2022 U.S. Trials Day 5: Finke, Walsh Break U.S. Open Records, Hayes Makes Team


The 2022 U.S. International Team Trials have come to a close. Though day 5 proceeded mostly as expected, there were some breakthroughs, particularly in the women’s 200 IM. NCCA swimmers continued to demonstrate their ability to manage the quick turnaround from the NCAA Championships in March, while pros like Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, and Michael Andrew filled out their individual event lineups as expected.

Bobby Finke Lowers U.S. Open Record in 800 Freestyle

2-time Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke lowered the U.S. Open Record in the men’s 800 freestyle, posting a 7:43.32, taking over a second off of Zane Grothe‘s 2018 mark. The performance also comes within 1.5 seconds of Finke’s lifetime best and American Record, set at the Tokyo Olympics, of 7:41.87.

Finke has had a great week in Greensboro, which is particularly notable considering the relatively rough NCAA season he had in 2021-2022. Finke successfully defended his title in the 1650 at NCAAs, though he missed the SEC Championships and some training due to COVID. Finke, it seems, has bounced back and is firing on all cylinders.

Despite placing 3rd, the 400 IM was another incredible performance by Finke this week in Greensboro. Aside from being a new lifetime best, Finke was a mere 0.07 behind Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Chase Kalisz, finishing 3rd in 4:10.57, making him the 7th-fastest performer in the world this year in his 3rd-best event.

Alex Walsh and Leah Hayes Dominate 200 IM

Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist Alex Walsh had a huge swim in the women’s 200 IM, breaking the U.S. Open Record with a 2:07.84, becoming the 2nd-fastest American all-time in the event. In fact, Walsh’s time makes her the 6th-fastest performer all-time in the women’s 200 IM.

Walsh’s time Saturday in Greensboro was so fast, in fact, it would have easily won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics–Japan’s Yui Ohashi beat Walsh last August with a 2:08.52 to win gold. Walsh now holds the #1 time in the world this year by nearly two-and-a-half seconds ahead of China’s Yiting Yu.

16-year-old Leah Hayes also broke through with a new 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 200 IM, becoming the first 15-16 swimmer under 2:10 with a 2:09.99, earning herself a spot on the U.S. Worlds team. Aside from the berth on the Worlds team, Hayes also climbs the world rankings to 2nd behind Walsh with her swim Saturday night.

Katie Grimes, Carson Foster Add Races to Budapest Lineup

Katie Grimes capped off her 2022 campaign at the U.S. International Trials with a 2nd-place finish to Katie Ledecky in the women’s 1500 freestyle in 15:51.36. This represents a huge performance for Grimes as it now makes her the 2nd-fastest performer all-time in the 15-16 age group in the women’s 1500, behind only Janet Evans. This also makes Grimes the 2nd-fastest performer in the world this year behind only Ledecky.

Grimes was also the 2022 U.S. Trials champion in the 400 IM, getting to the wall nearly 2 seconds ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant.

Carson Foster once again silenced doubters when he qualified for his second individual event by placing 2nd to Chase Kalisz in the 200 IM, posting a 1:56.65, making him the 5th-fastest in the world this year. This is a new lifetime best by 0.45. Foster will now represent Team USA in Budapest in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 4 x 200 freestyle relay.

Ledecky, Dressel, Andrew Add Signature Events

Katie Ledecky easily won the women’s 1500 freestyle in 15:38.99, adding the event to her Budapest lineup and making her the fastest performer in the world this year. Ledecky and Grimes are a solid bet for a 1-2 finish in Budapest this summer at the World Championships.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Caeleb Dressel won the men’s 50 freestyle in a world-leading 21.29. Michael Andrew touched 2nd in 21.45, a new personal best for him. Dressel is now ranked 1st in the world this year in the 50 freestyle while Andrew holds the 2nd-fastest time in 2022.

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2 months ago

One need hardly say that each member of TEAM USA going to Budapest has worked long and hard to get to this point. Personally, I’ve been rooting for Carson Foster thru-out the meet — and, oh boy, has he delivered. Not only was this last night electric, but to have 2 events + a relay for him is fantastic! He’s got to be on Cloud 9!

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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