2022 US Trials Day 4 Roundup: Smith Breaks US Open Record, 3 Men Hit 400 A-Cut


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. 

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3 months ago

let’s just say 2 fastest of all time ….

57.57 (r)Regan Smith July 28, 2019World Championships Gwangju, South Korea
57.45 Kaylee McKeown June 13, 2021Australian Swimming Trials Adelaide, Australia

3 months ago

It’s true that Regan is a WR holder, but it seems to me that stating that fact in the context of the 100 back is a bit misleading….

Last edited 3 months ago by Bud
Reply to  Bud
3 months ago

I think it’s the way the sentence is worded. They should specify she’s the world record holder in the 200.

Reply to  Bud
3 months ago

And then they have Kayley’s name in bold but not mention she is the actual WR holder.

3 months ago

Only Kieran would have made Olympic FINA A for 2024 and he would have only made it by .1! USA still has some work to do in the 400

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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