2023 U.S. Trials: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Day 3 Finals Heat Sheets

30 minutes delayed, we’re back with the third night of finals at 2023 U.S. Trials. We’ll have finals of the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 50 breaststroke, and 50 backstroke.

In the women’s 400 IM, Alex Walsh–the reigning Worlds gold medalist in the 200 IM–is the top seed. She was about two second faster than Katie Grimes, the 2022 Worlds silver medalist, who is still looking to punch her ticket to Fukuoka in the pool. On the men’s side, Carson Foster aims to add another event to his lineup after previously qualifying in the 200 fly.

The women’s 100 fly is one of the most anticipated events. The American record holder Torri Huske goes head-to-head with Cavaliers Gretchen Walsh and Kate Douglass, both of whom have been on excellent form through two days of racing. Walsh also broke Huske’s American record in the 50 fly last night.

After Ryan Murphy scratched, Caeleb Dressel is into the men’s 100 fly ‘A’ final. He’ll be outside smoke in a final crowded with youngsters. Dare Rose posted the top time of prelims (50.87) and looks to make his first Worlds team. Also keep an eye on Thomas Heilman, who lowered his own 15-16 NAG in prelims (51.78).

Then it’s 50 time. 200 breast national champion Lilly King will try to go 2-for-2, while Lydia Jacoby wants back on the senior international team after missing out last year. Nic Fink is the top seed in the men’s breaststroke and will need to fend off Michael Andrew to book his ticket to Fukuoka.

Katharine Berkoff posted 27.27 in prelims of the 50 back, which would have won gold in Budapest last summer. Regan Smith is in the final as well, looking for a third event win and it’ll be G. Walsh’s second swim of the evening. On the men’s side Justin Ress and Hunter Armstrong are separated by a hundredth. That promises a thrilling race between the 2022 Worlds gold medalist and the world record holder.


WOMEN’S 400 IM — Finals

  • World Record: 4:25.87, Summer McIntosh (CAN) — 2023
  • American Record: 4:31.12, Katie Hoff (USA) — 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:28.61, Summer McIntosh (USA) — 2022
  • Championship Record: 4:31.12, Katie Hoff (USA) — 2008
  • World Junior Record: 4:25.87, Summer McIntosh (CAN) — 2023
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 4:43.06
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 4:37.72
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 4:36.00

Top 8:

  1. Katie Grimes (SAND) — 4:33.80
  2. Alex Walsh (NAC) — 4:35.46
  3. Leah Hayes (TIDE) — 4:38.45
  4. Lilla Bognar (TG) — 4:40.97
  5. Justina Kozan (TROJ) — 4:40.99
  6. Kayla Han (RMDA) — 4:43.26
  7. Lucy Bell (ALTO) — 4:44.73
  8. Zoe Dixon (FLOR) — 4:44.86

Katie Grimes held a two second advantage at the halfway mark of the women’s 400 IM, splitting 1:00.40 on fly and 1:08.26 on back. Then came the breaststroke, and with it, Alex Walsh. In just 50 meters Walsh erased Grimes’ lead and built one of her own, splitting 1:19.32 compared to Grimes’ 1:23.49.

Grimes caught up with Walsh on the freestyle leg, powering past her to take the win decisively in 4:33.80. Grimes was already qualified for Worlds in the open water events, but now she’s secured her trip to the pool in Fukuoka as well.

Walsh grabbed second in 4:35.46, taking another 2.38 seconds off her best time. Coming into the meet, her fastest time was a 4:42.14 from 2020. She had yet to qualify for the Worlds team as well.

Leah Hayes took third in a personal best of her own. 4:38.45 undercuts the 4:39.58 she swam at the Westmont Pro Series earlier this year.

MEN’S 400 IM — Finals

  • World Record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (USA) — 2008
  • American Record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (USA) — 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (USA) — 2008
  • Championship Record: 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (USA) — 2008
  • World Junior Record: 4:10.02, Ilia Borodin (RUS) — 2021
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 4:17.48
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 4:10.50
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 4:07.47

Top 8:

  1. Carson Foster (RAYS) — 4:08.14
  2. Chase Kalisz (SUN) — 4:08.22
  3. Bobby Finke (SPA) — 4:09.55
  4. Jay Litherland (SUN) — 4:10.74
  5. Baylor Nelson (AGS) — 4:15.87
  6. Owen Lloyd (WOLF) — 4:17.80
  7. Danny Berlitz (WVU) — 4:18.11
  8. Sean Grieshop (CAL) — 4:19.84

Carson Foster has added a second event to his Worlds lineup, and Chase Kalisz has likely qualified for his sixth Worlds team in the 400 IM. As expected, it was Foster who led the race around at the 200-meter mark, posting 55.37 fly and 1:02.87 back splits.

Heading into breaststroke, he led by over 1.5 seconds, but then Kalisz got to work. The 29-year-old had been running third behind Bobby Finke, but quickly passed the Gator and began closing the gap to Foster. He led at the 300 mark with just freestyle to go. He and Foster were stroke for stroke heading into the wall and at the touch it was Foster, 4:08.14 to 4:08.24. Those times are good for third and fourth fastest in the world this year.

Finke turned on the jets during the freestyle leg and he did make up a significant amount of the 3+ second gap to the two leaders. He ran out of room to chase them down, but still swam a new lifetime best of 4:09.55, breaking 4:10 for the first time.

Kalisz’ fellow Olympic and Worlds medalist (and Sun Devil teammate) Jay Litherland finished in fourth, over a second behind Finke with a 4:10.74.

WOMEN’S 100 FLY — Finals

  • World Record: 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 2016
  • American Record: 55.64, Torri Huske (USA) — 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 55.66, Torri Huske (USA) — 2021
  • Championship Record: 55.66, Torri Huske (USA) — 2021
  • World Junior Record: 56.43, Claire Curzan (USA) — 56.43
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 58.33
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 56.35
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 56.41

Top 8:

  1. Torri Huske (AAC) — 56.18
  2. Gretchen Walsh (NAC) — 56.34
  3. Kate Douglass (NYAC) — 56.43
  4. Claire Curzan (ALTO) — 56.61
  5. Kelly Pash (TXLA) — 57.53
  6. Alex Shackell (CSC) — 57.59
  7. Olivia Bray (TXLA) — 57.64
  8. Gabi Albiero (UOFL) — 58.64

American record holder Torri Huske will get a chance to defend her Worlds gold medal. In a stacked 100 fly field, Huske came out on top, passing Gretchen Walsh on the second 50 to hit the wall first. Huske clocked a season best of 56.18, while Walsh added a second individual event (to go along with her relay) to her Worlds lineup.

It’s a lifetime best for Walsh, beating the 56.73 she swam at the NCAP Invite earlier this month. Walsh was out first at the 50 in 25.68, about two-tenths ahead of Huske, but came back in 30.66. Her teammate Kate Douglass also swam a personal best, improving from 56.56 at Olympic Trials to 56.43. Douglass was closing hard (30.16) as was fourth-place Claire Curzan, who split a field-best 30.03 on the second 50.

The top three swimmers are now the top three in the world this year.

Kelly Pash and Alex Shackell both hit lifetime bests in front of a home crowd to finish fifth and sixth.

MEN’S 100 FLY — Finals

  • World Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (USA) — 2021
  • American Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (USA) — 2021
  • U.S. Open Record: 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (USA) — 2021
  • Championship Record: 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (USA) — 2021
  • World Junior Reocrd: 50.62, Kristof Milak (HUN) — 2017
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 51.96
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 50.88
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 50.97

Top 8:

  1. Dare Rose (CAL) — 50.74
  2. Thomas Heilman (CA-Y) — 51.19
  3. Shaine Casas (TXLA) — 51.42
  4. Zach Harting (CARD) — 51.56
  5. Caeleb Dressel (GSC)/Gabriel Jett (CAL) — 51.66
  6. (tie)
  7. Trenton Julian (MVN) — 51.87
  8. Luke Miller (WOLF) — 52.22

Dare Rose was second at the halfway point, but was the only one in the field to split sub-27 seconds on the back half. He charged home in 26.83 to get his hands on the wall first, winning the national title and making his first Worlds team. His 50.74 is a personal best and makes him the sixth-fastest American in history. For those keeping count, he’s also the fourth male Cal swimmer to make the Worlds team this week.

16-year-old Thomas Heilman doubled up on fly events, finishing second here in the 100. Once again, he earns an event at Worlds with a NAG record, lowering the 15-16 NAG to 51.19. It’s the second time he’s lowered the record today–his prelims swim was under the old mark as well, which he also held.

51.19 is also just .09 seconds off Michael Phelps‘ 17-18 NAG.

After turning first at the 50, Shaine Casas took third in 51.42. And Caeleb Dressel, who drew into this final after Murphy’s scratch, tied for fifth with Gabriel Jett in 51.66.

WOMEN’S 50 BREAST — Finals

  • World Record: 29.30, Benedetta Pilato (ITA) — 2021
  • American Record: 29.40, Lilly King (USA) — 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 29.62, Lilly King (USA) — 2018
  • Championship Record: 29.66, Lilly King (USA) — 2017
  • World Junior Record: 29.30, Benedetta Pilato (ITA) — 2021
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 31.02
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 30.34
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 29.90

Top 8:

  1. Lilly King (ISC) — 29.77
  2. Lydia Jacoby (STSC) — 29.81
  3. Kaitlyn Dobler (TROJ) — 30.36
  4. Skyler Smith (NCAC) — 30.41
  5. Hannah Bach (OSU) — 30.76
  6. Rachel Bernhardt (TEAM) — 30.80
  7. Miranda Tucker (TFA) — 30.99
  8. Emma Weber (CA-Y) — 31.02

Lilly King has added the 50 breaststroke to her title collection this week. Yesterday, she won the 200 breast and now she’s won the sprint breaststroke with a 29.77.

She just out-touched Lydia Jacoby, who broke 30 seconds for the first time in her career. She set her best at 30.08 at the Monaco stop of the Mare Nostrum tour earlier this spring. It looked like the difference between first and second was where King and Jacoby were at in their strokes when they hit the finish.

The two Olympians were well ahead of the field, as Kaitlyn Dobler was third in 30.36, just two-hundredths off her personal best from 2022 Trials.

Miranda Tucker won a swim-off to be able to race in this championship final, where she ultimately moved up a spot into seventh (30.99).

MEN’S 50 BREAST — Finals

  • World Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (GBR) — 2017
  • American Record: 26.45, Nic Fink (USA) — 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 26.52, Michael Andrew (USA) — 26022
  • Championship Record: 26.52, Michael Andrew (USA) — 2022
  • World Junior Record: 26.97, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) — 2017
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 27.33
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 26.55
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 26.72

Top 8:

  1. Nic Fink (MAAC) — 26.74
  2. Michael Andrew (MASA) — 26.87
  3. Noah Nichols (CA-Y) — 27.30
  4. Mitch Mason (LSU) — 27.42
  5. Tommy Cope (CW) — 27.71
  6. Henry Bethel (AU) — 27.72
  7. Charlie Swanson (NOVA) — 27.79
  8. Kevin Houseman (NU) — 27.95

Nic Fink, the reigning Worlds gold medalist, will likely get a chance to defend that medal at his fifth Worlds team. Fink and Michael Andrew pulled ahead of the field through the middle of the race. At the wall, it was Fink who got the win in 26.74, while Andrew was second in 26.87.

We’ll get into this in a separate article, but for those keeping track at home, we’re up to 24 men on the roster through the 50 breaststroke.

Virginia’s Noah Nichols grabbed third in 27.30. That shaves another tenth from his personal best. Coming into the meet, his best was 27.87 which he’d set earlier this month. He finished ahead of LSU’s Mitch Mason, who also clocked a personal best in 27.42.

WOMEN’S 50 BACK — Finals

  • World Record: 26.98, Liu Xiang (CHN) — 2018
  • American Record: 27.12, Katharine Berkoff (USA) — 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 27.12, Katharine Berkoff (USA) — 2022
  • Championship Record: 27.12, Katharine Berkoff (USA) — 2022
  • World Junior Record: 27.49, Minna Atherton (AUS) — 2016
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 28.22
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 27.25
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 27.40

Top 8:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (WOLF) — 27.13
  2. Regan Smith (SUN) — 27.14
  3. Gretchen Walsh (NAC) — 27.54
  4. Olivia Smoliga (SUN) — 27.65
  5. Isabelle Stadden (CAL) — 27.73
  6. Rhyan White (WOLF) — 27.96
  7. Amy Fulmer (OSU) — 28.05
  8. Erika Brown (TNAQ) — 28.28

Katharine Berkoff and Regan Smith sped into the wall stroke for stroke. Berkoff, the American record holder and 2022 Worlds silver medalist, got her hand on the wall first in 27.13. Her time was just a hundredth off her American record, which she set at U.S. Trials last year.

She was also just a hundredth ahead of Smithwho becomes the second fastest American all-time in the event. Smith earned second with a 27.14, a .11 second drop from her personal best. Both her and Berkoff’s times would have won gold at the World Championships last summer.

Gretchen Walsh took third, completing her 100 fly/50 back double with another personal best time (27.54). Olivia Smoligathe 2019 World champ, finished fourth in 27.65, which is about three-tenths off her personal best.

MEN’S 50 BACK — Finals

  • World Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) — 2022
  • American Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) — 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) — 2022
  • Championship Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) — 2022
  • World Junior Record: 24.00, Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 2018
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 25.16
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 23.92
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 24.49

Top 8:

  1. Justin Ress (MVN) — 24.10
  2. Hunter Armstrong (NYAC) — 24.16
  3. Wyatt Davis (MICH) — 24.62
  4. Ryan Held (NYAC) — 24.66
  5. Shaine Casas (TXLA) — 24.70
  6. Jack Dolan (SUN) — 24.95
  7. Tommy Janton (ND) — 25.03
  8. Jack Aikins (SA) — 25.18

Justin Ress and Hunter Armstrongthe world champion and the word record holder–have been trading shots in this event all season. After prelims, they were separated by just a hundredth–24.20 and 24.21. In the final, it was Ress who got his hand on the wall first, six-hundredths ahead of Armstrong. Ress clocked a 24.10, which now stands as the fastest time in the world this year.

Armstrong finished second in 24.16. The two were well ahead of the rest of the field, with Michigan’s Wyatt Davis collecting third in 24.62, out-touching Ryan Held by four-hundredths. That’s a big swim for Davis, as he chopped another .29 seconds off his personal best. Coming into the meet, his best was a 25.16, which he swam at 2019 World Juniors. In prelims, he’d lowered his mark to a 24.91.

Held cut four-hundredths off his prelims time; behind him though, fifth through eighth all added from their morning swims.

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5 months ago

Can someone confirm that Alex Walsh in ok? Thanks.

Reply to  Curious
5 months ago

because she didn’t show on the podium last night in 400 IM? I’m curious about that

Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

Yes. Other commenters have speculated that it’s because she has a history of getting sick after some races, presumably due to nerves. But it would be nice to know for certain that it’s not something more serious.

5 months ago

Fun Fact:

Regan Smith has posted personal best times in the following events during calendar year 2023:

50 BK
100 FL
200 FL
200 FR
200 IM

All Hail!

comment image

5 months ago

I like Torri’s finishing speed– bodes well for ability to challenge WR. I don’t know what you saw but after this meet and knowing Desorbo, Gretchen may be in the 100 fly WR conversation by next year. Scary. I’m expecting her to be under 53 flat star in the 100 free in Japan

5 months ago

So, assuming MA makes the team for the 50 fly or free, does he have to get 1st or second in the 100 breast to swim the 50, or does he just have to hope Funk wins, because then the fastest swimmer already on the team gets to swim the 50? The same question goes for Hunter with the 50 Back, although he hasn’t made the team yet, so he HAS to get 1st or 2nd in the 100 back.

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 months ago

If Fink wins Andrew gets the 50 too

Reply to  Wow
5 months ago

Andrew needs to get top 2 in either 1br or 50fr to go to worlds at all unless we get a bunch of doubles

Last edited 5 months ago by JimSwim22
5 months ago

2023 Phillips 66 National Championships

Todd DeSorbo
Douglass, Kate
Parker, Maxine
Walsh, Alex
Walsh, Gretchen

Bob Bowman
Looney, Lindsay
Smith, Regan
Smoliga, Olivia

Ron Aitken
Grimes, Katie
Sims, Bella
Weinstein, Claire

Carol Capitani
Jacoby, Lydia (tomorrow)
Smith, Leah

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

Lol, (tomorrow)

Making big predictions here huh???

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

Ray Looze
Josh Matheny
Lilly King

5 months ago

Casas just doesn’t have it huh

5 months ago

Posted this before, but regarding Casas, if you go back and watch Tokyo Trials. He hits the lane rope in BOTH the 100 and 200 races that (just my opinion) cost him spots in at least one of those races very near the finish.
In an INDOOR pool!! How do you do that?? And not in one race-but two!!
To me that says he isn’t focusing well in big time situations. Wondering if he just doesn’t process clear headed under pressure.
Here’s the 100 where he clearly runs into the rope at least at the flags once. At 90 meters he’s on that team. 95…..not so much. He finished like a distracted age grouper.

Last edited 5 months ago by justanopinion
5 months ago

Early candidates

2023 World Aquatics Championships
Women’s Awards
Performer of the Meet – too early to call
Performance of the Meet – see below
Breakout Performer of the Meet – Gretchen Walsh (hands down)
Perseverance Performer of the Meet – Lilly King
“A Bolt from the Blue” Performer of the Meet – Alex Shackell

Note: Performance of the Meet based upon the top All-Time Performance rankings

Ledecky, Katie – 3rd (W 800 FR)
Smith, Regan – 5th (W 200 BK)
Berkoff, Katharine – 6th (W 50 BK)

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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