2023 U.S. Open Championships — Day 2 Finals Live Recap

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 221

November 30th, 2023 National, News


On the second night of finals at the 2023 U.S. Open, the women’s and men’s 400 free, 200 IM, and 50 free will be contested.

The session starts with a battle between the top two seeds Katie Ledecky and Summer McIntosh in the 400 free. At last year’s U.S. Open, the two swimmers were separated by just 0.07 seconds in this event with Ledecky coming out on top. On the men’s side, Kieran Smith is the top seed, with Drew Kibler and Luca Urlando following. Urlando notably posted a 3:51.45 in prelims, his second-fastest performance ever.

Defending world champion Kate Douglass is the top seed in the 200 IM, clocking a 2:10.03 in the morning. She will be facing off against her UVA training partner Alex Walsh, as well as other domestic rivals like Torri Huske and Regan Smith. Meanwhile, Trenton Julian and Hubert Kos were separated by just 0.1 in the men’s 200 IM heats and will be the top two seeds heading into finals.

In the women’s 50 free, Abbey Weitzeil, Douglass, and Gretchen Walsh posted times of 24.53, 24.54, and 24.59 in prelims respectively, and could be in for another tight battle during finals. Top seed Quintin McCarty will look to back up his breakout 21.94 personal best in the men’s 50 free from prelims. Meanwhile, Caeleb Dressel will swim in the ‘B’ final after going 22.35 in prelims — his fastest 50 free in 19 months.

Watch the live stream here, courtesy of USA Swimming:


  • World Record: 3:55.38 – Ariarne Titmus (2023)
  • American Record: 3:56.46 – Katie Ledecky (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:57.94 — Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 3:59.71 – Katie Ledecky (2022)

Top 8:

  1. Summer McIntosh — 3:59.42
  2. Katie Ledecky — 4:02.38
  3. Siobhan Haughey — 4:06.32
  4. Leah Smith — 4:06.80
  5. Paige Madden — 4:08.01
  6. Anna Peplowski — 4:09.91
  7. Cavan Gormsen — 4:12.16
  8. Erin Gemmell — 4:14.16

Unlike their nailbiter last year, the McIntosh-Ledecky showdown wasn’t even close. McIntosh led from start to finish, beating Ledecky by nearly three seconds. Her time of 3:59.42 took down Ledecky’s U.S. Open meet record from last year and is faster than the 3:59.94 she clocked in the final at the 2023 World Championships.

Ledecky’s time of 4:02.26 was her slowest U.S. Open performance ever, as she went 3:59.71 in 2022, 4:00.51 in 2021, and 4:00.81 in 2019. She faltered in her final 100, splitting 31.12/31.14 after posting consistent 30-low/mid splits in her first 300.

Placing third was Siobhan Haughey (4:06.32), but Leah Smith was not too far behind in fourth (4:06.80)


  • World Record: 3:40.07 – Paul Biederman (2009)
  • American Record: 3:42.78 – Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:43.53 — Laresen Jensen (2008)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 3:45.63 – Zane Grothe (2016)

Top 8:

  1. Drew Kibler — 3:47.58
  2. Kieran Smith — 3:48.72
  3. Illia Sibirtsev — 3:48.99
  4. Luca Urlando — 3:49.26
  5. Carson Foster — 3:49.65
  6. David Johnston — 3:51.02
  7. Charlie Clark — 3:52.93
  8. Rex Maurer — 3:54.06

ASU pro swimmer Drew Kibler led for the majority of the men’s 400 free, touching first in a personal best time of 3:47.58. Coming into this meet, his best time had been over two seconds slower — a 3:49.88 from U.S. Nationals this summer. He held off Kieran Smith, who out-paced him on the last 100 and finished second with a 3:48.72. Placing right behind Smith was Illia Sibirtsev, who went from fifth to third on the final 50 and beat out his personal best of 3:49.86.

Luca Urlando finished fourth with a time of 3:49.26, getting under the 3:50 barrier for the first time in his career.


  • World Record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • American Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.09 — Kate Douglass (2023)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 2:08.20 – Melanie Margalis (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Kate Douglass — 2:08.46
  2. Alex Walsh — 2:08.96
  3. Torri Huske — 2:09.10
  4. Anastasia Gorbenko — 2:09.38
  5. Regan Smith — 2:09.50
  6. Mary-Sophie Harvey — 2:10.67
  7. Beate Nelson — 2:13.03
  8. Ashley McMillan — 2:13.09

The women’s 200 IM did not disappoint, containing fast swimming and absolute chaos.

Torri Huske took the lead after the butterfly leg, but then Regan Smith fired a 30.75 backstroke split to take the lead at the halfway mark. Smith was winning considerably (and also 0.6 ahead of world record pace) at this point in the race but then faltered on breaststroke, with Huske, Alex Walsh, and Kate Douglass taking over. Douglass, with a 36.11 breaststroke split and a 30.40 freestyle leg, took the win ultimately. Her final time of 2:08.46 was the fourth-fastest performance of her career.

Walsh placed second in 2:08.96, while Huske swam a personal best of 2:09.10 to beat out the 2:09.75 she swam at nationals this summer. Anastasia Gorbenko and Smith also got under the 2:10 barrier.


  • World Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • American Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.56 — Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 1:56.52 – Chase Kalisz (2022)

Top 8:

  1. Chase Kalisz — 1;57.43
  2. Hubert Kos — 1:57.88
  3. Trenton Julian — 1:58.46
  4. Grant House — 1:59.19
  5. Ron Polonsky — 1:59.32
  6. Daniel Diehl — 1:59.79
  7. Baylor Nelson — 1:59.82
  8. Domink Mark Torok — 2:01.38

Chase Kalisz defended his U.S. Open title from 2022, though he was around a second slower than his time of 1:56.52 from last year. He had been fifth at the halfway mark, but posted the fastest breaststroke split in the field by over a second to take the win.

In second was Kalisz’s ASU teammate Hubert Kos, who led for the first half of the race but had been taken over by Kalisz on the backstretch. His time of 1;57.88 was the fastest he’s been since the 2022 European Championships.

Trenton Julian came in third with a time of 1:58.46.

Notably, the fastest overall time came from Shaine Casas out of the ‘B’ final. He went a time of 1:56.06, which broke Kalisz’s U.S. Open meet record by nearly half a second. He had finished ninth in prelims with a time of 2:01.47.


  • World Record: 23.61– Sarah Sjostrom (2023)
  • American Record: 23.97– Simone Manuel (2017)
  • U.S. Open Record: 24.00 — Abbey Weitzeil (2023)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 24.43 –Simone Manuel (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Kate Douglass — 24.38
  2. Torri Huske/Abbey Weitzeil — 24.41
  3. Gretchen Walsh — 24.42
  4. Siobhan Haughey — 24.62
  5. Melanie Henique — 24.76
  6. Simone Manuel — 24.82
  7. Claire Curzan — 24.92

Douglass’s night of winning wasn’t over after the 200 IM, as she sprinted to a victory in the 50 free as well. She posted a time of 24.38, shedding 0.02 off her personal best time.

Huske and Abbey Weitzeil tied for second in 24.41, with this time being a 0.03-second drop for Huske. Gretchen Walsh clocked a 24.42 for fourth, missing the podium by just 0.01 of a second.

Notably, Simone Manuel placed seventh with a 24.82, getting under 25 seconds in the 50 free for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics.


  • World Record: 20.91– Cesar Cielo Filho (2009)
  • American Record: 21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record: 21.04 — Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 21.59 –  Caeleb Dressel (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Michael Andrew — 21.80
  2. Josh Liendo — 21.90
  3. Mikel Schreuders — 21.93
  4. Santo Condorelli — 21.99
  5. Quintin McCarty — 22.01
  6. Merion Cheruti — 22.14
  7. Brooks Curry — 22.16
  8. Ryan Held — 22.24

Michael Andrew took the win out of lane 8 in the men’s 50 free, touching first in a 21.80. Behind him were Josh Liendo, Mikel Schreuders, and Santo Condorelli, who all went 21.9. Schreuder’s time was an Aruban record, breaking his own mark of 22.04 from this June. Meanwhile, Condorelli’s time was his third-fastest performance ever, only behind the 21.97 and 21.83 swims he posted at the 2016 Olympic Games.

In the ‘B’ final, Caeleb Dressel won in a 21.99, going under 22 seconds for the first time since April 2022.

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3 months ago

I think Douglass has freaky long arms she always touches the wall from so far away

David S
3 months ago

Happy for MA

3 months ago

Huske is favourite for win 100 fly here..will it also a PB for her ? 55.55 ?

3 months ago

MA’s 21.8 is a fast in season time. For MA I am not sure what it means though. We’ll see if he can find his form in the 100fly and 100breast and be a real contender for trials in those events. I understand he is only swimming 50s at Doha so I doubt he is doing any endurance block if that is the case. I am guessing he goes 51 mid in the 100fly and 50 high 100breast here, which in the big scheme of things means nothing.

Last edited 3 months ago by Hank
Viking Steve
3 months ago

Douglass knows winning…. and it don’t matter what size the pool.

Total boss.

Chris D
3 months ago

Kibs looked good tonight. I see him easily making team with swims like that.

3 months ago

Very exciting W 200 IM. Huske may be able to challenge A. Walsh for a spot in Paris.

3 months ago

Alex Walsh probably has the most well-rounded 200 IM in that final.

But Kate Douglass has the killer freestyle leg and finish to get by her.

Regan needs more experience in the 200 IM and maybe some more breaststroke lessons.

Reply to  JohnCena
3 months ago

In the 200 IM, Douglass is best in the world on the fly, breast, free… I don’t know what it is about her backstroke. is there a stroke mechanic issue? The weakness is so clear… I’m guessing she and Desorbo are working on it, right?

Just keep swimming
Reply to  moonlight
3 months ago

I remember a swimmer who saw underwater video footage of their backstroke and compared it to a top three in the country’s 200 LC backstroker’s video footage. The difference in their hips in the water was significant. The faster backstroker’s hips stayed mostly level and parallel to the pool floor, and the slower backstroker’s hips rotated down towards the pool floor with every pull with the arm on that same side (to the point you could see the opposite hip clearly). The difference in the body of each swimmer was also distinctive. The faster backstroker was lean, the slower was muscular in the thighs. Once the slower backstroker corrected their hips and kept them level, the difference in their time… Read more »

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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