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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Admin
5 months ago

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

super classy swim
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

thank you king

Stephen
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

Gees they’ve destroyed these trials

Cate
Reply to  Stephen
5 months ago

No one has “destroyed these trials”

Dudeman
Reply to  Cate
5 months ago

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

P K
Reply to  Stephen
5 months ago

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

dresselgoat
Reply to  P K
5 months 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
5 months ago

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

dresselgoat
Reply to  Scotty P
5 months ago

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

JVW
Reply to  P K
5 months 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
5 months ago

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

dresselgoat
Reply to  Stephen
5 months 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
5 months ago

all I see is hockey?

Cate
Reply to  Swim girl
5 months ago

That means you’re not on CNBC

Admin
Reply to  Swim girl
5 months ago

You’re on NBCSports, not CNBC.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

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

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

They are behind the block!

Admin
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

The meet is back on regular NBC.

M L
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months 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
5 months ago

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

PVSFree
Reply to  James Sutherland
5 months ago
Last edited 5 months ago by PVSFree
super classy swim
Reply to  James Sutherland
5 months ago

maybe it was good that it happened

Mr Piano
Reply to  James Sutherland
5 months ago

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

EMH16
Reply to  James Sutherland
5 months ago

this is monumental

dresselgoat
Reply to  James Sutherland
5 months ago

We did it everyone

GO NATHAN
5 months ago

PLEASE NATHAN GET ON THIS TEAM 😭😭😭

wow
5 months ago

So we’re just jinxing Simone now with the cover picture?

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

Nope. Just the 5 other swimmers in the photo. And all the people there in the stands.

penguin
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

at least it wasn’t adrian

Penguin
Reply to  penguin
5 months ago

you are not the real Penguin

Last edited 5 months ago by Penguin
PVSFree
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

Can we get a SwimSwam article analyzing the SwimSwam cover photo curse? And how often it actually curses the swimmers vs if they’re heavy favorites for the event and not a cover photo

Chad
5 months ago

For those of you that want a good laugh, try going through some of the videos from trials on YouTube and listen to Rowdy’s commentary at half speed. If you listen to the men’s 200 back post-race commentary, you won’t be disappointed. Go to 2:25 into the video, adjust the playback speed in the settings, and enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAxBnBi1e2M

Last edited 5 months ago by Chad
1650 Onetrick
Reply to  Chad
5 months ago

This is golden! It sounds like Rowdy took a shot for every Olympic berth this meet.

Last edited 5 months ago by 1650 Onetrick
Chad
Reply to  1650 Onetrick
5 months ago

The best part is that there’s no shortage of Rowdy commentary on the internet. I’ve been giggling in my apartment for almost an hour now.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Chad
5 months ago

hehehehehe

Roch
Reply to  Chad
5 months ago

This is the best thing I’ve ever heard 😂😂😂😂 I love drunk Rowdy!

SwimShark
Reply to  Chad
5 months ago

Unfortunately some of us already had enough of Rowdy. What commentaries come out of him aren’t exactly golden.

Last edited 5 months ago by SwimShark
ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  SwimShark
5 months ago

he was wilder than ever before ……really wild , shouting , getting it wrong often .

Ice Age Swimmer
Reply to  Chad
5 months ago

Did that at .5 speed. Hysterical!!! Like they’d been drinking for a week!

dresselgoat
Reply to  Chad
5 months ago

This is an incredible find

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
5 months ago

2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials
Day 4: “Yikes. I really should have taken the blue pill instead of the red pill.”
Day 8: “Well my head is still pounding, but that red pill was so worth it.”

Change is the new normal. What a week.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
5 months ago

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

wow
5 months ago

Anyone want to elaborate on what’s happening with the TAC Titans drama or is it just rumors?Quote from last night’s article in regard to Claire Curzan’s coach, Bruce? “He screwed up her taper and has half the team pissed at him and trying to go to other coaches instead”. 😲

Joe
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

link?

wow
Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

It was in The Live Finals Recap article for Day 7. Just do a key word search if you can’t find it.

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

Is this real? I couldn’t find anything.

wow
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
5 months ago

Yes. It was a reply to a comment. “Or because her coach screwed up her taper and has half the team pissed at him and trying to go to other coaches instead.”

Walter
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

gossip or fact?

Chris
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

Coaches don’t swim the races. Ultimately YOU are responsible for executing, not your coach. Sounds like some stupid parent drama because their kid didn’t perform at the top tier.

P K
Reply to  Chris
5 months ago

Yes at the end of the day each swimmer is responsible for their own success. But when you’re 16, you don’t exactly have a body of life coaching experience to help you figure out what to do. It’s not an excuse, but it’s always prudent to think about these things afterwards to consider what’s best for your own swimming career and your own personal life development (that whole responsible for your own success part). Maybe that means having a postmortem with your coach and support team after the Olympics to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Maybe it means supplementing your coaching or moving to another group.

NoFlyKick
Reply to  P K
5 months ago

Yup. I never realized how may swimmers ruin their swimming careers and bodies by blindly following the coach until I came back to the sport as adult and could see from a more experienced perspective.

Ice Age Swimmer
Reply to  NoFlyKick
5 months ago

Yup. My college coach wrecked the shoulders of at least half the team making us swim lots of yards with drag shorts, pull buoys and paddles (at the same time!!!) My stroke mechanics went downhill in college. 39 years later, and my shoulder still bugs me sometimes.

Klorn8d
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

I mean she still made the team. And he’s turned TAC into a super club with a lot of superstars so I’ll give him a pass o

Coach
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

For all we know, the comment was from a coach on another team or a swim parent mad because the TAC age group coaches wouldn’t move up their kid.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

What about Greg Meehan and the Stanford Cardinal?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

Claire Curzan qualified for the 2021 Olympic Team in the women’s 100 meter butterfly.

2021 Olympic Team Trials
Women’s 100 meter butterfly
Huske, Torri – 55.66
Curzan, Claire – 56.43
Douglass, Kate – 56.56

https://www.omegatiming.com/File/00011500030204EC04FFFFFFFFFFFF01.pdf

Aquabullet
Reply to  wow
5 months ago

So the swimmer that until less than a year ago (November) had never gone faster than 57.8 goes a full second faster (and makes the jump to being at a truly world competitive level) while making the US Olympic Team at her first trials.

And although the she didn’t make the team in the 100 free, the same progression can be seen in that event.

And this is such a failure that everyone should abandon that coach?

bobthebuilderrocks
5 months ago

LET’S GO NATHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
5 months ago

yessss , wish him the best like a 21.45 or less to beat Michael and get the spot

Joe
5 months ago

So if two guys don’t go under 15:00.99 tonight, it’s basically just the first 2/3 of Finke, Brinegar, and Wilimovsky?

T S
Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

Yup since those are the 3 who already have the cut

P K
Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

This gets really complicated.
If both swimmers do not have an OQT:
1.3.5b “If the best finishing athlete in a particular Event does not have an OQT, but has an OST, he or she must be invited by FINA to participate at the Olympic Games.”

The way I read this, the first place swimmer will not get replaced, even if they don’t receive an OQT and even if the second place swimmer has an OQT. Because:

“For purposes of clarification, if the best finishing Available Swimmer in an Event at the Qualifying Competition has an OST, and the second best finishing Available Swimmer has an OQT, only the best finishing Available Swimmer finisher will be Nominated to the… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by P K
P K
Reply to  P K
5 months ago

Doubles by Dressel and Andrew in the 50 Free have brought Becker and Callan in. Held still needs a double in the 1500 and help from the women in the 50 Free (either Deloof to be top 2, or for Forde to be left off due to no doubles in the 50 Free).

P K
Reply to  P K
5 months ago

Weitzeil has doubled in Forde, and Held is the 13th relay swimmer out.

P K
Reply to  P K
5 months ago

Brinegar just made it under the OQT mark, although he already had the cut.

My condolences to Ryan Held. No one thinks they’ll miss the Olympic team this way.

torchbearer
Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

Australia left behind a kid that did a 14.57….how crazy is that!

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  torchbearer
5 months ago

Brutal

SHRKB8
Reply to  torchbearer
5 months ago

Yes, Swimming Australia should consider their responsibility to offer development opportunities for junior athletes at international level meets for athletes good enough to swim a Fina A Qualifying time. They have cancelled international junior level meets for this poor young man and now this barbaric non selection means his development opportunities are based on a local camp swimming against other juniors that he has just beat by more than 30 seconds. Not the right decision for the development of this swimmer in my humble opinion.

T S
5 months ago

Predictions for tonight

1500

Finke wins easily going 14:55, Brinegar goes 15:00 just out touching Jordan

Mens 50

Caeleb goes between 21.05 and 21.15, wins easily. Adrian and Mandrew are within .05 of each other between 21.3 and 21.5, I think Adrian out touches him at the end

Womens 50

Some combo of Brown/Weitzel/Huske, all under 24.3. My hope is Brown/Huske, but Abbey is not to be counted out, she’s had a phenomenal meet

Stephen
Reply to  T S
5 months ago

What no Manual…….wow I got hammered last evening for expressing that.

T S
Reply to  Stephen
5 months ago

Yeah, Brown has beat her before and she is not in her top shape. And a part of me also hopes she doesn’t for the sake of her own health. Not many people will overtrain in their life but for the few that do it is no joke. However if there was a way they could take her as an honorary coach or something like that, I would be all for it. She has been a leader on the team, and think she could be good for the culture

run-dmc
Reply to  T S
5 months ago

It doesn’t make sense how she could overtrain. In 2020 she didn’t have the opportunity to overtrain.

So whatever happened to her must have happened in the first 3 months of 2021.

Hmmm… What could it be? Something that causes fatigue…

T S
Reply to  run-dmc
5 months ago

A lot of people, especially pros, have been back in the pool since August last year, so overtraining is definitely a possibility in those 8 months

Hswimmer
Reply to  T S
5 months ago

It also compiles over time I’m sure she was training every day up until March last year and continued after they opened up.

Coach
Reply to  run-dmc
5 months ago

She was training in a 25 yard backyard pool during the entire pandemic when Stanford was closed. I think I read that she and Ledecky only missed a few days when the pandemic first hit.

Corn Pop
Reply to  T S
5 months ago

Blahblahblah . Nothing wrong with her .

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Stephen
5 months ago

Manuel might well get the second spot but she will need a 23.4or less to get it

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
5 months ago

Somehow I doubt multiple U.S. women absolutely smash the WR in the 50 Free tonight.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
5 months ago

My Bad , 24.3 or lower LOL

Meow
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
5 months ago

At this point nothing would surprise me!

deepblue
Reply to  T S
5 months ago

This was a really good try, but unfortunately, you are just wrong.

T S
Reply to  deepblue
5 months ago

Yeah which sucks cause I’ve been pretty spot on all week

P K
Reply to  T S
5 months ago

Spot on with that 15:00 for Brinegar.

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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