2022 U.S. National Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap



The 4th day of the 2022 U.S. Nationals in Irvine features the 400 free, 100 breast, and 100 back. After a phenomenal swim in the 200 free earlier in the meet, Nation’s Capital 17-year-old Erin Gemmell is slated to race in the 400 free today. Gemmell is the 3rd seed coming into the meet (4:09.81), but given the 1:56 she swam in the 200 free two days ago, she could have something special in store for today. Australian Maddy Gough leads the psych sheet, coming in at 4:05.60.

Olympic medalist Kieran Smith enters as the top seed in the men’s 400 free, clocking in at 3:43.94. We’ll be keeping an eye on Cal’s Gabriel Jett in the 400 free as well, as he’s been one of the stars of the meet to this point.

Kaitlyn Dobler will be making her debut (we think) in the women’s 100 breast today. Dobler is the top seed, coming in at 1:06.19. She was slated to swim the 200 breast on Tuesday, but DFS (declared false start) in the event.

Michael Andrew is also slated to make his debut today, coming in as the top seed in the men’s 100 breast. Andrew is only entered in the 100 breast and 50 free at these Championships.


  • World Record – 3:56.40, Ariarne Titmus (2022)
  • American Record – 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record – 3:57.94, Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • LC Nationals Record – 3:58.44, Katie Ledecky (2017)
  • World Junior Record – 3:58.37, Katie Ledecky (2014)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Erin Gemmell – 4:08.69
  2. Kensey McMahon – 4:09.39
  3. Claire Tuggle – 4:09.51
  4. Maddy Gough – 4:10.03
  5. Cavan Gormsen – 4:10.32
  6. Mariah Denigan – 4:11.18
  7. Sierra Schmidt – 4:13.14
  8. Chloe Stepanek – 4:14.37

Erin Gemmell clocked another personal best, establishing herself as the early leader in the final heat this morning. Gemmell posted a 4:08.69, taking a little over a second off her previous best.

Top-seeded Maddy Gough took 4th this morning, swimming a 4:10.03. We can expect a faster swim out of Gough tonight, as she was entered at 4:05.60.

Distance star Kensey McMahon had an awesome swim this morning, racing to a new personal best of 4:09.39. Not only was this morning’s performance McMahon’s first under 4:10 in her career, her previous best of 4:10.46 was set in the summer of 2018.

Claire Tuggle broke 4:10 for the first time since 2019, taking 3rd this morning in 4:09.51. Tuggle’s personal best sits at 4:07.85, a time which she swam in 2019 when she was just 15.

Indiana continues to swim well at this meet, as Mariah Denigan grabbed a spot in the ‘A’ final with a personal best to boot. She swam a 4:11.18, taking a little over a second off her previous best of 4:12.23.



  • World Record – 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • American Record – 3:42.78, Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • U.S. Open Record – 3:43.53, Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • LC Nationals Record – 3:43.53, Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • World Junior Record – 3:44.60, Mack Horton (2014)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Jake Mitchell – 3:49.90
  2. Kieran Smith – 3:50.48
  3. Jake Magahey – 3:50.53
  4. David Johnston – 3:50.58
  5. Luke Hobson – 3:51.10
  6. Will Gallant – 3:51.38
  7. Bobby Finke – 3:52.03
  8. Patrick Callan – 3:52.10

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Jake Mitchell led the pack this morning with the only sub-3:50 in the field. He was steady through the race, splitting 58.97, 58.56, and 57.78 on the final 3 100s. Mitchell swam his lifetime best of 3:45.38 last summer.

Kieran Smith, the Bronze medalist int eh 400 free last summer in Tokyo, was 2nd this morning in 3:50.48. Given Mitchell and Smith’s personal bests, and the way Florida’s swimmers have been performing, it’s likely they’ll both be a bit faster tonight.

Jake Magahey was the 3rd fastest this morning, clocking a 3:50.53. Texas’ David Johnston had a fantastic swim this morning, swimming a lifetime best of 3:50.58 for 3rd.

Heat 3 was electric, seeing Auburn’s Mason Mathias post a massive personal best of 3:52.64. Mathias blew away his previous best of 3:56.66, which he had just established in April at the International Team Trials. He put together a fantastic race, only having one of his 50 splits come in above 30.00 – the 6th 50, where he split 30.03. Behind him, SwimMAC Carolina 15-year-old Norvin Clontz had a phenomenal race as well, roaring to a new personal best of 3:53.71. For Clontz, the swim took 2.46 seconds off his previous best. Clontz was hauling on the final 100 of the race, splitting 29.55 and 28.13 on the final pair of 50s for a sizzling 57.68 on the final 100.


  • World Record – 1:04.13, Lilly King (2017)
  • American Record – 1:04.13, Lilly King (2017)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:04.45, Jessica Hardy (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:04.72, Lilly King (2021)
  • World Junior Record – 1:04.35, Rute Meilutyte (2013)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Kaitlyn Dobler – 1:07.71
  2. Hannah Bach – 1:08.58
  3. Talara-Jade Dixon – 1:08.68
  4. Olivia Anderson – 1:08.79
  5. Emma Weber – 1:08.82
  6. Mac Looze – 1:08.92
  7. Zoie Hartman – 1:09.06
  8. Isabelle Odgers – 1:09.20

Kaitlyn Dobler made her debut at these Nationals, leading the field this morning with a 1:07.71. Dobler was really in a field of her own, outpacing 2nd-fastest swimmer of the morning Hannah Bach by nearly a second. It was a nice prelims swim for the 20-year-old, as she has a personal best of 1:06.19.

Dobler may end up winning handily tonight, however, the battle behind her should be really fun to watch. Bach, and Emma Weber were both entered as 1:07s. Olivia Anderson has been 1:08.00 in her career, turning in a sloid 1:08.79 this morning. 200 breast champion Mac Looze also advanced the ‘A’ final tonight, finishing 6th this morning in a 1:08.92.


  • World Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (2019)
  • American Record – 58.14, Michael Andrew (2021)
  • U.S. Open Record – 58.14, Michael Andrew (2021)
  • LC Nationals Record – 58.14, Michael Andrew (2021)
  • World Junior Record – 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Josh Matheny – 59.68
  2. Caspar Corbaeu – 1:00.36
  3. Max McHugh – 1:00.81
  4. Jason Louser – 1:00.83
  5. AJ Pouch – 1:00.85
  6. Kevin Houseman – 1:00.91
  7. Reid Mikuta – 1:00.92
  8. Yuya Hinomoto – 1:01.04

Josh Matheny had a massive swim in heat 10, roaring to a new personal best of 59.68. Not only did he lead the field by 0.68 seconds, it marks Matheny’s first time under 1:00 in the event. He put together a great race, splitting 28.12 on the first 50, then coming home in a 31.56.

Matheny should have a great race on his hands tonight, as Caspar Corbeau, Max McHugh, and Kevin Houseman have all been under 1:00 before in the 100 breast.

Notably, Michael Andrew made his debut at these National Championships, and it wasn’t necessarily his best race. Andrew, the American Record holder (58.14) swam a 1:01.61, finishing in a tie for 16th place with 200 breast champion Matt Fallon. If both swimmers intend to swim finals tonight, that tie will result in a swim-off.

Auburn’s Reid Mikuta continued his team’s streak of swimming extremely well this week, clocking a personal best of 1:00.92 to qualify for the ‘A’ final.


  • World Record – 57.45, Kaylee McKeown (2021)
  • American Record – 57.57, Regan Smith (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record – 57.76, Regan Smith (2022)
  • LC Nationals Record – 57.92, Regan Smith (2021)
  • World Junior Record – 57.57, Regan Smith (2019)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Isabelle Stadden – 59.63
  2. Rhyan White – 59.73
  3. Gretchen Walsh – 59.80
  4. Amy Fulmer – 59.87
  5. Claire Curzan – 1:00.36
  6. Kira Toussaint – 1:00.46
  7. Erika Pelaez – 1:00.52
  8. Sophie Lindner – 1:00.65

Cal’s Isabelle Stadden put together a great morning swim, clocking the top time of prelims with a 59.63. It came in just ahead of Rhyan White‘s 59.73 and Gretchen Walsh‘s 59.80, both of which were swum in the previous heat. For Stadden, the swim came in just over half a second off her personal best of 58.99.

Walsh’s swim marks another lifetime best for her at this meet, as well as her first time under 1:00 in the LCM 100 back. She displayed incredible speed, splitting 28.92 on the first 50, but she was caught by White on the final 50, coming home in 30.88.

Ohio State’s Amy Fulmer was another swim who broke 1:00 for the first time in her career this morning. Entering the meet with a lifetime best of 1:00.48, Fulmer rocketed to a 59.87 this morning, making her one of four women to go under 1:00 in prelims.

This should be a phenomenal race tonight, as Claire Curzan, who has been 58.39, will be in the ‘A’ final, as well as Dutch Olympian and European Championships backstroke Gold medalist Kira Toussaint. Toussaint is also a speedster, so watching the dynamic between her and Walsh tonight should be a thrilling aspect of the race.


  • World Record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (2022)
  • American Record – 51.85, Ryan Murphy (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record – 51.94, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 51.94, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 52.53, Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Justin Ress – 53.50
  2. Adam Chaney – 53.97
  3. Jack Aikins – 54.22
  4. Leon MacAlister – 54.24
  5. Destin Lasco – 54.31
  6. Nick Simons – 54.63
  7. Brendan Burns – 54.80
  8. Nate Stoffle – 54.90

Justin Ress paced the field this morning, swimming a 53.50. That swim is 0.77 seconds off his personal best, setting him up nicely for tonight. Despite Ress’ pure speed in LCM backstroke, he swam a tightly split race this morning, splitting 26.02 on the first 50 then coming home in 27.48.

Adam Chaney had an excellent race as well, Finishing just 0.08 seconds off his best with a 53.97.

Auburn continues to have a great meet, picking up another ‘A’ finalist with Nate Stoffle finishing 8th. Stoffle took 8th in 54.90, marking a new personal best.


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1 year ago

Photo curse

1 year ago

wasn’t there supposed to be a Ledecky time trial today?

Reply to  john26
1 year ago

2:15.20 for the 200 fly.

Miss M
Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

So a PB by 0.42.

She’s such a superhero that I’m almost disappointed it wasn’t faster!

1 year ago

Boy o boy did Swimswam do a number on Michael Andrew with the cover photo jinx!

1 year ago

I won’t lie, a swim off between MA and Matt Fallon would be my favorite race of the meet.

1 year ago

Walsh said in a Swim 🌍 Mag article that she wanted to go under 1 before she put on a big suit.

1 year ago

Wow, Ress with a 53.5 in the 110 meter backstroke

Octavio Gupta
1 year ago

There really needs to be a way to run a cable above the lanes at outdoor meets so backstrokers aren’t constantly running into the lane lines.

James Beam
Reply to  Octavio Gupta
1 year ago

lot of swimmers “eating” the lane lines. Looked like a summer league meet out there!

Reply to  James Beam
1 year ago

This is the advantage for swimmers who train outside year-around!

1 year ago

My eyes are set on Blair Stoneburg in the 400 Free for the future. She’s a 4:38.6 in the SC 500 and I think she hasn’t really learned how to translate her SC speed into LC yet… Once she does, I see her being the future of this race. OW too, 10th at Nationals this year in the 10K

Reply to  Eli
1 year ago

She has stalled this past year time wise. Off form today. Have fun and be in form, we love to see it!

Reply to  Eli
1 year ago

my eyes are set on the Blair Witch