2023 U.S. Trials: Day 5 Finals Live Recap

2023 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday Finals Heat Sheet

A whirlwind of a week in Indianapolis comes to a thrilling conclusion on Saturday night with five events on tap for the fifth and final session of the U.S. National Championships.

World record holder Katie Ledecky kicks off the evening in the women’s 1500 freestyle before Kate Douglass takes aim at her former Virginia teammate Alex Walsh‘s U.S. Open record in the women’s 200 IM (2:07.84), which she was less than a half second shy of during prelims (2:08.29). It’s a repeat of the NCAA Championships final from a few months prior as Walsh (2:11.02) and Torri Huske (2:12.23) figure to duke it out for second place along with Leah Hayes (2:12.32).

Shaine Casas, the top seed entering the meet in the men’s 200 IM, barely snuck into the A-final this morning as the eighth qualifier (1:59.60) and must outduel the likes of Carson Foster (1:58.56), Will Licon (1:59.08), and Destin Lasco (1:59.12) for a spot on the U.S.’s World Championships roster headed to Fukuoka later this month.

Douglass is taking on a 200 IM/50 free double tonight, the latter of which sees her seeded third behind fellow Cavalier Gretchen Walsh (24.53) and Abbey Weitzeil (24.24).

In the men’s 50 free, reigning Worlds silver medalist Michael Andrew needs a top-two finish in order to clinch a Worlds spot this year (though there are still other ways he could make the team). The 23-year-old sprint specialist qualified third this morning with a 21.87 behind 100 free champion Jack Alexy (21.83) and Ryan Held (21.65). Held finished 5th in the 100 free back on Tuesday to potentially qualify as a relay swimmer, but a top-two finish tonight in the 50 could secure his spot.

Stay tuned for live updates below:

WOMEN’S 1500 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • World Record: 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2018
  • American Record: 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2018
  • U.S. Open Record: 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2018
  • Championship Record: 15:38.99, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2022
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 16:29.57
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 15:51.36
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 15:48.96

Top 8:

  1. Katie Ledecky – 15:29.64
  2. Katie Grimes – 15:58.34
  3. Kensey McMahon – 16:07.78
  4. Erica Sullivan – 16:16.94
  5. Jillian Cox – 16:18.40
  6. Mariah Denigan – 16:19.02
  7. Paige McKenna – 16:20.66
  8. Claire Weinstein – 16:21.64

Katie Ledecky collected her third national title of the week in epic fashion, dipping under 15:30 for the first time since March of 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Her winning time of 15:29.64 is the sixth-fastest time ever recorded (all have been clocked by Ledecky), just about nine seconds off her own world record.

The 26-year-old Ledecky reached the wall nearly 29 seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Katie Grimes, who posted a 15:58.34 as the only other swimmer in the field under 16 minutes. The 17-year-old Sandpipers of Nevada standout was about 13 seconds off her best time of 15:44.89 that earned her silver at last year’s World Championships behind Ledecky (15:30.15).

Third-place finisher Kensey McMahon established a new lifetime best with her time of 16:07.78, shaving two seconds off her previous-best 16:09.80 from the 2019 U.S. National Championships. The Alabama graduate recently capped off her collegiate career with victories in both the 500-yard free and 1650-yard free at the NCAA Championships a few months ago.

WOMEN’S 200 IM — FINAL

  • World Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2015
  • American Record: 2:06.15, Ariana Kukors – 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.84, Alex Walsh (USA) – 2022
  • Championship Record: 2:07.84, Alex Walsh (USA) – 2022
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.98
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 2:09.99
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 2:08.91

Top 8:

  1. Kate Douglass – 2:07.09
  2. Alex Walsh – 2:07.89
  3. Torri Huske – 2:09.75
  4. Leah Hayes – 2:10.42
  5. Bella Sims – 2:12.15
  6. Phoebe Bacon – 2:12.27
  7. Abby Harter – 2:12.70
  8. Beata Nelson – 2:13.62

It felt like we were going to see a U.S. Open record fall in this event after Kate Douglass blazed a personal-best 2:08.29 in prelims, and the 21-year-old Virginia graduate defied the SwimSwam photo curse to take down Alex Walsh‘s previous mark from last year’s meet.

Douglass touched first in 2:07.09, becoming the second-fastest American ever and the second-fastest in the world this season behind Summer McIntosh (world-junior-record 2:06.89). Walsh, the 400 IM champion, did her best to hold off Douglass and ended up just .05 seconds off her personal-best 2:07.84 from last year’s International Team Trials, which stood as the U.S. Open record until tonight.

Rising Stanford junior Torri Huske also put up an impressive performance with a personal-best 2:09.75, dipping under 2:10 for the first time. Her previous best stood at 2:10.38 from the 2021 Olympic Trials.

Last year’s second-place finisher, Leah Hayes, placed fourth in 2:10.42, about half a second behind her time from the 2022 International Team Trials. Her lifetime best is a 2:08.91, which earned her bronze at last year’s World Championships.

MEN’S 200 IM — FINAL

  • 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
  • Championship Record: 1:54.56, Ryan Lochte – 2009
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.53
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 1:56.65
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 1:56.22

Top 8:

  1. Carson Foster – 1:56.19
  2. Shaine Casas – 1:57.47
  3. Trenton Julian – 1:57.94
  4. Destin Lasco – 1:57.97
  5. Kieran Smith – 1:57.99
  6. Maximus Williamson – 1:58.65
  7. Will Licon – 1:59.37
  8. Arsenio Bustos – DQ

World Championships silver medalist Carson Foster cruised to the 200 IM victory in 1:56.19, within half a second of his best time (1:55.71) from Budapest last summer, but the most compelling story in this race was the battle for second place.

23-year-old Shaine Casas had struggled earlier this week, placing 3rd in the 100 fly (51.42), 5th in the 50 back (24.70), and failing to make the A-final in the 200 back (1:58.65) or 100 free (48.94). But he snuck into this A-final tonight as the eighth qualifier and pulled off an impressive swim from lane one to punch his ticket to Fukuoka later this month.

Casas had close competition for the second Worlds qualifying spot as Trenton Julian (1:57.94), Destin Lasco (1:57.97), and Kieran Smith (1:57.99) were all under 1:58. Julian dropped a few tenths off his previous-best 1:58.30 from last year’s Trials, while Lasco similarly improved by nearly half a second upon his previous-best 1:58.42 from last year’s Trials.

Sixth-place finisher Maximus Williamson, 16, reset his own national age group (NAG) record with a 1:58.65, downing his previous mark of 1:59.01 from Junior Pan Pacs last summer.

MEN’S 800 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • World Record: 7:32.12, Lin Zhang – 2009
  • American Record: 7:39.36, Bobby Finke – 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 7:43.32, Bobby Finke – 2022
  • Championship Record: 7:43.32, Bobby Finke – 2022
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 7:53.11
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 7:50.07
  • 2022 worlds Medal Time: 7:40.05

Top 8:

  1. Bobby Finke – 7:40.34
  2. Ross Dant – 7:48.10
  3. Will Gallant – 7:50.75
  4. Charlie Clark – 7:51.65
  5. David Johnston – 7:51.70
  6. James Plage – 7:56.36
  7. Alec Enyeart – 7:58.14
  8. Nick Caruso – 7:58.80

The second U.S. Open record to be broken this evening fell at the hands of Bobby Finke, who lowered his previous standard from last year by nearly three full seconds. The 23-year-old Olympic champion was within a second off his personal-best 7:39.36 from last year’s World Championships, where he won gold.

Finke touched nearly eight seconds ahead of Ross Dant, who snagged the second qualifying spot with a personal-best 7:48.10. He shaved more than two seconds off his lifetime best of 7:50.66 from the 2021 Olympic Trials, where he placed third less than a second behind Michael Brinegar.

Will Gallant (7:50.75), Charlie Clark (7:51.65), and David Johnston (7:51.70) were separated by less than a second in the battle for third place.

WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE — FINAL

  • World Record: 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2017
  • American Record: 23.97, Simone Manuel – 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 24.08, Pernille Blume (DEN) – 2019
  • Championship Record: 24.10, Simone Manuel – 2018
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 25.04
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 24.52
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 24.38

Top 8:

  1. Abbey Weitzeil – 24.00
  2. Gretchen Walsh – 24.31
  3. Tie: Kate Douglass – 24.48 / Olivia Smoliga – 24.48
  4. Torri Huske – 24.72
  5. Catie Deloof – 24.73
  6. Gabi Albiero – 24.76
  7. Erika Brown – 25.02

Abbey Weitzeil threw down a personal-best 24.00 to dominate this splash and dash, lowering the U.S. Open record of 24.08 set by Denmark’s Pernille Blume in 2019. Weitzeil dropped a couple tenths off her previous-best 24.19 from the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and she said her goal is to get into the 23-second range later this month in Fukuoka. She now owns the second-fastest time in the world this season behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom.

Gretchen Walsh also notched a new lifetime best with her runner-up finish in 24.31. Her previous best was a 24.47 from last July.

Kate Douglass, competing on the back end of a 200 IM/50 free double that saw her break the U.S. Open record in the former event, came up short of her personal-best 24.40 from May’s Atlanta Classic but still tied for the final spot on the podium with Olivia Smoliga in 24.48. Smoliga shaved a couple tenths off her best time from the 2021 Olympic Trials.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE — FINAL

  • World Record: 20.91, Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 2009
  • American Record: 21.04, Caeleb Dressel – 2019/2021
  • U.S. Open Record: 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 2021
  • Championship Record: 21.29, Caeleb Dressel – 2022
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 22.12
  • 2022 U.S. Trials Top 2 Time: 21.45
  • 2022 Worlds Medal Time: 21.57

Top 8:

  1. Ryan Held – 21.50
  2. Jack Alexy – 21.63
  3. Michael Andrew – 21.64
  4. Matt King – 21.80
  5. Jonny Kulow – 21.87
  6. David Curtiss – 21.89
  7. Chris Giuliano – 21.96
  8. Drew Kibler – 22.12

Ryan Held (21.50) and Jack Alexy (21.63) both posted personal-best times to deny World Championships silver medalist Michael Andrew (21.64) a spot in Fukuoka this year by the slimmest of margins.

Held dropped .12 seconds off his previous-best 21.62 from April of 2021. Alexy, the 100 free champion, had never been sub-22 before today, when he went 21.83 in prelims.

Andrew’s best time is a 21.41 from last year’s World Championships, which earned him silver. Earlier this week, he won the 50 fly (23.11) and placed second in the 50 breast (26.87). Non-Olympic events such as the stroke 50s are assigned lowest priority for Worlds selection by USA Swimming.

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David
7 months ago

Delusional American Douglass and smith will not beat Macintosh

gitech
7 months ago

🌏My predicitions for FUKUOKA🌏

50 free sjostrom, Mckeon, weitzel
100 free moc, haughey, Mckeon/ Steenbergen/douglass (i think Douglass wouldnt swim, she pick 200 breast)
200 free titmus, moc, haughey (i think that mcintosh wouldnt be)
400 free mcintosh, titmus, ledecky
800 free ledecky, titmus, fairweather/quadarella/pallister/gose
1500 free ledecky, quadarella, grimes/pallister

50 back berkoff, pigree, Smith/masse/wilm
100 back Mckeown, Smith, berkoff
200 back Smith, Mckeown, White

50 Breast melytuite, pilato, King/van nieker
100 breast jacoby, King, schouten
200 breast schoenmaker, douglass, king/schouten

50 fly sjostrom, henique, walsh/huske
100 fly mcneil, huske, yufei/Mckeon
200 fly Smith, mcintosh, dekkers

200 im douglass, mcintosh, Mckeown/walsh
400 im mcintosh, grimes, shanahan/francheschi

4×100 free… Read more »

Troyy
Reply to  gitech
7 months ago

I don’t see McIntosh skipping the 2free.

Lisa
Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

I think that’s the events she’s gonna be most vulnerable.

gitech
Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

I think there will do four categories: 400 free, 400 im sure. And 200 fly, 200 im, 200 free, I think I would choose two of those three and I opted for the 200 fly and 200 im, although I doubt it.

Last edited 7 months ago by gitech
Lisa
Reply to  gitech
7 months ago

I think King gonna win one or two from the breast events.

Last edited 7 months ago by Lisa
Sub13
Reply to  gitech
7 months ago

Interesting. I think you’re the first person to pick McKeown in the 100 and Smith in the 200. People tend to consider their strengths the other way around.

Shueib
Reply to  Sub13
7 months ago

I think Mckeown will win both 1 and 2 Regan will need to go pbs or even break the WR to beat her

Shueib
Reply to  gitech
7 months ago

Last I checked sjostrom won’t b swimming at worlds

Troyy
Reply to  Shueib
7 months ago

She was included in the Swedish roster when it was announced.

Shogun
7 months ago

Ryan Held’s best was 21.6 coming into the meet from 2021, not 21.8 as stated in the article.
The Olympic roster will be much different from the World’s roster. Caleb and Simone will be on it to name a few. Mark it.

UGA
7 months ago

Why have I been seeing hate on rhyan white? I’ve been seeing it for erika brown and was confused about it, is it for the same kind of reasons people dont like rhyan white?

T B
Reply to  UGA
7 months ago

I think it’s because both are extremely transphobic.

bubbles
Reply to  T B
7 months ago

when did rhyan white show that side to her?

Swimfan27
Reply to  T B
7 months ago

Being opposed to people who have gone through puberty as men taking spots or titles from biological women does not make one transphobic. People in the United States have completely warped what actual fear and “violence” means; a rational, opposing opinion to trans women—who have an unfair advantage—competing against biological women is not violence against trans people AT ALL.

The Original Tim
7 months ago

Regarding the whole MA thing…

I think he should stay the course with USRPT, but actually put in the work. I think the calls for him to drop USRPT and go to a traditional program are unnecessary and counterintuitive a year out.

He’s had, what, like a decade or so of USRPT under his belt now? Throwing him in traditional training a year out whole hog would likely utterly wreck him. Sure, a new coaching staff would likely fix his glaring technique issues, but I think it would destroy his underlying performance with just a year.

Switching to a different coach who’s bought in to USRPT, on the other hand, would work wonders for him in my opinion, as long… Read more »

too fly
7 months ago

Is this the Swimswam article with the most comments?

Sub13
Reply to  too fly
7 months ago

Ever? Tokyo live recaps had 2k+

Tyson Huynh
7 months ago

USA swimming chat will be missed

phelpsfan
Reply to  Tyson Huynh
7 months ago

Shut up

Swimfan
7 months ago

My medals predictions
50 free- sjostrom, weizteil then McKeon
100 free- Douglass, MOC, McKeon
200 free Macintosh, titmus then MOC
400 free titmus, Macintosh ledecky
800 free ledecky titmus cox
1500 free ledecky grime Palister
50 back Berkoff massed smith
100 back smith berkoff McKeown
200 back smith McKeown white
50 breast king Jacoby pilato
100 Breast Jacoby king pilato
200 breast Douglass, king, wood
50 fly sjorstom, Walsh huske
100 fly huske McNeil Walsh
200 fly smith Macintosh yufie
200 IM Douglas Walsh McKeown
400 IM Macintosh grimes Walsh
4×100 free Australia USA China
4×200 free USA Australia China
4×100 medlay USA Australia Canada
Bonus 4×200 medlay USA Australia China

flicker
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

I don’t see haughey missing medals both the 100 and 200

Tyson Huynh
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

200 fly should be “McIntosh, Smith, yufie

Swimfan
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Why all the down votes? That bad uh

Jimmyswim
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Quite a lot to unpack. The most egregious:

Douglass for gold when she’s ranked 4th so far and Haughey off the podium ranked 2nd.
MOC third when she’s ranked first.
McKeown 3rd when she has literally swam faster than anyone else in history a week ago.
McIntosh missing the podium in 2IM despite being ranked 1st.

Also just so, so many names misspelled. I would downvote for that alone.

Troyy
Reply to  Jimmyswim
7 months ago

Do you remember this poster’s predictions before Tokyo? They were no less patriotic.

Last edited 7 months ago by Troyy
RCP
Reply to  Jimmyswim
7 months ago

MOC’s hurt.

Bud
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

200 breast dude… No way Tatjana is off the podium

Troyy
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

These predictions are about as biased as your ones before Tokyo and those predictions didn’t go so well.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

First, it’s medley not medlay.

Second, it’s McIntosh not macintosh.

Third, I see you busted out the red, white, blue pom-poms.

Bud
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
7 months ago

First time I ever upvoted this guy’s comment

Miself
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Is there a 4×200 medley relay

jeff
Reply to  Miself
7 months ago

there really should be

RCP
Reply to  jeff
7 months ago

And 200 free and medley relays.

Emma
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

McIntosh wins the 400 free by 2-3 seconds. 400 IM by at least 5.

Joel
Reply to  Emma
7 months ago

Yes 400 IM. No way for the 400 free. It will be very close with Titmus in 400 free and perhaps Ledecky.

Sub13
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Actually Australia would win a 4×200 medley

McKeown – 2:03.14
Harkin – 2:23.93
Dekkers – 2:05.26
MOC – 1:53.83
=8:26.16

Smith – 2:03.80
King – 2:20.95
Looney – 2:07.35
Ledecky: 1:54.96
=8:27.06

Miss M
Reply to  Sub13
7 months ago

Love this! Too bad that Smith can’t swim both the backstroke and the fly.

Although technically the US are faster with White on backstroke and Smith on Fly if you take Smith’s time from the Sun Devil open

White – 2.05.77
King – 2.20.95
Smith – 2.03.87
Ledecky – 1.54.96
=8.25.55

Last edited 7 months ago by Miss M
KeithM
Reply to  Miss M
7 months ago

Beat me. I was doin head-maths so took me a bit to hit post button.

Sub13
Reply to  Miss M
7 months ago

Ah that’s a good point. Didn’t think about swapping Regan to fly

KeithM
Reply to  Sub13
7 months ago

Since you’re basing it on this year’s best times how about this for the US?

White 2:05.77
King 2:20.95
Smith 2:03.87
Ledecky 1:54.96
=8:25.55

Lisa
Reply to  KeithM
7 months ago

Basically US has a depth .

Jayden
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

I kind of agree with this prediction, but I think at this moment, McKeown is till the favourite in the 100/200 Bk, and MOC is probably the favourite in the 100 free, though in the 200 IM, I really think it can go four ways, it’s just depending on the day

Bob
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

400 f…Titmus over Summer…ummm..no.

Oceanian
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Must save this post for WC live recap….

carlo
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Dude, change your display name to America fan not swimfan because you are not a swimming fan. Weird predictions.

Paul
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Pilato is out ot the 100 breaststroke…

Sub13
Reply to  Paul
7 months ago

Omg… she is defending champion and missed the A cut. That’s concerning. I wonder if she even attends

Alison England
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Abbie Wood did not even swim the 200 Breast at trials!

gitech
Reply to  Alison England
7 months ago

Schouten and tatjana is more probably in 200 breast.

Alison England
Reply to  gitech
7 months ago

Obviously, given Wood is not even swimming it!

gitech
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

lit Bit europeans!

Last edited 7 months ago by gitech
gitech
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

50 free sjostrom, Mckeon, weitzel
100 free moc, haughey, Mckeon/ Steenbergen/douglass (i think Douglass not, she pick 200 breast)
200 free titmus, moc, haughey (i think that mcintosh wouldnt be)
400 free mcintosh, titmus, ledecky
800 free ledecky, titmus, fairweather/quadarella/pallister/gose
1500 free ledecky, quadarella, grimes/pallister

50 back berkoff, pigree, Smith/masse/wilm
100 back Mckeown, Smith, berkoff
200 back Smith, Mckeown, White

50 Breast melytuite, pilato, King/van nieker
100 breast jacoby, King, schouten
200 breast schoenmaker, douglass, king/schouten

50 fly sjostrom, henique, walsh/huske
100 fly mcneil, huske, yufei/Mckeon
200 fly Smith, mcintosh, dekkers

200 im douglass, mcintosh, Mckeown/walsh
400 im mcintosh, grimes, shanahan/francheschi

Last edited 7 months ago by gitech

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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