2017 U.S. Worlds Trials: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


The competition in Indy continues this morning as swimmers are gearing up for day 4 of the 2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championships Trials. Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky (400 free), Lilly King (100 breast) and Ryan Murphy (100 back) will each take on one of their signature events today. Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker will go head-to-head with Olivia Smoliga, Hannah Stevens, and Ali Deloof in the women’s 100 back. A stacked field in the men’s 100 breast includes Kevin Cordes, Cody Miller, Josh Prenot, Will Licon, Nic Fink, Andrew Wilson, and Michael Andrew.


Top 8:

  1. Katie Ledecky– 4:02.59
  2. Leah Smith– 4:05.98
  3. Sierra Schmidt– 4:08.88
  4. Cierra Runge– 4:09.22
  5. Kaersten Meitz– 4:09.30
  6. Hannah Moore– 4:09.35
  7. Ashley Neidigh– 4:11.63
  8. Katie Drabot– 4:12.61

As expected, Katie Ledecky cruised to the top spot in prelims with a 4:02.59. Leah Smith was also seconds ahead of the field in her heat to qualify 2nd with a smooth 4:05.98. Smith, who won the 400 IM last night, has been having a great meet so far, and will look to join Ledecky under the 4:00 barrier this summer. If she hits her stride tonight, we could see 2 women under the barrier in the final.

Kaersten Meitz knocked a few tenths off her best time, bringing it to a 4:09,30 to qualify 5th. Also swimming a best time was Ashley Neidigh, who dropped 2 seconds to win heat 8 and land 7th overall in 4:11.63.

200 fly champ Hali Flickinger was initially slated to swim in heat 10 but declared a false start.


  • 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

Top 8:

  1. Clark Smith– 3:49.81
  2. Townley Haas– 3:50.01
  3. Grant Shoults– 3:50.19
  4. Kevin Litherland– 3:50.24
  5. Andrew Abruzzo– 3:50.69
  6. Mitch D’Arrigo– 3:50.70
  7. Zane Grothe– 3:50.76
  8. Trey Freeman– 3:50.91

The race between teammates Clark Smith and Townley Haas came down to the wire in the final heat. Smith was slightly faster down the stretch, taking top seed in 3:49.81 to Haas’ 3:50.01. The entire top 8 was separated by just over a second. Grant Shoults (3:50.19) qualified 3rd with his heat 8 win, while Zane Grothe (3:50.76), who took 2nd in that heat, qualified 7th for the final.

Trey Freeman made a big drop, taking over 3 seconds off his former best time to qualify 8th in 3:50.91. Fellow age group star Drew Kibler was slated to swim in heat 9 but declared a false start.

1500 free champ True Sweetser just missed out on the final with a 3:51.14, as did Jay Litherland with a 3:41.17 for 10th place.


  • 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

Top 8:

  1. Lilly King– 1:06.06
  2. Katie Meili– 1:06.10
  3. Breeja Larson– 1:07.43
  4. Miranda Tucker– 1:07.62
  5. Bethany Galat– 1:07.77
  6. Molly Hannis– 1:07.86
  7. Zoe Bartel– 1:08.08
  8. Andee Cottrell– 1:08.20

Olympic medalists Lilly King (1:06.06) and Katie Meili (1:06.10) were the only women to break 1:07 this morning with a pair of 1:06-lows. They’ll be joined in the final by fellow U.S. Olympic breaststroker Breeja Larson (1:07.43), who took 3rd behind them.

200 breast Olympian Molly Hannis bounced back again today to take a spot in the final with a 1:07.86 for 6th place. Junior swimmer Zoe Bartel was just a few tenths off her best to land a spot in the final, taking 7th in 1:08.08.


  • 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

Top 8:

  1. Kevin Cordes– 59.16
  2. Nic Fink– 59.80
  3. Cody Miller– 1:00.02
  4. Andrew Wilson– 1:00.15
  5. Will Licon– 1:00.34
  6. Josh Prenot– 1:00.55
  7. Jacob Montague– 1:00.71
  8. Michael Andrew– 1:00.75

Kevin Cordes is in good position to potentially sweep the breaststrokes tonight after taking top seed in 59.16. The only other man to break 1:00 this morning was Nic Fink, who qualified for Worlds alongside Cordes in the 200 breast, in 59.80. Olympic bronze medalist Cody Miller wasn’t far behind, however, as he nearly broke 1:00 this morning as well with his 1:00.02.

Will Licon (1:00.34) and Josh Prenot (1:00.55) will be in the hunt tonight after narrowly missing out on a Worlds spot in the 200 breast. Also looking to grab a roster spot are age group star Michael Andrew, who snuck into the final at 8th in 1:00.75, and 2015 Nationals winner Andrew Wilson (1:00.15).


  • American Record: Missy Franklin, 58.33, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: Missy Franklin, 58.67, 2013
  • LC National Meet Record: Missy Franklin, 58.67, 2013
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:00.61

Top 8:

  1. Kathleen Baker– 59.49
  2. Regan Smith– 59.70
  3. Olivia Smoliga– 59.93
  4. Ali Deloof– 59.97
  5. Hannah Stevens– 1:00.06
  6. Caroline Baldwin– 1:00.34
  7. Claire Adams– 1:00.42
  8. Bridgette Alexander– 1:00.50

There were 4 women under 1:00 this morning, led by Oltmpic silver medalist Kathleen Baker in 59.49. Tonight’s race is shaping up to be a great one, as 6 of the 8 women have best times in the 59-range. Baker and Olivia Smoliga (59.93) are the only 2 women to have broken 59 so far, but Hannah Stevens is looking especially dangerous since she busted out a Championship Record to win the 50 back last night.

The sky is the limit for 15-year-old phenom Regan Smith (59.70), who qualified 2nd this morning, and former Junior World Record holder Claire Adams (1:00.42) probably hasn’t shown all of her cards yet.

Caroline Baldwin had another big swim this morning, dropping almost a second from her time to take 6th in 1:00.34, while Bridgette Alexander knocked a few tenths off her best to take 8th in 1:00.50. It was a tight squeeze to get the last couple of spots for the final. Lisa Bratton (1:00.62) just missed out at 9th place and there was a tie for 10th between Amy Bilquist and Elise Haan just a hundredth back in 1:00.63.


  • 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

Top 8:

  1. Justin Ress– 53.27
  2. Ryan Murphy– 53.56
  3. (T-3) Jacob Pebley– 53.72
  4. (T-3) Matt Grevers– 53.72
  5. Sean Lehane– 54.21
  6. Taylor Dale– 54.33
  7. Daniel Carr– 54.80
  8. Bob Glover– 54.92

Justin Ress was already in the conversation thanks to his great in-season performances, but he’s been on fire here. Ress, who held a personal best of 54 before this season, lowered his best time to a 53.27 to lead prelims, and is now one of the top contenders for another spot at the World Championships. If he wants to win it, though, he’ll have to get by World Record holder Ryan Murphy, who took 2nd this morning with a 53.56.

The next 2 frontrunners for a roster spot, Jacob Pebley and Matt Grevers, tied for 3rd this morning out of separate heats, as each touched in 53.72 to win their respective heats.

Daniel Carr knocked almost a second off his best time to earn another backstroke championship final spot, as he was 7th this morning in 54.80. Carr and Bob Glover, who swam off for the 8th spot in the 50 back final, will both be in this time, as Glover qualified 8th in 54.92.

*Editor’s Note: Auburn’s Ashley Neidigh is the sister of author Lauren Neidigh.*

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3 years ago

Go Molly!!!#teamHannis

Reply to  VFL
3 years ago

Good luck Molly!

Reply to  VFL
3 years ago

Molly is in great position to make the team. Would be awesome after her disappointing swims in the 200 and 50!!! You go girl.

3 years ago

Stuck in meetings all morning long and away from the webcast… please update us here so I can live vicariously through the rest of you. Thank you all.

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

Will do my friend! No meetings this morning for me fortunately!

3 years ago

Will the prelim pic curse strike again? So far 3/3

Reply to  Friuti
3 years ago

Bayer, Prenot, Conger all out on the days their prelim pic was used…

Reply to  Friuti
3 years ago

Im pretty sure Baker will break this curse…

Reply to  Damiansport1
3 years ago

I hope she does and she’s having a great meet, but did we think the prelims picture curse would take Conger or Prenot? I certainly didn’t.

Reply to  Damiansport1
3 years ago

I hope so. She’s having a great meet, but the women’s 100 back is one of the tightest events

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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