2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave I: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Tonight marks the first finals session of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave I.

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

This evening we’ll see the 100 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke finals along with along with the fastest heats of men’s and women’s 800 freestyles.

A refresher on the Wave I format: the top two finishers in each of tonight’s ‘A’ finals will advance to the Wave II Trials from June 13-20. Since the official Trials qualifying period is now over, a swimmer hitting a Wave II cut here won’t earn them a spot next week, only a top two finish.

The men’s 200 fly final is one of the most highly anticipated races of the night. Mason Manta Rays’ Carl Bloebaum led prelims this morning with a 1:59.57. The swim was both a lifetime best, and under the Wave II cut. Although hitting the Wave II cut doesn’t qualify Bloebaum for the Wave II meet, he was one of only 2 swimmers to hit a Wave II standard in this morning’s prelims. Bloebaum is the top seed, but the field is incredibly tight. Mizzou’s Micah Slaton, SwimAtlanta’s Sebastien Sergile, and NC State’s Noah Henderson were all under 2:00 as well this morning.

NCAP’s Camille Spink led the women’s 100 free this morning, swimming a personal best of 55.63. Spink was the only swimmer under 56 in the field this morning, though based on entry times, she may have a much tougher race than the heat sheet signals tonight. The top 3 seeds tonight – Spink, Kristina Paegle (ISC), and Zoe Skirboll (RXA) – are all highschoolers.

There’s a battle brewing in the women’s 200 fly as well, with NAC’s Alex Massey and Texas’ Emma Sticklen swimming only 0.19 seconds apart this morning. Sticklen is a National Junior Team member in the 200 fly.

It’s a battle of college swimmers in the women’s 100 back. Nebraska’s Autumn Haebig led prelims, and is followed by Arkansas’ Kobie Melton, Cal’s Tea Laughlin, Michigan’s Casey Chung, and Duke’s Emily Lenihan.

WOMEN’S 100 FREE FINALS

  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 51.71 (2017)
  • American Record: Simone Manuel – 52.04 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Simone Manuel (USA) – 52.54 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Penny Oleksiak (CAN) – 52.70 (2016)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Simone Manuel (USA) / Penny Oleksiak (CAN) – 52.70
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Abbey Weitzeil – 53.28
  • Wave I Cut: 56.29
  • Wave II Cut: 55.56

Podium:

  1. Camille Spinke (NCAP) – 55.25
  2. Kristina Paegle (ISC) – 55.91
  3. Trude Rothrock (TENN) – 56.01

It was a pair of high schoolers that were the first Wave I swimmers to advance to next week’s Wave II meet. Nation’s Capital 16-year-old Camille Spink got out to a roaring start, outdoing her prelims performance with a 26.29 on the first 50. The race appeared to tighten a bit through the first half of the 2nd 50, but Spink extended her lead heading into the finish. Her swim makes her #13 all-time among 15-16 year old girls. Paegle also swam a personal best to grab the 2nd spot in Wave II.

Ohio State’s Amy Fulmer got the ball rolling early, taking the B final of the race with a lifetime best 55.91. Her time would have tied her for 2nd in the A final.

 

MEN’S 100 FREE FINALS

  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 46.91 (2009)
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel – 46.96 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Ryan Held (USA) – 47.39 (2019)
  • World Junior Record: Andrei Minakov (RUS) – 47.57 (2020)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Kyle Chalmers (AUS) – 47.58
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Nathan Adrian – 47.72
  • Wave I Cut: 50.49
  • Wave II Cut: 49.74

Podium:

  1. Patrick Sammon (AQUASN) – 49.94
  2. Luke Miller (EA) – 50.05
  3. Michael Eastman (UofL) – 50.14

Patrick Sammon had an incredible turn to help fuel this win. He went into the 50m wall not looking like the leader, but managed to get his feet onto the wall 2-tenths of a second ahead of anyone else. Sammon then held strong with a very slight lead through the 2nd 50, extending into the finish to touch as the only 49 in the field. The swim was a personal best for Sammon.  NC State’s Luke Miller also punched his ticket to Wave II, swimming a best time of 50.05. Miller was 7th at the turn, but turned on the jets coming home, and made a final push right at the end.

 

WOMEN’S 200 FLY FINALS

  • World Record: Liu Zige (CHN) – 2:01.81 (2009)
  • American Record: Mary Descenza – 2:04.14 (2009)
  • US Open Record: Hali Flickinger (USA) – 2:05.87 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Suzuka Hasegawa (JPN) – 2:06.29 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Mireia Belmonte Garcia (ESP) – 2:04.85
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Cammile Adams – 2:06.80
  • Wave I Cut: 2:14.59
  • Wave II Cut: 2:12.56

Podium:

  1. Katie Trace (OSU) – 2:12.57
  2. Emma Sticklen (KATY) – 2:12.58
  3. Martina Peroni (NAAC) – 2:12.61

In an incredible turn of events, the 7th seed won the race, and the top seed from prelims finished last in the heat. Ohio State’s Katie Trace, in a classic display of “outside smoke”, led led for the majority of the race. National Junior Team member Emma Sticklen took 2nd again in finals, but swam almost a second faster.

The race was also a photo finish, with Trace, Sticklen, and 3rd place finisher Martina Peroni all touching within just 0.04 seconds of each other. Peroni out-split Sticklen on the final 50, but Sticklen was just narrowly able to hold her off. Trace actually touched in a tight 3rd at the 150 mark, but was just able to overtake the other two on the final length.

Nation’s Capital’s Eleanor Sun was a force in the B final, taking the heat with a 2:13.76 to touch as the only swimmer in the heat under 2:15.

 

MEN’S 200 FLY FINALS

  • World Record: Kristof Milak (HUN) – 1:50.73 (2019)
  • American Record: Michael Phelps – 1:51.51 (2009)
  • US Open Record: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:52.20 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (HUN) – 1:52.71 (2018)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:53.36
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Michael Phelps – 1:54.84
  • Wave I Cut: 2:01.19
  • Wave II Cut: 1:59.63

Podium:

  1. Carl Bloebaum (RAYS) – 1:58.90
  2. Colby Mefford (SMST) – 1:59.63
  3. Sebastien Sergile (SA-GA)/Micah Slaton (TRI) –

Mason manta Rays’ Carl Bloebaum doubled down on his lifetime best prelims swim, tearing to a new personal mark of 1:58.90. The swim advances Bloebaum to the Wave II meet next week, and moves him up to the #18 American in the race in 2021. Bloebaum held tight with the field early on, and pulled away from his opponents as they approached the finish.

5th seed Colby Mefford, a Cal swimmer, also finished strong, holding on to touch as the only other swimmer in the field to swim under 2:00. Sebastien Sergile and Micah Slaton tied for 3rd at 2:00.17. Both Sergile and Slaton were 1:59 this morning. In total, 5 swimmers broke 2:00 in the event today.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK FINALS

  • World Record: Regan Smith (USA) – 57.57 (2019)
  • American Record: Regan Smith – 57.57 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Kathleen Baker (USA) – 58.00 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Regan Smith (USA) – 57.57 (2019)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 58.45
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Olivia Smoliga – 59.02
  • Wave I Cut: 1:02.69
  • Wave II Cut: 1:01.49

Podium:

  1. Autumn Haebig (HUSK) – 1:01.23
  2. Kobie Melton (UARK) – 1:01.89
  3. Casey Chung (CW) – 1:01.93

After not swimming a best time in the LCM 100 back in several years, Nebraska’s Autumn Haebig swam 2 today. Haebig led prelims, then doubled down on the performance, touching in 1:01.23 to leave no doubt she will be advancing to Wave II. Arkansas’ Kobie Melton held off Michigan’s Casey Chung, picking up her Wave II ticket as well.

Haebig led the race at the 50 mark, flipping in 29.66. Melton was right behind, posting an initial split of 29.77.

MEN’S 100 BACK FINALS

  • World Record: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.85 (2016)
  • American Record: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.85 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA) – 51.94 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 52.53 (2018)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 51.97
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Ryan Murphy – 52.26
  • Wave I Cut: 56.59
  • Wave II Cut: 55.51

Podium:

  1. Jacob Steele (ISC) – 55.23
  2. Nathaniel Stoffle (SPAC) – 55.28
  3. RJ Kondalski (OSU) – 55.40

In the 2nd brutally tight finish of the meet, Indiana’s Jacob Steele and Spartan Aquatics’ Nathaniel Stoffle made it through to compete next week. The pair both swam best times to maintain their respective 1-2 positions from prelims. Steele and Stoffle made took control of the rave early, separating themselves from the heat on the first 50. The name of the game on the 2nd 50 was to hold their lead.

Ohio State’s RJ Kondalski was charging late, but finished just behind Stoffle and Steele.

 

WOMEN’S 800 FREE TIMED FINALS

Fastest heat to swim with finals

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79 (2016)
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky – 8:04.79 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:06.68 (2016)
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:11.00 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky – 8:10.32
  • Wave I Cut: 8:48.09
  • Wave II Cut: 8:44.01

Podium:

  1. Hayden Miller (CFSC) – 8:39.81
  2. Abigail McCulloh (SA-GA) – 8:42.17
  3. Elle Braun (WA) – 8:43.53

An excellent race developed through the middle of the pool with Hayden Miller, Abigail McCulloh, and Elle Braun. They were locked in a stroke-for-stroke race through around the 650 mark, then Miller pulled away in a hurry. The 16-year-old came home in a blistering 31.39, getting herself to the wall in under 8:40 for the first time in her career. She dropped nearly 5 seconds with the performance, and blew away the Wave II standard.

McCulloh also got home in a speedy fashion, splitting 31.87 on the final 50, helping to propel her to a new best time as well.

 

MEN’S 800 FREE TIMED FINALS

Fastest heat to swim with finals

  • World Record: Zhang Lin (CHN) – 7:32.12 (2009)
  • American Record: Michael McBroom – 7:43.60 (2013)
  • US Open Record: Zane Grothe (USA) – 7:44.57 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Mack Horton (AUS) – 7:45.67 (2013)
  • 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: 8:12.99
  • Wave II Cut: 8:08.95

Podium:

  1. Garrett McGovern (NAVY) – 8:11.25
  2. Luke Johnson (NAVY) – 8:12.13
  3. Joshua Brown (HIGH) – 8:15.07

It was the pair of Navy boys who got the job done, and advanced to Wave II next week. Garrett McGovern and Luke Johnson were largely in a race with each other through the 800 meters, with Joshua Brown hanging a little behind them. Neither McGovern or Johnson swam a best time, but they ultimately got the job done, advancing to the next phase of the meet. They’ll both be in the 1500 Monday as well.

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Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
15 days ago

Okay who decided the picture for this article because no way that’s unintentional

MA 100 breaststroke gold medal
Reply to  Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
15 days ago

Poor Carl has been cursed by the swimswam powers!

Swim2
15 days ago

Good luck athletes!

Guerra
15 days ago

Look at my man, Carl Bloebaum! What a legend!