2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS
- Wave I Dates: June 4-7, 2021
- Wave II Dates: June 13-20, 2021
- Prelims: 10am CDT | Finals: 7pm CDT
- Where: CHI Health Center / Omaha, Nebraska
- Wave I & II Event Order
- LCM (50m)
- Wave II Psych Sheet
- Live Stream Links
- Wave II Live Results
- Day 1 Finals Heat Sheet
The first batch of American Olympians will be named tonight during the first finals session from the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, with Tokyo spots on the line in the men’s 400 IM, men’s 400 free and women’s 400 IM.
We’ll also see two sets of semi-finals in the women’s 100 butterfly and men’s 100 breaststroke, where the top-eight swimmers will qualify for the final on Monday night.
The men’s 400 IM kicks things off, and the race could shape up very similarly to the one we saw in 2016. Back then, Ryan Lochte opened up a big early lead before being overtaken by Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland, who claimed the two Olympic spots.
This time, Kalisz and Litherland are expected to fight it out with Carson Foster, the University of Texas rising sophomore who qualified first out of this morning’s prelims in 4:10.50.
Bobby Finke, who will be among the favorites later in the meet in the 800 and 1500 freestyle, will also have a chance if he’s within striking distance with 100 meters to go.
The men’s 400 free presents a unique scenario—what happens if the second-place finisher (or the winner, for that matter) isn’t under the FINA ‘A’ cut?
The fastest American inside the qualifying period, Zane Grothe, failed to make the final, and NCAA standout Kieran Smith is the top seed after going 3:48.05 in the prelims. Smith owns a best time of 3:47.71, and the Olympic qualifying time sits at 3:46.78.
Smith is forecasted to be able to get under that time, but it would take a massive drop for anyone else in the field to do so. Jake Mitchell was 3:47.9 in 2019, and next up is Ross Dant, who hit a best of 3:48.40 in the prelims.
If the second-place finisher isn’t under 3:46.78, they won’t be named to the Olympic team. If the winner is also not under the ‘A’ standard, they can swim the event at the Olympics, but must receive an official invite by FINA to do so.
Similar to the Grothe miss in the 400 free, the women’s 400 IM had a surprise with Madisyn Cox failing to make the final.
Leah Smith and Brooke Forde, who will be out in lanes seven and eight, could also contend if their at their best. Smith owns a best time of 4:33.86 from 2017, second only to Margalis among swimmers in the field. Forde owns a PB of 4:35.09 from 2018.
The women’s 100 fly has a slew of possible contenders for Olympics spots tomorrow night, with veteran Kelsi Dahlia and newcomer Torri Huske staking their claim to a pair of Lane 4 appearances tonight after breaking 57 seconds in the prelims.
Michael Andrew had the swim of the morning session in the men’s 100 breast, shattering the American Record in a time of 58.19. Andrew Wilson also had a phenomenal performance, setting a new best time in 58.80.
MEN’S 400 IM FINAL
- 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
In a race that was eerily similar to the 2016 Trials, Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland punched their ticket to the Tokyo Games in the men’s 400 IM for the second straight Olympiad, going 1-2 with Kalisz coming out on top.
Carson Foster, who paced this morning’s prelims in a personal best time of 4:10.50, opened up a massive lead from the get-go (similar to what Ryan Lochte did five years ago), and was over two seconds clear of Litherland and three of Kalisz at the 200.
Kalisz did what he does best on the breaststroke leg, motoring down the two laps with a blistering 1:08.25 split to out-split Foster by over three seconds and take the lead.
Then, down the stretch on freestyle, Litherland began pursuing Foster in the race for second, with Kalisz soaring to victory in 4:09.09.
All told, Litherland (57.36) was over three seconds better than Foster (1:00.83) on freestyle, claiming the second spot in a time of 4:10.33. Foster touched third in 4:10.86, and Bobby Finke picked up a sizable best time for fourth in 4:11.44.
Kalisz’s time is his fastest since the 2018 Pan Pacs, and slots him into second in the seasonal world rankings, trailing only reigning world champion Daiya Seto (4:09.02) of Japan.
Litherland takes Foster’s spot in fifth in the rankings.
WOMEN’S 100 FLY SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.48 (2016)
American Record: Dana Vollmer – 55.98 (2012) US Open Record: Claire Curzan (USA) – 56.20 (2021)
- World Junior Record: Claire Curzan (USA) – 56.20 (2021)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.48
- 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Kelsi (Worrell) Dahlia – 56.48
- Wave I Cut: 1:00.69
- Wave II Cut: 59.59
- Torri Huske (AAC), 55.78 AR
- Claire Curzan (TAC), 56.81
- Kelsi Dahlia (CARD), 56.91
- Kate Douglass (UVA), 57.07
- Katie McLaughlin (CAL), 57.63
- Regan Smith (RIPT), 57.73
- Olivia Bray (TXLA), 58.07
- Aly Tetzloff (WOLF), 58.21
18-year-old Torri Huske blew the doors off the first semi-final of the women’s 100 fly, scorching her way to a new American Record in a time of 55.78, lowering the nine-year-old mark of 55.98 set by Dana Vollmer at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Huske, who turns 19 and is therefore ineligible to break the World Junior Record, entered the meet with a best time of 56.69, set in April.
The Arlington Aquatics swimmer is now the third-fastest woman in the event’s history, trailing only world record holder Sarah Sjostrom and China’s Zhang Yufei.
All-Time Performers, Women’s 100 Butterfly (LCM)
- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 55.48 – 2016
- Zhang Yufei (CHN), 55.62 – 2020
- Torri Huske (USA), 55.78 – 2021
- Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 55.83 – 2019
- Emma McKeon (AUS), 55.93 – 2021
- Dana Vollmer (USA), 55.98 – 2012
Claire Curzan, the 16-year-old that holds that World Junior Record in 56.20, qualified second from Huske’s heat in an easy-looking 56.81.
2016 Trials winner Kelsi Dahlia (56.91) out-touched Virginia’s Kate Douglass (57.07) in the second semi, as they advanced third and fourth overall for the final. Douglass’ swim was also a new personal best time.
Regan Smith, who’s favored in both the female backstroke events later in the meet, advanced sixth overall in 57.73.
MEN’S 400 FREE FINAL
- World Record: Paul Biedermann (GER) – 3:40.07 (2009)
- American Record: Larsen Jensen – 3:42.78 (2008)
- US Open Record: Larsen Jensen – 3:43.53 (2008)
- World Junior Record: Mack Horton (AUS) – 3:44.60 (2014)
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Mack Horton (AUS) – 3:41.55
- 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Connor Jaeger – 3:43.79
- Wave I Cut: 3:57.29
- Wave II Cut: 3:54.21
It was Kieran Smith against the clock in the men’s 400 free final, and the University of Florida swimmer got the job done as he torched his personal best and got well under the FINA ‘A’ cut in a time of 3:44.86.
Smith, 21, got out and attacked the race from the jump, flipping in a blazing 1:50.35 at the 200. He held it together down the back-half, annihilating his previous best of 3:47.71 and the Olympic qualifying time of 3:46.78.
This performance makes Smith the first first-time Olympian of the Trials so far. He now ranks tied for 10th in the world this season.
Four men ended up finishing within three-tenths of one another in the hotly-contested race for second, with Carmel’s Jake Mitchell out-touching Ross Dant, Chris Wieser and Brooks Fail in a time of 3:48.17. That falls two-tenths shy of Mitchell’s best of 3:47.95, set at the 2019 World Juniors.
Since two men didn’t hit the ‘A’ standard here, then whoever has the fastest ‘A’ cut time, and the highest finish at Trials, at any other meet in the qualifying period gets to go. That window is open until June 27. Zane Grothe, who is not in this final, has hit the cut. There’s a FINA-approved meet in Mission Viejo June 26-27. If a swimmer achieves the cut in Mission Viejo, and finished ahead of Grothe here in Omaha, they would get the spot above him.
Dant clocked 3:48.30 in third, a tenth faster than his PB from the prelims, while Wieser (3:48.42) and Fail (3:48.47) also hit best times.
WOMEN’S 400 IM FINAL
- 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
Not to be outdone by the wild ride that was the men’s 400 IM, the women’s event will come out of Day 1 as an early contender for race of the meet.
Just like she did in the prelims, butterfly specialist Hali Flickinger jumped out to the early lead, turning in 1:01.42 at the 100. The Sun Devil Swimming representant sat a full two seconds clear of the field after the backstroke leg, and then things got a little crazy.
Melanie Margalis, known for her massive back-half splits in this race, had a Chase Kalisz-esque breast leg, splitting 1:15.42 to go five seconds faster than Flickinger and pull almost even with her going onto the freestyle.
Weyant turned on the jets, and Margalis tightened up, earning Weyant, the 19-year-old Sarasota Shark, the victory and her first Olympic berth in a time of 4:33.81.
Weyant, who deferred going to school at Virginia for a year, improves on her previous best of 4:35.47, set at the 2019 Summer Nationals.
Flickinger smashed her personal best time of 4:37.55, set in April, to snag second from Margalis in 4:33.96, leaving the 29-year-old Margalis locked out of an Olympic spot in 4:34.08. Margalis’ best stands at 4:32.53.
Smith had her best swim since 2017 in the event, finishing a close fourth in 4:34.55.
MEN’S 100 BREAST SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 56.88 (2019)
American Record: Michael Andrew – 58.19 (2021) US Open Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 58.19 (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
- Michael Andrew (RPC), 58.14 AR
- Nic Fink (ABSC), 58.50
- Andrew Wilson (ABSC), 59.08
- Kevin Cordes (ABSC), 59.33
- Max McHugh (UOFM), 59.68
- Josh Matheny (PEAQ), 1:00.25
- Will Licon (TXLA), 1:00.33
- Ben Cono (GAME), 1:00.36
Michael Andrew one-upped himself after a record-breaking prelims swim, re-lowering his American Record of 58.19 in the men’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 58.14, breaking the U.S. Open 50 breast record in the process.
Racing in the second semi-final, Andrew scorched his way out to a massive lead on the opening 50, turning in 26.83 to break his previous U.S. Open Record of 26.84 set in 2018.
Almost nine-tenths clear of his next-closest competitor at the turn, Andrew was pursued by Nic Fink down the stretch, but he still won the heat decisively in slicing .05 off his newly-minted American Record.
The 22-year-old Andrew maintains his spot as the third-fastest man of all-time in the event, and has set himself up to make his first Olympic team tomorrow night.
Fink, who had lowered his best time down from 59.40 to 59.21 this morning, had an unbelievable second 50 despite failing to catch Andrew, closing in 30.77 for a final time of 58.50, making him the second-fastest American ever.
The 27-year-old was seventh in this event in 2016, and has never made the Olympic team despite representing the U.S. at the 2013, 2015 and 2017 World Championships.
Taking third in the second semi was 2016 winner Kevin Cordes, who clocked 59.33 for his fastest swim since 2017, the year in which he set what is now the former American Record of 58.64.
In the first semi-final it was Andrew Wilson, the top American in this event in 2019, claiming the easy win in a time of 59.08. Wilson came into the meet with a best of 58.93, and lowered that down to 58.80 in the heats. We’ll be a big factor in tomorrow’s final.
2021 NCAA champion in this event Max McHugh reeled off his second straight PB in the event to qualify fifth overall in 59.68, while 18-year-old Josh Matheny got himself into the final in sixth (1:00.25) after a prelims best of 1:00.06.
Most notably missing the final was Cody Miller, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, who tied for 11th overall in 1:00.66. That showing is a far cry from Miller’s season-best of 59.65, set at the U.S. Open in November.