2017 U.S. Worlds Trials: Day 1 Distance Live Recap


Tuesday afternoon at the 2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championships Trials in Indianapolis brings the heats of the women’s 800 free and men’s 1500 free. The fastest heat of each will be swimming with finals, but there are still plenty of fast swimmers competing this afternoon. Junior star Chris Yeager, a Texas commit, is among the men to compete in the heats,  as he’ll be swimming in heat 5. On the women’s side, Junior National Teamers Taylor Ault and Erica Sullivan will battle in heat 5.

The action begins at 2:48 p.m. eastern time. Read on for live updates from each heat.


Heat 1: The 1st heat of the afternoon went to Kelly Paige, who got her hand to the wall in 8:48.46.

Heat 2: Leah Stevens had a big swim out of heat 2, throwing down an 8:34.78 to take over the lead. That cut over 2 seconds off her former lifetime best of 8:37.17 from 2015. Chenoa Devine also had a big drop, knocking more than 2 seconds off her best time to move into 2nd overall in 8:41.40.

Heat 3: In heat 3, Summer Finke stepped up and knocked over 7 seconds off her former lifetime best, taking over the lead with her 8:34.63. Brooke Zeiger touched in 8:41.21 for 2nd.

Heat 4: Ally McHugh charged to an 8:35.01 to win heat 4, while Isabella Rongione hit the wall in 8:40.05 to take 2nd in the heat. McHugh moves up to 3rd in the overall standings with only 2 heats (including the finals heat) to go. Chase Travis, who took 3rd in that heat with an 8:42.49, also moves up into the top 8.

Heat 5: In the final afternoon heat, Erica Sullivan and Taylor Ault battled stroke-for-stroke into the wall. Sullivan got her hand to the wall slightly faster, winning in 8:34.93 to Ault’s 8:35.06. Also moving up into the top 8 out of that heat were Megan Byrnes (8:35.81) and Ashley Neidigh (8:40.07)

Still to swim: Tonight’s final heat will feature distance star Katie Ledecky and fellow Olympic medalist Leah Smith. The 8th seed for tonight’s final, Kaersten Meitz, is seeded with an 8:37.64, so a few of the swimmers from this afternoon have the potential to make the top 8. There are 6 swimmers faster than what’s projected to make it based on seed times.

Top 8 through heat 4: 

  1. Summer Finke (8:34.63)
  2. Leah Stevens (8:34.78)
  3. Erica Sullivan (8:34.93)
  4. Ally McHugh (8:35.01)
  5. Taylor Ault (8:35.06)
  6. Megan Byrnes (8:35.81)
  7. Isabella Rongione (8:40.05)
  8. Ashley Neidigh (8:40.07)

MEN’S 1500 FREE:

  • American Record: Connor Jaeger, 14:39.48, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: Peter Vanderkaay, 14:45.54, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 15:12.79

Heat 1: Sam Rice got the ball rolling in the men’s mile, winning heat 1 with a 15:33.36. Also swimming sub-16:00 in that heat were Michael Messner (15:43.51), Johnthomas Larson (15:46.94), and Adam Destrampe (15:51.48).

Heat 2: Kevin Litherland blasted a 15:10.93 to win heat 2, knocking 8 seconds off his previous lifetime best of 15:18.92 from 2014. With that, he could wind up making the top 8. Based on seed times, it would take around a 15:28 to get 8th.

Heat 3: Junior standout Zach Yeadon cranked out a 15:23.86 to win heat 3, knocking over 20 seconds off his previous lifetime best 15:44.20. Mikey Calvillo (15:31.97) and Brooks Fail (15:33.55) each took over 10 seconds off their former best times. Behind them, Lleyton Plattel swam a 15:35.36 for 4th, making him the 2nd fastest 13-14 swimmer of all time.

Heat 4: There was some outside smoke in heat 4 from Cody Bekemeyer, who knocked over 10 seconds off his best time to move up to #3 in the standings. Bekemeyer touched in 15:24.93, followed by Ross Dant (15:26.93) and Karl Bishop (15:31.94) as all 3 men moved into the top 8.

Heat 5: In the final afternoon heat, Chris Yeager slashed 13 seconds off his best time to move up to 2nd in the overall rankings with a 15:17.90. Ben Lawless moved into the #4 spot with a 15:21.32, while Jack McIntyre took the 7th overall spot in 15:30.96.

Still to swim: Frontrunners True Sweetser and Robert Finke will vie for Worlds spots against distance veteran PJ Ransford and fellow Olympic Trials finalist Chris Wieser. The projected time to get 8th is a 15:28.37, so a handful of guys from the afternoon heats may end up in the top 8. There are 6 men who have swum faster than that so far.

Top 8 through heat 5: 

  1. Kevin Litherland (15:10.93)
  2. Chris Yeager (15:17.90)
  3. Ben Lawless (15:21.32)
  4. Zach Yeadon (15:23.86)
  5. Cody Bekemeyer (15:24.93)
  6. Ross Dant (15:26.93)
  7. Jack McIntyre (15:30.96)
  8. Karl Bishop (15:31.94)

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3 years ago

Will they be streaming these heats? I need some background noise at work…

Reply to  Friuti
3 years ago

Nevermind, looks like this stream is only on their homepage.

Reply to  Friuti
3 years ago

Who’s homepage?

Reply to  Justkeepswimming
3 years ago

Usaswimming home page

eric jernberg
3 years ago

where is the live stream?

3 years ago

The winner of the women’s 800 will be Leah Smith right? There is no one else who could possibly beat her here right?

Reply to  Swimmer?
3 years ago


Just sayin
Reply to  Swimmer?
3 years ago

If it weren’t for Katie Ledecky Leah Smith would probably be on track to be the best distance swimmer in USA history if not the world they are both phenomenal swimmers.

samuel huntington
Reply to  Just sayin
3 years ago

Uh Janet Evans???

Just sayin
Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

“On track”

Reply to  Just sayin
3 years ago

I’m just saying. Janet Evans is real.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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