2017 U.S. World Trials: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Here we go. Tonight’s finals session marks the last of the 2017 U.S. World Trials. We’ve been treated to lots of fast and exciting swimming all week, and there will be a bit more tonight with four events on the schedule.

The 200 IM and 50 free finals will go off, along with the top seeded heats in the men’s 800 and the women’s 1500 free. Through the early heats, Grant Shoults (7:57.84) and Leah Smith (16:01.02) hold the top times. Check out a full recap of today’s distance heats here.

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


  1. Leah Smith, CAV, 16:01.02
  2. Hannah Moore, WOLF, 16:08.68
  3. Ashley Twichell, NCAC, 16:10.63

Entered with a yards time, Leah Smith swam in the early 1500 heats and posted a massive personal best time. Smith clocked 16:01.02, a time that stood up as the fastest of the day through finals, moving her into #2 in the world for the year behind Katie Ledecky. Ledecky will join Smith in this event in Budapest (the second spot is picked from top ranked 800 swimmer). Smith is now slated to swim five individual events in Budapest along with the 4×200 free relay.

Swimming in the top seeded heat with finals, Hannah Moore of the Wolfpack knocked 11 seconds off her seed to touch 1st in 16:08.68. The time gets her 2nd overall behind Smith. Open water swimmer Ashley Twichell swam one of the early heats as well, clocking 16:10.63 that holds up as 3rd best. Moore is now 5th in the world for the year, and Twichell is 7th.

Ally McHugh (16:16.20) and Summer Finke (16:22.94) also had top finishes from the early heats in 4th and 6th overall, while Sierra Schmidt touched 2nd in the last heat to take 5th overall in 16:19.59.


  • American Record: Ariana Kukors, 2:06.15, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: Katinka Hosszu, 2:08.66, 2015
  • LC National Meet Record: Julia Smit, 2:09.34, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:13.41
  1. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 2:09.57
  2. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 2:09.69
  3. Ella Eastin, STAN, 2:10.87

After a pair of 2:10s this morning Melanie Margalis and Madisyn Cox had a very close battle in the middle lanes tonight. Margalis led early, and managed to fend off Cox coming home to take the win in 2:09.57 to Cox’s 2:09.69. Margalis qualifies for her first individual event at Worlds after making the 4×200 free relay, while Cox adds her name to the roster on the last night of racing. They move into #3 and 4 in the world for the year.

Stanford’s Ella Eastin had a great swim to get 3rd in 2:10.89, but just misses a position on the team after that crushing DQ on Thursday. She’ll still contest the World University Games this summer in both this event and the 200 fly.

Nashville Aquatics’ Alex Walsh had a great swim from lane 8 to take 4th in 2:12.36, just getting by Texas A&M’s Bethany Galat (2:12.66). Stanford’s Katie Drabot (2:12.82) and Zoe Bartel of Fort Collins (2:15.37) won the B and C-finals respectively.


  • American Record: Ryan Lochte, 1:54.00, 2011
  • U.S. Open Record: Ryan Lochte, 1:54.56, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: Ryan Lochte, 1:54.56, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:00.22
  1. Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 1:56.51
  2. Abrahm DeVine, STAN, 1:56.79
  3. Josh Prenot, CAL, 1:57.14

The stacked men’s 200 IM field delivered a great race, with Stanford’s Abrahm DeVine pushing the gas on the backstroke leg to turn first at the 100 in 54.78. Chase Kalisz and Josh Prenot threw down 32-second splits on breaststroke to take over 1st and 2nd, and it all came down to the freestyle.

It looked like it was going to be Kalisz and Prenot, but DeVine charged home in a blazing 27.81 to out-split the entire field, including out-splitting Prenot by over a second, to move into 2nd in the closing metres. Kalisz touched 1st in 1:56.51, lowering his best time and adding a second event for Budapest.

DeVine touched 2nd in 1:56.79, knocking nearly two seconds off his best time for prelims and qualifying for his World Championship team. This has to be especially satisfying for DeVine after being DQed for the ‘Lochte rule’ in the 400 IM prelims, which coming in was considered his best event.

In the world rankings, Kalisz and DeVine now sit 4th and 5th.

Prenot was 3rd in 1:57.14, improving his best time but disappointingly missing the World Championship team after winning an Olympic silver last year. Gunnar Bentz closed strong for 4th in 1:58.31, and Will Licon of Texas was 5th in 1:58.90.

Licon’s college teammate at Texas John Shebat won the B-final in 1:59.70, and the C-final went to Matthew Willenbring (2:02.72).


  • American Record: Michael McBroom, 7:43.60, 2013
  • U.S. Open Record: Connor Jaeger, 7:46.78, 2013
  • LC National Meet Record: Connor Jaeger, 7:46.78, 2013
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 7:54.31
  1. Clark Smith, TXLA, 7:50.43
  2. Zane Grothe, BAD, 7:50.97
  3. True Sweetser, STAN, 7:55.29

Clark Smith and Zane Grothe renewed acquaintances in the men’s 800 free after their battle in the 400 free last night, with another close battle coming down to the wire.

Smith held a close lead throughout, really extending it with 150m to go before Grothe began to track him down. Grothe stormed home in 26.81, but it wasn’t enough as Smith held him off with a final 50 of 27.62 to touch in 7:50.43 for the win. He moves into 6th in the world, and Grothe, 2nd in 7:50.97, is now 7th. Both men will contest the 400, 800 and 4×200 free relay in Budapest.

1500m winner True Sweetser had a strong showing for 3rd in 7:55.29, and 17-year-old Andrew Abruzzo took 4th in 7:57.67. Swimming in the early heats, Grant Shoults of Stanford put up a time of 7:57.84 that held up as the 5th fastest overall.


  • American Record: Dara Torres, 24.07, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: Cate Campbell, 24.13, 2008
  • LC National Meet Record: Dara Torres, 24.25, 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 25.18
  1. Simone Manuel, STAN, 24.27
  2. Abbey Weitzeil, CAL, 24.74
  3. Lia Neal, STAN, 24.77

Simone Manuel executed a great 50 free tonight, winning by nearly half a second in 24.27 to move into #3 in the world. She adds a second individual event to her World Championship schedule after qualifying in the 100 on the first day.

In the tight battle for second, Abbey Weitzeil pulled through and got to the wall to get herself on the World Championship team. After a poor showing in the 100 by her standards, she came in at 24.74 to edge by Lia Neal (24.77), Kelsi Worrell (24.79) and Olivia Smoliga (24.84).

Seven of the eight finalists actually got under 25 seconds, with Mallory Comerford (24.93) and Madison Kennedy (24.95) doing it as well in 6th and 7th. Finishing 8th, Grace Ariola (25.03) becomes the 18 & under National Champion.

Katrina Konopka (25.16) and Anya Goeders (25.28) won the B and C-finals respectively.


  • American Record: Nathan Adrian, 21.37, 2015
  • U.S. Open Record: Cesar Cielo, 21.14, 2009
  • LC National Meet Record: Nathan Adrian/Garrett Weber-Gale, 21.47, 2013/2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 22.47
  1. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 21.53
  2. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 21.87
  3. Cullen Jones, WOLF, 21.89

Caeleb Dressel had it from the start, exploding into his breakout with an advantage and never relinquishing it, winning the men’s 50 in a time of 21.53 to equal his best time done at the 2015 Nationals in San Antonio. This is his third win of the meet, and he now has four individual events qualified for Worlds plus a ton of potential relays. Dressel now sits 3rd in the world in this event, trailing Ben Proud (GBR) and Vladimir Morozov (RUS).

Nathan Adrian edged out Cullen Jones for the second spot, touching in 21.87 to Jones’ 21.89 to join Dressel as the U.S. representatives in the sprint free events this summer. Jones has a second consecutive 3rd place finish in this event, as he finished in the same position last year in Omaha.

Auburn’s Zach Apple finished off his breakout meet with another best time in the 50, clocking 22.00 for 4th, and Michael Andrew arguably had his best swim of the meet taking 5th in 22.03 shortly after swimming the 200 IM. 2016 Olympic champ Anthony Ervin took 6th in 22.09, and Michael Chadwick (22.10) and Ryan Held (22.42) rounded out the A-final.

2016 Trials finalist Dillon Virva (22.21) and Cal commit Ryan Hoffer (22.71) won the B and C-finals.

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4 years ago

Ladies and Gentleman, ARE YOU READY?!?!

Reply to  Friuti
4 years ago

YESSS Fully REadyyyyy??

4 years ago

Whose ready for the only event that’s not stupid and matters?

Reply to  50free
4 years ago

The mile?

Reply to  50free
4 years ago

Under 18 200IM?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  50free
4 years ago


Reply to  50free
4 years ago

This was a joke on my username^

Reply to  50free
4 years ago

I liked your joke

4 years ago

The final day of finals. Let’s do this

Reply to  SwimmerForever
4 years ago

I’m glad we don’t have to wait very long for the next big meet

Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

thats very reassuring …..Yipiiiiiiii

10 months ago

People in 2020 understand

4 years ago

Joy Field – thats a very sweet name

4 years ago

So just to be clear, if no one in this 1500 heat beats Smith’s time from the slow heat, then she wins, correct?

Reply to  Andy
4 years ago


Swimmer Nova
Reply to  Andy
4 years ago

And Katie already has a spot

4 years ago

I find it funny that people actually had a problem with Zach Harting’s subtle Batmam show but not Sierra Schmidt’s infinitely more obnoxious dance show. If your going to have a problem with Zach’s like I saw many of you have, you’d be hypocritical to say you don’t have one with the latter’s.

Reply to  Quack
4 years ago

Sierra Schmidt’s dancing gives me life and I don’t care what anyone thinks.

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

I posted this more to come to Zach’s defense than as a direct criticism of Schmidts antics behind the blocks. Good for you that her show gives you life, as you are entitled to your own opinion, but I’m not trying to come out here and say that I’m anti-Schmidts dancing.

Reply to  Quack
4 years ago

Oh no I’m not against the Batman thing at all. More Batman please. I think it’s awesome.

4 years ago

As an athlete here is just like to thank USA Swimming for their efforts on the athlete hospitality. I’ve been to most national and junior national meets over the years and this is the best they’ve ever had. Thanks for taking care of us

4 years ago

Sierra has a very fine and beautiful stroke ….its lovely to watch but not really closing on Hannah yet

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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