2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


The second night of finals from Wave II of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha features an action-packed seven-event schedule, including three more events with Tokyo Olympic roster spots on the line.

The first final of the night comes in the women’s 100 butterfly, where 18-year-old Torri Huske comes in riding the hot hand after breaking the American Record in the semi-finals in a time of 55.78.

Then we’ll have the men’s 100 breaststroke, where Michael Andrew is favored to solidify his first Olympic berth after lowering the American Record in both prelims (58.19) and the semi-finals (58.14).

The third race of the night with Olympic spots up for grabs will be the women’s 400 freestyle, where the sport’s most dominant athlete, Katie Ledecky, holds the top seed and aims to make her third consecutive U.S. Olympic team.

In addition to the three finals, we’ll see additional semi-finals in the men’s 200 free, women’s 100 breast, and the men’s and women’s 100 back.

Andrew is slated to take on a difficult double, with his 100 back semi-final (the second heat) scheduled approximately 31 minutes after the 100 breast final.

Regan Smith headlines the women’s 100 back, opting to scratch the 100 fly final in order to focus on that race, while reigning Olympic champions Lilly King and Ryan Murphy take on the women’s 100 breast and men’s 100 back, respectively.

Caeleb Dressel has notably scratched the men’s 200 free semis after qualifying second out of this morning’s heats in a personal best time of 1:46.63. The top seed for tonight’s semi-finals is Kieran Smith, who won last night’s 400 free.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 55.48 (2016)
  • American Record: Torri Huske – 55.78 (2021)
  • US Open Record: Torri Huske (USA) – 55.78 (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
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 57.92
  1. Torri Huske (AAC), 55.66 AR
  2. Claire Curzan (TAC), 56.43
  3. Kate Douglass (UVA), 56.56

Torri Huske put on a dominant performance in the women’s 100 butterfly final, punching her ticket to the Olympic Games next month in American Record fashion.

The 18-year-old blasted out to an early lead on the opening 50, turning in 25.65 to sit almost three-tenths clear of Claire Curzan (25.93).

Huske, a member of Arlington Aquatics, then pulled away from the field even further coming home, splitting 30.01 for a final time of 55.66, .12 under her American and U.S. Open Record of 55.78 set last night. It’s also a U.S. 17-18 National Age Group Record.

Huske remains the third-fastest performer in history, trailing only world record holder Sarah Sjostrom (55.48) and China’s Zhang Yufei (55.62).

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Fly

View Top 26»

In a tight battle for second, Curzan had to fend off a strong push from Kate Douglass and Kelsi Dahlia, but got the job done at the age of 16, touching in 56.43 to earn what will likely be an Olympic berth.

Curzan’s runner-up finish gives TAC Titans coach Bruce Marchionda three straight Olympians in this event.

Douglass broke 57 seconds for the first time in third, clocking 56.56 to become the 14th-fastest woman of all-time, while Dahlia, who won the 2016 Trials and owns a PB of 56.37, was fourth in 56.80.


  • World Record: Paul Biedermann (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: Hwang Sun Woo (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
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:47.02
  1. Kieran Smith (FLOR), 1:45.74
  2. Zach Apple (MVN), 1:46.22
  3. Townley Haas (NOVA), 1:46.30
  4. Drew Kibler (TXLA), 1:46.70
  5. Blake Pieroni (SAND), 1:46.84
  6. Luca Urlando (DART), 1:46.93
  7. Andrew Seliskar (CAL), 1:46.95
  8. Patrick Callan (UN-MI), 1:47.00

Despite Zach Apple leading through the 150, Kieran Smith took control of the second semi in the men’s 200 free on the last 50, looking incredibly smooth en route to the top time of the session in 1:45.74.

That swim marks a new personal best for Smith, who had previously been 1:46.21 at the 2019 Summer Nationals. The 21-year-old Florida Gator is now the ninth-fastest American of all-time and third among swimmers in this field.

To his credit, Apple held tough on the last 50, clocking in at 1:46.22 to improve his PB of 1:46.56 and qualify second for the final, with Townley Haas (1:46.30) hot on his heels for third.

Texas Longhorn Drew Kibler emerged victorious from the tightly-contested opening semi-final, cracking the 1:47-barrier for the first time in 1:46.70.

Kibler, whose previous best sat at 1:47.16 from 2019, out-touched Blake Pieroni (1:46.84) and Andrew Seliskar (1:46.95) to win the heat, two men who have been sub-1:46 in their career. Those three advanced fourth, fifth and seventh overall, with Luca Urlando sixth in 1:46.93.

Patrick Callan (1:47.00) snagged the last spot in the final, leaving Carson Foster (1:47.03) on the outside looking in.


  • 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
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:07.07
  1. Lilly King (ISC), 1:04.72
  2. Annie Lazor (MVN), 1:05.37
  3. Lydia Jacoby (STSC), 1:05.71
  4. Bethany Galat (AGS), 1:05.96
  5. Micah Sumrall (GAME), 1:07.03
  6. Emily Escobedo (COND), 1:07.23
  7. Miranda Tucker (UN-MI), 1:07.26
  8. Kaitlyn Dobler (TDPS), 1:07.28

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Lilly King staked her claim as the woman to beat next month in Tokyo by producing the fastest time in the world this season in the women’s 100 breast semis, blasting a 1:04.72 to qualify first for the final by over a half-second.

King had previously been 1:05.32 this season, which had stood as the world’s #1 time coming into today. King’s swim was also a new Olympic Trials Record.

Following King in the second semi-final was Indiana training partner Annie Lazor, who followed up her 1:05.92 PB this morning in a blazing 1:05.37, ranking her second in the world this season.

In the first semi-final, 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby from the Seward Tsunami Swim Club came home like a freight train in 34.21—faster than anyone in the field—to run down Bethany Galat and win the heat in 1:05.71, breaking the 12-year-old 17-18 National Age Group Record of 1:05.75. That mark was set by Kasey Carlson at the 2009 World Championships.

Jacoby’s previous best time was 1:06.38, set at April’s Mission Viejo Pro Swim Series.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Breast

View Top 26»

Galat, who hit a best of 1:05.89 this morning, cracked 1:06 for a second time in 1:05.96 to qualify fourth overall.

2016 Olympian in the 200 breast, Molly Hannis, was disqualified for underwater dolphin kicks.


  • World Record: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 56.88 (2019)
  • American Record: Michael Andrew – 58.14 (2021)
  • US Open Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 58.14 (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
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 59.93
  1. Michael Andrew (RPC), 58.73
  2. Andrew Wilson (ABSC), 58.74
  3. Nic Fink (ABSC), 58.80

Michael Andrew got it done.

It wasn’t nearly as fast as the prelims or semis, and boy did it get close at the end, but Andrew is officially an Olympian after edging out Andrew Wilson and Nic Fink to win the men’s 100 breaststroke in a time of 58.73.

Andrew, who lowered the American Record twice on Sunday, bringing the mark all the way down to 58.14 in the semi-finals, was out just a tad slower than last night at the 50 in 26.90, but began tightening up coming down the stretch as Wilson and Fink smelled blood.

In a crazy three-way finish that came down to seven one-hundredths of a second, Andrew (58.73) out-touched Wilson (58.74) and Fink (58.80) to make his first Olympic team.

Wilson’s time marks a new PB, making him the 15th-fastest man in the history of the event, and he also becomes the first NCAA Division III athlete to become an American Olympian in swimming.

Fink, who became the second-fastest American of all-time in the semi-finals with his PB of 58.50, misses out by mere hundredths, but is in great shape for the 200 breast later in the meet.

Kevin Cordes, who won this event five years ago, was the fourth man to crack 1:00 in 59.79, over four-tenths slower than his semi-final swim (59.33).


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:56.46 (2016)
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky – 3:56.46 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:57.94 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:58.37 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 3:56.46
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky – 3:58.98
  • Wave I Cut: 4:16.89
  • Wave II Cut: 4:13.28
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 4:07.90
  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP), 4:01.27
  2. Paige Madden (UVA), 4:04.86
  3. Leah Smith (CLCK), 4:06.27

She certainly wasn’t thrilled with the time, but Katie Ledecky successfully qualifies for her third U.S. Olympic team as she wins the women’s 400 freestyle by well over three seconds in 4:01.27.

Ledecky, who was two seconds faster than that at the Mission Viejo Pro Swim in April, said she was surprised by the time and thought she had gone significantly faster. Nonetheless, she qualifies for Tokyo, but will have her work cut out for her after Australian Ariarne Titmus blasted a 3:56.90 at the Australian Trials on the weekend.

The runner-up spot goes to Paige Madden, a three-time individual NCAA champion this past season at the University of Virginia, who took a full second off her personal best of 4:05.92 in 4:04.86 to likely etch her name onto her first Olympic team.

Leah Smith, second to Ledecky in 2016, was third in 4:06.27, and open water ace Haley Anderson rounds out the top four in 4:07.42.

In seventh was Kaersten Meitz (4:09.19), who’s had a heck of a year that included getting COVID-19, mono and an appendicitis.


  • 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
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 53.85
  1. Ryan Murphy (CAL), 52.22
  2. Hunter Armstrong (OSU), 52.67
  3. Shaine Casas (TAMU), 52.77
  4. Justin Ress (WOLF), 52.86
  5. Bryce Mefford (CAL), 52.87
  6. Matt Grevers (CLCK), 53.18
  7. Hunter Tapp (NCS), 53.60
  8. Michael Andrew (RPC), 53.82

After cruising through this morning’s prelims, defending Olympic champion Ryan Murphy threw down the gauntlet in the first semi-final of the men’s 100 back, putting up a blistering time of 52.22 to mark his fastest showing since 2018.

The 25-year-old now ranks second in the world for the 2020-21 season, trailing only Russian Evgeny Rylov (52.12).

Joining Murphy sub-53 in the first semi was Justin Ress, who got under the barrier for the first time in 52.86 to (briefly) become the eighth-fastest American of all-time.

That rank for Ress was short-lived because of Ohio State’s Hunter Armstrong, who took down Shaine Casas and Bryce Mefford in the second semi in a time of 52.67.

Armstrong set his previous best of 53.28 in the prelims, and is now the seventh-fastest American ever.

Casas (52.77) qualified third behind Murphy and Armstrong, with Ress fourth and Mefford (52.87) fifth. Mefford’s swim was also a PB after breaking 53 for the first time this morning (52.99).

All-Time U.S. Rankings, Men’s 100 Backstroke (LCM)

  1. Ryan Murphy, 51.85 – 2016
  2. Aaron Peirsol, 51.94 – 2009
  3. Matt Grevers, 52.08 – 2012
  4. David Plummer, 52.12 – 2016
  5. Nick Thoman, 52.51 – 2009
  6. Randall Bal, 52.59 – 2008
  7. Hunter Armstrong, 52.67 – 2021
  8. Shaine Casas, 52.72 – 2019
  9. Justin Ress, 52.86 – 2021
  10. Bryce Mefford, 52.87 – 2021
  11. Jacob Pebley, 52.95 – 2016

2012 Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers, who was third in 2016, advanced sixth in 53.18.

Coming off of his 100 breast victory, Michael Andrew finished off an impressive double to slide into the final in eighth, clocking 53.82. Andrew owns a best of 53.40 from 2019.


  • World Record: Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 57.45 (2021)
  • 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
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:00.25
  1. Regan Smith (RIPT), 57.92 US
  2. Olivia Smoliga (ABSC), 58.50
  3. Katharine Berkoff (NCS), 58.62
  4. Isabelle Stadden (CAL) / Rhyan White, 58.99
  5. Phoebe Bacon (WA), 59.62
  6. Catie Deloof (CA-Y), 59.90
  7. Lisa Bratton (AGS), 1:00.18

Regan Smith stamped her authority as the woman to beat in tomorrow’s final, putting the second sub-58 swim of her career in the second semi-final of the women’s 100 backstroke.

The 19-year-old clocked in at 57.92, breaking Kathleen Baker‘s U.S. Open Record of 58.00 and marking her fastest swim since breaking the world record at the 2019 World Championships in 57.57. That record was broken recently by Kaylee McKeown at the Australian Olympic Trials in 57.45.

2016 Trials winner Olivia Smoliga topped the first semi-final in 58.50, qualifying second for the final, and Katharine Berkoff hit a second best time of the day in 58.62 for third. Berkoff also becomes the sixth-fastest American of all-time.

18-year-old Isabelle Stadden broke 59 seconds for the first time from the first semi in 58.99, ultimately tying with Rhyan White for fourth overall.

Baker, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in this event, went out fast in the second semi, flipping just .07 back of Smith at the 50, but faded coming home and ended up 11th in 1:00.51.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

I’ve got my money on casas

5 months ago

Predictions for winning times in the final?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Penguin
5 months ago

Ledecky 3:58 high
Andrew 57.99
Huske 55.7

Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Considering that ledecky tapered, she needs to be 3:57 or quicker to give herself a chance to win Olympic gold.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  123456
5 months ago


Reply to  Penguin
5 months ago

Should be fun to throw some guesses out there:

W100fly – 55.9 1st (Huske), 56.3 2nd (Dahlia)
M200fr – 1:47.1 to make final
W100br – 1:07.5 to make final
M100br – 57.8 1st (MA), 58.5 2nd (Fink)
W400fr – 3:58.5 1st (Ledecky), 4:02.0 2nd (Smith)
M100bk – 53.8 to make final
W100bk – 59.9 to make final

Caeleb’s left suit string
Reply to  MTK
5 months ago

Huske 1st with 55.68, Curzan 2nd
Andrew 1st with 58.10, Fink/Wilson 2nd, even with Fink’s monster swim I could see Wilson throwing down something special
Ledecky 1st with 3:58.5, Smith 2nd

Last edited 5 months ago by Caeleb’s left suit string
Reply to  Penguin
5 months ago

Torri Huske – world record

Okay, I can dream.

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
5 months ago

u nearly got it right ….

5 months ago
Tea rex
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
5 months ago

Time to update your screen name?

NE Coach
Reply to  Penguin
5 months ago

100 Fly Huske (55.7) Douglass (56.5)
100 Breast: Andrew (58.00) Wilson (58.4)
400 Free: Ledecky (358.5) Madden (4:02)

Reply to  NE Coach
5 months ago

I was rooting for Douglas at the end!

Reply to  Penguin
5 months ago

Ledecky 3:59.5
Andrew 58.09
Huske 56.04

5 months ago

Michael Andrew’s really asking for a big piano by doing the 100 back semifinal.

Reply to  Notanyswimmer
5 months ago

even bigger one making the final

Reply to  Notanyswimmer
5 months ago

People complain when Caeleb scratches a semifinal. People complain when Michael swims a semifinal. Tough crowd!

Reply to  coach
5 months ago

MA has fallen apart at big meets before from too large of event lineups. Dressel hasn’t with even bigger lineups. MA hasn’t medaled yet at LC worlds or the Olympics. Dressel is world and Olympic champ. People can want different approaches for different athletes.

Reply to  Notanyswimmer
5 months ago

andrew almost lost his chance for an olympic appearance. That was close.

5 months ago

I’m curious, is there a reason why big meets have different event orders for men and women?

Reply to  Meow
5 months ago

Possibly for spectator enjoyment. The casual fan may not want to watch the same race twice in a row.

Reply to  Thezwimmer
5 months ago

It’s a shame, really. A guy like Hagino would’ve had more killer 4 frees if he had the women’s schedule, and Finke could’ve went for the 4 free too

Reply to  Meow
5 months ago

I have always wondered about this

Reply to  Meow
5 months ago

Also overall session time- doubling up(both male/female) in the distance events extends the session time too much, spreading out the events keeps the session length similar through the week. Allows the ‘blue ribbon’ events to draw more individual attention

Mr Piano
5 months ago

Yesterday’s swimming races were exciting. There were upsets, close finishes, and fast swims. Yet NBC’s production for this event has been unacceptable. It felt so rushed, with them playing ads from right after the race ended to when the next race was almost starting.

The only pre-race interview was Claire Curzan’s before the 100 fly semi. They should have done one for every event. This is how we get to know the swimmers a little better (especially casual viewers), but instead we see some extra commercials about Uber or Simone Biles ig.

The commentary was possibly the worst I’ve ever seen, it actively ruined the viewing experience. And the animation that shows their names sometimes doesn’t show up… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Mr Piano
Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Don’t you forget. Simone Biles likes broccolini.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago


Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

NBC is just so lazy and cheap doesn’t care about putting out a good product.

Same goes for Rowdy. He puts in less effort every year. He doesn’t even call the race anymore. If anything unexpected happens he seems upset that his lame canned take was interrupted.

Please somebody else buy the rights. Please I am begging you.

Reply to  Svird
5 months ago


Reply to  Svird
5 months ago

While we are probably stuck with NBC for the near future, maybe we could start some sort of petition for a) better production, which you hope could be improved by July, and b) to not have Rowdy do any more meets after the Olympics. Maybe his contract runs longer than that, I don’t know. But I feel confident NBC could find someone else who can do a better job, while still keeping the same energy / excitement that Rowdy does bring.

Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

Beisel did a great job in Wave I, I’m excited for her to start commentating more

Reply to  Svird
5 months ago

Preach it! I cannot understand why they don’t try to do even an ok job. It’s embarrassing and frustrating.

Caeleb’s left suit string
Reply to  Svird
5 months ago

Rowdy slander shan’t be tolerated. Blasphemous I say!

Reply to  Svird
5 months ago

Op mockingbird everything has to fit their pre written script, ALL US media are like that not just NBC

Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Lest you forget, you will be inundated with commercials.

Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Beisel did a great job in the Wave I heats. There are plenty of people out there who have big personalities, knowledge of the sport, and can fill Rowdy’s shoes. Rowdy and NBC work hand in hand. They have a narrative they WILL discuss regardless of how the race/meet is actually playing out.

Reply to  IRO
5 months ago

Agreed. I would at least like to have someone who isn’t so…obvious about pushing the narrative. The Curzan / Huske semifinal was particularly bad. Huske broke the AR and all he talked about was how Curzan did great and just did what she needed to do to get through to the finals.

Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

I honestly felt like there was a glitch in the matrix. Such an awkward silence. If that had been Phelps / Dressel / Ledecky, Rowdy would have been losing his mind about the AR.

Reply to  ShoeBaca
5 months ago

No, I think your statement before clarification might be right – he might of literally not known who she was.

Reply to  IRO
5 months ago

Beisel should have replaced Ambrose during the last two worlds so she would have experience by now

Last edited 5 months ago by Comet
frustrated :(
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

And they just cut away from Katie Ledecky’s medal ceremony to cover the 2008 men’s 4×100, other sports, and then the 4×100 again. Apparently “The Greatest Race” is now streaming on Peacock!!1!

The captions are also terrible.

Eric the eel > Phelps
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Amazon Prime >>>>>> NBC

Wild Bill
5 months ago

Go Katie Go!

Wild Bill
5 months ago

Go Claire Go!

Wild Bill
5 months ago

Go Lilly Go!

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Wild Bill
5 months ago

You got some King haters there.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
5 months ago

Probably all Russians.

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 …

Read More »