2023 U.S. Pro Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


The first full session of the 2023 U.S. Pro Championships will feature preliminary heats in the women’s and men’s 400 freestyle, 200 IM and 50 free, with several American stars surrounded by a few international names.

Highlighting the action is Simone Manuel, the Olympic gold medalist who opted out of U.S. Nationals last month and therefore didn’t compete for a spot on the World Championship team.

Manuel will race the women’s 50 free on Thursday, coming in as the second seed behind Erika Connolly (née Brown), who won bronze in the event at the World Championships last year.

Michael AndrewDavid Curtiss and Brooks Curry lead a strong field in the men’s 50 free, with Australian Thomas Nowakowski, rising U.S. star Jonny Kulow and veteran Santo Condorelli also in the mix.

Paige Madden is the top seed in the women’s 400 free, while Jake Magahey holds the top time in the men’s event by nearly two seconds.

In the 200 IM, Great Britain’s Alicia Wilson leads the women’s event over American Beata Nelson, while the men’s race features former NCAA stars Trenton JulianJake FosterGrant House and Will Licon.



  • World Record: 3:55.38, Ariarne Titmus, AUS (2023)
  • American Record: 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:57.94, Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 4:15.49
  1. Abby Carlson (WISC), 4:12.97
  2. Rachel Stege (ABSC), 4:13.02
  3. Sloane Reinstein (PASA), 4:13.89
  4. Jillian Barczyk (COLA), 4:14.29
  5. Paige Madden (NYAC), 4:14.31
  6. Aurora Roghair (ALTO), 4:15.07
  7. Gena Jorgenson (HUSK), 4:15.12
  8. Paige McKenna (WISC), 4:15.88

Wisconsin’s Abby Carlson claimed the top seed in the women’s 400 free as she led number one seed Paige Madden in the third and final heat, clocking 4:12.97 to mark the second-fastest swim of her career.

Carlson, 19, put up a best time of 4:12.31 in early June, and swam 4:13.18 at U.S. Nationals last month. The rising junior is coming off a runner-up finish at the Women’s NCAA Championships in the 500 free representing Wisconsin.

Madden was second in the heat and fifth overall in 4:14.31, having set a season-best of 4:06.78 at Nationals where she finished fourth.

The 24-year-old also won the 800 free last night in 8:32.46, a new personal best.

Athens Bulldogs’ Rachel Stege, the 2023 SEC champion in the 500 free, won the second heat in a time of 4:13.02, while Palo Alto’s Sloane Reinstein was close behind in 4:13.89, just over a second shy of her newly-minted PB from Nationals (4:12.87).

Notably missing the ‘A’ final was Claire Tuggle, the #2 seed coming in, who ended up 13th in 4:18.54. Tuggle, who will transfer to USC next season after spending her freshman year at UVA, owns a PB of 4:07.85 from 2019 and a season-best of 4:15.01.


  • World Record: 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann, GER (2009)
  • American Record: 3:42.78, Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:43.53, Larsen Jensen (2008)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 3:55.59
  1. Matthew Galea (AUS), 3:47.96
  2. Thomas Hauck (AUS), 3:51.45
  3. Daniel Matheson (SUN), 3:51.61
  4. Rex Maurer (ROSE), 3:52.15
  5. Jake Magahey (UN), 3:52.62
  6. Will Gallant (WOLF), 3:52.67
  7. Michael Brinegar (TST), 3:52.92
  8. Jay Litherland (SUN), 3:53.06

Perhaps inspired by Sam Short‘s World Championship title victory in the event earlier this week, the Australian men stamped their authority on the 400 free on Thursday morning in Irvine, claiming the top two seeds.

Matthew Galea obliterated the fifth and final heat in a time of 3:47.96, cracking his previous best of 3:48.47 set at the Australian World Trials in June.

His countryman Thomas Hauck won the penultimate heat in 3:51.45, nearing his PB of 3:50.67 while going nearly six seconds faster than he did at the Aussie Trials (3:57.25).

Sun Devil Swimming’s Daniel Matheson was the top American qualifier in 3:51.61, knocking more than three seconds off his previous best time of 3:54.78.

Rex Maurer and Jake Magahey, the #2 and #1 seeds coming in, qualified in fourth and fifth with respective times of 3:52.15 and 3:52.62.

Maurer was fifth at U.S. Nationals last month in 3:48.18, while Magahey was ill and pulled out of the race.

Luca Urlando, who didn’t race at Nationals as he continues his comeback from shoulder surgery, had a solid swim to open the meet in 3:54.14, placing 11th to advance to the ‘B’ final.

Urlando was slightly faster, 3:53.60, in early July at the Arena Grand Challenge.


  • World Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu, HUN (2015)
  • American Record: 2:06.15, Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.09, Kate Douglass (2023)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:16.09
  1. Beata Nelson (WISC), 2:12.38
  2. Phoebe Bacon (WISC), 2:12.61
  3. Ella Ramsay (AUS), 2:12.69
  4. Alicia Wilson (MVN), 2:13.53
  5. Zoie Hartman (ABSC), 2:13.75
  6. Kelly Pash (TXLA), 2:14.23
  7. Isabel Ivey (GSC), 2:14.89
  8. Josephine Fuller (TNAQ), 2:14.96

Wisconsin Aquatics teammates Beata Nelson and Phoebe Bacon went head-to-head in the third heat of the women’s 200 IM, with Nelson inching out the victory in 2:12.38 to qualify first into tonight’s final.

Nelson’s time was significantly faster than what she was able to muster less than a month ago at U.S. Nationals, where she finished eighth in 2:13.62 after a 2:13.40 prelim swim. Her best time stands at 2:11.55 from the 2021 Olympic Trials.

Bacon put up a time of 2:12.61 to advance second overall, nearing her best time of 2:12.27 established at Nationals on July 1.

Australia’s Ella Ramsay, who was third at their World Trials last month in 2:11.89, won the first circle-seeded heat in 2:12.69 to qualify third overall, with the 19-year-old notably the only ‘A’ finalist to split sub-38 on the breaststroke leg (37.54).

The top seed coming in, Great Britain’s Alicia Wilson, cruised to the fastest time in the final heat in 2:13.53. The 23-year-old former Cal Golden Bear owns a PB of 2:09.61 from 2021 and a season-best of 2:12.62 from May.


  • World Record: 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte, USA (2011)
  • American Record: 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.56, Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:03.49
  1. Colin Feehery (DM), 1:59.72
  2. Trenton Julian (MVN), 2:00.01
  3. Will Licon (TXLA), 2:00.03
  4. Grant House (SUN), 2:00.29
  5. Tristan Jankovics (OSU), 2:00.58
  6. Zach Hils (ABSC), 2:00.62
  7. William Petric (AUS), 2:00.73
  8. Luke Barr (ISC), 2:00.80

SMU’s Colin Feehery broke through the 2:00 barrier for the first time to take the top seed in the men’s 200 IM, doing so with a scintillating back half from the first circle-seeded heat in :59.72.

Feehery split 32.92 on breast and 27.83 on free, giving him a 1:00.75 final 100, which is faster than what Leon Marchand closed in en route to winning the world title earlier today in Fukuoka (1:01.22).

Feehery, 22, previously owned a PB of 2:01.25, set at the 2022 U.S. Summer Nationals. At last month’s Nationals, he clocked 2:02.50.

Sun Devil Swimming’s Grant House took second to Feehery in the heat and ended up advancing fourth overall in 2:00.29, having set a season-best of 1:59.09 at Nationals earlier this summer (best of 1:59.03 from 2022).

Mission Viejo’s Trenton Julian (2:00.01) out-touched Will Licon (2:00.03) in the last heat as they qualify 2-3 to the final, while Ohio State University’s Tristan Jankovics shattered his PB to advance in fifth at 2:00.58.

Surprisingly missing the final was Jake Foster, who went 2:01.13 to take ninth, essentially matching his time from Nationals that finished 17th (2:01.06 in the prelims). Foster owns a best time of 1:58.64 from April 2022.


  • World Record: 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (2017)
  • American Record: 23.97, Simone Manuel (2017)
  • U.S. Open Record: 24.00, Abbey Weitzeil (2023)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 25.69
  1. Catie Deloof (NYAC), 24.83
  2. Grace Cooper (TXLA), 25.02
  3. Simone Manuel (SUN), 25.16
  4. Alexandria Perkins (AUS), 25.18
  5. Erika Connolly (TNAQ), 25.21
  6. Amy Fulmer (OSU), 25.28
  7. Kristina Paegle (ISC), 25.40
  8. Mia O’Leary (AUS), 25.47

Catie Deloof was the lone swimmer to crack the 25-second barrier in the heats of the women’s 50 free, as the 26-year-old touched in 24.83 to come within a tenth of her season-best time (24.73).

Longhorn Aquatics’ Grace Cooper put up the second-fastest swim of her career to qualify second in 25.02, topping Simone Manuel (25.16) in the penultimate heat.

Manuel’s swim marks a new season-best, chopping two one-hundredths off her performance from the Fort Lauderdale Pro Swim in March (25.18).

Australian Alexandria Perkins dropped two one-hundredths for a new PB and the fourth slot in the final at 25.18, while Erika Connolly (Brown) was fifth in 25.21.


  • World Record: 20.91, Cesar Cielo, BRA (2009)
  • American Record: 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (2019/2021)
  • U.S. Open Record: 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 22.79
  1. Brooks Curry (LSU), 22.07
  2. Santo Condorelli (UN), 22.12
  3. Thomas Nowakowski (AUS), 22.18
  4. Jamie Jack (AUS), 22.20
  5. Jezze Gorman (AUS), 22.29
  6. Jonny Kulow (SUN) / Dillon Downing (ABSC), 22.31
  7. Taiko Torepe-Ormsby (WISC), 22.42

Brooks Curry earned the top seed in the men’s 50 free as the LSU grad stormed his way to a time of 22.07 in Heat 5, edging out Santo Condorelli (22.12) who qualified second overall.

Curry owns a season-best of 21.84 and went 22.14 at Nationals to finish ninth in the prelims before scratching the ‘B’ final. Condorelli’s swim marks a new season-best (previously 22.34) and his fastest since June 2021.

Australians Thomas Nowakowski (22.18) and Jamie Jack (22.20) went 1-2 in the last heat, advancing third and fourth into the final, while their countryman Jezze Gorman (22.29) topped the penultimate heat to qualify in fifth.

Nowakowski was the runner-up at the Australian Trials last month in 21.89, while Gorman (22.20) and Jack (22.29) placed fourth and fifth. Jack is notably the brother of female freestyler Shayna Jack.

Half of the ‘A’ final will be from Oceania, as New Zealand native Taiko Torepe-Ormsby, who races for Wisconsin in the NCAA, snagged the eighth spot in 22.42.

Sun Devil Swimming’s Jonny Kulow tied with Athens Bulldogs’ Dillon Downing for sixth in 22.31, with Kulow coming off setting a massive PB of 21.87 at Nationals.

Top seed Michael Andrew failed to show for his heat.

Also notably missing the final was NC State’s David Curtiss, the #2 seed coming in, who placed ninth in 22.46. Veteran Blake Pieroni, who announced his retirement earlier this year, swam a season-best of 22.61 to take 11th.

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4 months ago

weird to compare the back half of someone to another person who is taking out their front half 5 seconds faster😭

4 months ago

I didn’t think MA was competing in this meet.

Reply to  Anonymous
4 months ago

His mom entered him and forgot to tell him

Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

he is going to lose sponsors at the rate he is going. Just no shows a big meet. Brilliant!

Go Wolves
4 months ago

If Gena Jorgenson can keep improving like she has been I see a serious potential to represent team USA someday. Absolutely wild her growth in just a year at Nebraska.

James Beam
4 months ago

What’s going on w Curtiss? Heard rumblings he blew off the spring, coaches are not happy with him….spending too much time promoting himself on social media etc….I hope he is OK.

Reply to  James Beam
4 months ago


Santa Mall
Reply to  James Beam
4 months ago

Been struggling with mental health lately i’ve heard, took a step back to regain himself

Reply to  Santa Mall
4 months ago

Let’s hope he gets his mind right. Very talented sprinter

4 months ago

I love how Team USA loses at its own national champs.

Reply to  Notanyswimmer
4 months ago

This is not the National championships. It is Tyr championships.

Reply to  Notanyswimmer
4 months ago

Aussies whipping our 2nd string with their 2nd string

4 months ago

Ah yes, the man who’s improved .05 in the last 5 years skips the event where his goal time is .71 faster than he’s ever been.

Eric Angle
Reply to  MarchandApologist
4 months ago

I was curious about this stat, and sure enough swimcloud shows these season bests:

2017: 21.75
2018: 21.46
2019: 21.62
2020: 21.89
2021: 21.48
2022: 21.41
2023: 21.64

Personal Best
Reply to  MarchandApologist
4 months ago

He actually started making his way to the pool… had a great start, got to the ready room 15 seconds ahead of any one else in the heat, but faded badly towards the end and couldn’t get out to pool deck.

4 months ago

MA no showed the 50?

4 months ago

MA scratches a 50, he really is dusted

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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