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



We have reached day three of the 2023 U.S. National Championships, where the men’s and women’s 400 IM, 100 fly, 50 breast, and 50 back will be contested.

The headliner of the day will likely be the women’s 100 fly, where a stacked field consisting of Kate Douglass, Gretchen Walsh, Torri Huske, Claire Curzan, and Regan Smith will be competing against each other. Newly-minted 50 fly American record holder Walsh and 100 free champ Douglass have the upper hand on momentum, while Huske and Curzan were the top two finishers from 2022. Then there’s Smith, who is fresh off a U.S. Open Record in the 200 back and will be racing the 100 fly at a major meet for the first time since 2021 Olympic Trials.

On the men’s side, the 100 fly also looks to be the most intriguing event. Top two seeds Caeleb Dressel and Shaine Casas have been off form recently, so names like 50 fly champ Michael Andrew, 50 fly runner-up Dare Rose, and 200 fly runner-up Thomas Heilman now become the main contenders.

In the women’s 400 IM, Katie Grimes will look to qualify for Worlds after missing out in the 800 free. She is the top seed in this event by over five seconds. On the men’s side, Carson Foster looks to qualify for his second individual event of the 2023 World Championships.

Lilly King and Lydia Jacoby will battle it out in the women’s 50 breast, while Nic Fink and Michael Andrew are the frontrunners in the men’s event. American record holder Katharine Berkoff leads the way in the women’s 50 back, while other names like Smith and Walsh will also be present. In the men’s 50 back, world record holder Hunter Armstrong and defending world champion Justin Ress will lead the charge.

Women’s 400 IM — Heats

  • 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. Alex Walsh — 4:37.84
  2. Katie Grimes — 4:39.71
  3. Leah Hayes — 4:40.91
  4. Lilia Bognar — 4:43.28
  5. Justina Kozan — 4:43.80
  6. Lucy Bell — 4:45.75
  7. Zoe Dixon — 4;45.82
  8. Kayla Han — 4:45.95

In the first circle-seeded heat, Alex Walsh held off 2022 World Championships bronze medalist  Emma Weyant to clock a time of 4:37.84, which is a near five-second drop from her entry time of 4:42.15. Weyant took second and was a body length behind Walsh for most of the race, but then started to close in on her during the freestyle leg. She touched second in a time of 4:38.08, but then ended up being disqualified for doing fly kick during her breaststroke leg.

Walsh ended up being the top overall seed.

Katie Grimes and Leah Hayes battled it out in the second circle-seeded heat. They were even after the butterfly leg, and Grimess took over on backstroke. Hayes regained the lead on breast, but Grimes once again dominated freestyle and took the win in a time of 4:39.71. Hayes finished second with a 4:40.91.

Men’s 400 IM — Heats

  • 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 — 4:13.13
  2. Bobby Finke — 4:15.15
  3. Jay Litherland — 4:15.21
  4. Chase Kalisz — 4:15.78
  5. Baylor Nelson — 4:17.07
  6. Danny Berlitz — 4:17.46
  7. Sean Grieshop — 4:17.85
  8. Owen Lloyd — 4:18.88

200 back ‘A’ finalist Ian Grum was leading the first circle-seeded heat of the men’s 400 IM, but Chase Kalisz pulled ahead of him at the breast leg and ended up winning his heat by over a second. Baylor Nelson also made up some ground on breast, and he finished second behind Kalisz in a time of 4:17.07—just off his best time of 4:16.47.

Carson Foster won the second circle-seeded heat comfortably, touching with a time of 4:13.13. That time was the fastest overall in the prelims field. Bobby Finke was just 0.06 seconds ahead of Jay Litherland to take the second overall seed, while Litherland placed third.

Danny Berlitz had a huge swim to qualify six overall. He came into nationals with a best time of 4:26.93, and then dropped down to a 4:17.46.

Jake Foster, the fourth seed and third-place finisher in the 200 breast Wednesday night, no-showed his heat.

Women’s 100 Fly — Heats

  • 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. Gretchen Walsh — 57.09
  2. Torri Huske — 57.30
  3. Kate Douglass — 57.58
  4. Claire Curzan — 57.65
  5. Alex Shackell — 57.80
  6. Kelly Pash — 57.84
  7. Olivia Bray — 58.03
  8. Gabi Albiero — 58.69

16-year-old Alex Shackell won the first circle-seeded heat in a time of 57.80, being the only swimmer in her race under 58 seconds. In that same heat, third seed Regan Smith was a no-show.

Gretchen Walsh won the second circle-seeded heat with a 57.09, which was the fastest time overall in prelims. Claire Curzan was right behind Walsh for the majority of the race, and she ended up taking second in a time of 57.65.

In the final heat, defending World Champion Torri Huske led from start to finish, while Kate Douglass closed in on her during the end of the race. Huske and Douglass are the second and third overall seeds respectively.

Men’s 100 Fly — Heats

  • 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 — 50.87
  2. Ryan Murphy — 51.35
  3. Shaine Casas — 51.37
  4. Zach Harting — 51.51
  5. Gabriel Jett — 51.61
  6. Thomas Heilman/Trenton Julian — 51.78
  7. Luke Miller — 51.84

Thomas Heilman took first in the first circle-seeded heat in a time of 51.78, taking down his own national age group record time of 51.98 set at 2022 Junior Pan Pacs. Third seed Michael Andrew placed second in that head with a time of 52.57, but he finished 13th overall and will miss the ‘A’ final.

In the second circle-seeded heat it was the Dare Rose show, as he touched first in a time of 50.83 to become the seventh-fastest American of all-time. Rose’s Cal teammate Ryan Murphy was second with a 51.35, shaving a few tenths off his best time of 51.96 from this April. Shaine Casas bounced back from his poor 100 free and 200 back swims to finish third in this heat, swimming a 51.37 and qualifying for his first ‘A’ final of the meet.

Zach Harting won the final heat with a time of 51.51, beating his PB of 51.86 from 2021 Olympic trials. Caeleb Dressel broke 52 seconds for the first time this season to go 51.95, but he placed ninth overall and just missed out on the ‘A’ final.

Luke Miller broke 52 seconds for the first time to qualify in 8th, taking down his best time of 52.06. So did Gabriel Jett, as he went 51.61 to beat out his best time of 52.17.

Half of the 100 fly ‘A’ final will be made up of former and current Cal bears.

Women’s 50 Breast — Heats

  • 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 — 30.26
  2. Lydia Jacoby — 30.42
  3. Rachel Bernhardt — 30.65
  4. Kaitlyn Dobler — 30.67
  5. Hannah Bach — 30.90
  6. Emma Weber —30.92
  7. Skyler Smith — 31.06
  8. Miranda Tucker/Lucy Thomas — 31.17

200 breast champ Lilly King took the top seed in the women’s 50 breast, as she led from start to finish in the final circle-seeded heat. In second was Lydia Jacoby, who won the second cirlce-seeded heat in a 30.42. Both swimmers were a few-tenths off their season-best.

In total, six different swimmers were under 31 seconds, while Rachel Bernardt, Hannah Bach, and Emma Weber broke 31 seconds for the first time.

There was a tie for eighth between Miranda Tucker and Lucy Thomas, so there will be a swim-off between them for the last spot in the ‘A’ final.

UPDATE: Tucker went 31.20 to out-touch Thomas’ 31.28 and make the ‘A’ final.

Men’s 50 Breast — Heats

  • 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 — 27.08
  2. Michael Andrew — 27.19
  3. Mitch Mason — 27.38
  4. Noah Nicholas — 27.40
  5. Henry Bethel — 27.51
  6. Tommy Cope — 27.66
  7. Charlie Swanson — 27.70
  8. Kevin Houseman — 27.72

The biggest story of these heats was Max McHugh, who had a big breakout swim in the final heat. He beat out his best time of 27.25 to go 26.84, which would have been the top overall seed out of prelims. However, he was later DQed for doing fly kick on breaststroke.

In place of McHugh as the top seed was American record holder Nic Fink, who went a 27.08 to touch second behind McHugh in his heat. Michael Andrew bounced back from his 100 fly mishap to take the second overall seed in a time of 27.19 and win his heat.

LSU swimmer Mitch Mason had a big swim for third, going 27.38. He shaves a few seconds off his previous personal bet of 27.72.

Women’s 50 Back — Heats

  • 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 — 27.27
  2. Regan Smith — 27.44
  3. Isabelle Stadden — 27.64
  4. Gretchen Walsh — 27.78
  5. Olivia Smoliga — 27.83
  6. Abbey Weitzeil — 27.99
  7. Amy Fulmer — 28.00
  8. Rhyan White — 28.04

Katharine Berkoff had a big swim in the 50 back prelims, touching in a 27.27 to top the world rankings. She was just 0.15 seconds off her own American record time of 27.12 from last year.

In second was Regan Smith, who set a season-best by 0.14 seconds. Isabelle Stadden, Gretchen Walsh, Olivia Smoliga, and Abbey Weitzeil were all under 28 seconds, with Walsh coming off of the 100 fly. Walsh was just 0.02 seconds off her best time of 27.75.

Men’s 50 Back — Heats

  • 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. Hunter Armstrong — 24.20
  2. Justin Ress — 24.21
  3. Shane Casas — 24.65
  4. Ryan Held — 24.69
  5. Tommy Janton — 24.84
  6. Jack Dolan — 24.89
  7. Wyatt Davis — 24.91
  8. Jack Aikins — 25.00

World Record holder Hunter Armstrong and defending World Champion Justin Ress both looked really strong in prelims, being the top seeds by a considerable margin and finishing just within 0.01 of each other.

Shaine Casas, like Walsh, pulled off a 100 fly/50 back double as he qualified in third with a 24.65. Tommy Janton, Jack Dolan, and Wyatt Davis both broke 25 seconds for the first time in prelims.

200 back Worlds qualifiers Ryan Murphy and Destin Lasco both no-showed this event.

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Former Big10
5 months ago

Cal men are having a great meet

Lap Counter
Reply to  Former Big10
5 months ago

This is SwimSwam, only ASU is allowed to have a good meet, even if not true!

Reply to  Lap Counter
5 months ago

I think you mean UVA

5 months ago

I’m going to whine and complain, so let me start with a positive. I love the ease of access to video coverage, video quality, and announcing.

That said, a directorial complaint. Maybe try this: Offer two separate feeds: the herky-jerky “zoom / switch / underwater / skip-around” coverage on one feed. And offer a second plain-vanilla feed showing the eight racers, from start to finish. There’s one good angle, and your coverage uses it less than half the time. Your over-produced unusual angle coverage might be nice for replays, but (to me, at least) terrible for following the actual race. If you offer both, you can track and see how many people choose to simply watch the race.

Also, when… Read more »

5 months ago

How am I supposed to wait 2.5 more hours for finals? I’ve never been this excited.

Claire Curzan better come 1st or 2nd tonight. Although I guess the flip side is that I’d rather her swim badly here than at Olympic trials next year.

She cannot come 3rd again tonight. No way. Sending her good vibes and mojo.

Reply to  TooExcitedToBreathe
5 months ago

Be prepared for fourth place.

Reply to  TooExcitedToBreathe
5 months ago

100 back will be her best chance.

5 months ago

If they are going to put Carson Foster on the 800 free relay then they don’t need to take the 6th place finisher.

Reply to  Anonymous
5 months ago

can they choose the order? Like if there’s space based off priority for qualifiers, can they simply choose to leave off McFadden?

Reply to  Anonymous
5 months ago

I don’t think the selection process works like tnat.

Reply to  Danjohnrob
5 months ago

I was going off what Bob Bowman said in his interview.

Reply to  Anonymous
5 months ago

I *thought* (could be wrong) if a team brings a “relay only” swimmer, that they must be used.

5 months ago

do we have underwater video of weyant’s breaststroke

Reply to  miself
5 months ago

I’m still stunned she was DQ’d.

Blame Ron Desantis. Ever since he held that press conference to declare her the winner over Lia Thomas, he’s given her some bad mojo. LOL.

It’s just not her year. I think swimmers are consoled by the fact this isn’t Olympic trials. Small consolation yes, but the rationalization works this year.

Comfy Pants
5 months ago

meet mobile has Dressel in the A final!!!

Reply to  Comfy Pants
5 months ago

Looks like Murphy scratched.

5 months ago

Hey, why isn’t Cody Miller competing at this meet? I know he isn’t retired.

Reply to  danjohnrob
5 months ago

He is on the psych sheet for the 100 breast tomorrow!

Reply to  ISL
5 months ago

Thanks! I would have thought a brisk 50 breast swim would be a nice warm-up, but I guess not.

Reply to  danjohnrob
5 months ago

Afraid of all the DQs

5 months ago

MA has learned from OTs not to peak at trials. The only problem is he took it a little too far this time. I’d say MA qualifies in the 50br and 50fr (in addition to the 50fly) but misses on the 100br and finishes 3rd or 4th if there’s no more DQs.

Reply to  Hank
5 months ago

You are giving him too much credit if you think he had such a plan. More like I think I’ll go swim in Europe for a week….boy I sure would like to win a few k in prize money while I’m there so I think I’ll rest a little….no worries it’ll help me get ready for trials. Arrives in Indy….whoops I don’t know where I’m at oh well there is always surfing

Coach mary
Reply to  Taa
5 months ago

What a jerky thing to say. You obviously don’t know MA a truly nice guy! N

Reply to  Coach mary
5 months ago

I’m holding back my really critical comments until after the 100 breast.

Reply to  Taa
5 months ago

not like MA’s 100 breast in 2021 was key to winning gold or anything

Reply to  Taa
5 months ago

MA and his parents are obviously not idiots, they’ve obviously had lots of success in the swimming world, and they obviously haven’t created enough consistency (not peaking at the right times, not executing doubles, not always managing drops from prelims to finals or from trials to the championship meet, not figuring out how to transition his shoulder driven 50 freestyle stroke to any other freestyle distance, or build up a good hip driven stroke) for him to move from “successful elite swimmer” to “legendary” status.

Why is everyone so determined to prove that he is either an unworthy idiot or the greatest thing to happen to the sport since Michael Phelps? Can’t he exist somewhere in the middle?

Are all… Read more »

Reply to  Pineapple
5 months ago

A “successful elite swimmer”, huh? Where is the individual gold medal on his resume?

Former Big10
Reply to  Pineapple
5 months ago

Talk to someone from Aberdeen about what their family did for the swimming community 🙂

Northern Alumni
Reply to  Former Big10
5 months ago

Swam at Northern 2015-2019 and it’s crazy how that family left a memory on that town even a decade later. Most people remember Michael as a sweet kid but “oh the parents.” Aren’t we all just trying are best here is what I always would think. No one’s perfect.

Reply to  Pineapple
5 months ago

He is a polarizing figure so what do you expect. He had a great fly split on the relay last summer. You would think they would have this stuff figured out by now but in a positive note he took some risks to try and improve but it looks like it’s not working out yet. Maybe it still will.

Reply to  Pineapple
5 months ago

A song dedicated to Michael Andrew:


Belt it Shania!

Reply to  Pineapple
5 months ago

Michael Andrew is the furthest thing from “legendary”.

As for “legendary”, how about turning back the clock:


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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