2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


It’s the final day of Wave I U.S. Olympic Trials, with the final few transfer spots to next week’s Wave II meet up for grabs.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Omaha.

Women’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:06.12 (2015)
  • American Record: Ariana Kukors – 2:06.15 (2009)
  • US Open Record: Kathleen Baker (USA) – 2:08.32 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Yu Yiting (CHN) – 2:09.64 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:06.58
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Maya DiRado – 2:09.54
  • Wave I Cut: 2:17.39
  • Wave II Cut: 2:15.26

Top 8:

  1. Bathurst (TEAM) – 2:16.04
  2. Trude Rothrock (TENN) – 2:16.51
  3. McCarville (SPA) – 2:16.99
  4. Rausch (ASC) – 2:17.30
  5. Dunn (UofL) / Katzer (TENN) – 2:17.74
  6. Ownbey (AU) – 2:17.87
  7. Cotter (TAC) – 2:18.31

Tampa Elite swimmer and Virginia commit Ella Bathurst led heats of the 200 IM today, going 2:16.04. Bathurst previously competed in the 100 back and 200 free so far this weekend, but went backwards from her best times in both races. This 200 IM was a huge breakthrough, though, with Bathurst taking a full second off her best time to go 2:16.04. She’ll have a shot to move on to Wave II via tonight’s final, where she’s almost a second ahead of the field.

Tennessee’s Trude Rothrock nabbed second place in 2:16.51. She originally didn’t appear in second on results, but an updated version of the results puts her into tonight’s A final.

400 IM winner Kate McCarville is third, and that 400 IM is reason to keep a close eye on her for tonight. McCarville cruised prelims of that even tin 4:53 and was well off her best time, but surged to first in the final with a lifetime-best by 1.7 seconds. Today, McCarville went 2:16.99, just three-tenths off her best time, and is set up to have another monster drop in the final.

200 free winner Malia Rausch sits third, with a tie for fourth behind her. The Austin Swim Club swimmer was second in the 400 free last night after winning the 200 free, and should be a major threat on the closing 50 of tonight’s IM race.

Men’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • World Record: Ryan Lochte (USA) – 1:54.00 (2011)
  • American Record: Ryan Lochte – 1:54.00 (2011)
  • US Open Record: Ryan Lochte (USA) – 1:54.56 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Hubert Kos (HUN) – 1:56.99 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:54.66
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Michael Phelps – 1:55.91
  • Wave I Cut: 2:04.09
  • Wave II Cut: 2:03.02

Top 8:

  1. Aurnou-Rhees (NAAC) – 2:03.82
  2. Tuitama (BYU) – 2:03.85
  3. Dewitt (ISC) – 2:03.96
  4. Nosack (THSC) – 2:04.33
  5. Carman (TXLA) – 2:04.36
  6. Froass (RAYS) – 2:04.39
  7. Bethel (CCAC) – 2:04.40
  8. Maas (MLA) – 2:04.42

Spencer Aurnou-Rhees has been waiting for this all week.

With just one entry at Wave I Olympic Trials, Aurnou-Rhees has had to sit through three full days of racing before getting his shot – but the extra rest proved useful this morning. The 17-year-old from New Albany Aquatic Club in Ohio went 2:03.82, cutting two tenths off his best time to rise from the 17th seed to the #1 qualifier into finals.

BYU swimmer Tama Tuitama sits second in 2:03.85. He took 0.06 seconds off his previous best time and could be in line for a Wave II spot tonight. He’ll have to fend off rising Indiana sophomore Tristan Dewittwho was 2:03.96 and just a tenth behind this morning.

Women’s 50 free – Prelims

  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 23.67 (2017)
  • American Record: Simone Manuel – 23.97 (2017)
  • US Open Record: Simone Manuel (USA) – 24.10 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Claire Curzan (USA) – 24.17 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Pernille Blume (DEN) – 24.07
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Abbey Weitzeil – 24.28
  • Wave I Cut: 25.99
  • Wave II Cut: 25.65

Top 8:

  1. Cundiff (TRIB) – 25.49
  2. Petrak (OSU) – 25.58
  3. Spink (NCAP) – 25.63
  4. Paegle (ISC) – 25.65
  5. Melton (UARK) – 25.67
  6. Moesch (STAC) – 25.68
  7. Winter (QSS) – 25.70
  8. Garcia (CAL) – 25.81

Like Aurnou-Rhees in the 200 IM, this 50 free was the first and only event for Missy Cundiff out of William & Mary. The rising senior surged to the top spot this morning in 25.49. Cundiff time trialed the event yesterday, dropping from 25.95 to 25.54, and today’s swim was 0.06 faster than that.

Cundiff is now in line for a transfer spot to Wave II. Her swim is especially significant for the William & Mary  Tribe, given that the school had cut its swim & dive programs last fall, taking heavy criticism and eventually reinstating them.

Ohio State’s Taylor Petrak is second in 25.58, with 16-year-old Camille Spink third. This is Petrak’s first and only event at Wave I Trials. Spink won the 100 free on day 1, putting up one of the best swims in age group history in that race. Today, Spink cut two tenths of a second from her best time, moving into a tie for #31 all-time in the 15-16 age group among U.S. athletes. With a drop of 0.01 tonight, Spink would tie Olympic star Dara Torres in the 15-16 age group ranks.

Arkansas’ Kobie Melton is fifth, with Indiana Swim Club 17-year-old Kristina Paegle fourth.

We should get a swim-off for the top alternate position, barring scratches. That would pit Sophie Fiske against Lexie Mulvihill – both are 18 and went 26.04 this morning.

Swim-off Update: Fiske took home the win in 25.79, blowing out both her prelims swim and her previous career-best of 25.96 from November of 2020. Muvihill went 26.12, a tick off her prelims swim and her best time of 25.82 from last month.

Men’s 50 free – Prelims

  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 20.91 (2009)
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel – 21.04 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 21.14 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 21.75 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Anthony Ervin (USA) – 21.40
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Nathan Adrian – 21.51
  • Wave I Cut: 23.19
  • Wave II Cut: 22.71

Top 8:

  1. Armstrong (BATS) – 22.76
  2. Essing (TUS) – 22.78
  3. Duncan (UofL) – 22.79
  4. Anderson (NLSA) – 22.80
  5. Guiliano (TOPS) – 22.84
  6. Hamblin (ISC) – 22.87
  7. Tucker (CWAC) / Cook-Weeks (QU) – 22.90

Jack Armstrong leads the way in the men’s 50 free. The 20-year-old added time in the 100 free earlier this week, but appears to have worked out the Trials jitters after an outstanding swim this morning. Armstrong went 22.76, a career-best by about three-tenths of a second. Armstrong swam one season for Auburn, and transferred to Grand Canyon as of this winter. But he’s currently competing for his club team, the Houston Bridge Bats.

Matthew Essing sits second, but the field is extremely close heading into the final. Caleb Duncan is just .01 back of Essing, with Eric Anderson .01 back of Duncan. Lower down, we had a tie for 7th, though both will make tonight’s final without need for a swim-off.

That’s not the case in 16th, though: Andrew Benson and Connor Stirling should swim-off for 16th this morning. Both were 22.99 in heats.

Swim-off update: Stirling of BYU broke through with a big 22.83 to win the swim-off and take the final spot in the B heat. That cut two-tenths from his career-best heading into the meet, and today represents his first two time drops in the event since July of 2019. The 18-year-old Benson, of Wisconsin Aquatics, went 22.91, also his second time drop of the day. He was 23.05 heading into the meet.

Women’s 200 breast – Prelims

  • World Record: Rikke Moller Pedersen (DEN) – 2:19.11 (2013)
  • American Record: Rebecca Soni – 2:19.59 (2012)
  • US Open Record: Rebecca Soni (USA) – 2:20.38 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Viktoriya Zeynep Gunes (TUR) – 2:19.64 (2015)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Rie Kaneto (JPN) – 2:20.30
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Lilly King – 2:24.08
  • Wave I Cut: 2:33.29
  • Wave II Cut: 2:30.49

Top 8:

  1. Weyant (SYS) – 2:32.24
  2. Steward (KANS) – 2:32.74
  3. Fischer (AKRN) – 2:32.82
  4. Jones (DYNA) – 2:33.03
  5. Murphy (AZTC) – 2:33.24
  6. McEnroe (YSSC) – 2:33.31
  7. Kanary (TXLA) – 2:33.34
  8. Herscu (LAC) – 2:33.81

Gracie Weyant was the #2 seed heading into this event, and moved up to #1 this morning despite finishing about a second off a lifetime-best. Weyant was 2:32.24, enough to lead all swimmers by half a second. If she can approach her career-best of 2:#1.1 tonight, she should have an excellent shot to move on to next week’s Wave II meet.

The 15-year-old Weyant is #50 all-time in USA Swimming’s 15-16 age group history, and would move up that list with a time drop tonight.

Kansas’s Kate Steward is about a second off her lifetime-best, as well, and will join Weyant in the middle of the pool tonight. Akron’s Andrea Fischer came within two-tenths of her best, and is just a tenth behind Steward in the battle for two transfer spots tonight.

It’s a young field into the final, with 15-year-old Karina Kanary in seventh and 17-year-old Abigail Herscu in eighth.

Men’s 200 breast – Prelims

  • World Record: Anton Chupkov (RUS) – 2:06.12 (2019)
  • American Record: Josh Prenot – 2:07.17 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Josh Prenot (USA) – 2:07.17 (2016)
  • World Junior Record: Qin Haiyan (CHN) – 2:07.35 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) – 2:07.46
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Josh Prenot – 2:07.17
  • Wave I Cut: 2:17.89
  • Wave II Cut: 2:15.28

Top 8:

  1. Frick (NCAP) – 2:15.73
  2. Cullen (UCSB) – 2:15.77
  3. Modglin (ZSC) – 2:16.36
  4. Bretzmann (NCAC) – 2:16.81
  5. Dalbo (SMU) – 2:16.88
  6. Murphy (NAVY) – 2:16.95
  7. Macy (NOVA) – 2:17.05
  8. Kreiley (UofL) – 2:17.08

Best times are typically hard to come by at the Olympic Trials. But the top four in the men’s 200 breast are in line for drops tonight. Jakob Frick qualified as the top swimmer, going 2:15.73 – that’s just .02 off his career-best time. Frick has now actually been 2:15.71 (on May 16), 2:15.72 (May 1) and 2:15.73 (this morning) in his career.

Meanwhile Alec Cullen qualified second, taking two-tenths off his career-best in 2:15.77. Cullen’s drop is his first in the event since 2019 Nationals.

Coleman Modglin is third in 2:16.36, dropping three-tenths this morning. And Peter Bretzmann dropped a tenth to take fourth in 2:16.81.

It’s going to be a busy morning of swim-offs, pending scratches. A three-way tie for 17th could pit Zhier Fan, James Lee and Jassen Yep against one another after all three were 2:18.03 this morning.

Swim-off Update: Lee picked up the win in 2:18.77, with excellent splitting (35.6/35.7/35.8) over his final three 50s. Yep was 2:19.09, leading the middle 100 but falling just off the pace in the final lap. Fan went 2:23.81, going out a little fast and fading in the back half.

Women’s 1500 free – Timed Final (Early Heats)

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:20.48 (2018)
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky – 15:20.48 (2018)
  • US Open Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:20.48
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:28.36 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: N/A (New Olympic event in 2021)
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: N/A (New Olympic event in 2021)
  • Wave I Cut: 16:49.19
  • Wave II Cut: 16:44.60

Top early-heat swimmers:

With only six swimmers still entered in the women’s 1500, there will be no morning heats.

Men’s 1500 free – Timed Final (Early Heats)

  • World Record: Sun Yang (CHN) – 14:31.02 (2012)
  • American Record: Connor Jaeger – 14:39.48 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Peter Vanderkaay (USA) – 14:45.54 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Franko Grgic (CRO) – 14:46.09 (2019)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 14:34.57
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Connor Jaeger – 14:47.61
  • Wave I Cut: 15:44.89
  • Wave II Cut: 15:35.76

Top early-heat swimmers:

  1. Barrieault (SAND) – 15:40.05
  2. Lamar (FAST) – 16:02.61
  3. Wiltsey (NCS) – 16:05.41
  4. Vandeusen (BSS) – 16:18.49

Brice Barrieault of the Sandpipers of Nevada broke 15:50 for the first time ever, going 15:40.05 to crush the early heats of the 1500 free. Barrieault (age 17) had previously been 15:53.99 back in November of 2020. But he actually earned his Wave I Trials cut via a slower swim: Barrieault was 15:54.29 in a local Las Vegas meet in late April – with the established altitude adjustment, that time got under the Wave I cut of 15:44.89. Barrieault proved it this morning, dropping almost 14 seconds while bettering even his old altitude-adjusted swim.

This morning’s time for Barrieault is better than the seed times for four of the eight swimmers in tonight’s fastest timed final heat, so Barrieault has a great shot at a top-5-or-better finish.

Simon Lamar of FAST was second, just on the other side of 16 minutes.

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Landen Hashimura
3 years ago

Hoping Ethan dang can make a bug jump by next trials:)

Swim mom
3 years ago

Update the Women’s 2 IM A finalist – please 🧡🧡🧡

Reply to  Swim mom
3 years ago

What happened?

swim mom
Reply to  VFL
3 years ago

Trude’s DQ was overturned – SwimSwam has an updated article!!!!

3 years ago

Finals aren’t listed on the NBC Olympic Channel. Are they only being streamed tonight?

Max C
3 years ago

How was it Barrieault’s first time under 15:50 if the standard is 15:44? Are there bonus standards?

Reply to  Max C
3 years ago

I was wondering the same thing as there are no bonus standards.

Reply to  ClubCoach
3 years ago

Me three.

Reply to  Max C
3 years ago

He got in with an Altitude Adjusted Time. So technically before today he hasn’t been below 15:50.

Curious swimmer
Reply to  Max C
3 years ago

He qualified in another event? I thought one qualifying time was enough. Just like the 1st and 2nd place in A finals get to swim all their events at wave 2

swan ronson
Reply to  Max C
3 years ago

Details for altitude adjustments: Seems like you’re just able to take X amount of time off of your race towards qualification/seeding. https://www.teamunify.com/ddst/UserFiles/File/Times/altitude.pdf

3 years ago

Go breastrokers!

These are the MVPs of Wave 1!

3 years ago

Is it me or the fact that only 3 girls and 3 guys made the Wave 1 standard? That isn’t good!

Reply to  Ghost
3 years ago

Many probably just made it on a previous taper at a last-chance meet earlier this season. Others like Caleb Duncan–who sits at 3rd going into tonight–qualified almost 2 years ago. So a lot more time to improve.

Reply to  Ghost
3 years ago

I am amazed by how many “A” finalists aren’t even making the meet’s cut. I don’t believe this is “normal” but may be somehow related to COVID pool closures? Also, there is a definite something going on in lane 8. Current or something.

3 years ago

Will there be swim-offs for the alternates in the 50s?

Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

As long as both athletes wasn’t to the will swim it off. I had a kid tie for 2nd alternate once at zones and made Summer Juniors in the swim off – highlight of the meet!

3 years ago

Current in lane 8

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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