2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II: Day 7 Prelims Live Recap

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

The anxiety and anticipation that comes along with the U.S. Olympic Trials preliminaries comes to a close this morning, with the seventh and final heats session featuring the men’s and women’s 50 free, and the men’s 1500 free.

In the men’s 50, which will lead things off, Caeleb Dressel and Michael Andrew come in as the top-two seeds and have been riding a high these last few days, including Andrew winning his second event of the meet and Dressel producing the third-fastest 100 fly in history during last night’s session.

Nathan AdrianDavid Curtiss and Michael Chadwick will be among the names in contention who have yet to qualify for this summer’s Games.

Defending Olympic champion Tony Ervin, 40, will be swimming in the fifth of nine heats.

Like Adrian, Simone Manuel will be looking to rebound in the women’s 50 free after missing the final of the 100, while Abbey Weitzeil comes in riding some momentum after winning the 100 last night. The same goes for Erika Brown, the 100 free runner-up.

After Manuel, the next-fastest seeded swimmer that hasn’t yet made the Olympic team is 18-year-old Gretchen Walsh, who missed the 100 semis but comes in here ranked seventh.

Five heats of the men’s mile will close things off, with the top-two finishers from the 800 free, Bobby Finke and Michael Brinegar, racing head-to-head in the last heat.

Jordan Wilimovsky, who was fourth in the 1500 free at the 2016 Olympic Games, heads up the other circle-seeded heat.

MEN’S 50 FREE PRELIMS

  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 20.91 (2009)
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel – 21.04 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 21.14 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 21.75 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Anthony Ervin (USA) – 21.40
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Nathan Adrian – 21.51
  • Wave I Cut: 23.19
  • Wave II Cut: 22.71
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 22.01
  1. Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 21.29
  2. Michael Andrew (RPC), 21.72
  3. Nathan Adrian (CAL), 21.85
  4. Bowe Becker (SAND), 21.94
  5. Michael Chadwick (NCAC), 22.00
  6. Payton Sorenson (UN-AZ), 22.08
  7. Ryan Held (NYAC), 22.10
  8. Adam Chaney (FLOR) / Sid Farber (TDPS) / Justin Ress (WOLF), 22.15
  9. Brooks Curry (LSU), 22.22
  10. Zach Apple (MVN), 22.27
  11. David Curtiss (HACY), 22.34
  12. Dillon Downing (SA), 22.38
  13. August Lamb (UVA), 22.41
  14. Will Davis (FLOR), 22.43

Caeleb Dressel has really come into his own over the last few days in Omaha, firing off some incredible swims in consecutive sessions, and he kept things rolling in the heats of the men’s 50 free.

Dressel flew down the pool in a time of 21.29, qualifying first by over four-tenths of a second as he takes over the #1 time in the world this year. The previous top time belonged to Vladimir Morozov, who went 21.41 at the Russian Olympic Trials in April.

2020-2021 LCM Men 50 Free

2Vlad
Morozov
RUS21.4104/09
3Ben
Proud
GBR21.4204/17
4Michael
Andrew
USA21.4806/20
5Thom
de Boer
NED21.5807/03
View Top 27»

The swim ties Dressel’s fourth-fastest performance ever. If you want to go really deep, it’s also the quickest prelim he’s ever done.

It was initially reported that Dressel set a new U.S. LC Nationals Record, which is incorrect in the results. That mark belongs to Brazilian Cesar Cielo, the world record holder, who swam a time of 21.14 in the consolation final of the 2009 World Trials.

Michael Andrew (21.72) and Nathan Adrian (21.85) won the first two circle-seeded heats to advance second and third overall, while Bowe Becker cracked the 22-second barrier for the first time to qualify fourth in 21.94. Becker is the 20th American male to do so.

Adrian’s swim ties his fastest since 2017, having also been 21.85 at the 2018 Summer Nationals. His previous 2020-21 season-best was a 21.98 from last November.

Ryan Held, the fastest American this season coming into the meet at 21.62, advanced seventh in 22.10, and #5 seed coming in David Curtiss (22.34) was 13th in what was his first swim of the meet.

27-year-old Payton Sorenson dropped a tenth from his best time in 22.08 for sixth, while Adam ChaneySid Farber and Justin Ress all lowered their PBs in a three-way tie for eighth.

From one of the early heats, Brooks Curry demolished his best time by over half a second in 22.22 to advance to the semis as well.

Dillon Downing (22.38) and Will Davis (22.43) also established lifetime bests to get a lane in tonight’s session.

Narrowly missing a second swim was 18-year-old Jack Alexy, the new NAG record holder in the 100 free, who placed 17th in 22.47 to move into a tie for 12th in the 17-18 age group.

Defending Olympic champion Tony Ervin ended up finishing 23rd in 22.61, while fellow veteran Matt Grevers tied for 46th in 22.98.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE PRELIMS

  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 23.67 (2017)
  • American Record: Simone Manuel – 23.97 (2017)
  • US Open Record: Simone Manuel (USA) – 24.10 (2018)
  • World Junior Record: Claire Curzan (USA) – 24.17 (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Pernille Blume (DEN) – 24.07
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Abbey Weitzeil – 24.28
  • Wave I Cut: 25.99
  • Wave II Cut: 25.65
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 24.77
  1. Abbey Weitzeil (CAL), 24.50
  2. Simone Manuel (ALTO), 24.56
  3. Torri Huske (AAC), 24.61
  4. Erika Brown (TNAQ), 24.76
  5. Kate Douglass (UVA), 24.78
  6. Catie Deloof (CA-Y), 24.82
  7. Gretchen Walsh (NAC), 24.88
  8. Kelsi Dahlia (CARD), 24.98
  9. Linnea Mack (TE), 25.09
  10. Natalie Hinds (ABSC), 25.22
  11. Claire Curzan (TAC-NC), 25.24
  12. Alyssa Marsh (TE), 25.25
  13. Chloe Larson (COUG) / Cora Dupre (BAMA), 25.42
  14. Anya Goeders (ALTO), 25.43
  15. Camille Spink (NCAP), 25.45
  16. Grace Countie (UNC), 25.49

Abbey Weitzeil followed up her win in last night’s 100 free final by topping the 50 free heats in a time of 24.50, edging Simone Manuel (24.56) in the ninth and final heat.

Those times mark a season-best for both swimmers, with Weitzeil having previously been 24.57 at the PSS in Mission Viejo in April and Manuel clocking 24.70 at the San Antonio stop in March. Weitzeil and Manuel finished 1-2 in this event at the 2016 Trials.

It was a strong bounce-back swim for Manuel, who shockingly missed the 100 free final a few nights ago.

Torri Huske, who sent shockwaves across the CHI Health Center with her back-to-back 100 fly American Records on the first two days of the meet, topped Heat 7 in a time of 24.61 over Erika Brown (24.76), qualifying them third and fourth overall, respectively. Huske swam a best time of 24.44 in April.

Kate Douglass (24.78) and Catie Deloof (24.82) paced the other circle-seeded heat to safely advance in fifth and sixth, both having likely secured a roster spot on the Olympic team already.

Gretchen Walsh, who didn’t advance out of the heats in the 100 free, rebounded to take seventh in 24.88, while Claire Curzan was over a second off her record-setting 24.17 from earlier this year to qualify 10th in 25.24.

Kelsi Dahlia missed qualifying for her second straight Olympic team on Day 2 in her best event, the 100 fly, but has remained in the fight and ties her second-fastest 50 ever here in 24.98 to move on to the semi-finals. This is Dahlia’s fastest 50 since the 2017 World Trials, where she established her lifetime best of 24.79.

Notably failing to advance was Olivia Smoliga, who placed 25th in 25.69 after qualifying for Tokyo in the 400 free relay last night. Smoliga’s best time still sits at 24.70 from the 2016 Olympic Trials, and she’s only been sub-25 twice since then.

Linnea Mack, who narrowly missed making the team in last night’s 100 free final, initially put up a time of 25.09 which was good for ninth overall, but she was subsequently disqualified.

Update: Linnea Mack‘s initial disqualification for a false start has been overturned, meaning she qualifies for the semis with her time of 25.09. Grace Countie, who is now officially 17th, will remain in the semis with a 17-swimmer field.

Camille Spink, the Wave I winner of the 100 freestyle, lowered her best time by nine one-hundredths to qualify 15th in 25.45. Also hitting PBs in order to advance to the semis was Cora Dupre and Countie.

33-year-old Madison Kennedy, who was third in this event in 2016, missed a second swim by four one-hundredths, clocking 25.53 for 19th. Two-time Olympian Amanda Weir, 35, was 50th in 26.07.

MEN’S 1500 FREE PRELIMS

  • World Record: Sun Yang (CHN) – 14:31.02 (2012)
  • American Record: Connor Jaeger – 14:39.48 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Peter Vanderkaay (USA) – 14:45.54 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Franko Grgic (CRO) – 14:46.09 (2019)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 14:34.57
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Connor Jaeger – 14:47.61
  • Wave I Cut: 15:44.89
  • Wave II Cut: 15:35.76
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 15:00.99
  1. Bobby Finke (SPA-FL), 15:04.66
  2. Michael Brinegar (MVN), 15:07.93
  3. Jordan Wilimovsky (KSWM), 15:14.67
  4. Will Gallant (MVN), 15:16.73
  5. Arik Katz (VS), 15:18.27
  6. Charlie Clark (OSU), 15:22.01
  7. Brennan Gravley (FLOR), 15:22.58
  8. David Johnston (TXLA), 15:22.61

Bobby Finke cruised to victory in the fifth and final heat of the men’s 1500 free, producing a slight negative-split en route to qualifying first for tomorrow night’s curtain call in a time of 15:04.66.

Finke was never slower than 30.7 on his splits, throwing the odd 29-high in there, as he was out in 7:32.44 at the 750 before coming back in 7:32.22.

The swim stands up as Finke’s fifth-fastest ever, and his quickest since going 14:51.15 at the 2019 Summer Nationals. His personal best of 14:48.70 was set at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. It’s also the 21-year-old’s fastest showing of the season, having been 15:09.14 at November’s U.S. Open.

Mission Viejo’s Michael Brinegar, who took second to Finke in the 800 free earlier, was second in the heat in a time of 15:07.93, sticking with the multi-time NCAA champion before falling a bit off the pace over the final 500.

That time holds up as Brinegar’s third-fastest ever, with his best of 15:00.82 set at those 2019 Summer Nationals.

Jordan Wilimovsky, who’s already qualified for Tokyo in the 10k open water event and was fourth in the mile in Rio, cruised to victory in Heat 4, clocking 15:14.67.

The only swimmer hitting a best time and making the final was Brinegar’s Nadadore teammate Will Gallant, who lowered his 15:18.09 from May down to 15:16.73. Ohio State’s Charlie Clark was less than a second off his PB for sixth in 15:22.01.

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ACC
1 month ago

Last prelims session, who’s ready?

Jack
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

Simone, I hope

MIKE IN DALLAS
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME

Power 5 swimmer
1 month ago

21.3 for Andrew

Comet
Reply to  Power 5 swimmer
1 month ago

21.7

Power 5 swimmer
Reply to  Comet
1 month ago

He looked pleased, but perhaps a 21.5 is all that’s needed

coachymccoachface
Reply to  Power 5 swimmer
1 month ago

Poor baby is tired

N P
1 month ago

I think Finke has a great shot of taking down the US open record in the mile – probably not this morning, but based on his 800 I think he’ll get it tomorrow night.

ACC
Reply to  N P
1 month ago

He looked good but he added a second, I don’t see him dropping 6 in the 1500 after that.

Swimmom
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

You never know…I would say the morning goal was to secure your place in finals.

sven
Reply to  N P
1 month ago

Connor come back

Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

All I’m saying is Dressel is real lucky that magic man Armstrong scratched the 50 free.

Dressel_42.8
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

GATOR CHOMP 🐊 understands the carnage that would ensue if the magician was swimming

GATOR CHOMP 🐊
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Now dressel can swim it without worry like the 100 fly

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Decided it was about time to start his taper.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Preparations for a 49.9 100 back in Tokyo have to start today.

Honest Observer
1 month ago

Was rooting for Andrew in last night’s final, given his gold medal potential, and was relieved to see he hadn’t blown his wad in heats and semis. But I’m rooting against him in the 50, given that the training sort of conflicts with 200 IM training. It’s Held’s or someone else’s turn to shine here. Feel similarly about Shields: would love to see him make the team in the 100 fly, after all he’s been through, and think he would represent the US well, given how consistent he is in the event, plus his ceiling in the event appears higher than anyone else in the field beside Dressel; but at the same time, was rooting against him in the 200,… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

MA has been and always will be a different animal. Training for his 50 and his 200 IM are not in conflict as evident by the ridiculous easy speed he had and the fact that he can do round after round at max speed when everyone else is taking prelims and often semis easy. It’s about time we realize that he’s on to something, and that he really didn’t die phenomenally more than Hosszu did in her 200 IM WR in 2015 at the peak of her Iron Lady days with the mythical “aerobic base” to match no other. What’s he going to do between now and Tokyo — bust out a bunch of 100 best averages? Of course not.… Read more »

2Fat4Speed
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

I think you are absolutely correct. I believe he dies on that free at the end even if he goes slower earlier. Just continue to work on holding the technique together when totally dead on the free leg

Ole 99
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

I know nothing about what he has/has not done in training, but it appears to me anyway that if he can clean up his freestyle technique he could improve that last 50 a fair bit, even with the piano on his back.

VA Steve
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Phelps audibly gasped at MA’s 100 legs.

Akos
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Exactly. He can have an overcrowded schedule just like anyone else, but he trains smart. Everyone can be as upset as they want about him dying in the last 50 of the IM, but the time speaks for itself. Any US fan should be absolutely ecstatic to have a swimmer going 1:55.2 at trials just one olympic cycle after Phelps’ retirement.

Comment Awaiting Moderation
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

One of your very best takes (stopped clock and all that).

Stephen
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

That’s actually understandable ……for me just Ike Ledecky in the 200m. Potential for 3 individual race gold medals. But swimming the 200m will hinder her distance swims.
The world is much faster. It’s no longer a walk in the park.
I made that point earlier on and got bashed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stephen
Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

it never was a walk in the park for ledecky. she’s only won 2 global titles in the event, which is a low number relative to her success in her other events. in 2015 she didn’t even win it in a world leading time. in 2016 sjostrom was just 0.35 behind. compound that with the rest of the world getting faster.

Coach
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

I am not 100% sure, but I believe she swam the 1500 final before the 200 free final in 2015? I vaguely remember Bruce Gemmell made a comment that she pulled most of the 1500 and backed off the legs because she had the 200 later that evening. I always wondered what she would have gone in the mile if she gave it 100%.

Wild Bill
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

We need Katie on 4 x 200 relays! Outstanding clutch relay swimmer.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Wild Bill
1 month ago

That’s always been a given going back to the 2013 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

The women’s 200 meter freestyle has always been the diciest event of Katie Ledecky’s program.

Only Katie Ledecky will know how Katie Ledecky physically feels after the women’s 400 meter freestyle in Tokyo.

sven
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

I don’t see how MA can’t train for the 50 and the 200IM. I wouldn’t be upset if Adrian or Held made it but clearly MA still has front end speed even though he’s been doing more 200 training this year.

Akos
Reply to  sven
1 month ago

Not to mention he went 1:57.5 at a meet while still trying to maximize all four 50’s. If I remember correctly, that was actually the meet that made him realize his huge potential in the 200IM.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

MA treats the 200 IM like it’s his own personal piñata

Swim
1 month ago

What happened to Dean Farris?

Khachaturian
Reply to  Swim
1 month ago

He gave birth to Hunter “The Magic Man” Armstrong

Wild Bill
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

Farris will always be unique in Fandom.

oxyswim
Reply to  Swim
1 month ago

Farris was back in Boston for this past school year.

96Swim
Reply to  Swim
1 month ago

He and Hoffer both seem just much better suited to short course. Both have incredible turns and aren’t as dominant in the big pool. At a short course championship I think you’d get much different results.

Toyota
1 month ago

C’mon Nathan!!!!!!

Wild Bill
Reply to  Toyota
1 month ago

Personal lifetime best in 50M Free – 21.37
Can he do it again?

How fast can MA go in the 50 ( beyond his 21.62 best )

anonymous
Reply to  Wild Bill
1 month ago

MA has a PB of 21.46 so I expect him to be there or there about

Stephen C
Reply to  Wild Bill
1 month ago

Believe MA has actually been a 21.4 but I could be wrong.

KimJongSpoon
Reply to  Stephen C
1 month ago

Yup pan pacs 2018 21.46

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  KimJongSpoon
1 month ago

He won Gold at Pan pacs in the 50 actually

Wild Bill
Reply to  KimJongSpoon
1 month ago

Thanks for the update –

Sheeeeeeeeeesh
1 month ago

So apparently 49.7 wasn’t letting one rip for Poseidon. Mom come pick me up I’m scared.

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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