2022 U.S. National Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap



The second day of the 2022 U.S. Nationals is here, and with it we have the 200 free, 200 breast, and 200 back.

Katie Ledecky is slated to compete in the women’s 200 free this morning after opting out of the event at the World Championships in Budapest. Ledecky put up a string performance at the International Team Trials in April, so it will be exciting to see what she has in store today.

Fellow World Champs team member Rhyan White is the top seed in the women’s 200 back, where she’ll have a chance to take down the LCM Nationals Record as well as the US Open Record.

Similarly, Kieran Smith is the top seed in the men’s 200 free by a healthy margin. After his spectacular 200 fly last night, Cal’s Gabriel Jett will be someone to keep an eye out for in this race as well.


  • World Record – 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (2009)
  • American Record – 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • World Junior Record – 1:54.79, Summer McIntosh (2022)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Katie Ledecky – 1:56.75
  2. Erin Gemmell – 1:57.12
  3. Claire Tuggle – 1:58.74
  4. Chloe Stepanek – 1:59.49
  5. Cavan Gormsen – 1:59.56
  6. Natalie Mannion – 1:59.72
  7. Anna Peplowski – 1:59.87
  8. Gemma Cooney – 2:00.14

Unsurprisingly, superstar Katie Ledecky led the field this morning, cruising to a 1:56.75. We can expect Ledecky to be at least a bit faster tonight, but she put together a really nice race this morning nonetheless. After splitting 27.86 on the opening 50, Ledecky split 29.40, 29.89, and 29.60 respectively, going 57.26 on the 1st 100, then coming home in 59.49.

Ledecky was pushed by Indiana’s Anna Peplowski early in heat 7, though she overtook the lead heading into the 100m mark and only grew it as the race progressed. Peplowski touched in 1:59.87, breaking 2:00 for the 1st time in her career.

Commonwealth Swimming’s Natalie Mannion also broke 2:00 for the first time, clocking a 1:59.72 to qualify 6th for finals.

Swimming in heat 5, the 1st of the circle seeded heats, Claire Tuggle clocked a 1:58.74, establishing what was then the top time of the morning. The swim was a 2022 best for Tuggle, also coming in not far off her lifetime best of 1:58.21, which has stood since the 2019 Summer Nationals when she was 15.

Nation’s Capital’s Erin Gemmell swam a new personal best of 1:57.12, becoming the #20 American all-time in the event. Gemmell will be next to Ledecky in the middle of the pool tonight, with Tuggle on the other side of Ledecky. Overall, tonight’s ‘A’ final features a young field, which could give us a preview of some potential future Team USA 4×200 free relay members.


  • World Record – 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • American Record – 1:42.96, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • World Junior Record – 1:43.31, David Popovici (2022)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Jake Magahey – 1:46.88
  2. Kieran Smith – 1:46.90
  3. Luke Hobson – 1:47.13
  4. Grant House – 1:47.27
  5. Jake Mitchell – 1:47.29
  6. Jack Dahlgren – 1:47.69
  7. Patrick Callan – 1:47.98
  8. Kai Taylor – 1:48.39

Texas’ Luke Hobson had a fantastic swim this morning, clocking a 1:47.13 to take heat 7. That swim puts Hobson within 0.2 seconds of his personal best, setting him up nicely for finals t0night as well. Florida’s Jake Mitchell had a phenomenal swim this morning as well, taking over a second off his personal best. Mitchell touched 2nd in heat 7, swimming a 1:47.29.

Grant House had a solid swim as well, taking heat 8 in 1:47.27. He pulled away from the field on the back half of the race, establishing the X time of the morning.

18-year-old Australian Kai Taylor pushed the pace in the final heat, but was overtaken on the 3rd 50 by Kieran Smith and Jake Magahey. Touching in 1:46.88, Magahey became the top qualifier for tonight’s ‘A’ final. Smith was also under 1:47, clocking a 1:46.90. Taylor would go on to qualify for the ‘A’ final with the 8th spot, swimming a 1:48.39 this morning. For Magahey, the swim was a personal best, marking his first time under 1:47 in the event.

Great Britain’s Max Litchfield finished 9th this morning, swimming a 1:48.48.


  • World Record – 2:18.95, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • American Record – 2:19.59, Rebecca Soni (2012)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 2:19.64, Viktoria Gunes (2015)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Mac Looze – 2:27.49
  2. Anna Keating – 2:27.59
  3. Ella Nelson – 2:28.21
  4. Gillian Davey – 2:28.39
  5. Noelle Peplowski – 2:28.44
  6. Josie Panitz – 2:28.71
  7. Abby Hay – 2:29.38
  8. Matilda Smith – 2:29.39

Indiana’s Mac Looze took over the 4th heat this morning, tearing to a new personal best of 2:27.49. That swim would stand as the fastest time of the morning through the remaining 2 heats, although Virginia’s Anna Keating would scare it in the final heat.

Keating was trailing Indiana’s Noelle Peplowski through the first 150m of the race, but really turned up the speed on the final 50, splitting 38.21 coming home. Peplowski pushed the pace early, getting into the finish 2nd in heat 6, swimming a new personal best of 2:28.44, which was good for 5th overall this morning.

Another Virginia swimmer, Ella Nelson, representing Nashville Aquatic Club, took 3rd this morning with a 2:28.21. Nelson was the #2 seed coming into the meet, behind only Keating.


  • World Record – 2:05.95, Zac Stubblety-Cook (2022)
  • American Record – 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (2016)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (2016)
  • World Junior Record – 2:09.39, Haiyang Qin (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Matt Fallon – 2:09.05
  2. Will Licon – 2:09.86
  3. Caspar Corbeau – 2:09.92
  4. Josh Matheny – 2:10.19
  5. AJ Pouch – 2:10.21
  6. Jake Foster – 2:10.52
  7. Max Reich – 2:11.58
  8. Colin Feehery – 2:12.29

The 9th heat of the men’s 200 breast saw an awesome race between Texas’ Caspar Corbeau and Indiana’s Josh Matheny. Corbeau took the early lead, hitting the 100m turn a second ahead of Matheny. The 19-year-old Matheny turned on the jets on the final 50, however, closing the gap quickly. In the end, Corbeau touched in 2:09.92, establishing the 3rd fastest time of the morning. Matheny finished in 2:10.19, marking his fastest performance since he swam his personal best of 2:09.40 back in 2019.

Heat 10 saw Matt Fallon nearly take down his personal best, tearing to a 2:09.05 to clock the top time of the morning. Fallon put together an exceptional race, splitting 1:03.11 on the 1st 100 before coming home in 1:05.94. He tacked on a blazing 32.54 on the 3rd 50. Fallon’s personal best sits at 2:08.91. AJ Pouch clipped his personal best to finish 2nd in heat 10, posting a 2:10.19.

Will Licon took the last heat in 2:09.86, posting the 2nd fastest swim of the morning.


  • World Record – 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • American Record – 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:05.08, Phoebe Bacon (2022)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:05.68, Missy Franklin (2013)
  • World Junior Record – 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Isabelle Stadden – 2:09.69
  2. Claire Curzan – 2:10.84
  3. Rhyan White – 2:10.94
  4. Leah Smith – 2:11.01
  5. Reilly Tiltmann – 2:11.39
  6. Anna Peplowski – 2:11.66
  7. Natalie Mannion – 2:12.06
  8. Rosie Zavaros – 2:12.07

Isabelle Stadden was the only swimmer in the field to go under 2:10 this morning, leading her heat by a healthy margin. Anna Peplowski charged on the final 50, but the lead Stadden had built was far too great for the Indiana 19-year-old to overcome.

Notably, Anna Peplowski and Commonwealth Swimming 18-year-old Natalie Mannion both qualified for the ‘A’ final in the 200 backstroke. Both swimmers already qualified for the ‘A’ final in the 200 free earlier in the session, coincidentally each breaking 2:00 in the event for the first time as well. We’ll be keeping an eye on whether these teenagers will keep the double for tonight, or if they opt to focus on a single race.

Claire Curzan put up a solid 2:10.84, posting the 2nd fastest time of the morning. Fellow World Champs team member Rhyan White, the top seed coming in, cruised to a 2:10.94 this morning. Leah Smith, another World Champs team member, swam a personal best of 2:11.01 to finish 4th this morning.


  • World Record – 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • American Record – 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 1:55.14, Kliment Kolesnikov (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Ian Grum – 1:58.05
  2. Jack Aikins – 1:58.13
  3. Nick Simons – 1:58.48
  4. Ty Hartwell – 1:59.10
  5. Destin Lasco – 1:59.21
  6. Baylor Nelson – 1:59.77
  7. Caleb Maldari – 2:00.13
  8. Christopher O’Connor – 2:00.15

It looked like Jack Aikins had the last heat and the top time of prelims all but locked up with 50m to go, however, the 19-year-old faded hard on the final 50, getting touched out by Ian Grum at the finish. Grum got his hand on the wall in 1:58.05, posting the top time of the morning. After splitting 55.07 on the 1st 100, Aikins split 30.52 on the 3rd 50, then came home in 32.54 on the final 50, for a 1:03.06 on the 2nd 100 of the race. He finished in 1:58.13, still good for the 2nd fastest time of the morning.

18-year-old Nick Simons had an awesome swim this morning, breaking 2:00 for the first time in his career with a 1:58.48. The swim was good for 3rd this morning, putting him in the middle of the pool for tonight’s ‘A’ final. Baylor Nelson also broke 2:00 for the first time this morning, clocking a 1:59.77 for 6th overall.

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8 months ago

does anyone know why there Australians here while they could be in Birmingham?

8 months ago

Patrick Callan is a literal Olympian and didn’t even get a mention for making the final. I mean he might be quiet but like you’d mention Lochte’s name even if he placed like 13th.

crimson chin
Reply to  SSN
8 months ago

Why would he get mentioned when his father Jake Mitchell is still teaching him how to swim

Reply to  SSN
8 months ago

Quiet in person but the loudest on social media

Reply to  SSN
8 months ago

Olympian Patrick Callan and Olympian Ryan Lochte are not comparable.

Reply to  SSN
8 months ago

Patrick Callan

8 months ago

It is too bad Casas didn’t swim a prelim of the 200 free just to get a tapered time.

Jay Ryan
8 months ago

A 32.54 3rd 50 for Matt Fallon is indeed “balzing” if that means “fast”

Jay Ryan
Reply to  Jay Ryan
8 months ago

an apt verb…Balz

Negative Nora (they/them)
8 months ago

That had to be painful for Aitkins… 55.0/1:03.0 – 1:58.13 – first time since ‘09 someone’s taken it out on world record pace like that.

Reply to  Negative Nora (they/them)
8 months ago

His toes were dragging on the bottom the last 10 meters. Looked painful. But hey, he went for it!

Reply to  snarky
8 months ago

FAFO’d it.

Reply to  Negative Nora (they/them)
8 months ago

rylov took it out in like 54 flat back in 2017

Joel Lin
Reply to  dddddddd
8 months ago

I like it. You never know unless you go. He took a risk in prelims & it went well for 150 meters. He can adjust & adapt a race strategy next knowing he needs to manage it a bit different. Bottom line is Aikins needs to challenge himself to be a 1:54 200 backstroker to get into the Olympics player strata. Be bold.

8 months ago

What was that start error in heat 6 of the men’s 200 back?

Reply to  swimfan27
8 months ago

What happened?

Reply to  swimfan28
8 months ago

Went back and watched the replay on USA Swimming’s webpage (the 15 min clip, within the first 30 seconds) the backstroke wedge fell and hit the kid’s face (you can clearly hear the collision) when he lifted himself up at the “take your mark”. Distracted the guy next to him and he started late too

8 months ago

Gemmell, Sims, Weinstein, Tuggle, Gormsen. 18 under athletes are beginning to take over the 200 Free

8 months ago

Curzan’s finish lol

Reply to  fred
8 months ago

I didn’t see it. What happened?

Reply to  fred
8 months ago

Summer club finish. Was glad she wasn’t injured.