2017 U.S. World Trials: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


Tonight’s second-to-last finals session from Indianapolis will be the lightest of all five days, with just three events scheduled.

The 400 free, 100 breast and 100 back will go off tonight, with a few individual Olympic medalists looking at their last chances to qualify for the World Championships. Among those are Katie MeiliCody Miller and Matt Grevers. Check out a full preview of tonight’s finals here.


  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 3:58.44
  2. Leah Smith, CAV, 4:03.77
  3. Sierra Schmidt, CW, 4:07.92

Katie Ledecky was gone from the gun in the women’s 400 free final, toying with world record pace the entire race. In the end she fell short of her 3:56.46 from Rio, but did go 3:58.44 for a new U.S. Open and LC National Championship meet record. That is now the 3rd fastest swim in history, trailing her swim from Rio and her mark of 3:58.37 from the 2014 Pan Pacs.

After that big breakout swim in the 400 IM last night, Leah Smith had a solid showing tonight for silver in a time of 4:03.77, giving her four individual events at the World Championships. Club Wolverine’s Sierra Schmidt closed well to snag 3rd in 4:07.92, and Kaersten Meitz of Boilermaker Aquatics was 4th in 4:08.38.

The B-final was wild, as top seed coming in Geena Freriks ended up 8th despite only going eight tenths slower than prelims. Stephanie Peters got out ahead from lane 8, and held off Katie McLaughlin down the stretch to win the heat in 4:11.39. McLaughlin took 2nd in 4:11.62.

Miranda Heckman‘s 4th place finish in the C-final (4:14.46) solidifies her spot in this event at Junior Worlds, joining Leah Braswell.


  • American Record: Larsen Jensen, 3:42.78, 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: Larsen Jensen, 3:43.53, 2008
  • LC National Meet Record: Larsen Jensen, 3:43.53, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 3:48.15
  1. Zane Grothe, BAD, 3:44.43
  2. Clark Smith, TXLA, 3:45.91
  3. Townley Haas, NOVA, 3:46.41

As expected the men’s 400 was a three-way battle, with Longhorn teammates Clark Smith and Townley Haas duking it out with Zane Grothe, who was out in lane 1. After turning 1st at the 200, Grothe pulled away from Smith and Haas, clocking in at 3:44.43 to lower his personal best and qualify for an individual event in Budapest.

Smith and Haas battled the whole race, with Smith edging the 200 free champion by half a second in 3:45.91 to Haas’ 3:46.41. Smith qualifies himself for an individual event in Budapest after making the 4×200 relay on Wednesday.

Grant Shoults had an impressive swim in a personal best 3:48.73 to get 4th, and Mitch D’Arrigo was 5th in 3:50.61.

Jay Litherland (3:50.36) won the B-final over Patrick Callan (3:51.94), and Johnthomas Larson had a big drop in the C-final to win the heat in 3:52.99 from lane 1.


  • American Record: Jessica Hardy, 1:04.45, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: Jessica Hardy, 1:04.45, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: Lilly King, 1:05.20, 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:07.58
  1. Lilly King, IU, 1:04.95
  2. Katie Meili, NYAC, 1:05.51
  3. Bethany Galat, TAMU, 1:06.72

Lilly King completes the breaststroke sweep with a win in the 100, breaking the meet record in a time of 1:04.95, just 0.02 shy of her gold medal winning time from Rio. She moves into #2 in the world for the year, and Katie Meili now sits 3rd after clocking 1:05.51 for 2nd.

Meili’s swim gets her on the World Championship team. The Olympic bronze medalist looked phenomenal tonight, specifically on the back half, closing just 0.06 slower than King in 34.86. 200 breast Worlds qualifier Bethany Galat took 3rd in 1:06.72, and 2016 Olympian Molly Hannis was 4th in 1:07.11.

Melanie Margalis won the B-final in 1:07.87, while Emily Weiss earned a spot in this event at Junior Worlds placing 2nd in 1:07.99. She also moves to 5th all-time in the 15-16 age group. Vanessa Pearl won the C-final for the second time this week, putting up a time of 1:09.49 over Ema Rajic (1:09.62).


  • American Record: Cody Miller, 58.87, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: Adam Peaty, 58.86, 2017
  • LC National Meet Record: Kevin Cordes, 58.94, 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:00.35
  1. Kevin Cordes, UN, 58.74
  2. Cody Miller, BAD, 59.11
  3. Nicolas Fink, ABSC, 59.40

Kevin Cordes did it again, completing the breaststroke sweep with a new American & U.S. Open Record of 58.74. He lowers Cody Miller‘s American Record of 58.87 done when he won bronze in Rio, and also lowers Adam Peaty‘s U.S. Open Record of 58.86 done earlier this year.

Miller touched 2nd in 59.11, earning him a berth on the World Championship team. Cordes is now 2nd in the world, and Miller is 4th. Peaty leads by nearly a second in 57.79.

Nicolas Fink had another strong swim to get 3rd in 59.40, and Andrew Wilson was 4th in 59.65. Michigan’s Jacob Montague moved up a few spots for 5th in 1:00.39, ahead of Will Licon (1:00.67) and Josh Prenot (1:00.79).

The B-final went to Indiana’s Ian Finnerty, and the C-final went to King Aquatics’ Daniel Roy in 1:02.02.


  1. Kathleen Baker, CAL, 58.57
  2. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 59.17
  3. Hannah Stevens, UMIZ, 59.74

Cal’s Kathleen Baker put up a new meet & U.S. Open Record of 58.57 to win the women’s 100 back, improving her personal best that she posted winning the Olympic silver last year. Both records she broke were previously held by Missy Franklin at 58.67 from 2013. She now sits 2nd in the world for the year, trailing Canada’s Kylie Masse (58.21).

Olivia Smoliga of the Athens Bulldogs gets her individual event in Budapest with a 2nd place finish in 59.17, and 50 back winner Hannah Stevens took 3rd in 59.74. Ali DeLoof (59.77) and Regan Smith (59.85) also broke a minute.

Elise Haan won the B-final in 1:00.02, and Grace Ariola‘s 3rd place finish (1:00.66) gets her on the Junior Worlds team in this event. Alex Walsh won the C-final in 1:01.10.


  • American Record: Ryan Murphy, 51.85, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: Aaron Peirsol, 51.94, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: Aaron Peirsol, 51.94, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 54.06
  1. Matt Grevers, FORD, 52.71
  2. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 53.02
  3. Justin Ress, WOLF, 53.38

With the pressure on, Matt Grevers delivered in the men’s 100 back final. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist came through with the win in a time of 52.71, out-splitting everyone on both the first and second 50. This was a big redemption swim for the veteran, as he missed the 2016 Olympic team in this event last year with a 3rd place finish in Omaha. He moves into #2 in the world for the year.

2016 Olympic champion Ryan Murphy took 2nd in 53.02, and though he’s probably not thrilled with the time, adds a second event to his World Championship schedule. He’s now 3rd in the world.

50 back winner Justin Ress took 3rd in 53.38, just off his PB from the morning, and Murphy’s Cal teammate Jacob Pebley was 4th in 53.81.

Robert Owen (55.15) and Bryce Mefford (55.41) won the B and C-finals respectively.

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7 years ago

I dont think Murphy is going to be able to drop a second in the next month. If Xu Jiayu repeats his form from a few months ago, he will win. I don’t double that Murphy has a 51mid in him at some time in his career, but this may not be the year for him. Xu isn’t as strong in the 200, and Murphy’s swim was better there- but Rylov looks like he can drop more time.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Interesting day 4

WOMEN’S 400 FREE. KL in 3.58.44. Considering her level of rest that’s her best race so far in my opinion. Amazing time guys! Wake up! We are so used to greatness with her. It’s unfair! 🙂 Leah Smith starts to feel the fatigue a little bit. The 400 IM is a brutal event. Other US girls are in another world. The depth is not very good at the highest level in that event. There should be more girls around 4.04. Katie Drabot struggles this week. Weird. She had very good swims recently. Maybe she missed her taper or she’s sick. I don’t know.

MEN’S 400 FREE. No crazy fast times but when there’s pressure for the qualification… Read more »

7 years ago

4XMED reckoning

Men’s. Essentially USA would need to break, or not turn up on the night, not to win …. for all the talk of GBR’s challenge, it will almost certainly be decided on the backstroke leg. Currently GBR is struggling to find a male backstroker breaking 54 whilst one suspects the US backstroker will be south of 52.5 in Budapest. Realistically the Brit would need to be 53.3 or better to give them the remotest chance. GBR via Peaty WILL most likely take back a major chunk of this deficit but if the US breaststroker splits 58lowish then that’s probably sufficient damage limitation. The lead will most likely go out again on fly and whilst the GBR anchor can… Read more »

Aussie crawl
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

I concur with you on this.
Now with james guy and Duncan scott on the fly and free.
Webber Hebbron will face the litmus test on the first leg.
DQs are milling the yank mens medley relay camp…2013 !!
Now what at Southport in 2014 with there breastrokers ?? Cant blame the rain.
What it the suits or goggles coming off ??
Cordes or Miller ?

7 years ago

Random observation but while everyone focused on Simone’s visible unhappiness post-100 free, we didn’t notice Lia Neal. Lia looked rather upset– she rocked a 53.5 pb, looking the best she ever has. I think this may be her last Worlds and my reading is that she wanted to book her first individual spot. The plan was for Simone and Lia to go for the 100 free but Mallory crashed that party. . .In that sense, the 50 free will be INTERESTING. Lia’s not known for the 50 but she has looked great this year. Mallory coming into every final with a kind of Oleksiakish swag– crushing dreams and upsetting plans. Madison Kennedy will be very hungry– dont think she swam… Read more »

7 years ago

Between Grevers and Adrian, that’s going to be one classy relay.

Reply to  Teddy
7 years ago

If Murphy has a better placing/time in Budapest, it will be Murphy in the medley relay.

Attila the Runt
Reply to  Zanna
7 years ago

And Murphy’s a classy guy, too.

7 years ago

tbt to when Prenot was number two in Pro Swim Series Points coming into this meet

7 years ago

What did Miller do that should’ve gotten a DQ?

7 years ago

Women’s 400 medley relay
Kathleen baker 58.57
Lily king 1:04.95
Kelsi worrell. 57.38
Mallory. Comerford 52.81
Aggregated time total 3:53.71
Fast than what China went in 2015 to win the world title

Reply to  Statman
7 years ago

I suspect Worrell will be under 57 by then. Baker dropped a bit between trials and the Olympics, too, and King seems to be gunning for a WR. Good be a good bit faster than that, and Simone might end up as anchor.

Reply to  Statman
7 years ago

The USA won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio OIympics

Reply to  Statman
7 years ago

The USA won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Reply to  Statman
7 years ago

Six of the eight return from the gold medal relay from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Baker – Smoliga
King – Meili

Reply to  Statman
7 years ago

The USA won the gold medal (4 x 100 m medley relay) at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Baker – Smoliga
King – Meili

Reply to  Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
7 years ago


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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