2023 U.S. Pro Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


It’s set to be a busy preliminary session on Day 3 of the U.S. Pro Championships in Irvine with five different events on the docket.

We’ll be treated to a little bit of everything this morning, with action kicking off with the 400 IM before the 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back follow.

Michael Andrew, who pulled out of yesterday’s 50 free due to illness, has scratched the men’s 100 fly and 100 breast this morning, leaving Trenton Julian (100 fly) and Charlie Swanson (100 breast) as the new top seeds.

One swimmer to watch in the men’s 100 breast will be Australian Haig Buckingham, who split 59.52 on the 400 medley relay last night.

After winning the 400 and 800 free over the first two days of the meet, Paige Madden will be back in the pool this morning as the top seed in the women’s 200 free, while Simone Manuel also remains on the heat sheets in the event after placing third in the 50 free on Day 2.

Another marquee event will be the women’s 100 back, where two swimmers with sub-59 best times, Phoebe Bacon and Isabelle Stadden, highlight the field.

Emma Weyant will also hit the water for the first time in the women’s 400 IM, where she’ll face off with Australian Ella Ramsay, who won the 200 IM last night.

There will only be 14 swimmers contesting the women’s 400 IM prelims, so we can expect swimmers like Weyant and Ramsay to take their foot off the gas relatively early in the race as they simply aim to earn a spot in the ‘A’ final.


Women’s 400 IM – Prelims

  • World Record: 4:25.87, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2023
  • American Record: 4:31.12, Katie Hoff – 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:28.61, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2022
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 4:49.89
  1. Emma Weyant (GSC), 4:42.11
  2. Ella Ramsay (AUS), 4:50.30
  3. Maddie Waggoner (JW), 4:51.67
  4. Mia Abruzzo (PWAC), 4:51.90
  5. Callahan Dunn (WISC), 4:52.57
  6. Kyra Sommerstad (OSU), 4:52.90
  7. Mia Rankin (OSU), 4:53.85
  8. Ella Flowers (TROJ), 4:54.36

Emma Weyant didn’t hold back in establishing her presence in the women’s 400 IM, setting a new season-best of 4:42.11 to qualify first into the final by eight seconds.

Weyant, the 2022 World Championship bronze medalist, was disqualified in the prelims of this event at U.S. Nationals last month, meaning she didn’t have a chance to vie for a spot on the 2023 Worlds team.

The 21-year-old has been sub-4:34 three times in her career (PB of 4:32.76), all in 2021, and her fastest swim last year came it at 4:36.00.

Australia’s Ella Ramsay was a distant second in 4:50.30, cruising to victory in the first heat after winning the 200 IM last night.

The 19-year-old owns a best time of 4:39.96, set at last month’s Aussie World Trials.

Qualifying third overall was Jersey Wahoos’ Maddie Waggoner, who knocked 15 one-hundredths off her best time in 4:51.67. The 18-year-old had previously been 4:51.82 in January at the Knoxville Pro Swim.

Men’s 400 IM – Prelims

  • World Record: 4:02.50, Leon Marchand (FRA) – 2023
  • American Record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps – 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (USA) – 2008
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 4:25.19
  1. Landon Driggers (TNAQ), 4:19.57
  2. Jay Litherland (SUN), 4:19.88
  3. Tristan Jankovics (OSU), 4:20.99
  4. Sean Grieshop (CAL), 4:21.40
  5. William Petric (AUS), 4:21.54
  6. Jake Magahey (ABSC), 4:21.92
  7. Daniel Matheson (SUN), 4:22.87
  8. Tyler Kopp (CAL), 4:22.88

Tennessee Aquatics’ Landon Driggers came within a second of his personal best time to claim the top seed for tonight’s final in the men’s 400 IM, touching in 4:19.57 from the penultimate heat.

Driggers, 21, owns a PB of 4:18.59, set at U.S. Nationals last month.

Jay Litherland, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, topped the final heat in 4:19.88 to qualify second overall, with OSU’s Tristan Jankovics close behind in 4:20.99.

Litherland was fourth at the 2023 Nationals (4:10.74), while Driggers placed 10th overall from the consolation final.

Jankovics, a Canadian native, owns a PB of 4:19.88 set at the Indy Spring Cup in May.

Freestyle specialist Jake Magahey showed impressive form after his runner-up finish last night in the 400 free, as he dropped three seconds from his lifetime best to qualify sixth in 4:21.92.

Women’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  • World Record: 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2016
  • American Record: 55.64, Torri Huske – 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 55.66, Torri Huske (USA) – 2021
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:00.19
  1. Kelly Pash (TXLA), 58.44
  2. Lily Price (AUS), 58.54
  3. Dakota Luther (TXLA), 58.68
  4. Emma Sticklen (TXLA), 58.76
  5. Lillie Nordmann (ALTO), 58.78
  6. Alexandria Perkins (AUS), 58.85
  7. Beata Nelson (WISC), 59.02
  8. Brittany Castelluzzo (AUS), 59.64

Tonight’s final in the women’s 100 fly will be full of Longhorns and Aussies, as a trio of Texas swimmers and three Australians qualified in the top eight in this morning’s prelims.

Leading the pack was Longhorn Aquatics’ Kelly Pash, the fifth-place finisher at U.S. Nationals last month, who clocked 58.44 to win the last heat. Pash put up a lifetime best of 57.53 at Nationals.

Her teammates Dakota Luther (58.68) and Emma Sticklen (58.76) qualified third and fourth, with Luther going quicker than she went to finish 15th at Nationals (58.73).

Sticklen, the 2023 NCAA champion in the 200 fly, swam to a PB of 58.42 at Nats to place 11th.

Australia’s Lily Price, who owns a personal best time of 57.78 set in June, qualified second in 58.54.

Men’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  • World Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 2021
  • American Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel – 2021
  • U.S. Open Record: 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 2021
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 53.59
  1. Aiden Hayes (WOLF), 51.95
  2. Jesse Coleman (AUS), 52.01
  3. Trenton Julian (MVN), 52.53
  4. Jonny Kulow (SUN), 52.63
  5. Santo Condorelli (UN), 52.70
  6. Finn Brooks (ISC), 52.79
  7. Sterling Crane (TXLA), 53.06
  8. Evan Fentress (OSU), 53.32

Wolfpack Elite’s Aiden Hayes delivered a season-best time to qualify first into the final of the men’s 100 fly, touching in 51.95 to dip under the 51.97 he produced last month at Nationals.

Hayes, the reigning NCAA champion in the 200 fly, owns a personal best of 51.78 from last July, with this morning’s swim marking the second-fastest of his career. At Nationals, the 20-year-old finished ninth.

Australia’s Jesse Coleman dropped two one-hundredths from his newly-minted PB in 52.01 to qualify second, while Trenton Julian secured the victory in the final heat in 52.53 to advance in third.

Julian was seventh at Nationals in 51.87, and owns a PB of 51.10 from 2022.

Sun Devil Swimming’s Jonny Kulow was within a tenth of his best time from Nationals to advance in fourth, while Santo Condorelli dropped more than a second off his season-best (54.09) to qualify fifth in 52.70.

Women’s 200 Free – Prelims

  • World Record: 1:52.85, Mollie O’Callaghan (AUS) – 2023
  • American Record: 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt – 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.13, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2023
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:00.89
  1. Paige Madden (NYAC), 1:59.26
  2. Justina Kozan (TROJ), 1:59.66
  3. Chloe Stepanek (LIAC), 1:59.68
  4. Aurora Roghair (ALTO), 2:00.08
  5. Lillie Nordmann (ALTO), 2:00.24
  6. Abby Carlson (WISC), 2:00.62
  7. Gabby Deloof (NYAC), 2:00.65
  8. Simone Manuel (SUN), 2:00.66

Paige Madden set herself up to take a run at a third straight victory tonight in the final of the women’s 200 free, qualifying first overall in a time of 1:59.26.

Madden owns a season-best time of 1:57.62 set in late May at the AP London International meet.

Qualifying second was Trojans’ Justina Kozan, who set a new season-best of 1:59.66 as she closed in 29.85 to run down Chloe Stepanek (1:59.68) in the penultimate heat.

Kozan owns a PB of 1:58.10 from 2021 and held a season-best of 2:01.01 coming into today.

Stepanek also set a new season-best, having clocked 1:59.70 at U.S. Nationals last month in a time trial. Her PB sits at 1:59.15 from last summer.

Simone Manuel snuck into the ‘A’ final in eighth, place undercutting her season-best of 2:01.26 in 2:00.66.

Men’s 200 Free – Prelims

  • World Record: 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (GER) – 2009
  • American Record: 1:42.96, Michael Phelps – 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (USA) – 2008
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:49.99
  1. Maximillian Giuliani (AUS), 1:46.63
  2. Coby Carrozza (TXLA), 1:46.80
  3. Grant House (SUN), 1:47.95
  4. Tomas Koski, 1:48.20
  5. Brooks Curry (LSU), 1:48.22
  6. Luca Urlando (DART), 1:48.71
  7. Christian Sztolcman (WOLF), 1:48.77
  8. Jake Newmark (WISC), 1:48.79

Australian Maximillian Giuliani dropped a massive best time to pace the men’s 200 free prelims, taking off nearly a second and a half from his PB set just last month at World Trials.

Giuliani, 20, clocked 1:46.63 to down his old best of 1:48.05, edging out Coby Carrozza for the win in Heat 4.

Carrozza, who was eighth in this event at U.S. Nationals, was just eight one-hundredths shy of his lifetime best set in the prelims at Nats (1:46.72).

Grant House narrowly missed the time he produced at Nationals (1:47.63) to qualify third in 1:47.95, while Luca Urlando had a solid swim to make his first ‘A’ final in sixth (1:48.71). Urlando owns a season-best of 1:48.15 from earlier this month.

Wolfpack Elite’s Christian Sztolcman was the biggest surprise of the ‘A’ finalist, setting his first best time in four years from the early heats to clock 1:48.77 and move through in seventh.

Sztolcman, 23, had only been under 1:50 once coming into the day, 1:49.65 in 2019, and held a season-best of 1:51.19.

Blake Pieroni, who announced his retirement earlier this year, ended up ninth overall in 1:48.93, his fastest swim of the season by more than two seconds. Pieroni missed the ‘A’ final despite winning one of the circle-seeded heats.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  • World Record: 1:04.13, Lilly King (USA) – 2017
  • American Record: 1:04.13, Lilly King – 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:04.45, Jessica Hardy (USA) – 2009
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:10.29
  1. Mikayla Smith (AUS), 1:08.28
  2. Isabelle Odgers (TROJ), 1:08.96
  3. Josie Panitz (OSU), 1:09.88
  4. Jennah Fadely (PTAC), 1:09.89
  5. Alicia Henry (CAL), 1:10.06
  6. Hannah Bach (OSU), 1:10.08
  7. Bobbi Kennett (AGS), 1:10.29
  8. Kaitlyn Nguyen (NOVA), 1:10.42

Mikayla Smith cruised to the top seed in the women’s 100 breast in a time of 1:08.28, not too far what she produced to finish at the Australian World Trials last month.

The 25-year-old went 1:07.94 at the Trials, just shy of her PB set in 2022 (1:07.81).

Trojan Swim Club’s Isabelle Odgers was the only other swimmer in the field sub-1:09, clocking 1:08.96 to qualify second into the final.

Odgers put up a lifetime best of 1:08.30 at U.S. Nationals to finish 11th.

Notably qualifying fourth into the final was Princeton’s Jennah Fadely, who broke 1:10 for the first time in 1:09.89, just behind OSU’s Josie Panitz (1:09.88), who was 1:09.19 at U.S. Nationals.

Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  • World Record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR) – 2019
  • American Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew – 2021
  • U.S. Open Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew (USA) – 2021
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:02.19
  1. Nick Mahabir (CSTE), 1:00.07
  2. Jake Foster (RAYS), 1:00.19
  3. Charlie Swanson (NOVA), 1:00.40
  4. Haig Buckingham (AUS), 1:00.63
  5. Joshua Yong (AUS), 1:00.69
  6. Luke Rodarte (CAL), 1:00.78
  7. Hank Rivers (CAL), 1:01.19
  8. Benjamin Cono (TOC), 1:01.25

Nick Mahabir fired off a personal best time and new Singaporean Record in the heats of the men’s 100 breast, clocking 1:00.07 to break his previous mark of 1:00.37 set at the 2022 U.S. Summer Nationals.

The 17-year-old Cal commit came into the meet with a season-best of 1:01.67 from the LA Invite earlier this month.

Mahabir edged out Jake Foster in the penultimate heat, with Foster touching in 1:00.19 for second overall, just shy of the PB he set at U.S. Nationals last month (1:00.07).

Top seed Charlie Swanson topped the last heat in 1:00.40 to qualify third, while Australia’s Haig Buckingham advanced in fourth from the first circle-seeded heat in 1:00.63.

Swanson, 25, placed sixth at the 2023 U.S. Nationals in a PB of 59.89.

Buckingham, 19, set a best time of 1:00.33 at Aussie Trials last month and split 59.52 on last night’s medley relay.

Cal’s Hank Rivers was entered with a yards time but took off nearly three seconds from his lifetime best (1:04.07) to make the ‘A’ final in seventh at 1:01.19.

Women’s 100 Back – Prelims

  • World Record: 57.45, Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 2021
  • American Record: 57.57, Regan Smith – 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 57.71, Regan Smith (USA) – 2023
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 1:01.89
  1. Bronte Job (AUS), 1:00.41
  2. Isabelle Stadden (CAL), 1:00.54
  3. Hannah Fredericks (AUS), 1:00.58
  4. Phoebe Bacon (WISC), 1:00.98
  5. Catie Deloof (NYAC), 1:01.27
  6. Amy Fulmer (OSU), 1:01.32
  7. Josephine Fuller (TNAQ), 1:02.13
  8. Mya Dewitt (ISC), 1:02.33

Australia’s Bronte Job set her first best time in the 100 back in four years to establish the top seed in the women’s event, clocking 1:00.41 to down her 1:00.51 mark established back in 2019.

The 23-year-old Rackley swimmer is coming off a sixth-place finish in the event at the Australian World Trials (1:00.85).

Cal’s Isabelle Stadden (1:00.54) and Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon (1:00.98) cruised to victory in their respective heats to qualify second and fourth, while another Australian Hannah Fredericks, clocked 1:00.58 to near her PB and advance in third.

Fredricks, a 20-year-old product of St. Peters Western, put up a best time of 1:00.42 at the 2023 Aussie Trials to place fifth.

Men’s 100 Back – Prelims

  • World Record: 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 2022
  • American Record: 51.85, Ryan Murphy – 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 51.94, Aaron Peirsol (USA) – 2009
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 55.69
  1. Jack Aikins (SA), 53.45
  2. Grant Bochenski (UMIZ), 55.06
  3. Ty Hartwell (AUS), 55.66
  4. Gavin Wright (ISC), 55.67
  5. Bradley Dunham (ABSC), 55.83
  6. Ian Grum (ABSC), 55.89
  7. Brendan Burns (ISC), 55.95
  8. Stepan Goncharov (PITT), 55.98

Jack Aikins flashed the thumbs up after a very impressive morning swim in the men’s 100 back, setting a new personal best time to qualify first into the final by more than a second and a half.

Aikins clocked 53.45 to erase his previous PB of 53.75 from last year and swim 55 one-hundredths quicker than he did in last month’s National final where he finished eighth (54.00).

Aikins split 25.84/27.61 in the prelims—he was out slightly quicker at Nationals (25.81) but didn’t have the same closing speed (28.19).

Missouri’s Grant Bochenski was the next-fastest swimmer in 55.06, the second-fastest swim of his career after he broke 55 for the first time in a time trial at U.S. Nationals (54.83).

Ty Hartwell, who led off Australia’s medley relay last night in 55.14, qualified third overall in 55.66.

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11 months ago

Our Aussie experience team seems to have really benefitted from this trip. Solid swims from pretty much everyone and a bunch of really good times/PBs.

Thanks for having us!

11 months ago

Giuliani’s best in the 200 is the 4×2 lead off from day one 1:46.26

Reply to  Troyy
11 months ago

not any more – shaved 0.03 from that

Reply to  Oceanian
11 months ago

Also went 1:46 in the heats so nice consistency.

11 months ago

Are Madden and Deloof back training in the US?

The Squids
Reply to  RMS
11 months ago

Madden is training with us for the time being

Reply to  RMS
11 months ago

I believe just got the summer.

11 months ago

Redemption for Emma tonight. LETS GO! I lost interest in her this past year but after that BS DQ, I am pulling for her to come back with a vengeance.

11 months ago

Does anyone know if Luca is not swimming fly because he wants to rest his injury further?

Reply to  Chris
11 months ago

Probably just chose the 200FR. He seems healthy and is entered in the 200FL tomorrow.

11 months ago

Man some of these heats really moving. Aussies really getting in and having a go, glad to see it.

11 months ago

Rivers from Cal entered with a yards time went a 1:01 pretty good breakthrough swim

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Taa
11 months ago

Real interesting season from him.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Grant Drukker
11 months ago

Exciting time ahead for him at Cal with another year of training ahead of Trials.

11 months ago


Joel Lin
Reply to  bankley
11 months ago

He’s rattling that 1:56 barrier. I hope he gets into the 1:55s at this meet. He’s a grinder, he’s been improving steadily for some time now. Psyched to see his first swim be a PB today.

Reply to  Joel Lin
11 months ago

Maybe he learned some UWD

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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