2022 U.S. World Trials Previews: Andrew, Fink Lead Men’s 50 & 100 Breast

2022 PHILLIPS 66 INTERNATIONAL TEAM TRIALS

Men’s 100 Breast 

  • World Record: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 56.88 (2019)
  • American Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 58.14 (2021)
  • US Open Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 58.14 (2021)
  • 2019 World Champion: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 57.14
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 59.75

Men’s 50 Breast

  • World Record: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 25.95 (2017)
  • American Record: Kevin Cordes (USA) – 26.76 (2015)
  • US Open Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 26.83 (2021)
  • 2019 World Champion: Adam Peaty (GBR) – 26.06
  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 27.33

THE FAVORITES

American Record holder Michael Andrew took a break in 2021 after the Olympics, but he’s gotten a lot of racing done in 2022. At the San Antonio Pro Series, he went 59.03, making him the fifth-fastest performer in the world this season. While he said he’s entered in the 200 IM, his focus seems to be on the 50s, the 100 breast, and the 100 fly. He and his Olympic teammate in the 200 Nic Fink will be the ones to beat here.

UGA alum Nic Fink started training at Georgia Tech after the Olympics, where he’s also working on a master’s degree. He swam a 59.32 in San Antonio and is the eighth-fastest performer this season. He was third at Olympic Trials in this event, .06 behind Andrew Wilson. Wilson has moved on from the sport, leaving an opening that Fink will look to fill.

Andrew and Fink are the only two Americans to break a minute so far this season. While they are the favorites, they’ll be chased by a field that will have a mix of veterans with international experience and younger athletes looking to make their first senior international meet.

OTHER VETERANS

2016 Olympian Cody Miller also raced in San Antonio, clocking a season-best of 1:00.95. He’s been open on his social media about adjusting to life and training as a new father. At 30 years old, Miller will be one of the oldest in this field and will need to get closer to his lifetime best 58.87 from Rio to make the Worlds team.

Kevin Cordes was the silver medalist in this event at 2017 Worlds, however, he will not be swimming in Greensboro.

Third seed Kevin Houseman‘s lifetime best 59.79 sits .04 off the FINA ‘A’ time. He swam a lifetime best 51.23 in yards this season and if he hits the double taper, he could be a threat to qualify for his first senior international meet.

Will Licon will be more of a factor in the 200 breast, but he should be in the mix here too. However, his best is a 1:00.30 from 2016 Trials and the FINA ‘A’ cut is a 59.75, so he’ll need to drop big to make the team in this event.

Other names to keep an eye on are Michigan alums Tommy Cope and Charlie Swanson, along with 33-year-old Brendan Fischer. Cope and Swanson are a pair of 1:01s for season bests. Fischer was 1:02.26 at the US Open in December. He has the fastest time of the three at 59.86, but all three will need to drop in order to make the team.

NCAA NAMES

After becoming the second man to break 50 seconds in yards and defending his NCAA title in the event, Minnesota senior Max McHugh is not on the psych sheets for Trials. However, there will still be plenty of NCAA talent in Greensboro.

Indiana freshman and 2019 World Juniors silver medalist Josh Matheny placed fifth in the Olympic Trials final last year. His lifetime best 1:00.06 is from the heats at Trials. At Indiana Spring Sectionals, he was 1:01.42, and will be looking to crack the minute mark for the first time in Greensboro.

Matheny’s teammate Maxwell Reich could also grab a spot in the final. His lifetime best is a 1:01.96 and he was about a second slower than that at Indiana Spring Sectionals. He’ll need to hit his taper well and have a big drop to make the team though.

Another NCAA name to circle is Virginia Tech’s AJ Pouch. Pouch swam lifetime bests in both breaststroke events at NCAAs, signaling that he could be due for a long course drop as well.

TOP 8 PICKS – 100 BREAST

Place Name Season Best Lifetime Best
1 Michael Andrew 59.03 58.14
2 Nic Fink 59.32 58.50
3 Kevin Houseman 59.79
4 Cody Miller 1:00.95 58.87
5 Tommy Cope 1:01.39 1:00.30
6 Josh Matheny 1:01.42 1:00.06
7 Will Licon 1:01.13 1:00.30
8 Brandon Fischer 1:02.26 59.86

Dark Horse: Liam Bell (Cal) – Bell was the youngest male to qualify for 2016 Olympic Trials. He also qualified for 2021, though he didn’t end up swimming. He’s just finished his first year at Cal, where he transferred after completing his first two years for Alabama. At NCAAs, he swam 50.50, taking .89 off his lifetime best and becoming the seventh fastest performer in the event. His long course best is a 1:01.19 from 2019 Jr Nats. Of anyone mentioned in this preview, he’s the one who could have the biggest time drop in him.

50 BREAST BREAKDOWN

The 50 breast will most likely see a relatively similar field as the 100, though there are some–like Will Licon, for example–who are stronger in the 200 and may skip the sprint. In terms of scheduling, the 200 breast is on day 2, then the 50 on day 3, and finally the 100 on day 4. It’s also worth keeping in mind that many of these swimmers haven’t registered a 50 breast swim since 2018 Nationals.

Michael Andrew is still the favorite here, even though if everything goes as planned for him he’ll race in back-to-back events: the 100 fly and 50 breast.

TOP 8 PICKS – 50 BREAST

Place Name Season Best Lifetime Best
1 Michael Andrew 27.79 26.84
2 Nic Fink 27.18
3 Kevin Houseman 28.09
4 Tommy Cope 29.01
5 Brandon Fischer 27.26
6 Liam Bell 29.44
7 Josh Matheny 27.96
8 Maxwell Reich 29.54

 

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Stewie
7 months ago

Andrew
Fink
Houseman
Bell
McHugh
Licon
?
?

Swimming
7 months ago

Kevin houseman? 59.79 best and 1:00.0 season best? Hes the third seed and not even any mention anywhere?

swoomer
7 months ago

psych sheet is out

PFA
7 months ago

When I said that entries close Tuesday and COULD be released as early as Wednesday never said it was gonna be out the first few days. Expecting it to take at the very latest 3 more days.

John
Reply to  PFA
7 months ago

I don’t think that was directed at you specifically.

PFA
Reply to  John
7 months ago

Didn’t mean to sound like I was offended by it but I do think it might be a few days until the psych sheets are out.

John
Reply to  PFA
7 months ago

They are out now, chill!

Marsh
7 months ago

Let’s go Liam!

PFA
7 months ago

1. Andrew
2. Fink
3. Mchuge
4. Matheny
5. Bell
6. Fischer
7. Licon
8. Miler

Darkhorse: AJ Pouch (who still doesn’t have a bio yet)

Do they sleep?
7 months ago

They sleep.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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