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
- Worlds Qualifying Criteria
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- How To Watch
- Meet Central
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Day 4 of the 2022 US International Team Trials saw several big headlines like Regan Smith’s US Open Record in the 200 backstroke, 3 men hitting the FINA “A” cut in the 400 freestyle, and an Olympic gold medalist missing the World Championships Team. Let’s get into some of the key storylines that we took away from day 4 of the meet.
Smith Shows Backstroke Dominance
After missing the World Championships team in the 200 backstroke and only placing 2nd in the 50 backstroke, Stanford freshman Regan Smith looked far from invincible heading into today’s 100 backstroke. However, the 200 meter world record holder silenced her doubters in the 100 backstroke, hitting a time of 57.76 to win the event by over a half second. With her performance, Smith set a new US Open Record, erasing her mark of 57.92 from last year.
In an event that’s been highly contested over the past quad, TAC Titans teenager Claire Curzan had a break-through swim to hold off a strong field and place second in 58.39. The Olympic butterflier now establishes herself as the third fastest performer in the world this season, only behind Smith and Australian Kaylee McKeown.
3 Men Dip Under FINA A-Cut in the 400 Freestyle
Coming into the meet, one of the biggest questions was the state of the American men in the 400 freestyle. The question stemmed all the way from Olympic Trials last summer, which saw only Kieran Smith hit the FINA A-cut during finals and Jake Mitchell qualify for the Olympic team via a time trial. This season, it appeared that a similar situation may occur with only Smith swimming at Trials and Mitchell opting out of the meet due to a change in his training, no other entrants seemed to be within reach of the cut.
However, when the dust settled on the 400 freestyle final, three men dipped under the FINA-A cut of 3:48.15. As predicted, Smith, the reigning Olympic bronze medalist, touched first in a time of 3:46.61. The next spot on the team was determined by the touch as Smith’s Florida teammate Trey Freeman ran down NC State’s Ross Dant, posting a time of 3:46.93 in the process. Dant finished third in 3:47.11, also dipping under the A cut in the process.
For Freeman, his time marked a lifetime best and his first best time in the event by a tenth of a second and it was over 2 seconds faster than his time from Olympic Trials last year where he finished 6th in the final. After missing much of the NCAA season due to injury, Freeman’s status entering the meet was extremely uncertain. After his performance tonight, it’s clear that his injury did little to hinder him.
Jacoby Out of Worlds, May Appear at Junior Pan Pacs
With her 4th place finish in the 100 breaststroke, reigning Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby is officially out of the World Championships. To her credit, Jacoby performed well this week, swimming times that were nearly identical to her performances at Olympic Trials last season, but the fields in all three breaststroke events proved to be very deep with talents like Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Kate Douglass, and Kaitlyn Dobler. However, swim fans may still get to see Jacoby in action on the international stage this summer as her performance automatically qualifies her for the 2022 Junior Pan Pac Championships in August. If Jacoby elects to attend the meet, she could race the 100 and 200 breaststroke plus several relays.
At only 17-years-old, Jacoby still has plenty of time left to make her mark at the senior level, and she’s set to kick-off her first NCAA season at Texas in the fall.