2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave I: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


We have a shorter prelims session on day 2, featuring only the men’s and women’s 200 free, 100 breast, and 400 IM. Many of the events today aren’t heavily populated, as there are only 2 heats each of the men’s and women’s 200 freestyles, and men’s 400 IM, and there are only 3 heats of the women’s 400 IM. On the other hand, the men’s 100 breast has 11 heats this morning, making it one of the largest fields in the Wave I meet.

The men’s 200 free will be a fascinating race, as there are only 10 athletes racing this morning. 8 of the 10 will advance to the A final, where they will have a shot at then advancing to the Wave II next week, and the bottom 2 swimmers this morning will be in the B final tonight. Last night’s 100 free champion, 17-year-old Patrick Sammon, is one of the names to watch in this race tonight. Sammon is the 2nd seed, and one of only 2 swimmers seeded under 1:50. He also swam a lifetime best 100 free last night.

Likewise, last night’s women’s 100 back champion, Autumn Haebig of the University of Nebraska, will be looking to add another Wave II event to her schedule. Haebig is the top seed in the women’s 200 free, but the field is extremely tight. There are only 16 swimmers in the event, so all will advance to finals tonight, and get a chance at a second swim, but only the top 8 will have a shot at advancing to Wave II tonight. Haebig was in top form yesterday, however, swimming lifetime bests in both prelims and finals of the women’s 100 back. If she can do the same today, she shouldn’t have a problem advancing.

Former Denison swimmer Kt Kustritz is the top seed in the women’s 100 breast. The NCAA DIII standout is the first and only DIII swimmers to break 1:00 in the women’s SCY 100 breast. She enters the meet just shy of the Wave II standard.

A pair of 18 & unders are tied for the top seed in the men’s 100 breast. Carpet Capital 18-year-old Henry Bethel and Metroplex’s Zhier Fan both enter the meet with a time of 1:02.00. However, there are over 80 swimmers slated to race the event this morning, and they’re all seeded within about 1.3 seconds of each other, so this should be one of the most exciting prelims of the session.

The youngest Trials qualifier of the cycle is set to swim the women’s 400 IM. Now 13-year-old Kayla Han of La Mirada Armada was 12 last weekend when she hit her qualifying time in the event. Han also set 3 11-12 girls National Age Group Records last weekend, so we’ll see if she can continue racing at that level for a 2nd week in a row. Ohio State’s Katie Trace, who won the women’s 200 fly last night, is also swimming the women’s 400 IM this morning. Trace has been great for the Buckeyes in the SCY version of the 400 IM. We’ll see if she will also add a second Wave II race to her schedule.

There are also only 16 swimmers in the men’s 400 IM, so all will get a second swim tonight. The name of the game will be finishing in the top half this morning, to have a chance at advancing to Wave II tonight. This will be another fascinating race, as 1-16 is only separated by 2.32 seconds.



  • World Record: 1:52.08  — Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 2009
  • American Record: 1:53.61 — Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.40 — Allison Schmitt, 2012
  • World Junior Record: 1:55.43 — Junxuan Yang (CHN), 2019
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) — 1:53.73
  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky – 1:54.88
  • Wave I Cut: 2:01.69
  • Wave II Cut: 2:00.24

Prelims Top 8:

  1. Autumn Haebig (HUSK) – 2:01.59
  2. Jillian Barczyk (COLA) – 2:01.77
  3. Summer Cardwell (TBAC) – 2:01.85
  4. Anna Peplowski (BNY) – 2:02.64
  5. Elle Caldow (TENN) – 2:02.69
  6. Ella Bathurst (TEAM) – 2:02.98
  7. Addison Smith (UNC) – 2:03.11
  8. Malia Rausch (ASC-ST) – 2:03.18

Autumn Haebig is now 3-for-3 on her races at this meet. After winning both prelims and finals of the 100 back yesterday, Haebig led the field this morning with a 2:01.59. The field was largely off their seed times, evidenced by Haebig being the only swimmer in the field under the Wave I standard of 2:01.69. Nonetheless, this has now shaped up to be a fun race this evening, as it could truly go to anyone.

Haebig was controlled in her race as well. She split 1:00.19 on the first 100, and came home in 1:01.40. If she gets out to a quicker start tonight, she could swim her 3rd best time of the meet. Anna Peplowski, the #2 seed heading into this morning, finished 4th, also advancing to the A final. The first heat saw a race develop in the middle of the pool between Peplowski, Jillian Barczyk, and Summer Cardwell.


  • World Record: Paul Biederman (GER) – 1:42.00 (2009)
  • American Record: Michael Phelps  – 1:42.96 (2008)
  • US Open Record: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:44.10 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Sunwoo Hwang (KOR) – 1:44.96 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Sun Yang (CHN) – 1:44.65
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Townley Haas – 1:45.66
  • Wave I Cut: 1:50.79
  • Wave II Cut: 1:49.65

Prelims Top 8:

  1. Will Jackson (TNAQ) – 1:50.82
  2. Liam Bresette (SUN) – 1:50.98
  3. Ryan Waters (NAVY) – 1:51.03
  4. Patrick Sammon (AQUASN) – 1:51.73
  5. Jack Wright (UVA) – 1:51.80
  6. Wen Zhang (AFA) – 1:52.46
  7. Luke Miller (EA) – 1:52.81
  8. Michael Petrides (CAL) – 1:53.09

Seeded 8th, Will Jackson managed to get his hand on the wall first, touching just off his personal best of 1:50.58. None of the swimmers in the heats were under the Wave I cut, but that’s not totally surprising, as everyone knew they were coming back for a second swim tonight. 100 free champion Patrick Sammon was nearly 2 seconds off his best, but finished 4th and secured a lane in the A final.

Ryan Waters will look to keep the Navy train rolling tonight, after Navy went 1-2 in the men’s 800 free last night.


  • World Record: Lilly King (USA) – 1:04.13 (2017)
  • American Record: Lilly King – 1:04.13 (2017)
  • US Open Record: Jessica Hardy (USA) – 1:04.45 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – 1:05.21 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Lilly King (USA) – 1:04.93
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Lilly King – 1:05.20
  • Wave I Cut: 1:10.99
  • Wave II Cut: 1:09.55

Prelims Top 8:

  1. Joelle Vereb (VT) – 1:09.65
  2. Zoe Skirboll (RXA) – 1:09.82
  3. Heather Maccausland (NCS) – 1:09.93
  4. Taylor Grabenhorst (BD) – 1:10.22
  5. Kate Steward (KANS) – 1:10.41
  6. Kylie Powers (TAMU) – 1:10.41
  7. Kaylee Hamblin (MSA-NC) – 1:10.47
  8. Sally Foley (DUKE) – 1:10.73

Joelle Vereb of Virginia Tech had an excellent morning swim, bettering her seed time (1:10.08) by nearly half a second, and breaking 1:10. 16-year-old Zoe Skirboll also swam a best time, breaking 1:10 as well. Vereb wasn’t seeded in the top 8, and Skirboll wasn’t seeded in the top 16, but they took over the final heat of the event this morning, and will be in the middle lanes tonight as they attempt to advance.

3rd-place finisher this morning Heather MacCausland made it into the A final for tonight, despite not being in the circle seeded heats. The top seed entering the meet, KT Kustritz, did not qualify for the A final.


  • World Record: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 56.88 (2019)
  • American Record: Kevin Cordes – 58.64 (2017)
  • US Open Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 58.67 (2021)
  • World Junior Record: Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 59.01 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 57.13
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Kevin Cordes – 59.18
  • Wave I Cut: 1:03.29
  • Wave II Cut: 1:01.97

Prelims Top 8:

  1. Reid Mikuta (AU) – 1:01.87
  2. Eli Fouts (WA) – 1:02.02
  3. Zhier Fan (MTRO) – 1:02.07
  4. Luke Massey (UN-SC) – 1:02.33
  5. Corey Lau (UN-NJ) – 1:02.36
  6. Jakob Frick (NCAP) – 1:02.40
  7. Luke Barr (ISWM) – 1:02.44
  8. Jake Ball (TANK) – 1:02.57

Auburn’s Reid Mikuta had a massive swim this morning, dropping nearly a full second from his best time. He also dipped under 1:02 for the first time in his career, and picked up the first Wave II cut of the session. Of course, the qualifying period is over for Wave II, so getting the cut doesn’t actually do anything, but he’s set up very well for tonight nonetheless. Zhier Fan, who was tied for the first seed heading into the meet, made it into the A final with a 3rd-place finish this morning, touching just 0.07 seconds off his entry time. Henry Bethel, the other top seed entering the meet, will be swimming in the B final tonight.

Eli Fouts also had an excellent swim to take the 2nd seed for tonight. Swimming in the last of the non-circle seeded heats, Fouts took .7 seconds off his previous best.


  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 4:26.36 (2016)
  • American Record: Katie Hoff – 4:31.12 (2008)
  • US Open Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 4:31.07 (2015)
  • World Junior Record: Yu Yiting (CHN) – 4:35.94 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 4:26.36
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Maya DiRado – 4:33.73
  • Wave I Cut: 4:51.79
  • Wave II Cut: 4:47.72

Prelims Top 8:

  1. Katie McCarthy (EDI) – 4:49.94
  2. Katie Trace (OSU) – 4:50.12
  3. Annika McEnroe (YSSC) – 4:52.36
  4. Erin Cavanagh (JW) – 4:52.92
  5. Hannah Ownbey (AU) – 4:53.68
  6. Kate McCarville (SPA) – 4:53.90
  7. Michelle Morgan (PS) – 4:53.98
  8. Paige MacEachern (PCS) – 4:54.71

It was a good morning for Katies, as Edina Swim Club 16-year-old Katie McCarthy, and Ohio State’s Katie Trace, took the top 2 seeds for tonight’s final. Additionally, the pair were the only swimmers in the field under the Wave I standard this morning. Both were also just narrowly off their best times. McCarthy entered the meet with a top mark of 4:49.13, while Trace was 4:50.05. They may have a tougher race on their hands tonight, however, since Kate McCarville and Paige MacEachern also made the A final, and both have been faster than McCarthy was this morning. Trace has already won an event at this meet (women’s 200 fly).

Kayla Han, who just turned 13 this week, advances to the B final tonight.


  • World record: Michael Phelps (USA) – 4:03.84 (2008)
  • American record: Michael Phelps – 4:03.84 (2008)
  • U.S. Open record: Michael Phelps – 4:05.25 (2008)
  • World Junior record: Ilya Borodin (RUS) – 4:11.17 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Kosuke Hagino (JPN) – 4:06.05
  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Chase Kalisz – 4:09.54
  • Wave I Cut: 4:25.99
  • Wave II Cut: 4:23.24

Prelims Top 8:

  1. Humberto Najera (MVN) – 4:23.72
  2. Alexander Gusev (SYS) – 4:23.86
  3. Dominic Falcon (UCSB) – 4:24.22
  4. Tyler Kopp (KATY) – 4:26.02
  5. Jay Baker (NCAC) – 4:26.04
  6. Jaques Rathle (CRAW) – 4:27.02
  7. Ryan King (NU) – 4:27.65
  8. Kyle Ponsler (FAST) – 4:28.74

Humberto Najera, the youngest swimmer in the event, took the top seed for tonight, swimming a new personal best of 4:23.72. Najera, 16, swam a personal best by over a second en route to claiming the middle lane for tonight. He got his speed from the front half of the race, splitting 2:04.95 on the first 200.

Alexander Gusev was also a 4:23 this morning, and no one else in the A final tonight has been under 4:24 before. The top seed in the event, Jeffrey Durmer, came in 14th this morning. His personal best was 4:23.55.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Noah Frederick
2 years ago

Does anyone know what Wave 2 will be broadcasted on. It’s sucks because I don’t have the Olympic channel so I can’t watch these finals and I was just hoping that wave 2 was on NBC sports so at least I could watch it.

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  Noah Frederick
2 years ago

It’s usually broadcast on NBC, the Mani channel on free tv

Cousin Eddie
2 years ago

Ponsler was 4:23 coming in too. Took 8th

2 years ago

Shout out to Corey Lau – went from last seed to fifth seed! An incredibly poised and confident swim from the first heat.

2 years ago

Luke Miller sandbag in morning. Go fast tonight I bet he’s gonna do it. Yes. Definitely he will go fast tonight.

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  Chungus
2 years ago

I feel like there was a lot of sandbagging this morning. I expect women’s 1br to be much faster.

2 years ago

At this point they could mount a cell phone somewhere and live stream this on YouTube and it would be better quality then their website.

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  Xman
2 years ago

What an embarrassment for USA Swimming and an insult to the Wave 1 swimmers. They’re being treated differently with this streaming issue than Wave 2 will be. You can be sure that this won’t happen when the USA Swimming darlings are racing in Wave 2 prelims.

2 years ago

What time did Kayla Han end up with?

Reply to  cswammer
2 years ago

It’s nice that SwimSwam provides a link to the results at the top of this article.


2 years ago

Come on USA Swimming – these swimmers have worked for 5yrs to get here – surely with all that prep time you could ensure a functional live streaming tool so that all of us at home can watch these amazing athletes. So disappointing.

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  Pamela
2 years ago

They simply don’t care about the Wave 1 swimmers as much as the Wave 2 swimmers. Literally zero chance this happens during a Dressel or Ledecky race.

Reply to  Gowdy Raines
2 years ago

Zero chance? If they can’t get it right for wave 1, what do you think will happen in wave 2 when the audience is 3-4 times larger? They better not be working to just remedy this wave. They better be preparing for the next.

2 years ago

How are there exactly 16 swimmers in like half the events? What kind of voodoo magic is this?

Reply to  Deepblue
2 years ago

May have been how the wave 2 cuts were selected in the events with fewer people qualified…