2023 U.S. Trials: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


Day 2 Prelims Heat Sheet

After an electric Day 1, we’re back for the second day of action at the 2023 U.S. Trials. This morning’s session features heats of the 200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 backstroke, and 50 butterfly.

Kate Douglass blitzed the ninth-fastest 100 freestyle in history on Day 1, winning her first national title and securing a Worlds berth. Today, she takes on the 200 breaststroke. She won bronze in the event at Worlds last year and comes in as the second seed behind veteran Lilly King.

Speaking of veterans, today we’ll get our first look at Olympians like King, Ryan Murphyand Michael AndrewMurphy races in the 200 backstroke, where he faces a field littered with young stars like Destin Lasco (who’s already shown off his form), Daniel Diehl, and Keaton Jones. Andrew takes on the 50 butterfly, the last event of the session. He’s the reigning Worlds bronze medalist. That event will also give us another look at Caeleb Dressel, who swam in the ‘C’ final of the 100 free yesterday.

Back on the women’s side, this morning will get us set for an exciting race in the 200 freestyle. Katie Ledecky showed her distance form in the 800 free on Day 1, and now aims to top this much shorter distance. Alongside her, young rising stars like the Sandpiper trio and Erin Gemmell are looking to unseat the veterans. Bella Sims swam a big lifetime best in the 100 free yesterday, which could be a harbinger for she’s got in store for this event.

In the 200 backstroke, American record holder Regan Smith looks to set herself up to qualify for her second Worlds event. She’s come third to Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White at the last two selection meets, but brought a lot of momentum with her into Indianapolis, including a new U.S. Open Record swum earlier this year.

For a full rundown for who to circle on your heat sheet this session, check out our Day 2 prelims preview.


Women’s 200 Freestyle — Heats

  • World Record: 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (ITA) — 2009
  • American Record: 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt — 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.13, Summer McIntosh (CAN) — 2023
  • Championship Record: 1:54.40, Allison Schmitt — 2012
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:58.66
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 4 Time: 1:57.53
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 1:56.25

Top 8:

  1. Katie Ledecky (GSC) — 1:55.49
  2. Claire Weinstein (SAND) — 1:56.27
  3. Erin Gemmell (NCAP) — 1:56.28
  4. Bella Sims (SAND) — 1:57.07
  5. Leah Smith (TXLA) — 1:57.17
  6. Anna Peplowski (ISC) — 1:57.33
  7. Alex Shackell (CSC) — 1:57.74
  8. Alex Walsh (NAC) — 1:58.30

Katie Ledecky continued to show that she’s on excellent form here in Indianapolis. After winning the 800 freestyle yesterday, Ledecky took the top time of the morning in the 200 freestyle with a 1:55.49. She’s the only one in the field sub-1:56, leading an incredibly quick field. It took 1:58.30 to make the ‘A’ final this year, as young rising stars continued to make themselves known.

After Ledecky, a trio of teenagers took the second through fourth spots. Claire Weinstein, the surprise of last year’s Trials, took second with a new personal best 1:56.27, which makes her the second-fastest all-time American girl in the 15-16 age group. In the heat after her, Erin Gemmell finished a hundredth behind in 1:56.28, good for third overall. After dropping about a second in the 100 free on Day 1, Bella Sims logged a new PB here in the 200 free: 1:57.07.

Two other rising stars asserted themselves here as well–Anna Peplowski has been on a tear this season and continued that here, qualifying for the ‘A’ final in sixth.

Out of heat 4–a non-circle seeded heat–Alex Shackell had a massive swim, dropping a 1:57.74 to make the ‘A’ final. That cuts 1.75 seconds off the best she swam in March of this year and moves her up to #7 all-time in the 15-16 age group.

There were two notable no shows this morning. Neither Hali Flickinger nor Torri Huske appeared for their heat. Huske is slated to race the 50 fly later this session.

Men’s 200 Freestyle — Heats

  • 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
  • Championship Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (USA) — 2008
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:47.06
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 4 Time: 1:46.69
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 1:44.98

Top 8:

  1. Luke Hobson (TXLA) — 1:45.12
  2. Carson Foster (RAYS) — 1:45.64
  3. Drew Kibler (CSC) — 1:45.67
  4. Jake Mitchell (FLOR) — 1:45.82
  5. Kieran Smith (RAC) — 1:46.10
  6. Coby Carrozza (TXLA) — 1:46.72
  7. Baylor Nelson (AGS) — 1:46.89
  8. Henry McFadden (JW) — 1:46.94

Luke Hobson had a breakout year in yards, winning the 200 and 500-yard freestyle at 2023 NCAAs. Many were waiting to see if that would translate to long-course and in the 200 free here at U.S. Trials, he’s answered that question with a resounding ‘yes’. The Texas sophomore leads the way into finals tonight, having clocked a personal best time by over a second with a 1:45.12.

Current and former Longhorns will take up half of the championship final. In addition to Hobson, there’s Carson Foster,  Drew Kibler (now training at Carmel), and Coby Carrozza. All three of those men were part of the 4×200 free relay at Worlds, and will be looking to get back on the team tonight. Carrozza’s time (1:46.72) is a new personal best, while Foster was just off his with a 1:45.64.

There are also a couple of Gators in the mix. Jake Mitchell swam a personal best of 1:45.82 to move through to the final in fourth. It’s a big swim for him: he dropped more than a second off his previous best (1:46.90) and showed he’s back and better than ever after missing 2022 Trials due to illness. His Gator teammate Kieran Smith won his heat with a 1:46.10, good for fifth overall.

In heat 6, Henry McFadden went sub-1:47 for the first time in his career. His 1:46.94 not only got him a lane in the ‘A’ final, but it moved him up the American 17-18 boys’ all-time list to eighth, passing Maxime Rooney.

Baylor Nelson also had a big swim from an early heat. This event was a late-entry for him, but now he’s in the ‘A’ final with a 1:46.89. His previous best stood at 1:49.16 from earlier this month.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke — Heats

  • World Record: 2:17.55, Evgeniia Chikunova (RUS) — 2023
  • American Record: 2:19.59, Rebecca Soni — 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni (USA) — 2012
  • Championship Record: 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni (USA) — 2012
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 2:25.91
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 2:21.43
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 2:23.20

Top 8:

  1. Kate Douglass (NYAC) — 2:23.87
  2. Lilly King (ISC) — 2:25.81
  3. Annie Lazor (ISC) — 2:26.51
  4. Kaitlyn Dobler (TROJ)/Anna Keating (CA-Y) — 2:27.24
  5. (tie)
  6. Emma Weber (CA-Y) — 2:27.34
  7. Piper Enge (BC) — 2:27.86
  8. Isabelle Odgers (TROJ) — 2:27.99

Kate Douglass is flexing her versatility in a big way here in Indianapolis. Fresh off winning the 100 freestyle with the ninth-fastest swim in history, Douglass is now the top qualifier of the morning in the 200 breaststroke. She posted a 2:23.87, about six-tenths faster than she was in prelims last year.

Douglass leads the pair of Indiana pros and Olympians Lilly King and Annie Lazor, who qualified second and third in 2:25.81 and 2:26.51. King swam in the heat after Douglass, so it was interesting to see that she didn’t really respond to Douglass’s morning speed, posting a time that’s over two seconds slower than her season-best 2:23.33 from the Ft. Lauderdale Pro Series.

Kaitlyn Dobler had a big swim in lane 1 of the final heat, dropping 2.85 seconds from her personal best with a 2:27.24. That ties her for fourth with Anna Keating

Emma Weber made it three Cavaliers in the championship final, joining Douglass and Keating. Weber also notched a personal best time, stopping the clock at 2:27.34. Her previous best was a 2:29.05 from 2021.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke — Heats

  • World Record: 2:05.95, Zac Stubblety-Cook (AUS) — 2022
  • American Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot — 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (USA) — 2016
  • Championship Record: 2:07.17, Josh Prenot (USA) — 2016
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.32
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 2:08.84
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 2:08.38

Top 8:

  1. Matt Fallon (ABSC) — 2:08.19
  2. Josh Matheny (ISC) — 2:09.34
  3. Jake Foster (RAYS) — 2:10.10
  4. Nic Fink (MAAC) — 2:10.59
  5. AJ Pouch (VT) — 2:10.88
  6. Will Licon (TXLA) — 2:10.97
  7. Charlie Swanson (NOVA) — 2:11.59
  8. Tommy Cope (CW) — 2:11.66

Matt Fallon is back. He missed 2023 NCAAs after injuring his back during in-water training, but he’s returned to national competition and is the top qualifier in the men’s 200 breast. He used his usual back-half style of racing to power ahead of Jake Foster in the last heat, touching in 2:08.19.

That’s just .28 seconds off his personal best 2:07.91, which he swam at 2022 U.S. Nationals to become the seventh-fastest American all-time.

Indiana’s Josh Matheny recorded a new personal best of 2:09.34, good for ninth in the world this year, falling down one spot after Fallon swam and became the fourth-fastest in the rankings. Foster qualified in third with a 2:10.10, off his season-best 2:09.38 but more than enough to earn a lane.

Last year’s U.S. qualifiers Nic Fink and Charlie Swanson are safely through to the final, as is veteran Will Licon. However, the top of the field has a new look, and it seems that the changing of the guard we began to see yesterday is continuing here in the 200 breaststroke.

This was a much faster prelims than last year’s Trials. In 2022, it took 2:14.41 (swum by Matheny) to make the ‘A’ final. Today, it’s a 2:11.66, a 2.75 second difference.

Women’s 200 Backstroke — Heats

  • World Record: 2:03.14, Kaylee McKeown (AUS) — 2023
  • American Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith — 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:04.76, Regan Smith (USA) — 2023
  • Championship Record: 2:05.08, Phoebe Bacon (USA) — 2022
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 2:11.08
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 2:05.13
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 2:06.96

Top 8:

  1. Regan Smith (SUN) — 2:06.83
  2. Kennedy Noble (WOLF) — 2:07.09
  3. Claire Curzan (ALTO) — 2:07.73
  4. Rhyan White (WOLF) — 2:07.87
  5. Phoebe Bacon (WISC) — 2:08.19
  6. Isabelle Stadden (CAL) — 2:08.43
  7. Reilly Tiltmann (CA-Y) — 2:08.98
  8. JoJo Ramey (FAST) — 2:09.69

Regan Smith easily won the final heat of the women’s 200 backstroke, touching the wall in 2:08.63 and grabbing lane 4 for tonight’s final.

The big story though, is Kennedy NobleIn her freshman year at NC State she saw big drops in her yards times, and she’s carried that through to meters as well. She dropped a 2:07.09 to win the penultimate heat and qualify second with a new personal best. Her previous best was 2:10.53, marking a 3.44 second drop.

Claire Curzan had a nice rebound after missing the 100 free championship final. She posted a 2:07.73, about four-tenths off her personal best to earn third overall.

The 2020 Olympic and 2022 Worlds pair of Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon also moved through to the final. White, now training with NC State after moving there from Alabama earlier this year, swam a season-best 2:07.87. Bacon is sitting just behind her in a season-best of her own, 2:08.19.

With Noble, Curzan, White, Bacon, Isabelle Stadden, and Reilly Tiltmannthis final is full of NCAA stars. The only two who didn’t take part in college swimming this season are Smith, and eighth-place qualifier JoJo Ramey, who’s set to go to Florida in the fall.

Men’s 200 Backstroke — Heats

  • World Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Piersol (USA) — 2009
  • American Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Piersol — 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:53.08, Aaron Piersol (USA) — 2009
  • Championship Record: 1:53.08, Aaron Piersol (USA) — 2009
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:58.07
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 1:55.46
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 1:55.35

Top 8:

  1. Ryan Murphy (CAL) — 1:56.64
  2. Jack Aikins (SA) — 1:56.70
  3. Destin Lasco (CAL) — 1:56.80
  4. Tommy Janton (ND) — 1:56.94
  5. Hunter Tapp (WOLF)/Keaton Jones (NEP) — 1:57.00
  6. (tie)
  7. Ian Grum (DYNA) — 1:57.40
  8. Daniel Diehl (CUY) — 1:57.42

Ryan Murphy took care of business this morning, moving through the field on the back half of the race to win the last heat in the top time overall. He swam a 1:56.64, just out-touching Jack Aikinsthe 2022 U.S. Nationals champion. Aikins was just off his personal best here with a 1:56.70.

Murphy’s Cal teammates Destin Lasco earned third with a 1:56.80, shaving .01 seconds off his best. Lasco surprised many by earning his first Worlds berth via a spot on the 4×100 free relay on Day 1, and now he’ll look to add an individual event in his speciality stroke.

Soon-to-be-Bear Keaton Jones also made it back for the ‘A’ final, tying for fifth with NC State’s Hunter Tapp in 1:57.00. That cuts four-hundredths off his PB.

Notre Dame continues to shine at this meet. Last night, Chris Guiliano finished second in the men’s 100 free and today, Tommy Jantonthe 21st seed, moves through to the ‘A’ final in fourth. Janton ripped a new personal best of 1:56.94, dropping almost three seconds from his previous best of 1:59.88 which he swam earlier this month.

Notably, last year’s second place finisher Shaine Casas missed the ‘A’ final. He finished 13th in 1:58.65.

Women’s 50 Butterfly — Heats

  • World Record: 24.43, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 2014
  • American Record: 25.38, Torri Huske — 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 25.46, Rikako Ikee (JPN) — 2017
  • Championship Record: 25.48, Kelsi Dahlia (USA) — 2018
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 26.32
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 25.68
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 25.32

Top 8:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (NAC) — 25.54
  2. Torri Huske (AAC) — 25.97
  3. Abbey Weitzeil (CAL) — 26.04
  4. Beata Nelson (WISC) — 26.21
  5. Claire Curzan (ALTO) — 26.26
  6. Natalie Hinds (GSC) — 26.45
  7. Olivia Bray (TXLA)/KitKat Zenick (OSU) — 26.54
  8. (tie)

Gretchen Walsh tore through the final heat of the women’s 50 fly. She was well under 26 seconds, touching in 25.54, undercutting her previous best of 25.97 from earlier this month. She holds the top time heading into finals, with Huske, the American record holder, also joining her sub-26.

Abbey Weitzeil swam a new lifetime best of 26.04 to move through to the final in third. Claire Curzan pulled off the 200 back/50 fly double. She qualified for the ‘A’ final in both events, grabbing the fifth seed here in the fly with a 26.26, just .05 seconds behind SCM star Beata Nelson.

After missing the 100 free championship final on Day 1, Natalie Hinds earned a second swim today by winning her heat with a 26.45.

Men’s 50 Butterfly — Heats

  • World Record: 22.27, Andrii Govorov (UKR) — 2018
  • American Record: 22.35, Caeleb Dressel — 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 22.84, Caeleb Dressel (USA) — 2022
  • Championship Record: 22.84, Caeleb Dressel (USA) — 2022
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 23.53
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 22.87
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 22.79

Top 8:

  1. Dare Rose (CAL) — 23.16
  2. Michael Andrew (MASA) — 23.18
  3. Ryan Held (NYAC) — 23.41
  4. Zach Harting (CARD)/Jonny Kulow (SUN) — 23.62
  5. (tie)
  6. Finn Brooks (ISC) — 23.76
  7. Caeleb Dressel (GSC) — 23.79
  8. Aidan Stoffle (AU) — 23.80

Dare Rose has been on the edge of a big time breakout in the sprint fly for a while. Now, he’s arrived on the national scene in a big way. He won the final heat of the morning with a 23.16, a personal best which was also good for the fastest time overall. Rose came into the meet with a best of 23.87, which he swam in May at the Mission Viejo Pro Swim.

Michael Andrew, the 2022 Worlds bronze medalisthad a solid first swim of the meet. He’s sitting second in 23.18.

There’s a gap between Rose and Andrew to the rest of the field, with Ryan Held third in 23.41. Jonny Kulow continues to steadily drop time after his freshman season in Tempe. He tied Zach Harting for fourth in a new best of 23.62, dropping from a 23.91 at Mission Viejo.

Caeleb Dressel, the 2022 Worlds gold medalist and American record holder, made it through to the ‘A’ final as well. He’s sitting seventh in 23.79. It’ll be his first championship final swim of the meet.

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5 months ago

Weinstein, grimes, shackell, and sims for world jrs on the relay? Could definitely go 7:43

Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

None will be permitted to attend the WJR meet if they advance to the Senior World Championships

Paul Thomas
Reply to  Wow
5 months ago

Is that true even if they’re relay-only swimmers? I remember in 2019 folks doubled up at Worlds and Pan Ams, but that may be a different qualification system.

Reply to  Paul Thomas
5 months ago

Different qualification system. USASwimming does not permit swimmers to do both anymore. In 2017, they permitted it but you just couldn’t swim the event at World Juniors that you swam at Worlds (Regan couldn’t do 200 back but did the 100 back and butterfly). Not anymore.

5 months ago

Now for something completely different. Over/Under of 1:54.81 for Katie Ledecky in the W 200 FR.

By the way, I’m still shaking my head from Katie Ledecky’s performance last night.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

under by a half second

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

I’m thinking 1:54.29 for ledecky, 1:55.32 for gemmell, 1:55:68 for Weinstein, 1:56.02 for sims, 1:56.32 for shackel, and 1:56.46 for smith, 1:56.89 for peplowski and 1;57.92 for walsh

Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

Wayyy to optimistic. A 1:55 besides Ledecky would be great with 2-3 1:56s

Last edited 5 months ago by Wow
Reply to  Wow
5 months ago

Ledecky 1:54, two 1:55s and two 1:56s.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

I’m holding out for a 3:56 on friday

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

A 1:55 mid prelim suggests she’ll be under

Sid Frisco
5 months ago

I would have liked to have seen the Sandpipers swim the 4×200.

Reply to  Sid Frisco
5 months ago

They probably go 7:48 at best Hodges the weakest link

Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

Hodges under a half-second off Grimes this morning, they don’t really have a weak link

Reply to  Sid Frisco
5 months ago

St Peters vs Sandpipers

5 months ago

Would it kill you guys to mention A.J or Cope?

Paul Thomas
Reply to  rosepouch
5 months ago

Cope and seethe?

(I’m just kidding, I couldn’t resist the pun.)

Reply to  rosepouch
5 months ago

They gotta break 209 to be must mention material

Christine Breedy
5 months ago

I just noticed Lydia jacoby isn’t in 200 breast—has she scratched?

5 months ago

After a dynastic domination on NCAA, UVA ladies are giving a finger to the doubters that SCY cannot translate to LCM, completing dominating the categories they are in so far and send trios after trios to finals, with KD winning 100 free, 2.5s margin on 200 breast as top seed and Gretchen 50 fly and bronze in 100 free. Even Alex Walsh made it to 200 free (looking forward to her 200IM)!

Overall, Douglass, Regan, Ledecky and the Walsh sisters are going to sweep almost all the events except 400IM and 50 breast.

Last edited 5 months ago by BreakNewRecords
Reply to  BreakNewRecords
5 months ago

2023 Phillips 66 National Championships
Douglass, Kate – 100 FR
Ledecky, Katie – 200 FR, 400 FR, 800 FR, 1500 FR
Smith, Regan – 100 BK, 200 BK, 200 FL
Walsh, Gretchen – 50 FL

On paper, the W 100 FL should be the event of the meet. However, the W 50 FR is stacking up quite nicely.

As for the rest:
W 50 BK – Berkoff (AR holder)
W 50 BR – King, Jacoby
W 100 BR – Jacoby, King
W 200 BR – Douglass, King
W 200 IM – Walsh, Hayes
W 400 IM – Grimes, Weyant, Hayes, Walsh

Reply to  BreakNewRecords
5 months ago

We still have finals. I’m rooting for Kate and G but L King is dangerous as are the 50 flyers that Walsh has to race. Yes, Desorbo has some magic up his sleeve.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  BreakNewRecords
5 months ago

They are too classy to give the finger. Preferable to chuckle. It was always hilarious that anyone doubted Kate Douglass

Reply to  BreakNewRecords
5 months ago

I don’t think anyone has ever said it’s impossible for someone to be good at SCY and LCM (there is decades of evidence that you can be). It’s more that just because someone is good at SCY doesn’t guarantee performance in LCM, and again, there is decades of evidence that proves that too.

5 months ago

Even though Claire Weinstein may fly under the radar with the likes of Katie Ledecky representing USA Swimming, Claire Weinstein has posted personal best times in calendar year 2023 in the following events:

200 FR – 1:56.27
400 FR – 4:06.24
800 FR – 8:21.00
1500 FR – 16:09.85

That’s not bad for a 16 year old, not bad at all. Ron Aitken should be commended.

5 months ago

I feel for Shaine Casas– there is still time to turn it around for this meet but I hope he gets the support he needs to get through these challenges. A hugely gifted swimmer.

5 months ago

Kinda weird though, all season his 100 free (49 high) and backstrokes (53 high/1:59) have been bad in-season, but he’s got the 50.8 100 fly and 1:56.0 200 IM in-season times. What do people make of this?

5 months ago

It’s down to the 100 fly and 200 IM which are his best events.

Steve Nolan
5 months ago

Yeah idk what “it” is but he seems to not have it.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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