2017 U.S. Worlds Trials: USA Women Poised to Challenge Australia in 400 Free Relay

2017 U.S. NATIONALS/WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TRIALS

Day 1 of the 2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championships Trials are in the books. The men and women competed in the 100 free on Tuesday night, determining the 4×100 relay squads that will represent the United States at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest.

Here’s a look at the 6 men and women who made the team*:

Men Women
Nathan Adrian (47.96) Mallory Comerford (52.81)
Caeleb Dressel (47.97) Simone Manuel (53.05)
Townley Haas (48.20) Lia Neal (53.59)
Zach Apple (48.23) Kelsi Worrell (53.99)
Michael Chadwick (48.48) Olivia Smoliga (54.31)
Blake Pieroni (48.49) Katie Ledecky (54.35)

*5th and 6th place finishers have not been officially added to the roster yet.

The women now look like a serious threat to Australia in the gold medal race. The Americans have never headed into a major international meet with a woman sub-53, and now they have 2 swimmers going in with lifetime bests in the 52-high range thanks to Olympic champ Simone Manuel and tonight’s champion and U.S. Open Record-setter Mallory Comerford. Throw Katie Ledecky, who put up a sub-53 anchor split in Rio, into the mix, and the USA is in the conversation for gold. Lia Neal threw down a personal best 53.59 tonight, so it isn’t inconceivable to think she could pull out a 52.9 from a relay start, especially since she was a fantastic relay swimmer at NCAAs and has been a staple of the 400 free relay for years now. Additionally, Kelsi Worrell broke 54 seconds for the first time today, and she has the speed to put up a 53-low split.

World Record holder Cate Campbell is sitting out of the World Championships this summer, which could make it much more difficult for the Australians to bring home the gold ahead of the Americans in Budapest. The top-ranked Australians other than Cate Campbell this year are Bronte Campbell (52.85), Emma McKeon (53.12), Shayna Jack (53.40), and Madison Wilson (54.24). Brittany Elmslie, who swam on the winning relay in Rio last summer, will also be heading to Worlds with the Aussies, but her best time so far this season is a 54.38. Emily Seebohm isn’t far behind this season with a 54.39.

With Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel both under 48 and a handful of men in the 48-low range behind them, the men’s team is looking great heading into Budapest as well. Adrian is known for his killer sub-47 anchor splits, and Dressel may be even faster in Budapest since he improved from Trials to the big meet last season. Townley Haas showed great speed with his 48-low tonight, and Zach Apple was consistent with his 48.1 in prelims and 48.2 in finals. Each should be able to put up a 47-mid split with a relay start, which could go a long way in helping the Americans to gold.

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Dan

Cannot imagine that the 5th & 6th place person will not make the team, but there still is a chance that the 6th place person will not make it esp. since the 50 fly, back, breaststroke and the none Olympic distance events have swimmers making the team before the 5th and 6th place finishers are added.

Steve Nolan

That’s Ledecky for the women tho, and she’s already on the team.

MichaelTran

So sad for Ryan Held!! 🙁
Missing by 0.04 in his best event
Very good swim by Haas and Conger
Comerford gave a outstanding performance. Don’t worry guys, Manuel will be faster in WC

E Gamble

What makes it worse is today is Ryan Held’s birthday. ?

MichaelTran

OMG!!! It hurts :((((
Best wishes to him

ERVINFORTHEWIN

loosing a spot can sometimes be very sad – but he will back stronger and faster . No great success comes without failures

sven

On the bright side, at least he made the Olympics and missed Worlds, rather than the reverse.

Uberfan

Exactly, he may not be a world championship swimmer or world champion but he’s an Olympic gold medalist and you can’t teach that

BaldingEagle

…or take that away…

Steve Nolan

Apple seems like the kind of qualifier that’ll add a bit of time in a couple weeks, right? Same w/ Comerford, given a similarly big drop.

Hswimmer

Why would you even say something like that. Don’t jinx it!!! Mallory has been on fire all year and Zach just had a break through, they’re both on fire!

ERVINFORTHEWIN

Not at all – they are riding a confidence boost …what does a boost does in general ? make u keep the timing / rhythm and confidence high . They will be fired up to be in Budapest

ole 99

These two both have some experience with two end of season meets.

Apple SEC/NCAA
50 Free – 19.23/18.93
200 Free – 1:36.57/1:33.36
100 Free – 42.78/42.49

Uberfan

If he dropped .29 seconds in his long course free that would be pretty special

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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