2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championships Trials
- Tuesday, June 27th-Saturday, July 1st
- 50-Meter Course
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Meet Info
Since 2013, Team USA’s Kevin Cordes has represented the Americans every year on the international stage in the 200 breast. Cordes, who was a finalist in both breaststroke races at the Rio Olympics, is the defending silver medalist in the 200 breast after taking 2nd to Marco Koch in 2015. To return to the podium, however, he’ll first have to earn a spot on the team against Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot and NCAA champion Will Licon.
Cal’s Prenot (2:07.17), the American Record holder in the long course pool, is the favorite heading into Trials. He’s also within a half second of the World Record, which stands at a 2:06.67 done by Japan’s Ippei Watanabe back in January. Aside from Prenot, Cordes (2:07.81) is the only man who will enter with a best time below 2:08. While those 2 men represented the U.S. in Rio in this event, Texas’ Licon was narrowly behind, taking 3rd at Olympic Trials with a 2:08.14. He was just .14 shy of what it took to make the team, as Cordes clocked in at 2:08.00 in the final to take 2nd place.
During the 2016-17 NCAA season, Licon became the national champion in both breaststrokes. He shattered the American Record in the 200 breast, becoming the first man to break 1:48 and taking a 3rd straight title in the event with his winning time of 1:47.91. If he can carry that momentum into the long course season, we could see him on top of the podium at Nationals this time around.
Georgia’s Nic Fink has represented the U.S. at the past 2 World Championships. He swam this event in 2015, placing 10th in the semifinals. Outside of the 3 frontrunners, he’s the only man to have broken 2:09, having set a personal best 2:08.89 at the World Cup in 2015. Fink has consistently been sub-2:10 every summer since 2014.
Though they’ve had slightly more success in the 100 breast so far, Indiana’s Cody Miller and Emory’s Andrew Wilson can’t be counted out. Miller, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 100 breast, swam a personal best 2:09.05 at a 2015 World Cup meet. He wasn’t quite as fast last summer, but still swam below the 2:10-barrier. Wilson, who started training with Longhorn Aquatics in the lead up to 2016 Trials, continues to improve since breaking onto the National Team scene in 2015. He brought his time down to a 2:09.35 at Olympic Trials, and continued to show impressive speed when he shattered the NCAA Division 3 Record with a 1:50.80 in the 200 breast this season.
Olympic silver medal-winning 400 IMer Chase Kalisz has had some success in this race, and it actually fits into his probable Nationals lineup pretty neatly. But we don’t expect him to make a run at this event, especially the day before his all-important 400 IM. It’s probably more likely that we see Kalisz go after the 200 fly if he puts a premium on trying to qualify for Worlds in a non-IM event.
Since narrowly missing out on the Olympic Trials final with a 9th place finish, Junior National Teamer Daniel Roy has gotten even faster. Roy was the bronze medalist at 2016 Junior Pan Pacs, lowering his personal best 2:12.16. He’s already been within tenths of that this season with his 2:12.86 to place 5th in finals at the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa. Fellow National Junior Teamer Reece Whitley is also one to watch out for. He shattered the 15-16 NAG Record in the 200 yard breast with a 1:52.37, and has already been as fast as 2:11.30 in the long course pool.
National Team veteran BJ Johnson represented the U.S. in this event at the 2013 World Championships. Though he missed the team in 2015, he continues to be a top 8 swimmer in this race. Last summer, he took 6th at Olympic Trials with a 2:10.70, which was the fastest time he’s swum since qualifying for Worlds in 2013.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
|Place||Swimmer||Best Time Since 2015||Predicted Time|
DARKHORSE: Michigan’s Jacob Montague competed alongside Roy and Whitley at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacs. He was a medalist in both breaststrokes at the Big Ten Championships and and NCAA scorer in the 200 breast during his freshman season with the Wolverines. Montague was a semifinalist in this race at 2016 Olympic Trials, and has been as fast as 2:13.15.