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2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championships Trials
- Tuesday, June 27th-Saturday, July 1st
- 50-Meter Course
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Meet Info
After Caeleb Dressel‘s eye-popping 40.00 in the 100 free at NCAAs, swimming fans are eager to see what he can put together in the long course pool. Dressel hit a career milestone last summer when he made his first U.S. Olympic team in this event and broke 48 seconds for the first time in Rio. As the U.S. seeks redemption at Worlds after missing the final in 2015, Dressel is one of the keys to getting the Americans back on the podium and comes equipped with the experience of being on the winning 400 free relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
While he’s certainly one of the frontrunners for gold in this event in Indianapolis, Dressel has some tough competition. In the other corner, we have veteran National Teamer and Olympic champion Nathan Adrian, who won the 100 free at the 2012 Olympics and took bronze in Rio 2016. Adrian has been at the helm in this race for the Americans for several years now, and has consistently been a medalist on the international stage at Worlds, the Olympics, and Pan Pacs. He anchored the USA relay that won gold in Rio, and has already been as fast as 48.18 this season at the Mesa PSS.
Also among the returners from the Olympic gold medal relay in Rio are Ryan Held, Anthony Ervin, and Blake Pieroni, who all have best times in the 48-range. Held is the fastest of the three, and could compete for an individual spot. He smashed ACC Records during the NCAA season and could dip under 48 for the first time if he has similar improvements in long course. Pieroni looks primed for a drop and has already been as fast as 49.13 this season, which is just tenths shy of his 48.78 from 2016 Trials.
We’ve seen big swims from a handful of guys already this season, and a few of them might be well on their way to a relay spot. Michael Chadwick comes to mind as a likely relay candidate. He narrowly missed making the Olympic team last summer and has only gotten better with a personal best 48.69 at 2017 Charlotte UltraSwim. Like Dressel, Chadwick had a big swim at NCAAs, lowering his best time to a 40.95 in the yards pool. Justin Ress (49.43) and Michael Jensen (49.35) have also had big in-season swims, breaking 50 seconds for the first time at the Atlanta Classic and Santa Clara PSS respectively.
NCAA butterfly champ Jack Conger has been clutch on Team USA relays, hitting multiple 47 splits at the 2015 Pan American Games. Conger has a conflict, though, as this event comes directly after the 200 fly, which is one of his best chances to make the team individually. His best time from a flat start is a 49.05 from 2015 Nationals. Similarly, Ryan Murphy hasn’t focused on this event at his championship meets, but he’s been a key piece of the Cal 400 free relays throughout his NCAA career and has managed to have some of the fastest splits of the field each time. Murphy has already put up a best time this season with a 49.60 at the Atlanta PSS. Since it doesn’t conflict with the backstrokes, we could see him swim it at Trials this time around.
National Teamers Matt Grevers, and Conor Dwyer are among the veterans in this event, having competed on the 4×100 free relay at past World Championships. Dwyer could sneak in there if he’s close to his best, which stands at a 48.94 from 2013 Nationals. Since 2015, Grevers’ best is a 49.55, and we can’t be sure he’ll opt to swim the event. If he does, however, he could have a shot. His lifetime best since the supersuit era is a 48.55 from 2012 Trials.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
|Place||Swimmer||Best Time Since 2015||Predicted Time|
DARKHORSE: Auburn’s Zach Apple has shown great improvement since he joined the Tigers. This season, he earned All-American status individually at the 2017 NCAA Championships and scored in both sprint freestyle races. His best time is a 49.43 from 2016, but he’s already been within a couple of tenths of it with his 49.70 from this season’s Atlanta Classic.