2017 U.S. World Trials: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


World Championship spots are back on the line tonight in Indianapolis with four events on the schedule. The 200 free will lead us off, where two individual spots are on the line as well as potentially four more spots for the relay. We’ll then see the 200 breast and 200 back, both with two spots on the line as well, and then the 50 fly where only the winner will book a ticket to Budapest.

Individual Olympic gold medalists Lilly King and Ryan Murphy will look to earn their spots on the Worlds team tonight, while Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel will be among those looking to add another event to their schedule after qualifying last night.

Check out a full preview of tonight’s finals here.


  • American Record: 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • LC National Meet Record: 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:58.68
  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 1:54.84
  2. Leah Smith, CAV, 1:56.68
  3. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 1:56.90
  4. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 1:56.95
  5. Simone Manuel, STAN, 1:57.11
  6. Cierra Runge, WA, 1:57.71

To no one’s surprise Katie Ledecky got out ahead from the gun and never looked back, touching the wall in a time of 1:54.84 to become the first woman under 1:55 this year.

Behind her, the battle for second was fierce. Leah Smith sat 2nd the whole way, but had to fend off late charges from Melanie Margalis and Mallory Comerford at the finish. She managed to do it, touching in 1:56.68 to Margalis’ 1:56.90 and Comerford’s 1:56.95. Ledecky and Smith add this event to the 800 they qualified in last night, while Margalis and Comerford earn automatic relay berths.

Simone Manuel closed well in 29.73 to snag 5th and likely earn a prelim relay spot, as will Cierra Runge in 6th.

Despite disappointingly missing the A-final this morning, Katie McLaughlin had a great swim in the B-final to out-touch Gabby DeLoof by 0.01, 1:58.57 to 1:58.58. Brooke Forde also had a great swim in 1:58.85. York YMCA teammates Courtney Harnish (2:00.49) and Leah Braswell (2:00.81) went 1-2 in the C-final.


  • American Record: 1:42.96, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • LC National Meet Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:47.73
  1. Townley Haas, NOVA, 1:45.03
  2. Blake Pieroni, IU, 1:46.30
  3. Zane Grothe, BAD, 1:46.39
  4. Conor Dwyer, TROJ, 1:47.25
  5. Clark Smith, TXLA, 1:47.29
  6. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 1:47.51

Townley Haas blew away the field, out very quickly in 50.85 and ultimately touching in 1:45.03 for the decisive win. That swim moves Haas into #1 for the world this year, and lowers his personal best by over half a second.

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni moved into 2nd on the second 50 and never relinquished it, holding off Zane Grothe down the stretch to earn the second individual World Championship spot in 1:46.30 to Grothe’s 1:46.39. Grothe had the fastest final 50 in a blazing 26.91.

From lane 8, Conor Dwyer pulled off an automatic relay berth with his 4th place finish in 1:47.25, holding off Clark Smith and Caeleb Dressel.

Maxime Rooney had a strong showing in the B-final, winning the heat in 1:47.47, while Jack LeVant had a big win in the C-final for the second straight night in 1:48.70.


  • American Record: 2:19.59, Rebecca Soni, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:25.91
  1. Lilly King, IU, 2:21.83
  2. Bethany Galat, TAMU, 2:22.24
  3. Miranda Tucker, CW, 2:25.82

After missing the Olympic final last summer, Lilly King came through with a big swim in the 200 breast, clocking a big best time in 2:21.83 to win and punch her ticket to Budapest.

Bethany Galat, who had a few near misses at the Olympic Trials, had a tantalizing back half to claim the other World Championship spot in 2:22.24, also a best time. This was the U.S.’ weakest event in Rio, and this is a great sign of improvement after last year’s Olympic Trials was won in just 2:24.08. King and Galat become the 14th and 18th fastest performers in history.

Katie Meili was out fast, just behind King at the 100, but faded badly to 7th. Club Wolverine’s Miranda Tucker moved up three spots on the final 50 to claim 3rd in 2:25.82, just ahead of Kayla Brumbaum (2:25.85) and Vanessa Pearl (2:25.97). Pearl becomes the 3rd fastest ever in the 17-18 age category.

Zoe Bartel (2:27.26) and Ashley McCauley (2:31.00) won the B and C-final respectively.


  • American Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot, 2016
  • LC National Meet Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot, 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:11.11
  1. Kevin Cordes, UN, 2:07.41
  2. Nicolas Fink, ABSC, 2:08.63
  3. Josh Prenot, CAL, 2:08.72

Kevin Cordes took off on the second 50, taking over the lead and staying under world record pace through 150m, before taking the win in 2:07.41. That’s a new personal best for him, and moves him past Eric Shanteau as the 2nd fastest American in history. He’s now 3rd in the world for the year behind the Japanese duo of Ippei Watanabe and Yasuhiro Koseki. His swim is also faster than the 2:07.46 that won Olympic gold last summer.

In a very tight field, Nicolas Fink was the big surprise claiming 2nd in 2:08.63, mowing down Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot and top seed coming into tonight Andrew Wilson on the final 50. Prenot shockingly misses the team in this event after setting the American Record last year, 3rd in 2:08.72, while Wilson was just off his prelim time, 4th in 2:08.82. Will Licon also had a disappointing swim, 5th in 2:09.68.

Conner McHugh had a strong showing in the B-final, out-touching Reece Whitley by 0.01 in 2:12.47. In the C-final, AJ Bornstein unloaded a very fast in 2:14.28.


  • American Record: 2:04.06, Missy Franklin, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:05.68, Missy Franklin, 2013
  • LC National Meet Record: 2:05.68, Missy Franklin, 2013
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:11.53
  1. Kathleen Baker, CAL, 2:06.38
  2. Regan Smith, RIPT, 2:08.55
  3. Asia Seidt, LAK, 2:08.99

100 back Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker put on a dominant display in the 200 back final after foregoing the event at Olympic Trials last year. After winning decisively at the NCAA Championships, the Cal Bear proved she could do it in the big pool as well, torching the field in a time of 2:06.38. She was ahead from the start, out in 1:01.74 and held it together well coming back in 1:04.6.

15-year-old Regan Smith of Riptide dropped a second consecutive 2:08 today to claim second in 2:08.55, and Lakeside’s Asia Seidt had a nice personal best as well to take 3rd in 2:08.99. Behind those three, the field quite a bit slower than this morning, with Kentucky’s Bridgette Alexander 4th in 2:10.10.

Lucie NordmannAlex Walsh and Tevyn Waddell had a good battle in the B-final, with Nordmann getting the touch in 2:10.35. All three were under 2:11. Claire Adams dropped nearly two seconds from prelims to win the C-final in 2:11.86.


  • American Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:58.55
  1. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 1:54.30
  2. Jacob Pebley, CAL, 1:54.78
  3. Robert Owen, HOKI, 1:57.17

The Cal duo of Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley came through as expected tonight, going 1-2 in times of 1:54.30 and 1:54.78 respectively. Murphy was out from the start, out in 26.91 at the 50. Pebley essentially matched his splits from there, coming within a hundredth of his PB from 1:54.77.

Robert Owen held 3rd throughout the race, touching in 1:57.17, with Sean Lehane 4th (1:57.33) and Austin Katz 5th (1:57.60).

Bryce Mefford (1:58.63) and Alessandro Boratto (2:00.87) won the B and C-finals respectively.


  • American Record: 25.50, Dara Torres, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 25.50, Dara Torres, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: 25.50, Dara Torres, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 26.49
  1. Kelsi Worrell, CARD, 25.69
  2. Hellen Moffitt, NCAC, 26.19
  3. Kendyl Stewart, TROJ, 26.24

Kelsi Worrell qualifies for Worlds in an individual event for the first time in her career with a quick 25.69 showing in the 50 fly. Slightly faster than her morning swim, Worrell narrowly misses the American Record of 25.50, set by Dara Torres in 2009.

In a very tight battle for 2nd, Hellen Moffitt got there in 26.19, with Kendyl Stewart 3rd in 26.24. Alyssa Marsh dropped over two tenths from the morning for 4th in 26.46, and Annie Ochitwa was 5th in 26.51.

There were four more 26s in the B-final, led by Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson in 26.76. 17-year-old Sophie Lindner of SwimMac won the C-final in 27.16.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 23.05
  2. Cullen Jones, WOLF, 23.27
  3. Tim Phillips, MAC, 23.37

Caeleb Dressel finished off his double tonight with a great showing in the men’s 50 fly, winning in a new LC National Championship Record time of 23.05, lowering Cullen Jones‘ mark of 23.26 set this morning. Dressel has now secured a spot in two individual events for the World Championships, along with a likely relay slot on the 4×200 free relay.

Dressel ties Eugene Godsoe as the 2nd fastest American of all-time, trailing only Bryan Lundquist.

Jones just misses a spot on the team, 2nd in 23.27. Based on these swims, both Dressel and Jones will be dangerous in the 50 free on Saturday.

Tim Phillips of SwimMac pulled in for 3rd in 23.37, followed by Michael Andrew (23.42) and Ryan Held (23.68).

Cal’s Matthew Josa had a nice drop from prelims to get under 24 in the B-final clocking 23.73, and Cal commit Ryan Hoffer won the C-final in 24.18.

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bobo gigi
5 years ago

Quick comments

WOMEN’S 200 FREE. KL not much rested looks crazy good. Some fans talk about the world record but I don’t see that happen in Budapest. Don’t forget she will have 2 rounds of 1500 free before the 200 free final. Anyway even without the 1500 free it would be unlikely. Leah Smith will have difficulties to make the final at worlds. Mallory Comerford with a good new PB but it’s still far from her 100 free level. No surprise. 2 different worlds between 200 free in the bathtub and 200 free in the adult’s pool. She continues to learn. It’s a good think she doesn’t swim that event in individual at worlds. It would have killed her 100… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

For dressel let’s wait and see the results of 100 fly and 50 free. More and more he is trending towards longer distance. 100 fly maybe the better option going forward

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Great Bobo.

Speed Racer
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

I am sure Kibler swam the 200 back to try and make an individual event. His 200free was not there. Freeman and Callan were in the B Final and secured the spots for the 200free.

5 years ago

Love the coverage, are there any race videos?

Reply to  KyB
5 years ago

I think the USA swimming site has all the races

5 years ago

Performances of the night:
1. Kathleen Barker
2. Kevin Cordes
So disappointed about Prenot!! I thought: ” He will save his best for The Final” but he let me down
He has 2 IM events to come but it will be tough too.
In 400m IM, he will face Jay Litherland and Bentz. Jay just swam a PB in 200m Free so I’m confident about his 400IM
In 200m IM, Bentz’s 200m is better than his 400m. His fly has been looking good and he always finishes like a bullet

IMs for days
5 years ago

Race videos anyone?

5 years ago

At this point I’m always surprised when Josa doesn’t DQ

5 years ago

Some notes from the night:

womens 200free:
From the aerial replace, I noticed Katie Ledecky bounces quite a bit in her 200free (Think Danila Izotov), that’s gotta be a huge loss of efficiency.

Mens 200free:
The 1:45.00 mark once against proving a significant challenge for swimmers. Haas should be under that mark in Budapest, and we will most likely see the first sub1:45 podium in 5 (!!!!!) years, but there’s at least 5 swimmers right now that can go faster than what Haas swam today. Let’s not kid ourselves, 1:45.03 is not that fast.

Also, since when did 1:45 and plus swimmers going out in 24.2? Back in 2007/8, Phelps was pretty much the only one out under… Read more »

Reply to  john26
5 years ago

I stopped reading this post when you mentioned Biederman. He was only good because of his suit.

Reply to  pol
5 years ago

14 times under 1:46 since 2010…

Reply to  john26
5 years ago

The still 50 in her 200 free is tough because you don’t want to back off too much, and you have all of the momentum from the dive. the differencw kN is the full body suit half is the full body suitsthag helps and others wore back in in yo day. THEY make a huge differences in body position when done fatigue starts to set it. ALlowing for faster back half splits.

Reply to  john26
5 years ago

Wow you’re super negative

Reply to  john26
5 years ago

200freestylers going out ridiculously fast has been an ongoing trend in the last 4 years that hasn’t resulted in faster times. Remember Phelps’ 2008 swim where he was half a body clear of the field at the 50. He opened in 24.3. In budapest, there will probably be a few swimmers around that mark even though no one is going to be touching 1:42.9

I’d say that’s ground to reevaluate how to swim this race.

Reply to  john26
5 years ago

5 swimmers can go faster than Hass today!!! I’m laughing
Who????? :)))
I only see Sun Yang and Park
James Guy?? Haas can use his 48.2 performance to knock out him

Reply to  john26
5 years ago

Anyone wants to go 1:44 low or 1:43 in 200m free they must go out fast.
Haas swam 50.85 in first 100m today. That is good sigh for him. And it was very good race for him too (easy win by a 1.27s ).

5 years ago

The race for 2nd in the men’s 200 breast was tight.

Fink, Prenot, and Wilson finished on the same stroke. Fink was just slightly closer to the wall, and he looked like he went over-the-top with his touch.

Prenot didn’t have his speedy finish this time. He was 34.02 instead of 33.+

5 years ago

“Jones just misses a spot on the team.” Is that a typo or do they only take one in the 50’s?

Winnie Pearl
Reply to  sccoach
5 years ago

Only take the winner, unless 2nd-place makes the team in an Olympic event

Reply to  sccoach
5 years ago

sccoach – that’s correct, they only take one in the 50s. The other spot goes to someone based on the results of the 100 (usually), but generally someone who’s already on the team.

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

Thanks. Sounds kind of dumb though since 2 go in all the other distances. Is there a good explanation for doing this that I’m missing?

Pau Hana
Reply to  sccoach
5 years ago

I assume that because it’s not an Olympic event. USS wants swimmers to focus more on Olympic races

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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