2017 U.S. Worlds Trials: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


Day two has arrived in Indianapolis, with the 200 back, 200 breast, 200 free, and 50 fly slated for competition today. We’ll get to see what Mallory Comerford has in store for us in the 200 free after an outstanding performance last night in the 100 free, as well as Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley look to dominate early in the 200 back.

There’s also a lot of uncertainty surrounding both 200 breasts and the women’s 200 back– we’ll see the field take shape this morning in prelims.



  • American Record: 1:53.60, Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:58.68
  1. Katie Ledecky, Stanford 1:55.87
  2. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg Aquatics 1:57.27
  3. Leah Smith, Cavalier 1:57.61
  4. Simone Manuel, Stanford 1:58.00
  5. Mallory Comerford, Louisville 1:58.39
  6. Claire Rasmus, Texas A&M 1:58.68
  7. Cierra Runge, Wisconsin Aquatics 1:58.91
  8. Katie Drabot, Stanford 1:59.09

Taking the top seed going into finals was Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky with a 1:55.87, well ahead of the rest of the field.

Leah Smith won a head-to-head battle with Simone Manuel in the penultimate heat. The Virginia alumna touched first at 1:57.61, with Manuel touching 2nd in 1:58.00. Still, it was St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis who had the 2nd-fastest time of the morning with her 1:57.27.

Mallory Comerford, who broke the U.S. Open record last night with her win in the 100 free, swam a lifetime best 1:58.39 to take 5th this morning.

Texas A&M’s Claire Rasmus had a great swim out of heat 10, going 1:58.68 to edge ahead of Cierra Runge (1:58.91) and Katie Drabot (1:59.09). Rasmus has been somewhat under the radar, but now has put herself into a great position to make the Worlds team tonight, as top 6 will likely be going to Budapest for the 4×200 free relay.

Of the top 8 finishers, only Comerford, Rasmus, and Drabot were not in this final in Omaha last summer.


  • American Record: 1:42.96, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps, 2008
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:47.73
  1. Townley Haas NOVA 1:46.85
  2. Clark Smith, Longhorn Aquatics 1:47.10
  3. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 1:47.45
  4. Blake Pieroni, IU 1:47.49
  5. Mitch D’Arrigo, Unattached 1:47.52
  6. Zane Grothe, Badger 1:47.58
  7. Jay Litherland, Dynamo 1:47.76
  8. Conor Dwyer, Trojan 1:48.10

51.54 at the 100 mark, Texas/NOVA of Virginia’s Townley Haas put on a clinic in heat 10. He finished at 1:46.85 for the win, followed by his teammate Jonathan Roberts (1:48.22).

Another Texas swimmer, Clark Smith, hung on in the last heat to go 1:47.10 and make the top 8. Zane GrotheJay Litherland, and Conor Dwyer all fought hard at the end to try to catch Smith in that heat, with Grothe coming closest (1:47.58).

Caeleb Dressel showed some range today, posting a 1:47.45 to beat out Blake Pieroni (1:47.49). Dressel was out first at the 100, fell back, then closed hard to skirt past a charging Pieroni. Mitch D’Arrigo swam a 1:47.52 for third in the heat, right with them.

*MITCH D’ARRIGO has announced a sport citizenship change. He won’t be eligible in time for Worlds qualification, but could earn a spot on the American World University Games team**

All in all, the top 8 is very close behind Haas, and the U.S. men showed a lot of depth with 5 1:47’s.


  • American Record: 2:19.59, Rebecca Soni, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:25.91
  1. Lilly King, IU 2:24.68
  2. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M 2:25.10
  3. Katie Meili, NYAC 2:26.09
  4. Andrea Cottrell, Louisville 2:25.11
  5. Miranda Tucker, Club Wolverine 2:26.49
  6. Breeja Larson, NYAC 2:27.21
  7. Kayla Brumbaum, Wolfpack Elite 2:27.69
  8. Vanessa Pearl, Metroplex 2:27.70

Lilly King of Indiana posted a 2:24.68 to win heat 9, followed by Club Wolverine’s Miranda Tucker at 2:26.49. Following King’s swim, Katie Meili was out hard in 1:08.95, winning the final heat in 2:26.09.

Bethany Galat of Texas A&M had a great swim in heat 8, going 2:25.10 to touch well ahead of the rest of the field. Andrea Cottrell was 2nd there, going 2:26.11.

Veteran Breeja Larson was 2:27.21 to secure a spot in the final, just ahead of Kayla Brumbaum of NC State. Florida commit Vanessa Pearl squeaked in right behind Brumbaum at 2:27.70.

Last year’s 2nd place finisher at Trials, Molly Hannis, missed the A final, going 2:31.82 for 22nd.


  • American Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot, 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:11.11
  1. Andrew Wilson, Longhorn 2:08.64
  2. Nic Fink, Unattached 2:09.25
  3. Josh Prenot, Cal 2:09.27
  4. Will Licon, Longhorn 2:09.29
  5. Kevin Cordes, Unattached 2:09.35
  6. Jonathan Tybur, Texas A&M 2:11.55
  7. Jacob Montague, Michigan 2:11.70
  8. Daniel Roy, King Aquatic Club 2:11.92

Andrew Wilson, Emory’s D3 phenom, erupted for a 2:08.64 lifetime best in the last heat. Wilson, who was out very hard at 1:01.22, held off a charging Josh Prenot (2:09.27). Prenot was the Olympic silver medalist in this race last year. Wilson’s Longhorn teammate, Will Licon, went 2:09.29 to put himself right in the thick of things going into tonight.

Nic Fink and Kevin Cordes took it right to the wall in the penultimate heat, with Fink edging the Olympian 2:09.25 to 2:09.35. Between the two of them, Wilson, Prenot, and Licon, the top 5 swimmers are within tenths of each other. Tonight’s final should be one of the best races of the week.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M’s Jonathan Tybur had a big, near 3-second drop to finish 6th this morning in 2:11.55. Michigan’s Jacob Montague also had a significant drop (-1.45), going 2:11.70 to qualify 7th for tonight’s final.

Daniel Roy of King Aquatic Club, still 17 years old, became the #2 17-18 performer in history with his 2:11.92. Only Cordes has been faster (2:10.92).


  • American Record: 2:04.06, Missy Franklin, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:05.68, Missy Franklin, 2013
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:11.53
  1. Kathleen Baker, Team Elite/CAL 2:08.56
  2. Regan Smith, Riptide 2:08.95
  3. Bridgette Alexander, Kentucky Aquatics 2:09.44
  4. Lisa Bratton, Texas A&M 2:09.85
  5. Asia Seidt, Kentucky Aquatics 2:09.95
  6. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs 2:10.21
  7. Kylie Stewart, Athens Bulldogs, 2:10.34
  8. Alex Sumner, Suburban Seahawks 2:10.34

Kylie Stewart of Athens Bulldogs popped a 2:10.34 very early in heat 4, with nobody coming close to that until the circle-seeded heats. Stewart ended up making the A final tonight with her solid early heat speed.

In heat 10, however, Kathleen Baker roared to a time of 2:08.56. Baker was 1:01.74 going out at the 100. Hali Flickinger was 2nd in that heat with a 2:10.21, followed closely by teenager Lucie Nordmann of Magnolia Aquatic Club (2:10.59).

Heat 11 featured youngsters Regan Smith and Alex Sumner going with Kentucky Aquatics’ Bridgette Alexander. Smith, of Riptide, posted a 2:08.95 to win the heat, followed by Alexander (2:09.44). Sumner was 2:10.36 for third there. Smith (#4) and Sumner (#10) moved up in the all-time 15-16 rankings with those swims.

The last heat saw Kentucky Aquatics’ Asia Seidt post a 2:09.95, with Texas A&M’s Lisa Bratton right ahead of her (2:09.85).


  • American Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 153.08, Aaron Peirsol, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:58.55
  1. Sean Lehane, Academy Bullets 1:57.07
  2. Robert Owen, H20kie Aquatics 1:57.34
  3. Ryan Murphy, Cal 1:57.35
  4. Jacob Pebley, Cal 1:57.49
  5. Austin Katz, Sarasota YMCA 1:58.71
  6. Hennesey Stuart, Wolfpack Elite 1:59.44
  7. Abrahm Devine, Stanford 1:59.85
  8. Joey Reilman, Tennessee 1:59.91

Ryan Murphy, defending Olympic Champion, shut things down at the end of the race, going 1:57.35 to take the third-fastest time of the morning. H20kies’ Robert Owen snuck right ahead of Murphy (1:57.34) to win that last heat.

Sean Lehane put down a great swim in the first circle-seeded heat. The Tennessee alum, who is representing Academy Bullets at this meet, became the first sub-2:00 swimmer with a 1:57.07. Wolfpack Elite’s Hennesey Stuart was 2nd in that heat at 1:59.44, with Abrahm Devine of Stanford right there at 1:59.85.

Following that heat, Cal’s Jacob Pebley swam a 1:57.49. He was followed by Sarasota YMCA’s Austin Katz (1:58.71) and Tennesee’s Joey Reilman (1:59.91).


  • American Record: 25.50, Dara Torres, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 25.50, Dara Torres, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 26.49
  1. Kelsi Worrell, Louisville 25.78
  2. Amanda Kendall, Canyons 26.33
  3. Annie Ochitwa, Tuscon Ford 26.49
  4. Kendyl Stewart, Trojan 26.50
  5. Hellen Moffitt, NCAC 26.57
  6. Maddie Murphy, Cal 26.60
  7. Alyssa Marsh, Duke 26.69
  8. Aly Tetzloff, Auburn 26.74

Before the final heat, it was Canyons Aquatics’ Amanda Kendall with the top time at 26.33 from heat 8. In the last heat, though, Kelsi Worrell dropped a 25.78, the best time by far this morning and the only sub-26 time. 2nd in that heat was Trojan’s Kendyl Stewart (26.50).

Alyssa Marsh of Duke was the first sub-27 swim with a 26.69 to win heat 5 of 9. Cal’s Maddie Murphy followed with a 26.60 to win heat 6, as Auburn’s Aly Tetzloff was right behind her at 26.74.

Annie Ochitwa of Tuscon Ford won heat 7 with a 26.49, with NCAC’s Hellen Moffitt touching 2nd at 26.57.


  • American Record: 22.91, Bryan Lundquist, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 22.91, Bryan Lundquist, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 23.67
  1. Cullen Jones, Wolfpack Elite 23.26 (MEET RECORD)
  2. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 23.33
  3. Michael Andrew, Race Pace Club 23.51
  4. Tim Phillips, SwimMAC 23.62
  5. Giles Smith, Phoenix Swim Club 23.71
  6. Justin Lynch, Cal 23.87
  7. Tom Shields, Cal 23.90
  8. Ryan Held, Wolfpack Elite 23.93

Cullen Jones had a huge swim this morning, going 23.26 to break the national meet record, a 23.29 set by Eugene Godsoe in 2009. The veteran is showing that he’s not going away– he has a great shot at making the Worlds team with a win tonight in finals.

Michael Andrew of the Race Pace Club went 23.51, beating out SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips (23.62) by about a tenth, as the pair qualifies in 3rd and 4th for tonight’s final. The next heat, Caeleb Dressel popped a 23.33 to just not far behind Jones. Those two should be duking it out for the Worlds spot in this race tonight

Ryan Held had the quickest time before the circle-seeded heats, dropping a 23.93, the only sub-24 time of the morning at that point. Held, who had a crushing finish last night in the 100 free final that left him off of the 4×100 free relay in Budapest, gets into this final with a chance to make the team.

Phoenix Swim Club’s Giles Smith posted a 23.71 for 6th this morning, while Cal boys Justin Lynch and Tom Shields (23.87 and 23.90) are right there at the end of the A-final.

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4 years ago

I will be rushing thru a 9am meeting to make sure I can catch as much prelims action as possible.
Thanks for great coverage of this big occasion, as always.

4 years ago

Swim Swam Staff, thanks for all the fantastic coverage and links. I really enjoy your website. Could you guys tweak the links you provide so that they launch in a new browser tab? It’s a small thing, but much more convenient for the user when you’re launching multiple sites from a source listing of helpful links. Thank you!

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Swimdad3747
4 years ago

Hold “Ctrl” when you click them. (Or just right click.)

Reply to  Steve Nolan
4 years ago

Thanks Steve. Where were you before I wrote my post… 🙂

Reply to  Swimdad3747
4 years ago

Hey Swimdad – we actually had the same thought last night, and thought they were corrected this morning, but we must’ve missed one. In the meantime, if you hold control while clicking the link, that should do the trick.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

Thank you Braden!

4 years ago

These prelims are WAY better than Olympic Trials prelims, as the stakes are much higher in that only Top 8 get thru the door for a berth. I have never been a fan of the whole prelims/semis/finals stuff. People can wing the prelims and place like 14th and still get on the team.

Reply to  75M FREE
4 years ago

I’m one of the few who likes the prelims, semis, and finals system.
I think it’s important for a world class swimmer to know how to manage all 3 swims and save the best for the last.

Reply to  75M FREE
4 years ago

This is the format for the Olympics for 1996 and before for us old enough to have been around and remember

4 years ago

Day 2 – lets begin the fireworks !! yipiiiii

4 years ago

200 free , 200 breast , 200 back – we are up for some solid racing ……can’t wait

4 years ago

The women’s 200 back is really wide open. Honestly can’t predict who will make it. Nevertheless, excited for some new faces.

4 years ago

I am online again – so so cool ! Happy i dont have much work this week

4 years ago

Where exactly is the stream on USA swimming. I click the pic that says watch the us pick their team and it just reloads the page

Captain Awesome
Reply to  Gunners
4 years ago

It’s on the homepage for me.

4 years ago

After Nordmann’s 100 free I think she’ll have a great 200 back

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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