2017 U.S. World Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first night of action from Indianapolis is upon us, with many exciting races in store. The 200 fly and 100 free finals will go off tonight, along with the fastest seeded heats in the women’s 800 and men’s 1500.

The 800 free figures to be the Katie Ledecky show, as the two-time defending Olympic champion will push to dip beneath the 8:10 barrier tonight, and maybe even lower. She’ll double tonight also having the 100 free on her schedule, where she’ll hunt down a relay spot. Simone Manuel and Mallory Comerford are the favorites for the individual spots.

The men’s 100 free had a surprise when Auburn’s Zach Apple took the top seed in 48.14 this morning. Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel will try and hold him off to repeat as the American representatives in this event on the international stage, while the rest of the field will jockey for relay positions.

The 200 fly on both the men’s and women’s side was dominated by Georgia swimmers this morning. Hali Flickinger and Chase Kalisz head into tonight as the favorites to win after taking the top spots in the prelims.

After the early heats in the distance events, Summer Finke (8:34.63) and Kevin Litherland (15:10.93) lead the way. Check out a full preview of finals here.

Women’s 200 Fly Finals

  • American Record: 2:04.14, Mary DeScenza, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:05.96, Mary T. Meagher, 1981
  • LC National Meet Record: 2:05.96, Mary T. Meagher, 1981
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:09.77
  1. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 2:07.60
  2. Dakota Luther, ASC, 2:08.71
  3. Sarah Gibson, TAMU, 2:08.75

Hali Flickinger led from the gun and never looked back, coming in at 2:07.60 to become the first American to qualify for the World Championships this year. She really extended her lead on the third 50, and held it together well to win by over a second.

After Katie McLaughlin was in 2nd for the first half of the race, 17-year-old Dakota Luther stormed down the third length to take over 2nd into the last 50, and held off a hard charging Sarah Gibson to hang on for the second World Championship spot in 2:08.71. Luther, still in high school, makes the team after no high schoolers made the Olympic team last year.

Gibson rounded out the podium in 2:08.75, while Ella Eastin had a great swim out of lane 8 to take 4th in 2:09.24.

Vanessa Krause and Jen Marrkand got under 2:10 as well to take 5th and 6th, while McLaughlin faded a bit coming home, ending up in 6th in a time of 2:10.21.

Cassidy Bayer led the B-final early but ran into trouble on the final 50, as Ruby Martin took over to win the heat in 2:10.42. Bayer finished back in 6th in 2:11.92, while 17-year-old Madison Homovich triumphed in the C-final in 2:11.71.

Men’s 200 Fly Finals

  • American Record: 1:51.51, Michael Phelps, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:52.20, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • LC National Meet Record: 1:52.20, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.28
  1. Jack Conger, NCAP, 1:54.47
  2. Pace Clark, ABSC, 1:54.58
  3. Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 1:54.79

In a closely contested final, Jack Conger got out ahead at the start and was able to maintain it throughout, holding off hard charges from Pace Clark and Chase Kalisz for the win in 1:54.47. After being the only swimmer in the A-final to not register a PB in this morning’s prelims, Conger lowers his 1:54.54 that he did back at 2015 Nationals. His swim moves him into 4th in the world for the year.

Clark blazed home in 29.47, the fastest in the field, to run down Kalisz and take the second spot in 1:54.58, knocking another second and a half off his best time. Kalisz also got a best in 1:54.79, but it is a bit of surprise to see him off the team as many pegged hima as a shoo-in after the season he’s had.

Gunnar Bentz had another personal best for 4th in 1:55.51, as did Justin Wright (1:56.11) and Zach Harting (1:56.65) who took 5th and 6th.

Brendan Meyer and Sam Pomajevich had a great battle in the B-final, with Meyer getting the touch in 1:57.54 to Pomajevich’s 1:57.62. In the 18 & under C-final Jack LeVant took the win in 1:59.11 over Alex Liang (1:59.48).

Women’s 100 Free Finals

  • American Record: 52.70, Simone Manuel, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 53.12, Sarah Sjostrom, 2016
  • LC National Meet Record: 53.26, Mallory Comerford, 2017
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 54.90
  1. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 52.81
  2. Simone Manuel, STAN, 53.05
  3. Lia Neal, STAN, 53.59
  4. Kelsi Worrell, CARD, 53.99
  5. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 54.31
  6. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 54.35

After setting a new meet record this morning, Louisville’s Mallory Comerford went over four tenths better tonight to clock a new meet and U.S. Open Record in a time of 52.81, her first time under 53 seconds. Comerford moves to #3 in the world with that swim, and qualifies for her first major international competition.

2016 Olympic champ Simone Manuel sat 2nd the entire race, touching in 53.05 to take the second individual spot heading to Budapest. Her Stanford teammates Lia Neal and Katie Ledecky made the relay in 3rd and 6th, as did Comerford’s teammate from Louisville Kelsi WorrellOlivia Smoliga took the other relay spot, 5th in 54.35.

Courtney Caldwell of the Wolfpack ran down Abbey Weitzeil for the win in the B-final in 54.80, and Grace Ariola of Waves Bloomington dropped nearly a second from prelims to win the C-final in 55.05.

Men’s 100 Free Finals

  • American Record: 47.33, David Walters, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 47.58, Jason Lezak, 2008
  • LC National Meet Record: 47.58, Jason Lezak, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 48.93
  1. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 47.96
  2. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 47.97
  3. Townley Haas, NOVA, 48.20
  4. Zach Apple, AU, 48.23
  5. Michael Chadwick, UMIZ, 48.48
  6. Blake Pieroni, IU, 48.49

When the chips are done, the best find a way. Ever so consistent, Nathan Adrian continued his streak of wins at U.S. Trials meets with his showing of 47.96, taking the top spot over Caeleb Dressel by 0.01. Adrian was out conservative, 6th at the 50 in 23.27, but came blazing home in 24.69 to run down everyone for the win. He moves into 3rd in the world for the year.

Dressel was out first in 22.81, and held it together coming home to dip below 48 seconds for the third time and make his second consecutive major international Championship in this event.

Townley Haas had the second fastest back half in 25.02 to pull up into 3rd in 48.20, and Zach Apple showed this morning was no fluke coming within a tenth of his 48.14 for 4th in 48.23. In 5th and 6th Michael Chadwick and Blake Pieroni will likely earn relay berths along with Haas and Apple. Ryan Held just missed a potential relay spot, 7th in 48.53 to Pieroni’s 48.49.

Dressel is now 4th in the world behind Adrian, while Apple’s prelim time has him 6th. The American 400 free relay is in good shape heading into Worlds.

Maxime Rooney had a strong showing in the B-final to take the heat in 49.00, just ahead of Justin Ress (49.15) who equalled his time from the morning. In the C-final, both Matthew Willenbring (49.57) and Michael Andrew (49.97) improved from the morning to take the top two spots.

Women’s 800 Free (Timed Final)

  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 8:11.50
  2. Leah Smith, CAV, 8:20.46
  3. Hannah Moore, WOLF, 8:27.58

Shortly after taking 6th in the 100 free final, Katie Ledecky was back in the pool for the women’s 800 free, winning easily in a time of 8:11.50. The two-time defending Olympic champion was well ahead of the field the entire race, and was just shy of her national meet record of 8:10.32 done at the Olympic Trials last year.

Leah Smith finished 2nd to Ledecky, just as she did in Omaha, with a very strong showing in 8:20.46, just missing her best time from last year of 8:20.18. Ledecky and Smith take over the top two times in the world this year.

Hannah Moore of the NC State Wolfpack takes 3rd, while Cierra Runge is 4th (8:32.16). Swimming out of the early heats, Summer Finke (8:34.63) and Leah Stevens (8:34.78) took 7th and 8th overall.

Men’s 1500 Free (Timed Final)

  • American Record: 14:39.48, Connor Jaeger, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 14:45.54, Peter Vanderkaay, 2008
  • LC National Meet Record: 14:45.54, Peter Vanderkaay, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 15:12.79
  1. True Sweetser, STAN, 14:59.73
  2. Robert Finke, SPA, 15:01.31
  3. PJ Ransford, MICH, 15:01.82

Wow, what a race in the men’s 1500. Early on, Robert Finke of Saint Petersburg took off, and looked like he was going to run away with the event. After the halfway mark, slowly but surely PJ Ransford of Michigan began crawling back into the race. And then all of a sudden Stanford’s True Sweetser started crawling back into it after looking like he was done early on, sitting over five seconds behind Finke just 400m in.

On his fifth straight 50 under 30 seconds, Sweetser caught Finke and Ransford with 150m to go and ran away for the win, touching in 14:59.73 to break 15 minutes for the first time in his career. Finke managed to hold off Ransford on the final 50, taking 2nd in 15:01.31 to Ransford’s 15:01.82. Both men also earned big personal bests.

Sweetser negative split the race big time, closing the back 750 (7:26.41) nearly seven seconds faster than he was out (7:33.32). Ransford also had a negative split of over four seconds.

Andrew Abruzzo (15:07.97) and Michael Brinegar (15:10.66) posted PBs in the heat as well for 4th and 5th, and Kevin LitherlandChris Yeager and Ben Lawless all snuck into the top-8 out of earlier heats.

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2017 US Nationals Hopes
4 years ago

Mallory Comerford 52.99!

Reply to  2017 US Nationals Hopes
4 years ago

easely ….

4 years ago

yes she did it !!

2017 US Nationals Hopes
4 years ago

Calaeb Dressel 47.60!
Kalisz 1:54.25
Flickinger 2:07.23
Ledecky 8:09.01
Finke 14:58.71

Reply to  2017 US Nationals Hopes
4 years ago

u forgot the women 100 free …..

Attila the Runt
4 years ago

see his first post about comerford

Reply to  Attila the Runt
4 years ago

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh u are right

4 years ago

A touch off topic, but when will that legendary women’s 2 fly us open record finally go down? I’ve been to the pool it was set at many times and seen the record posted there and it just seems so incredibly untouchable. I doubt it will be today, but who knows if it will be broken for even another decade.

Reply to  Friuti
4 years ago
Reply to  Friuti
4 years ago

With no tech suit and no goggles!

samuel huntington
Reply to  Friuti
4 years ago

easily one of the top 10 greatest swims of all time

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

Top 10 greatest individual sports performances if you ask me.

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

not even wearing goggles

Attila the Runt
Reply to  Friuti
4 years ago

Phelps spoiled everyone into believing that breathing every stroke in fly is the thing. Maybe it is, but for some people, it’s not. Mary T was every other stroke (or every third at times). Sure ttere are underwaters now to consider, but maybe if you don’t have Phelpsian underwaters, you should come up sooner and breathe every other. Wish some would have the guts to try that again, men and women.

Ice age swimmer
Reply to  Attila the Runt
4 years ago

Kelsi does when she swims 200 fly.

4 years ago

W 200 fly- Flickinger, McLaughlin
M 200 fly- Conger, Kalisz
W 100 free- Comerford, Manuel, Worrell, Neal, Ledecky, Smoliga
M 100 free- Dressel, Adrian, Apple, Held, Haas, Murphy (least confident about this event because prelims was fast)
W 800 free- Ledecky, Smith
M 1500 free- Sweetser, Finke

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

Tough to pick men/women’s 100 as there is only a handful of ways to do it in which you don’t leave off a gold medalist…

Reply to  Friuti
4 years ago

Just realized there are 5 of them in there

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

Too chalky. there gonna be upsets for sure…especially in 100 free

4 years ago

Unconscious Townley Haas mode activated.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Jake
4 years ago

*hits snooze*

100 Free isn’t for an hour or so, he’s got time.

Tea rex
4 years ago

The men’s 200 fly is going to be a dog race… No more race for second, I can’t wait to see who is the toughest

4 years ago

W200 Fly: Flickinger/Rule
M200 Fly: Kalisz/Conger
W100 Free: Comerford/Manuel + Neal, Worrell, Ledecky, Smoliga
M100 Free: Dressel/Adrian + Haas, Apple, Held, Murphy
W800 Free: Ledecky/Smith
M1500 Free: Sweetser/Finke

Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Anyone else not seeing the live stream?

Ex Quaker
Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Never mind, it’s on the USA Swimming homepage.

Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

It’s working now

Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Can someone post a link? The link above does not work. Love this constant battle for swimming enlightenment…..

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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