2018 U.S. Winter Nationals: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


After Katie Ledecky led the first group of swimmers to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials in last night’s 800 freestyle, the first preliminary session will get underway at the U.S. Winter National Championships in Greensboro this morning with heats in the men’s and women’s 400 free, 200 IM and 50 free.

Ledecky will swim the 400 today, and a pair of 100m freestyle Olympic gold medalists will swim the 50 in Simone Manuel and Nathan AdrianChase Kalisz, who was originally the top seed in the men’s 200 IM, has pulled out of the competition.

Women’s 400 Free Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 4:16.89
  1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP, 4:03.49
  2. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 4:10.23
  3. Kaersten Meitz, BA, 4:11.07
  4. Ashley Twichell, TAC, 4:12.26
  5. Emma Weyant, SYS, 4:12.62
  6. Erica Sullivan, SAND, 4:15.50
  7. Chase Travis, NCAP, 4:16.82
  8. Paige McKenna, NCAP, 4:18.57

Katie Ledecky stormed her way to the number one seed in the women’s 400 freestyle this morning in a time of 4:03.49, almost even-splitting (2:01.4/2:02.0) after she negative-split last night’s 800.

Hali Flickinger of the Athens Bulldogs won the other circle-seeded heat to take the 2nd spot into finals in 4:10.23, earning her first Olympic Trials cut. Kaersten Meitz was only two seconds outside of her fastest ever in-season swim to qualify 3rd in 4:11.07, and last night’s 800 runner-up Ashley Twichell qualified 4th in 4:12.26.

The top-7 qualifiers were all under the Trials cut of 4:16.89, but Flickinger is the only new qualifier as the other six had done so on Wednesday in the 800.

Men’s 400 Free Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 3:57.29
  1. Jordan Wilimovsky, TSM, 3:51.29
  2. Mitch D’Arrigo, GSC, 3:51.39
  3. Kevin Litherland, DYNA, 3:56.83
  4. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 3:57.32
  5. Ryan Vipavetz, RMSC, 3:57.70
  6. Calvin David, PLS, 3:58.26
  7. Dare Rose, SCAR, 3:58.28
  8. Tristan Cote, USCU, 3:59.09

Just like Ledecky in the women’s race, last night’s 800 winner Jordan Wilimovsky took the top seed in the men’s 400 free prelims in a time of 3:51.29, tying his 2nd fastest swim ever from the 2016 Mesa Pro Series. His best time is less than second faster at 3:50.33, set in 2015.

Mitch D’Arrigo of Gator Swim Club was just out-touched by Wilimovsky in the penultimate heat and takes the 2nd seed in 3:51.39, with the rest of the field over six seconds back. D’Arrigo and 3rd seed Kevin Litherland (3:56.83) were the two swimmers to earn their first Trials cut here after Wilimovsky already made the 800.

D’Arrigo’s best time stands at 3:46.91 from back in 2014 when he was still representing Italy internationally, but this swim is within two seconds of the fastest he’s been since switching over to the US. He was 3:49.84 at the 2017 WUGs and then 3:49.88 at the 2018 Summer Nationals.

Women’s 200 IM Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:17.39
  1. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 2:12.56
  2. Kelsey Wog, UMAN, 2:14.55
  3. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, HPVC, 2:15.99
  4. Emily Escobedo, COND, 2:16.24
  5. Meg Bailey, UN, 2:16.39
  6. Annika Wagner, WILD, 2:16.81
  7. Emma Weyant, SYS, 2:16.85
  8. Torri Huske, AAC, 2:16.99

Madisyn Cox of Longhorn Aquatics cruised to the top seed in the women’s 200 IM in 2:12.56, two seconds clear of the rest of the field.

Canadians Kelsey Wog (2:14.55) and Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (2:15.99) won the other two circle-seeded heats to take the 2nd and 3rd seeds into the final, with Wog’s swim being her fastest ever outside of a taper meet.

Including Cox, six Americans made the Trials cut of 2:17.39 in the prelims, with Emily Escobedo the 2nd fastest in 2:16.24. Emma Weyant has now made three cuts through three events of the meet.

Men’s 200 IM Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:04.09
  1. Sean Conway, NCAP, 2:03.70
  2. Jonathan Rutter, UN, 2:03.81
  3. Dom Polling, CINC, 2:03.86
  4. Jonathan Tybur, AGS, 2:03.90
  5. Christopher Reid, CTA, 2:04.13
  6. Nic Fink, ABSC, 2:04.25
  7. Harry Homans, ABF, 2:04.34
  8. Scott Piper, MSU, 2:04.45

NCAP’s Sean Conway was the fastest qualifier in the men’s 200 IM in a time of 2:03.70, less than seven-tenths off his lifetime best (2:03.01) and his fastest swim ever outside of the 2018 Summer Nationals. He slips under the Olympic Trials cut of 2:04.09, as did Dom Polling (2:03.86) and Jonathan Tybur (2:03.90). Both Polling and Tybur improved on their previous best times which stood at 2:04.01 and 2:04.06 respectively. 2nd seed Jonathan Rutter (2:03.81) was also under the Trials time but is a native of New Zealand.

Nic Fink was the most notable name qualifying for the final in 6th (2:04.25), while the #1 seed River Wright declared a false start. This comes after original #1 seed Chase Kalisz pulled out of the meet and then new top seed Metin Aydin scratched this morning.

Women’s 50 Free Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 25.99
  1. Simone Manuel, ALTO, 24.60
  2. Margo Geer, MVN, 25.03
  3. Anna Hopkin, UARK, 25.05
  4. Madison Kennedy, MAC, 25.13
  5. Amanda Kendall, MVN, 25.30
  6. Grace Cooper, DLTA, 25.56
  7. Claire Curzan, TAC, 25.64
  8. Ky-lee Perry, NCS, 25.65

Simone Manuel blasted a time of 24.60 in the women’s 50 free, giving her the #1 seed by over four-tenths and also putting her just .01 outside of her fastest swim ever at a non-Olympic, Worlds, Trials or Nationals meet (24.59 at the 2018 Indianapolis PSS).

Coming off a red hot season where she went sub-25 15 times, Margo Geer had an impressive swim to take 2nd in 25.03, just ahead of Great Britain native Anna Hopkin (25.05) who is currently competing with Arkansas in the NCAA. Hopkin’s swim was a new personal best, lowering her 25.07 from the 2017 British Championships.

Not including Hopkin, nine swimmers got under the Trials standard of 25.99 this morning. 14-year-old Claire Curzan was one of them, as she scorched a 25.64 to break 26 seconds for the first time and put her 6th all-time in the 13-14 age group.

Men’s 50 Free Prelims

  • 2020 Olympic Trials Cut: 23.19
  1. Michael Chadwick, TE, 22.52
  2. Erik Risolvato, UN, 22.55
  3. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 22.64
  4. Nyls Korstanje, NCS, 22.68
  5. Aaron Greenberg, TE, 22.72
  6. Payton Sorenson, UN, 22.77
  7. Payton Woods, MSU / Cameron Kidd, TSC, 23.05

Team Elite’s Michael Chadwick, who will be representing the U.S. in two weeks at the Short Course World Championships, grabbed the top seed in the men’s 50 free in a time of 22.52.

Veterans Erik Risolvato (22.55) and Nathan Adrian (22.64) won the other two circle-seeded heats to take seeds #2 and #3. Dutch native Nyls Korstanje, who is currently competing with NC State in the NCAA, was just three-tenths off his lifetime best for the 4th seed in 22.68.

Not including the international swimmers, seven hit the Trials cut of 23.19.

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4 years ago

take that dub sorenson

4 years ago

When will the psych sheet be available for junior nationals?

Reply to  Spaghetti
4 years ago

Typically they’re put out the Friday before the meet starts.

4 years ago

Claire Curzan is only 14. That 25.64 in the 50 Free appears to be 6th faster ever for 13-14 AG, and she doesn’t turn 15 until end of next June 2019

Reply to  Swimfan
4 years ago

That’s wild!

4 years ago

No live recap for that meet yet, but Seli just swam an exhibition 500 at the Georgia invite, 4:13.0 with a 48.5 final 100. Not bad

Jay ryan
Reply to  Riley
4 years ago

Tes, and Trenton Julian 4:15.33. Gotta love genetics.


4 years ago

Anyone know if the pool is going to have the same setup for Juniors next week?

Reply to  JNatSwimmer
4 years ago

If you are asking if it will be long course or short course, JR Nats will be short course.

Reply to  SwimDad
4 years ago

I was referring to the omega blocks and pads, all that stuff

Reply to  JNatSwimmer
4 years ago

Juniors will not have Omega pads. See the meet packet.

Reply to  SwimmerOH
4 years ago

The GAC just purchased the Omega system in the last month to replace their Colorado and had it in place for the last two age group / invitational meets prior to Nationals. They were both swum short course and used two pools, both with Omega systems (and a number of kinks that were worked out), so I do believe GAC will use those at Winter Juniors.

Reply to  JNatSwimmer
4 years ago

Juinors will be SCY

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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