2022 U.S. World Championship Trials
- April 26-30, 2022
- Greensboro, NC
- Greensboro Aquatic Center
- LCM (50m)
- Start Times: Prelims – 9 am ET / Finals – 6 pm ET
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We have come to the last session of the 2022 U.S. International Trials. The World Championship team is nearly complete, but tonight’s session will determine who will represent Team USA in the last six events. Olympic champions Katie Ledecky and Bobby Finke are the runaway favorites in the women’s 1500 free and men’s 800 free, respectively, but there will be competition for the second slot in each race.
It will be an exciting race in the women’s 200 IM, with Alex Walsh, Beata Nelson, and Leah Hayes all capable of taking home the prize. The 200 IM could be a repeat of the 400 IM final, pitting Olympic 400 IM gold medalist Chase Kalisz against his younger protégé, Carson Foster.
We will wrap up with the finals of the 50 free, where top-seeded Abbey Weitzeil is hoping to make the team. But she will have to beat a slew of younger sprinters – Erika Brown, Kate Douglass, and Claire Curzan – all of whom qualified ahead of her. Finally, we will have another matchup between Caeleb Dressel and Michael Andrew in the men’s 50 free. Andrew qualified .03 faster, but Dressel is the American Record-holder in the event.
Saturday, April 30
Women’s 1500 Meter Freestyle – Fastest Heat
- World Record: 15:20.48 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
- American Record: 15:20.48 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
- US Open Record 15:20.48 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
- Jr World Record: 15:28.36 – Katie Ledecky (2014)
- FINA “A” cut: 16:29.57
- SwimSwam Preview: W1500 Free
- Katie Ledecky, Unattached – 15:38.99
- Katie Grimes, Sandpipers of Nevada – 15:51.36
- Bella Sims, Sandpipers of Nevada – 16:15.87
- Claire Weinstein, Sandpipers of Nevada – 16:22.78
- Michaela Mattes, Sarasota – 16:23.44
- Elise Bauer, Florida – 16:33.48
- Madelyn Donohoe, Virginia – 16:34.31
- Sierra Schmidt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club – 16:36.06
For the 15th time in her career, Katie Ledecky swam a sub-15:40 in the 1500 freestyle. This time, she went 15:38.99 to beat runner-up Katie Grimes by 12.4 seconds. Ledecky held mainly 1:01-lows to -mids on her 100s, swimming alone in clear water from about the 300 meter mark onward.
Grimes put up a personal-best time of 15:51.36 to finish second. She went out quickly and flipped ahead of Ledecky at the 50, but it was the only time she led during the 30-length race. Grimes was holding 3-minute 100s and building up her lead over the rest of the field with every 50.
Her Sandpipers teammate Bella Sims came in third with 16:15.87. She had been battling Michaela Mattes throughout much of the race, but descended her last 500 and left Mattes in her wake.
Fourth place overall went to Claire Weinstein, also from Sandpipers, who had swum the fastest time (16:22.78) from the earlier heats.
Ledecky and Grimes are now 1-2 in the world rankings for the 2021-22 season so far.
Women’s 200 Meter Individual Medley – Finals
- World Record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)
- American Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
- US Open Record 2:08.32 – Kathleen Baker (2018)
- Jr World Record: 2:09.98 – Rikako Ikee (2017)
- FINA “A” cut: 2:12.98
- SwimSwam Preview: W200 IM
- Alex Walsh, Virginia – 2:07.84
- Leah Hayes, Fox Valley Park – 2:09.99
- Beata Nelson, Wisconsin Aquatics – 2:11.80
- Mackenzie Looze, Indiana University – 2:13.28
- Isabelle Odgers, Unattached – 2:15.33
- Sara Stotler, Tennessee – 2:15.40
- Abby Hay, University of Louisville – 2:16.30
- Teagan O’Dell, Irvine Novaquatics – 2:17.62
The women’s 200 IM final was full of plot twists and intrigue. Beata Nelson set the pace on the butterfly leg, turning at 27.34 and leading Alex Walsh by three-tenths headed into the backstroke. Walsh outsplit the field over the middle 100 meters, with a 32.6 back and 36.8 breast. She came home with the fastest freestyle, too, a 30.76. Walsh’s final time of 2:07.84 took a half-second off the U.S. Open Record, that Kathleen Baker set in 2018.
In the battle for second place behind Walsh, Leah Hayes moved from third at the 50 wall to second at the 100 after outsplitting Nelson by a second, 33.0 to 34.0, on the backstroke. She was 1.6 seconds faster on the breaststroke. Hayes held on over the final 50 meters and finished in second place with 2:09.99, becoming the first 15-16 girl in U.S. history to break the 2:10 barrier. In her post-race interview, the new National Age Group Record-holder spoke of “an overwhelming feeling of joy” at having made her first World Championship team.
Walsh and Hayes now lead the world rankings in the 200 IM for the current season.
Men’s 200 Meter Individual Medley – Finals
- World Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
- American Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
- US Open Record 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte (2009)
- Jr World Record: 1:57.06 – Haiyang Qin (2017)
- FINA “A” cut: 1:59.76
- SwimSwam Preview: M200 IM
- Chase Kalisz, Athens Bulldog Swim Club – 1:56.21
- Carson Foster, Texas – 1:56.65
- Sam Stewart, Unattached – 1:57.70
- Trenton Julian, Unattached / Destin Lasco, Unattached – 1:58.42
- Jake Foster, Texas – 1:58.64
- Grant House, Unattached – 1:59.23
- Kieran Smith, Florida – 1:59.83
Foster took over the lead on the backstroke leg, splitting a 29.15. Chase Kalisz moved from sixth to third on the back, then out-split everyone by at least a full second on the breaststroke with 32.7 to head into the final 50 meters in first place. Foster was in second place, seven-tenths behind Kalisz. Sam Stewart had taken over third place after his 33.7 breaststroke leg.
As they raced for the finish, Kalisz was far enough ahead to hold on for first place, even though Foster made up two-tenths of his deficit. Kalisz went 1:56.21 to notch the second-fastest time in the world so far this year. Foster’s took second in 1:56.65, good for fourth in the world.
Sam Stewart held on for third place with 1:57.70. Destin Lasco had a strong back half and moved from sixth place to tie Julian for fourth place with 1:58.42.
Kalisz and Foster move to second and fourth in the world so far this year.
Men’s 800 Meter Freestyle – Fastest Heat
- World Record: 7:32.12 – Lin Zhang (2009)
- American Record: 7:41.87 – Bobby Finke (2021)
US Open Record 7:44.57 – Zane Grothe (2018)
- Jr World Record: 7:45.67 – Mack Horton (2013)
- FINA “A” cut: 7:53.11
- SwimSwam Preview: M800 Free
- Bobby Finke, Florida – 7:43.32
- Charlie Clark, Ohio State – 7:50.07
- David Johnston, Texas – 7:54.40
- Ross Dant, NC State – 7:56.06
- Tyler Watson, Florida – 7:56.44
- Alex Enyeart, TST – 7:58.68
- Matthew Chai, Fullerton – 8:03.44
- Will Gallant, NC State /Joey Tepper, Tennessee – 8:04.65
Olympic champion Bobby Finke broke the U.S. Open Record and was just 3.5 seconds off his American Record with a dominant 7:43.32 in the fastest heat of the 800 free.
David Johnston was first out of the chute; he held the lead through the 150, flipping at 1:25.23. Alec Enyeart was in second place behind Johnston for the first 100 meters but Finke moved past him at the 150 wall and came within .02 of Johnston. Finke was in first place by half a body length already at the 200 wall, and he built his lead by about half a second every 50.
At the halfway point, it was still Finke, Johnston and Enyeart, but Charlie Clark had begun to make his move and was hovering in fourth place. Clark displaced Enyeart at the 450. He then passed Johnston at the 600 wall and for the next 200 meters, he continued to break away from the rest of the pack.
Finke evenly split his 800, going 3:51.6/3:51.6. Clark negative-split his, 3:55/3:54, taking 4.3 seconds off his entry time to finish second in 7:50.07.
Johnston held on for third place, improving his time by 3.5 seconds to go 7:54.40.
Finke currently ranks third in the world for the 2021-22 season.
Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Finals
- World Record: 23.67 – Sarah Sjostrom (2017)
- American Record: 23.97 – Simone Manuel (2017)
- US Open Record 24.10 – Simone Manuel (2018)
- Jr World Record: 24.33 – Rikako Ikee (2017)
- FINA “A” cut: 25.04
- SwimSwam Preview: W50 Free
- Torri Huske, Unattached – 24.50
- Erika Brown, Tennessee Aquatics – 24.52
- Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 24.53
- Claire Curzan, TAC Titans – 24.55
- Kate Douglass, Virginia – 24.67
- Abbey Weitzeil, Cal – 24.75
- Natalie Hinds, Unattached – 24.97
- Gabi Albiero, University of Louisville – 25.22
It was a photo finish at the end of the women’s 50 free, with the top four finishers all coming to the wall within .05 of each other. Torri Huske got the touch to win by .02 over Erika Brown, 24.50 to 24.52. Brown, in turn, was .01 faster than Gretchen Walsh and .03 faster than Claire Curzan.
Not far behind them were Kate Douglass (24.67) and 2020 Olympian Abbey Weitzeil (24.75). Natalie Hinds (24.97) and Gabi Albiero (25.22) rounded out the championship final.
Men’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Finals
- World Record: 20.91 – Cesar Cielo Filho (2009)
- American Record: 21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2019 and 2021)
- US Open Record 21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2021)
- Jr World Record: 21.75 – Michael Andrew (2017)
- FINA “A” cut: 22.18
- SwimSwam Preview: M50 Free
- Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club – 21.29
- Michael Andrew, MA Swim Academy – 21.45
- Brooks Curry, Tennessee Aquatics – 21.84
- Ryan Held, NY Athletic Club – 21.85
- David Curtiss, NC State / Hunter Armstrong, Ohio State – 22.00
- Jack Alexy, Unattached – 22.13
- Danny Krueger, Texas – 22.35
Caeleb Dressel won the men’s 50 free from lane 5 in 21.29, improving from his morning swim by .42. Dressel had an explosive start and looked as if he might win by half a body length, but Michael Andrew, who had posted the fastest time of the morning, accelerated into his finish to come within .16 of Dressel at the touch.
Dressel and Andrew now rank #1 and #2 in the world so far this year.