2022 US Trials Day 2 Roundup: Virginia Women Power Up, Curzan Gains Momentum

2022 U.S. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIALS

On day 2 of the 2022 US World Championships Trials, two US Open records were broken, the Texas men were dominant in the 200 freestyle, and another slate of swimmers booked their tickets to Budapest. Let’s get into some of the key storylines that we took away from day 2 of the meet.

Virginia Women Power Up

The Virginia women may have gotten off to a slightly rough start during the first prelims session of this meet, but day 2 finals was a different story for the team. The long-awaited Kate Douglass 200 breaststroke battle wound up being one of the best battles we saw tonight as Lilly King, Douglass, and Annie Lazor duked it out in the final few meters of the race.

King touched first with a 2:21.19, but Douglass managed to out-swim Olympic medalist Lazor with a 2:21.43 to Lazor’s 2:21.43. Douglass’ NCAA title-winning 200 breaststroke has officially translated to long course success and she will now get a chance to race the event on the world stage this summer.

200 IM Olympic medalist Alex Walsh also showed her strength tonight when she placed 6th overall in the 200 freestyle final, which will likely be good enough to get a spot on the team in the 4×200 free relay. Walsh is a versatile swimmer but the 200 free hasn’t been her traditional specialty. She came into the meet with a best time of 2:00.61 and got down to a 1:57.82 in the final.

Alex Walsh‘s sister Gretchen Walsh showed signs of improvement from her 22nd place finish in the 100 freestyle by taking 4th overall in the 50 fly. Walsh swam a 25.97 in the event to finish less than half a second behind champion Claire Curzan and just 0.28 behind 3rd place Kelsi Dahlia. Finally, Virginia’s Reilly Tiltmann had a major swim in the 200 backstroke where she placed 5th in a 2:10.15. That’s exactly 5 seconds better than her entry time of 2:15.15 and was a big jump from her 18th place seed.

The Curzan Train Picks Up Steam

Claire Curzan is now 2-for-2 in terms of individual event qualification at this meet. On day 1 she and Torri Huske qualified to race the 100 freestyle in Budapest and on day 2, that same duo claimed the top 2 spots in the 50 fly.

Since Curzan won the 50 butterfly she’s earned a spot to race that event in addition to the 100 freestyle. The second entrant in the 50 fly will likely come down to who places first in the 100 fly, if that’s someone other than Curzan, or second if Curzan wins the 100 fly. The frontrunners at this point are, yet again, Curzan and Huske, but Kelsi Dahlia and Kate Douglass will be gunning for a top finish in that event too.

So far Curzan is one of two swimmers who have qualified for 2 individual events (the other is Katie Ledecky in the 200 and 800 freestyles). With two events down, Curzan still has up to four events remaining as she’s entered to swim the 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back, and 50 back.

World Champs Team Gets Some Fresh Faces

While a group of regulars such as Lilly King and Ryan Murphy worked their way back onto another national team tonight, day 2 finals brought with it an influx of first-time World Championships qualifiers.

The youngest new addition was 15-year-old Claire Weinstein in the women’s 200 freestyle. Weinstein, who just turned 15 this year, became the #3 performer in the 15-16 age category when she posted a 1:57.08. Weinstein’s time was enough to out-touch Leah Smith who placed 3rd in a 1:57.44 and made her the youngest member of a US Worlds team since Elizabeth Beisel in 2007.

On the men’s side, Shaine Casas finished second overall in the 200 backstroke to book a ticket to Budapest, which will be his first long course major international meet for the USA. The multi-medalist at the 2021 Short Course World Championships swam a 1:55.46 to get second place behind Ryan Murphy‘s 1:55.46. Murphy and Casas are now #1 and #2 in the world this year and will be a strong duo for the Americans this summer.

In the 200 breaststroke, we saw Charlie Swanson take over for recently-retired 2021 Olympian Andrew Wilson by tying Nic Fink for the win. Both of them went a 2:08.84 to beat the field and get under the FINA A of 2:10.32. Swanson has raced abroad for the USA before, having won gold at 2019 Pan American Games in the 400 IM. This, however, is his first qualification for the World Championships as well as his first travel team-qualifying breaststroke race.

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Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

I think I estimated Ledecky’s 200 time just about right in the prediction thread. I remember debating between 1:55.1 and 1:55.2. I’m not sure which one I went with but it doesn’t matter because she split the difference at 1:55.15.

It is difficult to like Lilly King. She clearly didn’t enjoy being asked about Kate Douglass with the first question. But sometimes the diplomatic answer is proper. She could have raved about Douglass’ NCAAs and talked about the new challenge of facing her at 200 breaststroke. Instead she went with the cold fish response, just like her cold fish handshake with Douglass after the race. When King’s career is over she’s going to wonder why she isn’t remembered fondly. But… Read more »

draamaa
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
5 months ago

Why she had to rave about her competitor? As long as she keep it civil I don’t see anything wrong

Lily King is pretty much what you see is what you get

But will we see a lil stare down from King the next time they meet? That’s the question lol

Swimpop
5 months ago

Claire’s smile after her win, priceless.

Hawaiian Reeves
5 months ago

Why is Huske not automatically qualified in the 50fly? She’s already on the team in the 100fr.

Editor
Reply to  Hawaiian Reeves
5 months ago

(i) USA Entry Opportunity #1 – The first opportunity in an Individual Non- Olympic Event will be given to the Available Swimmer Selected to the Team based on Priority #3 in Section 1.3.3. If no Available Swimmer is Selected to the Team for that Individual Non-Olympic Event via Priority #3, USA Swimming will not fill this entry via Priority #3.

(ii) USA Entry Opportunity #2 – The second opportunity will be given to the Available Swimmer who has qualified for the Team under Priority #1 (as part of Section 1.3.3. – fastest time in Finals at the Qualifying Competition) in the corresponding Individual Olympic Events listed below, provided USA Entry Opportunity #1 and USA Entry Opportunity #2 have met the… Read more »

iLikePsych
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
5 months ago

Took a while to decipher this

Jargon:

  • Priority 1 = the winners of each Olympic event (aka not 50 strokes) + the top 4 in the 100/200 frees
  • Priority 2 = 2nd place in each Olympic event other than 100/200 frees
  • Priority 3 = winner of the 50s strokes
  • (priority 4 & 5 are 5th and 6th in the 100/200 free)
  • Corresponding Olympic event = 100 fly for 50 fly, etc.

So with that, my interpretation is:

The first spot in 50s stroke is given to the winner of the 50 event. The second spot in 50s stroke is given to the winner of the 100 event provided they (and the 50 winner) both meet the 50 A… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by iLikePsych