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


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.


  • 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

View Top 26»

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

is there an NBC streaming link for tonight’s finals?

Aussie Crawl
3 years ago

I hope Simone Qualifies.
As an Aussie is like to see her
Race Emma & Cate again.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Aussie Crawl
3 years ago

Thanks Mate! Hope she qualifies as well, be nice to see USA destroy down under in the relays! Yea baby bring it on!!!!

Aussie Crawl
Reply to  Little Mermaid
3 years ago

Haha dreaming mate….
Ladies 4×200 free already
4 seconds under the existing
World record.
Plus the 4×100 ladies.
Two Campbell’s and Emma
Plus Madi Wilson.

Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

One day it’s OTS, the next morning swam 24.56


Reply to  Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

You are a sad, strange little man

Last edited 3 years ago by Ragnar
Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Ragnar
3 years ago

When foreign swimmers came up (in Olympics, World Championship) with something like what Simone claimed , SwimSwam peanut gallery called them “making excuses”, “sore losers”


3 years ago

Ignore the troll

Reply to  Barracuda
3 years ago

I get the feeling that if he’s trolling on swimswam it means he didn’t get the attention trolling anywhere else and had to come here lmfao

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

That makes it so much sadder

3 years ago

Go Simone! (But I do have doubts )
Rooting for ya cause Olympic finals should
be as stacked as possible

3 years ago

Everybody slept on Bowe Becker but my man showed up!

Reply to  BigChungus
3 years ago

He’s had a great meet.

How much can CD bench???
3 years ago

We need it to be Brinegar or wilimovsky or someone else to go under 15:01 or we are back in the same weird A cut predicament correct?

Reply to  How much can CD bench???
3 years ago

Don’t believe so, they both have been under it during the qualifying period.

3 years ago

Too many posts to look through so someone might already posted this, but from the 50 free it looks like:
Women: 5 out of the top 6 are more or less on the team (and 7 out of Top 11).
Men: 3 out of the top 4 are more or less on the team (and 6 out of Top 12).

Very high probability of double on the women’s side, fairly high on the men’s side.
Yes, I am counting the swimmers that are ‘relay-only’ even though they are not on the team yet.

One thing to keep in mind for the men’s 1500 final tomorrow, the FINA A cut is 15:00.99 which the Top 3 seeds… Read more »

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 »