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


The opening day of the 2017 U.S. World Championship Trials is here, with just two events slated for this morning’s prelims. The 200 fly and 100 free events will be contested, and then the women’s 800 and men’s 1500 heats will go a bit later in the afternoon.

We have seen some notable scratches for the day, including both Seth Stubblefield and Jack Conger in the men’s 100 free. That event is still absolutely loaded, and will be very interesting to watch this morning as the men battle for a spot in the A-final.

With distance events beginning later, prelims are slated to conclude within an hour and a half of the start. Check out this morning (and this afternoon’s) heat sheets here.

Women’s 200 Fly Prelims

  • American Record: 2:04.14, Mary DeScenza, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:05.96, Mary T. Meagher, 1981
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:09.77
  1. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 2:08.43
  2. Dakota Luther, ASC, 2:08.88
  3. Sarah Gibson, TAMU, 2:09.96
  4. Katie McLaughlin, CAL, 2:10.00
  5. Remedy Rule, TXLA, 2:10.38
  6. Jen Marrkand, CAV, 2:10.42
  7. Vanessa Krause, MICH, 2:10.53
  8. Ella Eastin, STAN, 2:10.65

In the 9th and final heat 2016 Olympian Hali Flickinger took control on the back half and pulled away for the top time of the morning in 2:08.43. Sarah Gibson of Texas A&M had a great swim in the heat as well, getting under 2:10 for the 3rd overall seed in 2:09.96.

Dakota Luther popped a 2:08.88 in the first circle-seeded heat for the 2nd best time, nearly two seconds under her seed. Jen Marrkand pulled in at 2:10.42 to qualify 6th overall in the heat.

Cal’s Katie McLaughlin held off Remedy Rule for the win in heat 8, as they were the only two to qualify out of the heat. Cassidy Bayer, who finished 3rd at the Olympic Trials, was 4th in the heat and misses the A-final, 12th overall at 2:11.22.

Also missing the A-final was #3 seed Hannah Saiz and #4 seed Ruby Martin, finishing 9th and 10 th overall.

Men’s 200 Fly Prelims

  • American Record: 1:51.51, Michael Phelps, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:52.20, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.28
  1. Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 1:55.60
  2. Gunnar Bentz, ABSC, 1:55.72
  3. Pace Clark, ABSC, 1:56.06
  4. Justin Wright, FDST, 1:56.47
  5. Zach Harting, UOFL, 1:56.77
  6. Jack Conger, NCAP, 1:56.79
  7. Mick Litherland, DYNA, 1:57.04
  8. Miles Smachlo, MICH, 1:57.64

The men’s 200 fly heats saw some incredibly fast swims, including a slew of best times. In the first circle-seeded heat we saw Pace ClarkZach Harting and Mick Litherland all lower their personal best to qualify for the final, led by Clark at 1:56.06.

Next up Georgia teammates Chase Kalisz and Gunnar Bentz went head-to-head, both lowering their PBs as well in 1:55.60 and 1:55.72 to take the top two spots heading into tonight.

The last heat then saw Jack Conger and Tom Shields go at it, but it was Justin Wright out of lane 3 popping off a best time to win the heat in 1:56.47 and qualify 4th overall for the final. Conger qualified 6th overall in 1:56.79, while Shields came home in 1:02-plus and ultimately took 9th, out of the A-final, in 1:57.75.

Miles Smachlo of Michigan went out for it in heat 4 and held on for a big best of 1:57.64, squeaking him past Shields and into the A-final in 8th. You clearly had to be on your A-game to make the A-final this morning, with 13 men going sub-1:58.

Women’s 100 Free Prelims

  • American Record: 52.70, Simone Manuel, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 53.12, Sarah Sjostrom, 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 54.90
  1. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 53.26
  2. Simone Manuel, STAN, 53.50
  3. Kelsi Worrell, CARD, 53.87
  4. Lia Neal, STAN, 54.02
  5. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 54.58
  6. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 54.70
  7. Caroline Baldwin, NCAC, 54.91
  8. Veronica Burchill, ABSC, 55.04

Like the men’s 200 fly, the women’s 100 free saw some very fast morning swims and some big names miss the A-final. Mallory Comerford exploded for a new LC National Meet Record and personal best time in 53.26 out of heat 13, taking the top seed heading into tonight. Simone Manuel and Kelsi Worrell, swimming in the 14th of 14 heats, also cracked 54 seconds for seeds #2 and #3.

Lia Neal and Olivia Smoliga qualified out of those heats as well, and Katie Ledecky won the first circle-seeded heat to qualify 6th overall in 54.91 ahead of Veronica Burchill who takes 8th overall.

Caroline Baldwin of NCAC dropped over a second from her seed to win heat 11 in 54.91, moving her into the A-final from a non-circle-seeded heat. Among the notable names missing the A-final was Amanda Weir and Abbey Weitzeil, 14th and 15 overall.

After qualifying for the 200 fly A, both Katie McLaughlin and Sarah Gibson didn’t show for their heat.

Men’s 100 Free Prelims

  • American Record: 47.33, David Walters, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 47.58, Jason Lezak, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 48.93
  1. Zach Apple, AU, 48.14
  2. Townley Haas, NOVA, 48.56*
  3. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 48.56*
  4. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 48.62
  5. Blake Pieroni, IU, 48.65
  6. Ryan Held, WOLF, 48.66
  7. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 48.88
  8. Michael Chadwick, UMIZ, 49.02

Atop of the men’s 100 free rankings sit two surprising suspects. Auburn’s Zach Apple, who finished 35th at the Olympic Trials last year, exploded for the top time of the morning in 48.14. Apple showed off his speed out in 22.9, and closed well in 25.19. All of a sudden he becomes a major threat to earn an individual spot in this event tonight.

Out of the last non-circle-seeded heat Townley Haas dropped a big best time to head into tonight in a tie for 2nd, deadlocked with Caeleb Dressel at 48.56. Behind Apple, Dressel, Blake Pieroni and Ryan Murphy qualified out of heat 9 with sub-49 second swims.

Ryan Held won the first circle-seeded heat in 48.66, the only man in the heat to make it through to the A-final. His Wolfpack teammate Justin Ress narrowly missed, 9th in 49.15.

Top seed Nathan Adrian then took control in the last heat, closing in a quick 25.03 to touch in 48.62 for the #4 seed. Mizzou’s Michael Chadwick, who had a disappointing swim at Olympic Trials last year missing the semi-finals, squeaks into the final at 8th in 49.02.

Along with Ress, notably missing the final but still making it through to the B was Cullen JonesMatt Grevers, Maxime RooneyMichael Jensen and Conor Dwyer.

The time required to get in tonight’s A-final (49.02) is actually faster than it took to make the Olympic Trials final out of the semis (49.18). That’s an impressive stat for the field, given those swims in the semis last year were done at night.

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Ex Quaker
3 years ago

Will there be a live stream?

Reply to  James Sutherland
3 years ago

Why is this available to people not in the USA, but not to those living here?!

ct swim fan
Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

The live stream link above sends me to the Mesa stop of the Pro series. This is unacceptable!!!

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

I am in the us and still can’t watch it

Reply to  Ex Quaker
3 years ago

Don’t go to the livestream link. Just load the USA Swimming front page and the livestream is there if you live in the US. https://www.usaswimming.org/

3 years ago

Though I am in the USA, says 12 minutes to go until the Webcast is on (USA swimming website), but not available in my country?!

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

Says that for me to ?

Reply to  Fremdsprachen
3 years ago

Must just be how they have it coded to tell you it’s not live yet…

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

If this doesn’t pan out, I’m gonna have to focus 100% on work this morning, and actually interact with people. Ugh, the horror.

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

Don’t use the livestream link. Just go to the front page of the USA Swimming site and it will load directly there. https://www.usaswimming.org/

3 years ago

Predictions: men’s 200 fly
Conger 1:54.5
Kalisz 1:54.8

Men’s 100 free

100 free
Ledecky (dislike all you want)

800 free
Hmmmm this is hard…… I have to stay in the end though, I think Leah Smith takes this 🙂 🙂

Reply to  Swimmer?
3 years ago

I am serious btw for all except that last 800 free one lol.

Reply to  Swimmer?
3 years ago

its good to have some humor going on – i like it

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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