2022 U.S. National Championships: Day 5 Prelims Live Recap

2022 US Summer Nationals

Saturday Prelims Heat Sheets

The final day of the 2022 U.S. National Championships is here. On tap, we have the men and women’s 200 IM and 50 freestyle this morning.

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson and Longhorn Aquatics’ Leah Smith lead the field in the women’s 200 IM with Smith coming off a strong 2nd place finish in the 400 IM earlier. On the men’s side, it’s Shaine Casas, who had a lifetime best swim in the 100 fly on Thursday to win the event and become the third fastest American man of all-time. Kieran Smith, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist in the 400 free, was seeded 2nd but scratched to focus on the men’s 800 free final tonight.

Polish four-time Olympian Katarzyna Wasick of Team Rebel Aquatics is the top seed in the 50 free followed by two-time U.S. Olympian Abbey Weitzeil. They’re seeded within .08 of each other and have a comfortable cushion of .24 between them and the rest of the pack. Michael Andrew is ranked first in the men’s 50 free by half a second, followed by recent 50 back world champion Justin Ress. Andrew finished 4th in the 50 free in Tokyo and this is his second event of the meet. He is coming off a 4th place finish in the 100 breast ‘B’ final last night.

The fastest heats of the men’s 800 free and women’s 1500 free will be contested at finals tonight.

Women’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • World Record – 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • American Record – 2:06.15, Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record – 2:07.84, Alex Walsh (2022)
  • LC Nationals Record – 2:08.32, Kathleen Baker (2018)
  • World Junior Record – 2:08.91, Leah Hayes (2022)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Zoie Hartman – 2:13.32
  2. Justina Kozan – 2:13.59
  3. Leah Smith – 2:13.65
  4. Beata Nelson – 2:13.91
  5. Ella Nelson – 2:14.73
  6. Erin Gemmell – 2:15.14
  7. Kayla Hardy – 2:15.33
  8. Zoe Skirbol – 2:15.37′

Heat six was the fastest heat this morning where Zoie Hartman and Justina Kozan dueled in lanes 4 and 5. They were nearly tied after the butterfly, but Hartman pulled ahead on the backstroke (33.59) and breaststroke (38.81) lengths, building a 2.25 second lead going into the freestyle. Kozan barreled down the pool on the last 50, devouring Hartman’s lead by posting a 29.70 compared to Hartman’s final 50 split of 31.68. Hartman shaved .22 off her lifetime best time from this meet in 2019 to secure the top finals spot. Kozan was about 1.5 seconds off her best time which ranks her as the 12th all-time fastest 17-18 year-old in the event. Watch out for Smith and Beata Nelson in the final though; they were both entered with 2:11’s.

Erin Gemmell and Zoe Skirboll also notched lifetime best times to get into the ‘A’ final. They’re now ranked #56 and #66 out of the all-time fastest 17-18 year-olds in the 200 IM. Avery Klamforth and Kayla Han and moved up in their 13-14 NAG rankings, placing 21st and 22nd with times of 2:17.21 and 2:17.23, respectively.  They’re now #26 and #27 on the list of the all-time fastest swimmers in their age group.

Men’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • World Record – 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • American Record – 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:54.56, Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • LC Nationals Record – 1:54.56, Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 1:56.99, Hubert Kos (2021)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Shaine Casas – 1:57.50
  2. Grant House – 1:59.17
  3. Kevin Vargas – 2:00.10
  4. Baylor Nelson – 2:00.13
  5. Max Litchfield / Raunak Khosla – 2:00.34
  6. Destin Lasco – 2:00.47
  7. Jared Daigle – 2:01.06

Shaine Casas had the fastest 50 fly split in the field by more than half a second (24.17) and the fastest backstroke split by about 1.2 seconds (54.19). He held strong on the breast (33.50) but had to push himself on the last length to fend off Sun Devil Swimming’s Grant House who closed the race in a blistering split of 28.87 compared to Casas’ 29.81.

Casas came within .8 of the lifetime best time he posted in April to rank himself as the 7th fastest American of all time in the event. This was a lifetime best swim for House by .06, outdoing the time he swam at the International Team Trials in April. He was the only swimmer to join Casas under the 2:00 mark this morning.

La Mirada’s Kevin Vargas demolished his lifetime best time to earn a spot in the ‘A’ final, taking 1.8 seconds off his previous best from the 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II where he placed 21st in the event.

Notably, Rick Mihm was disqualified in heat eight

Women’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • World Record – 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom (2017)
  • American Record – 23.97, Simone Manuel (2017)
  • U.S. Open Record –24.08, Pernille Blume (2019)
  • LC Nationals Record – 24.10, Simone Manuel (2018)
  • World Junior Record – 24.17, Claire Curzan (2021)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Katarzyna Wasick – 24.56
  2. Gretchen Walsh – 24.65
  3. Abbey Weitzeil – 24.97
  4. Gabi Albiero – 25.02
  5. Catie Deloof – 25.05
  6. Grace Countie – 25.16
  7. Mia O’Leary – 25.24
  8. Maxine Parker – 25.35

Polish Olympian Wasick came within .45 of her entry time to secure the top spot in tonight’s final. Weitzeil’s fastest time is also a 24.1, from her performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games which ranks her as the 5th all-time fastest American in the event. Gretchen Walsh nearly matched her lifetime best time of 24.53 from the International Team Trials in April to place 2nd. Walsh’s best time ranked her #14 out of the all-time fastest Americans in the event.

In heat 7, Louisville’s Gabi Albiero took down yet another one of her best times to snag 4th in the final. She out touched Catie Deloof by .03, taking .17 off her lifetime best time from April. Tonight’s 50 free final is shaping up to be similar the 2022 U.S. International Team Trials with repeat swimmers Walsh, Weitzeil, and Albiero.

Men’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • World Record – 20.91, Cesar Cielo Filho (2009)
  • American Record – 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (2019/2021)
  • U.S. Open Record – 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • LC Nationals Record – 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • World Junior Record – 21.75, Michael Andrew (2017)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Matt King – 21.95
  2. Adam Chaney – 22.12
  3. Jack Dolan – 22.14
  4. Justin Ress – 22.26
  5. Jack Alexy – 22.31
  6. Quintin McCarty – 22.36
  7. Michael Andrew – 22.37
  8. Matthew Jensen – 22.40

Matt King of Cavalier Aquatics is your top seed after breaking 22.00 for the first time and taking .39 off his lifetime best time from earlier this month. Adam Chaney of the Mason Manta Rays was within .12 of his entry time while Sun Devil Swimming’s Jack Dolan beat his seed time by about .8.

Watch out for Quintin McCarty in the final; he nearly matched his lifetime best time from April which ranks him #9 out of the all-time fastest 17-18 year-olds in the event. Top seed Michael Andrew qualified for the ‘A’ final in 7th place.

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7 months ago

Weitzeil’s personal best time is 24.19 in the women’s 50 meter freestyle.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
7 months ago

I think, and I hope, she will be able to press close to a best time or hit a new best time. It’s a fast pool, conditions are ideal. Last swim of the season. Walsh right next to her again & they should both have a good race tonite. If Walsh gets off the blocks well & nails her breakout- look out. She can go 24 very low tonite.

Keith W
7 months ago

What a dubious DQ on that Stanford kid in the 200 IM. I understand that officials’ calls have always been subjective, but would it have been a more focal name like House or Lasco, a warning would have been sufficient. In fact, the footage was most likely given half a glance. Do better.

Tom Ward
Reply to  Keith W
7 months ago

Yea this DQ rarely occurs in a National Event let a lone in the last heat.. 🥴

Joel Lin
Reply to  Tom Ward
7 months ago

Should’ve been a warning, not a DQ. I looked again & that was a highly questionable DQ.

Ernie D
Reply to  Keith W
7 months ago

I’ve been following this kid for years. Simply put, the only DQ Rick Mihm deserves is a Dairy Queen ® Blizzard.

Reply to  Ernie D
7 months ago

You’re welcome to have a conversation with yourself, just please don’t do it in our comments. Thanks!

7 months ago

Matt King, he’s him.

7 months ago

Casas shut it down on the free. 1.55 low tonight?

Reply to  Andy
7 months ago

He swam hard the first 150 because that is what Texas does. Even if he goes 1 second faster in the free leg he will be 1:56

Reply to  Andy
7 months ago

Nailed it!

Joel Lin
7 months ago

Matt King is just starting to arrive. He is going to be in the fight for the 4×100 national relay in the next 2 years. Just an explosive swimmer on the surface. Let’s see what tonite will bring.

Also don’t think it is hyperbole at this point to suggest Casas has the ability to challenge the 200IM WR.

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 months ago

Strong point

Reply to  Shibly
7 months ago

Casas always swims fast in season and doesn’t drop a ton at shave/taper meets.

When he was 1:56.7 he was also 51.0 in the fly. 1:55 high is more likely than a WR watch.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
7 months ago

Certainly not tonight but by 2024… this guy is kind of a late bloomer and has a high ceiling. Who knows?

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 months ago

I thibk it is hyperbole simply because we haven’t seen him swim it enough. Now would I say it’s a complete long shot? No. But he definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.

7 months ago

Was Walsh suited?

Joel Lin
Reply to  Marsh
7 months ago

Yes. Abysmal start, which is unusual for her, but she will have another shot at a fast time tonite.

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 months ago

She said in her interview two days ago that her start is always horrible but her UWD catch her up.

7 months ago

I haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere, but I’m really liking the direct overhead camera. Is it a fly cam or drone?

US swimming, get rid of the low angle push cart camera that takes two to operate and put the money you save into more overhead and underwater cameras!

Reply to  Supafly23
7 months ago

it’s a drone

7 months ago

Anyone else see Lascos flutter kick during the breaststroke leg. Pretty blatant.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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