2017 U.S. World Trials: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Tonight’s finals session from Indianapolis will feature four events, with two World Championship spots available in the 400 IM and 100 fly, and one each in both the 50 breast and 50 back.

Several big names who have yet to book their ticket to Budapest will give it a go tonight, including Chase KaliszElizabeth BeiselMatt Grevers and Tom Shields. There are also a few American Records at risk tonight, particularly in the 50m events.

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


  • American Record: Katie Hoff, 4:31.12, 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: Katinka Hosszu, 4:31.07, 2015
  • LC National Meet Record: Katie Hoff, 4:31.12, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 4:43.06
  1. Leah Smith, CAV, 4:33.86
  2. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF, 4:38.55
  3. Brooke Forde, LAK, 4:39.19

I don’t think anyone predicted it coming into the meet, but Leah Smith is your National Champion in the women’s 400 IM. Smith turned 4th after the fly, and then absolutely took over on backstroke, turning in 2:12.21 for a 2.6 second lead. She only extended her lead after that, including a blistering 1:01.5 free leg, to touch in 4:33.86. She now sits #3 in the world this year.

That wasn’t the only surprise of the race. Stanford’s Ella Eastin had a strong swim, touching 2nd, handily defeating Elizabeth Beisel who touched 3rd. Shortly after the finish, we learned Eastin had been disqualified for “swimming more than a quarter of the race in the style of backstroke”, AKA the ‘Lochte rule’, indicating she swam a portion of the underwater on the freestyle leg on her back. That moved Beisel up to 2nd, earning her a World Championship berth.

Brooke Forde got bumped up to 3rd with her solid 4:39.19, and shortly after the Eastin DQ we also learned Bethany Galat was DQed for the same thing. This also happened numerous times in the prelims for both men and women.

Stanford’s Allie Szekely lowered her best time from the Santa Clara Pro Swim to win the B-final in 4:40.87. Florida commit Vanessa Pearl of Metroplex Aquatics dropped a huge PB in the C-final, winning the heat in 4:43.60. In the battle for spots on the Junior Worlds team, Christin Rockway (4:45.94) and Madison Homovich (4:48.46) earned their spots placing 2nd and 4th in the C-final.


  1. Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 4:06.99
  2. Jay Litherland, ABSC, 4:09.31
  3. Gunnar Bentz, ABSC, 4:11.66

Chase Kalisz put on a dominant display in the men’s 400 IM, leading teammate Jay Litherland by three tenths at the halfway mark before powering away on the breast leg, splitting 1:08.66 to turn at the 300 within a second of world record pace. He came home solid, clocking 4:06.99, the top time in the world for the year, and only two tenths off his best from the Olympics last summer where he won silver.

Both Litherland and Gunnar Bentz clocked best times for 2nd and 3rd, with Litherland under 4:10 for the first time in 4:09.31 for 2nd and a spot on his first World Championship team. He closed in a dazzling 57.13. Bentz was back in 5th at the 200, but had a great back half, including a 27.9 last 50 to take 3rd in 4:11.66, two seconds better than his best from the Olympic Trials.

From lane 8, Jonathan Roberts took almost five seconds off from prelims to take 4th in 4:15.50, and Nitro’s Sean Grieshop was 5th in 4:17.49. The men’s A-final was the first heat since the women’s C-final that someone wasn’t disqualified for the ‘Lochte rule’.

Sam McHugh (4:18.66) and Jake Foster (4:20.69) got it done to win the ‘B’ and ‘C’ finals respectively.


  • American Record: Dana Vollmer, 55.98, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: Sarah Sjostrom, 56.38. 2016
  • LC National Meet Record: Dana Vollmer, 56.42, 2012
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 58.48
  1. Kelsi Worrell, CARD, 57.38
  2. Sarah Gibson, TAMU, 57.96
  3. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 57.97

As expected Kelsi Worrell adds a third event to her World Championship schedule with a win in the 100 fly, clocking 57.38 to go slightly faster than her morning swim (57.40).

Worrell’s Louisville teammate Mallory Comerford and Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson both came storming home in 30.5 after turning 5th and 6th at the turn, and lunged to the wall for the #2 spot. Gibson got there, 57.96 to Comerford’s 57.97, qualifying for her first LC World Championship team. Comerford, who has already qualified for Worlds in the 100 free and the 4×200 relay, really came out of nowhere to get 3rd, as she wasn’t really on the radar coming into this event. Both go sub-58 for the first time.

Amanda Kendall was out first in 26.66, but fell to 4th in 58.32, still a solid swim and just 0.05 off her best. #2 seed from the morning Hellen Moffitt took 5th in 58.40, and Cal’s Katie McLaughlin showed great closing speed (30.9) to take 6th.

Veronica Burchill (59.34) out-touched Regan Smith (59.43) for the B-final win, while Eva Merrell and Ruby Martin tied for the C-final win in 59.92. Smith and Merrell look to be the qualifiers for Junior Worlds in this event.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 50.87
  2. Tim Phillips, MAC, 51.30
  3. Jack Conger, NCAP, 51.33

Caeleb Dressel continues to light the pool on fire here in Indy, throwing down a time of 50.87 in the men’s 100 fly. He becomes the fastest man in this world this year, and the first to crack the 51-second barrier. After an incredible win in this event at NCAAs where he beat Olympic champ Joseph Schooling, Dressel’s swim sets up another duel between the two in Budapest.

He joins Michael PhelpsIan Crocker and Tyler McGill as Americans who have dipped below the 51-second mark. He passes McGill (50.90) for 3rd on the all-time list.

Along with Dressel, Jack Conger and Tom Shields had to be considered the frontrunners to qualify for Worlds in this event. Shields was in the Olympic final last year, and Conger was this morning’s top qualifier in 51.37. But when it was all said and done it was Tim Phillips getting to the wall in 2nd in 51.30, booking himself a ticket to his second straight World Championship after missing the Olympics last year. He is now 3rd in the world.

Conger was 0.03 back for 3rd in 51.33, and Shields, who led after the turn, tied up on the last few strokes and took 4th in 51.55. Justin Lynch (52.20) and Zach Harting (52.52) had solid swims for 5th and 6th. Harting again lowers his PB, as he did it in the heats, and then in a swim-off to get into the final.

Maxime Rooney (52.28) took the B-final, while Drew Kibler (53.60) qualifies for Junior Worlds with his C-final win. He joins Nicolas Albiero, who was 2nd in the B-final in 53.05.


  1. Lilly King, IU, 29.66
  2. Katie Meili, NYAC, 30.11
  3. Molly Hannis, TNAQ, 30.24

Indiana’s Lilly King delivered again tonight, breaking the American and U.S. Open Records in a time of 29.66, lowering Jessica Hardy‘s 2009 mark of 29.80. King moves past arch rival Yuliya Efimova (29.88) for #1 in the world this year. She is now less than two tenths off of the world record, Ruta Meilutyte‘s 29.48.

Katie Meili had a big swim for 2nd, closing strong to touch in 30.11. She moves to 3rd in the world, and Molly Hannis took 3rd in 30.24, just off her season best of 30.19 that has her 4th in the world.

Natalie Pierce (30.89) and Jorie Caneta (30.99) also dipped below 31 seconds for 4th and 5th overall.

Emily Weiss (31.11) booked a Junior Worlds spot with her win in the B-final, and Peyton Kondis (32.19) won the C-final.


  1. Kevin Cordes, UN, 26.88
  2. Andrew Wilson, TXLA, 27.18
  3. Cody Miller, BAD, 27.24

Kevin Cordes improved his Championship Record from this morning by one one-hundredth, touching in 26.88 to win the men’s 50 breaststroke. He adds this event to his schedule after qualifying in the 200 last night, and moves to #3 in the world with the swim.

Andrew Wilson and Cody Miller both dropped time from prelims to take 2nd and 3rd, clocking 27.18 and 27.24. Connor Hoppe of Cal had a massive swim from lane 1, hitting 27.28 for 4th place. Nicolas Fink (27.31) and Michael Andrew (27.40) took 5th and 6th.

Conner McHugh unloaded a huge 28.04 to win the B-final, while Reece Whitley was dominant winning the C in 28.25.


  1. Hannah Stevens, UMIZ, 27.63
  2. Kathleen Baker, CAL, 27.69
  3. Ali DeLoof, CW, 27.89

Hannah Stevens of Missouri popped off a 27.63 to win the women’s 50 back, cracking Natalie Coughlin‘s LC National Championship Record which stood at 27.68 from 2013. She misses Coughlin’s American Record by just over a tenth (27.51). Stevens has been knocking on the door for a few years, and after clocking 59.40 earlier this year in the 100 back, has arrived and will be a prime contender in that event as well.

200 back winner Kathleen Baker was just 0.06 behind Stevens in 27.69, a fantastic swim. With such strong showings in the 50 and 200, her 100 tomorrow should be dynamite.

Club Wolverine’s Ali DeLoof went sub-28 again for 3rd in 27.89, and Courtney Caldwell took 4th in 28.16. Grace Ariola‘s 28.43 for 6th secures her spot on the Junior Worlds over Katharine Berkoff (28.66) who was 7th. Caroline Baldwin was disqualified for being completely submerged at the finish.

Haley Hynes (28.50) and Keaton Blovad (28.91) won the B and C-finals.


  • American Record: Randall Bal, 24.33. 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: Junya Koga, 24.36, 2015
  • LC National Meet Record: David Plummer, 24.52, 2013
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 25.29
  1. Justin Ress, WOLF, 24.41
  2. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 24.64
  3. Matt Grevers, FORD, 24.67

NC State’s Justin Ress had that big swim many believed he could have, knocking about half a second off his best time to win the men’s 50 back in 24.41 and qualify for the World Championships. Ress breaks David Plummer‘s meet record of 24.52 from 2013, and moves past China’s Xu Jiayu (24.42) for #1 in the world this year.

Out in lane 1, Ryan Murphy gave it everything he had and appeared to be leading early, but was passed by Ress and takes 2nd in 24.64. Matt Grevers was right there for 3rd in 24.67, lowering his prelim time.

John Shebat (24.88) and Taylor Dale (24.93) also had big swims to crack the 25-second barrier in 4th and 5th. Indiana’s Bob Glover took the B-final in 25.20, and Bryce Mefford won the C-final in 25.93.

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bobo gigi
5 years ago

More surprises for that day 3.

WOMEN’S 400 IM. I never saw that coming. I think very few people have predicted Leah Smith winner of the 400 IM. It was a very open race but I have never thought a single second before the meet to her to make the team. If that could give some ideas to KL…. I just want to see her try at least one time in her career that event fully tapered at a big meet. I read that Ella Eastin had touched second but was disqualified. Too bad. I expected much more from Bethany Galat after her 200 breast. Anyway she was disqualified. And too bad for Brooke Forde. She was very close. She… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

I would say that Zach Apple is another big US revelation this year.

5 years ago

Remember when I said Dresser was gonna hit 50. in the fly and everyone else said he had to hit 51 low first? Well he hit 51 in the morning, and 50 tonight.

Most talented swimmer on the planet.
Dressel, tokyo:
50 free sub 21
100 free 46 high
200 free 1:43
100 fly 49

Reply to  PACFAN
5 years ago

1.43 200 free is a bit of a stretch, it’s his weakest event among those listed. Townley will be 1.43 first. Maybe before Tokyo.

Reply to  Zanna
5 years ago

Well the 1.43 would be a relay split….

Reply to  PACFAN
5 years ago


5 years ago

Lochte rule is stupid, but Ella should have known better.
Kalisz 4:06.99 wow. If he is not Fully tapered 4:04 or 4:05 at worlds???
DRESSEL WOW. This is the great thing about swimming. People might say, oh Shields has got this, Conger is gonna win it. Then someone else jumps In!
Matt still has a shot in the 100 back

5 years ago

I’m pretty sure I witnessed Eastin do the same underwater trick back at NCAAs in March. Why wasn’t it callled then?

Reply to  Okbut
5 years ago

NCAA has different rules than USAS/FINA

5 years ago

This meet has been nuts and tonight’s finals were the most exciting so far. Usually post-olympic years are kinda boring but this meet has been full of upsets and super fast times. My main take aways:

1) I still can’t stop thinking about Leah Smith. 3rd fastest time in the world?? Who knew she was such a great IMer. I loved watching her reaction after the race and her interactions with Easton and Beisel. So happy for her.

2) Obviously Dressel. His versatility and closing speed are incredible. I keep thinking about how Troy said Dressel is just as special as Lochte. So excited for Dressel’s future and I can’t wait to watch him race Schooling at worlds. I like… Read more »

Reply to  swamfan
5 years ago

in your opinion, do u think dressel can upset Schooling? though schooling is the favourite

5 years ago

It was Rachel Bootsma who held the championship in the 50 back record not Natalie if I am wrong let me know!

5 years ago

Guys, can we stop the Sjostrom comparisons. Dressel is a huge talent and I’d put no limit on what he could do in the coming years, so this is no question on his ability as a swimmer. Sjostrom is a 2x WR holder LC, and looks very capable of adding another 2 individual WRs to that collection in Budapest. One of hee WRs is, in my opinion, the most dominant on the books. Nobody within .8 textile in a 50. That puts her in a very select group. Being a great 50/100 free/flyer doesn’t warrant similarities drawn between he & Sjostrom.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

We aren’t saying he’s as good as her. He’s just swimming the same exact schedule as her and Iran pretty funny

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

And it’s pretty funny*

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

Think if they had a baby together how fast he/she would be

IMs for days
5 years ago

For those wondering Dressel split 23.87 27.00 50.87
For comparison Schooling split 23.64 26.75 50.39
Phelps went 24.10 26.35 50.45
And Le Clos 23.72 26.84 50.56

Dressel was a bit long on the turn, but man those 15 meters were incredible, and based on his 100 free I think he still has room to improve further by the time Budapest rolls around.

Reply to  IMs for days
5 years ago

50.87 is amazing for Dressel! If he continues to drop his time, Schooling will be in trouble, his gold will be a threat.

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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