2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II: Day 8 Finals Live Recap

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Programming Note: Finals will be live on CNBC, rather than NBC, due to the U.S. Open.

It’s been a roller-coaster eight days of racing here in Omaha, and it all comes to a close tonight as the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials will wrap up with three more finals.

Despite tonight being the lightest session of the meet, it certainly won’t be devoid of star power.

Caeleb Dressel and Michael Andrew lead the men into the 50 freestyle, both aiming to add a third individual event to their programs in Tokyo.

American sprinting legend Nathan Adrian may have something to say about that, however, as the 32-year-old who has eight Olympic medals to his name enters the night ranked third after clocking 21.78 for his fastest showing since Rio in the semis. After finishing outside of the final in the 100 free, this will be Adrian’s last opportunity to put himself on a fourth straight Olympic team.

If fourth-seed Bowe Becker (21.83) sneaks into a top-two spot, he would no longer be a relay-only swimmer and Ryan Held would make his way on the Olympic roster. As of now, Held is the odd-man out.

In the women’s 50 free, all eyes will be on Simone Manuel as the four-time Olympic medalist vies to make her way onto the Olympic team after finishing ninth in the 100 free.

Abbey Weitzeil scored her first best time in the event since winning the 2016 Trials in the semi-finals, clocking 24.27 to lead the field. 100 fly champ Torri Huske (24.45) sits second, and Manuel (24.50) is third.

Catie Deloof finishing first or second would do the same for Held as it would if Becker qualified. Deloof comes in seeded eight after going 24.68 in the semis.

The night closes with the men’s 1500, where three men already on the Olympic team—Bobby FinkeMichael Brinegar and Jordan Wilimovsky—are expected to battle it out.

Finke and Brinegar went 1-2 in Thursday’s 800 free final, with Wilimovsky taking fourth, just over three seconds back of Brinegar. Wilimovsky, fourth in this event at the 2016 Games, solidified his  Olympic spot some two years ago in the 10k open water event.

The three of them are also the only swimmers in the field with a best time under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 15:00.99, with Brinegar sneaking under at 15:00.82. Wilimovsky is the second-fastest American ever in 14:45.03, and Finke swam a PB of 14:48.70 at the 2018 Pan Pacs.

Note: The Heat sheets indicate that the first race of the night, the men’s 50 freestyle, will begin at 7:15 CT. For television viewers, since the U.S. Open is still running on NBC, Trials will be live on CNBC.

MEN’S 50 FREE FINAL

  • 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), 21.04 =AR
  2. Michael Andrew (RPC), 21.48
  3. Nathan Adrian (CAL), 21.73

Caeleb Dressel used his game-changing start to launch himself into clear water right off the hop in the men’s 50 freestyle final, soaring to victory in a time of 21.04 to tie his American Record set at the 2019 World Championships.

Dressel’s swim also lowers the U.S. Open Record of 21.14, set by Cesar Cielo in 2009, and ties for both the fourth-fastest swim ever and the fastest textile swim of all-time.

The 22-year-old Dressel solidifies his entry into three individual events in Tokyo, as did the race’s runner-up, Michael Andrew.

Andrew, who won the 100 breast and 200 IM earlier in the meet, closed like a freight train to separate himself from the rest of the field and touch second in 21.48, just two one-hundredths off his personal best set at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.

While Dressel chops a quarter of a second off his world-leading time from the prelims (21.29), Andrew moves up to #4 in the world.

2020-2021 LCM Men 50 Free

2Vlad
Morozov
RUS21.4104/09
3Ben
Proud
GBR21.4204/17
4Michael
Andrew
USA21.4806/20
5Florent
Manaudou
FRA21.5307/31
View Top 26»

Andrew is also the first U.S. Olympian in breaststroke who also qualifies in a non-medley event.

Touching third was the veteran, the all-time great, Nathan Adrian.

Adrian, 32, clocked 21.73 to finish third, .05 quicker than his semi-final swim to mark his fastest swim since 2016. This will be the first time since 2004 that Adrian is absent from the U.S. Olympic team.

The fourth man cracking 22 second was Bowe Becker, who takes down his semi-final best time of 21.83 in 21.78. Becker now ties for 14th all-time among Americans.

A couple of teenagers, 19-year-old Adam Chaney and 18-year-old David Curtiss, took fifth and sixth, both adding less than a tenth to their semi-final swims.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE FINAL

  • 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. Simone Manuel (ALTO), 24.29
  2. Abbey Weitzeil (CAL), 24.30
  3. Torri Huske (AAC), 24.46

Simone Manuel has always thrived under pressure, and she delivered in spades in tonight’s women’s 50 free final.

Manuel, 24, edged out a tightly-bunched field at the finishing wall in a time of 24.29, qualifying her for the U.S. Olympic team after missing the 100 free final.

Manuel’s time is her fastest since the 2019 World Championships, where she was the gold medalist in a time of 24.05.

Taking the runner-up spot was Abbey Weitzeil, meaning the two women that represented the U.S. in this event in Rio will do so again in Tokyo.

Weitzeil lowered her best time for the first time since the 2016 Trials in the semis in 24.27, and was just a touch off of that tonight in 24.30 to add a second individual event to her program. Weitzeil won the 100 freestyle a few nights ago.

18-year-old Torri Huske, who has already qualified for the team in the 100 fly, finished two one-hundredths off of her National Age Group Record in 24.46 for third, while Linnea Mack re-lowers her best time from the semis for fourth in 24.49.

Mack was disqualified in the prelims for a false start, but it ended up getting overturned.

The bottom half of the field all added a bit of time from the semis, with another 18-year-old, Gretchen Walsh, next up in fifth at 24.74. Walsh was one of five finalists that set a PB in last night’s semis, hitting a 24.64.

The others were Weitzeil, Mack, Catie Deloof and Erika Brown. Deloof (24.80) and Brown (24.93) finished seventh and eighth, with Kate Douglass (24.78) sixth.

MEN’S 1500 FREE FINAL

  • 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), 14:46.06
  2. Michael Brinegar (MVN), 15:00.87
  3. Jordan Wilimovsky (KSWM), 15:05.29

Bobby Finke put on a Ledecky-esque wire-to-wire performance in the men’s 1500 free, jumping out to an early lead and sailing to victory by almost 15 seconds.

Finke, who won the 800 free earlier, finished in a time of 14:46.06, lowering his previous best time of 14:48.70 set at the 2018 Pan Pacs. The 21-year-old Florida Gator moves up from seventh to fifth all-time among Americans, and now ranks fourth in the world this season.

Finke was notably only a little over two seconds slower than his winning time in the 800 free (7:48.22) on the first 800 of this event (7:50.79).

Michael Brinegar takes second to Finke just as he did in the 800, sliding under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 15:00.99 in 15:00.87. The 21-year-old Mission Viejo Nadadore also finished just .05 off of his lifetime best set in 2019.

Jordan Wilimovsky took third in 15:05.29, 20 seconds slower than his fourth-place finishing time from the 2016 Games. Wilimovsky is qualified to swim at the Olympics in the 10k open water event.

Arik Katz (15:11.34) was fourth, while both Charlie Clark (15:14.11) and David Johnston (15:18.61) set lifetime bests for fifth and seventh, respectively.

Will Gallant was aggressive opening up and held second place through the 800, but faded down to sixth in 15:17.34. The 19-year-old was still less than a second off his best time set in the heats (15:16.73).

Thank you to all of the SwimSwam fans for following along all week. Let’s (virtually) go to Tokyo!

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PVSFree
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 year ago
Last edited 1 year ago by PVSFree
super classy swim
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 year ago

maybe it was good that it happened

Mr Piano
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 year ago

She would have broken the wr if you didn’t post her photo

EMH16
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 year ago

this is monumental

dresselgoat
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 year ago

We did it everyone

Admin
1 year ago

The meet is currently on NBC Sports and CNBC while golf wraps on NBC.

super classy swim
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

thank you king

Stephen
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Gees they’ve destroyed these trials

Cate
Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago

No one has “destroyed these trials”

Dudeman
Reply to  Cate
1 year ago

How do you consistently have the worst takes possible? It’s almost impressive, do you practice it?

P K
Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago

Golf brings in far more money than swimming ever will. That’s just the way it goes.

dresselgoat
Reply to  P K
1 year ago

Very true. I liked the Australian trials via Amazon – that was easier to deal with as a cable cutter.

Scotty P
Reply to  P K
1 year ago

It’s like………sad because golf is boring. There, I said it.

dresselgoat
Reply to  Scotty P
1 year ago

it’s good to nap to and fun to play at least!

JVW
Reply to  P K
1 year ago

Fine. But don’t put the last night of the Olympic Trials on NBC when you know there’s a 98% chance that your golf coverage is going to last an hour longer than the scheduled time, just as it does every single year. They should have just put Sunday night on NBC Sports to begin with.

J. Hare
Reply to  JVW
1 year ago

I agree! Missed everything on night 8 because of NBC!

dresselgoat
Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago

I know you are a butt sometimes but you are exactly right. It’s embarrassing how bad we are at making watching easily accessible.

Swim girl
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

all I see is hockey?

Cate
Reply to  Swim girl
1 year ago

That means you’re not on CNBC

Admin
Reply to  Swim girl
1 year ago

You’re on NBCSports, not CNBC.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I still can’t believe Rahm won the 50 Free.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

They are behind the block!

Admin
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

The meet is back on regular NBC.

M L
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

So how can I watch it on demand? The nbc recording that says “swimming trials” is actually the us open

M L
Reply to  M L
1 year ago

The answer is the first half hour of the replay of the track trials

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Quick day 8 thoughts

MEN’S 50 FREE FINAL
Expected results.
I would have liked to see Mr Adrian make the team but it is what it is. Great career. And great gentleman.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE FINAL
Same qualified US swimmers than in 2016 with Abbey Weitzeil and Simone Manuel.
So glad to see Simone Manuel rebound and make the team. She isn’t the greatest American female sprinter ever by accident. Why not another clutch performance in Tokyo? And if her 100 free shape improves in the next few weeks then Simone could be very useful in the relays.

MEN’S 1500 FREE FINAL
And that’s a sweep from Florida swimmers on men’s freestyle with Dressel winning… Read more »

Troyy
1 year ago

So the first stage of the ISL draft is supposed to happen today (21st June) where teams announce their first 5 retained swimmers.

Joel
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Plus the Australian junior and University teams are due to be announced. They’ll swim against each other in Brisbane later this year.

Troyy
Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

Of course they’ll probably make us wait until after the Olympics to finally update their ranking PDFs.

Joel
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Yes true. Probably they’ll update it after the Paris Olympics 😂

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
1 year ago

Say it again!

J. Hare
1 year ago

Can’t believe I watched all 7 nights of swimming and planned to watch the 8th until NBC switched it to CNBC. Was not recorded, so couldn’t watch the finals!! So angry!!!

John26
1 year ago

Just discovered these live streams that Brett Hawke does for the US trials. this is the one from last night with Nicole Livingston, Hackett, Skippy, Michael Klim. Loved Nicole’s commentary on Australians

https://youtu.be/HUphLu-MDKg

Joel
Reply to  John26
1 year ago

These are fantastic . Watched bits of this one last night. 100 times better than Rowdy.

Aquajosh
1 year ago

Florida is about to start getting a lot more top 5 recruits. They won 50 percent of men’s events at Olympic Trials, and every single freestyle event. Pretty sure that hasn’t been done in modern history.

The first blue chip recruit of the Nesty era, Adam Chaney (who was a freshman this year), finished 9th twice (100 free, 100 back), and 5th in the 50 free. He’s going to be one to watch in the years to come as we get closer to 2024.

Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

Michelle is thirsty

Swimmerj
1 year ago

SWIMONE!! THATS THAT FIGHT!! NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to  Swimmerj
1 year ago

Amazing Simone did 24.29 with a terrible start. She dipped in the middle of the pool and made a breakout on the right side. She will be under 24 at Olympics, that’s for sure.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

Hopefully, the women’s 50 meter freestyle has reenergized Simone Manuel.

Swimmer
Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

But Rowdy said she was 0.68 so it must have been a great start no?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Swimmerj
1 year ago

A tremendous sigh of relief!

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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