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

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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

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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.

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power 5 swimmer
1 year ago

If you watch Armstrong’s turn from the underwater view, he should’ve been disqualified for being on his stomach kicking too long. His hand went past his hip on his pull well before he began his turn. Great swim tho

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Day 2 very quick toughts

Torri Huske far ahead of the rest of the competition from prelims to final. Now I hope in the future she will manage in a better way her road to the final by making just the necessary to qualify for the next round and save the maximum of energy for the most important race. Congrats to Torri and her coach. She was world junior champion 2 years ago and it’s very often a very good sign for the future. She now holds the American record and is one of the huge favorites for the gold in Tokyo. World record will be icing on the cake. Most important is winning the… Read more »

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I was rooting so hard for Wilson/Fink. Andrew tightening up was all but guaranteed.

1 year ago

The impact and differences in just having prelims and finals vs prelims-semis-finals is there too. US swimmers fight 3 hard races because of their depth, in Aus the depth isn’t as strong and therefore allows for an easier prelims and fresher athletes in the finals.
How will this impact the games?

M d e
Reply to  Coachcudmore
1 year ago

The best US swimmers don’t have too try in the heats if they don’t want too either outside a handful of very competitive events.

1 year ago

Gator Taper is working well for Florida’s top end swimmers. Two examples tonight:
Talia Bates 100 back seed #51 (1:01.7) finish #12 (1:00.5)
Adam Chaney 100 back seed #22 (54.9) finish #9 (53.8)

Watch out for Bates in the 200 free tomorrow (she was a surprise 2nd this year at her first NCAAs) and Chaney in the 100 free. Their best events are yet to come.

1 year ago

Millions have already reached to the same conclusion

1 year ago


1 year ago

Scratches for tomorrow:

W 200 free: Cox (6), Comerford (14), Drabot (23)
M 200 fly: Dressel (9) 🙁
W 200 IM: Bacon (24)
W 1500 free: Leah Smith (8)

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

So Smoliga is still in the 200, either just getting a time in prelims (most likely) or going for the double.

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

Smart move by Phoebe Bacon. Leah Smith has become vulnerable.

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

I know that 200 im isnt one of phoebe bacon best event but what happens with her in this trials ? I thought that she will fight Smoliga to 2nd place but with her 59.62 ?? It doesnt bode well to her 200 back too.

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 …

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