Grimes’ heat, advancing to the final in the last two spots.

Maya Geringer (16:26.66) and Mila Nikanorov (16:27.05) set best times to win two of the early heats, ultimately landing them 9th and 10th overall.

WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 51.71 – Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  • American Record: 52.04 – Simone Manuel, 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 52.54 – Simone Manuel (USA), 2018
  • World Junior Record: 52.70 – Penny Oleksiak (CAN), 2016
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Abbey Weitzeil – 53.53
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 53.61

Semi-Final Qualifiers:

  1. Simone Manuel (SUN), 53.09
  2. Abbey Weitzeil (CAL), 53.56
  3. Gretchen Walsh (NAC), 53.60
  4. Torri Huske (AAC), 53.62
  5. Kate Douglass (NYAC), 53.66
  6. Catie Deloof (NYAC), 53.81
  7. Rylee Erisman (LAKR), 54.22
  8. Beata Nelson (UN-WI), 54.30
  9. Anna Moesch (GSCY), 54.44
  10. Erin Gemmell (NCA0), 54.55
  11. Olivia Smoliga (SUN), 54.56
  12. Anna Peplowski (ISC), 54.64
  13. Kristina Paegle (ISC) / Erika Pelaez (EA), 54.65
  14. Erika Connelly (TNAQ) / Chloe Stepanek (LIAC), 54.72

Shades of 2016?

Simone Manuel looked phenomenal in the heats of the women’s 100 free, overtaking Abbey Weitzeil down the stretch in the penultimate with what appeared to be relative ease to claim the top seed for tonight’s semis in 53.09.

Splitting 25.76/27.33—giving her the fastest back half in the field—Manuel produced a new season-best, .01 under her season-best of 53.10 set at last month’s Speedo Grand Challenge.

Weitzeil was the quickest swimmer in the field through 50 meters in 25.30, a good omen for the 50, and was quick enough coming home to earn the #2 seed for the semis in 53.56.

It was a Virginia-heavy eighth and final heat, as Kate DouglassGretchen Walsh and Maxine Parker occupied the middle three lanes.

Douglass and Walsh went stroke for stroke much of the way, but Walsh’s length gave her the edge late as the newly-minted 100 fly world record holder touched 1st in 53.60 to earn the 3rd seed for tonight’s session, just ahead of Douglass (53.66), who raced for the first time in Indianapolis.

Torri Huske topped the other circle-seeded heat in a comfortable 53.62, advancing her 4th into the semis, sandwiched between Walsh and Douglass.

Douglass is the lone American sub-53 this year at 52.98, while Huske has been 53.08 and Walsh has been as fast as 53.17.

Advancing in 7th was Laker Swimming standout Rylee Erisman, who was already the fastest 15-year-old in history after clocking 54.34 last month. Erisman improved that time by more than a tenth in 54.22, moving her up one spot into 6th all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group.

Beata Nelson set a new personal best time to qualify 8th in 54.30, while Catie Deloof was just six one-hundredths off hers to move through 6th in 53.81.

Parker, who was a member of the 400 free relay at the 2023 World Championships, missed on a semi-final berth by three one-hundredths, tying with Isabel Ivey for 17th in 54.75. The two may swim off for the first alternate position.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 2:05.48 — Qin Haiyang (CHN), 2024
  • American Record: 2:07.17 — Josh Prenot, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17 — Josh Prenot (USA), 2016
  • World Junior Record: 2:08.04 — Dong Zhihao (CHN), 2023
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Nic Fink — 2:07.55
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time — 2:09.68

Semi-Final Qualifiers: