2023 U.S. Trials Day 5 Prelims Preview: Walsh Leads a Packed Women’s 200 IM Field




  • Session Start Time: 10:00am Eastern Time


  • Women’s 200 IM
  • Men’s 200 IM
  • Women’s 50 free
  • Men’s 50 free

Can you believe it? We’re already on the final day of the 2023 U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis. These Trials have been a thriller up to this point, seeing incredible swims, young breakout stars, unexpected scratches, and a whole lot of upsets. This morning’s prelims session is a short one, featuring only the 200 IM and 50 free. The women’s 1500 free and men’s 800 free will also be raced today as timed finals events. There will be a distance session with the early heats of those events, which will start this afternoon at 3:40pm Eastern Time.

With only four events taking place in prelims this morning, there aren’t too many storylines to follow. The 200 IM sees Alex Walsh, who already qualified for the World Championships via a second-place finish in the 400 IM, come in as the top seed in the event with a 2:07.13. This is a packed field, however, and Walsh has her work cut out for her. Regan Smith is set to swim the event as well. She enters as the second seed with a 2:08.48. on top of that, Smith has been on fire this week, having won the women’s 200 fly, 200 back, and 100 back already. Given how well she’s swum so far, it seems likely that Smith will lower her personal best in the 200 IM today.

Kate Douglass, Walsh’s Virginia teammate, is also in this field. Douglass is another swimmer who has been on fire all week. She hasn’t been super fast so far this season in the 200 IM, but that was the case in the 100 free as well, and it didn’t stop her from winning the event in a massive new PB.

There’s also Leah Hayes, who came in third in the women’s 400 IM earlier in the meet and is still looking to punch her ticket to Fukuoka. The 200 IM is arguably Hayes’ best event, and she’s already been 2:08.91, so she’s absolutely a top contender here.

After pulling 0ut of the men’s 100 back yesterday, Shaine Casas comes in as the top seed in the men’s 200 IM today. Casas didn’t scratch the 100 back in prelims yesterday, instead he was a DNS (did not swim), so that leaves the possibility open that he might do the same in the 200 IM today. Even in the event Casas does race the 200 IM today, he has been a bit off this week, so he would be facing an uphill battle.

Meanwhile Carson Foster, who has been swimming extremely well all week, is the second seed coming in. Chase Kalisz, who came in second to Foster in the 400 IM earlier in the meet, is the third seed. Another swimmer who has been excellent this week is Destin Lasco, who enters as the fifth seed in the 200 IM.

Kate Douglass and Torri Huske are both pulling double duty this morning, at least for now. Both are entered in the 200 IM and 50 free this morning. Douglass is the third seed in the 50 free, while Huske is the sixth. Erika Brown comes in as the top seed in the 50, while Abbey Weitzeil is second.

Caeleb Dressel is the top seed coming into the men’s 50 free. Out of all the events on his schedule this week, this is probably the one he’s best set up for in this moment. After a third place finish in the 50 fly earlier in the meet, it does seem like Dressel has a legitimate shot at punching his ticket to Fukuoka.

Michael Andrew comes in as the second seed in the 50 free this morning, trailing Dressel by only 0.12 seconds. 100 free champion Jack Alexy comes in as the ninth seed in this event, so he’s someone to keep an eye on in prelims.


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8 months ago

Leah a little slower than I thought she’d be. No Regan I see.

Joel Lin
8 months ago

Kate Douglass circle swims 200IM in 2:08 low. Whooo boy.

Emo boi
8 months ago

kate douglass 2 Im world record tn

8 months ago

Serious Question: Is it just my intuition, or are we going to see some serious names on the men’s side left off the team due to the 26-member cap? It was already ‘full’ yesterday, I think. Thoughts? Clarifications?

8 months ago

I think if anyone new makes the team today then Andrew would be the first one off unless he makes the 50 free

Robert Gibbs
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
8 months ago

TLDR: we should get a few doubles today, so there’s a good chance that most of the remaining guys make the roster. MA could certainly be in trouble unless he gets top two in the 50 though.

Last edited 8 months ago by Robert Gibbs
8 months ago

Damn Regan smith gonna kill all these IM specialists

Joel Lin
Reply to  Eddie
8 months ago

Alex Walsh is the only one in the field who has gone into the low 2:07s. Smith is indeed having a great meet but her times this week have been close to where she was a month ago coming off altitude training where she was 2:08 mid.

To shade Alex Walsh takes some pretty wild projection. Her best in this event is well clear of the field…but we’ll soon see. This women’s 200 IM is likely the very best event of the week. So many great swimmers, only 2 spots.

8 months ago

Kudos to Dressel for finishing the meet. Not winning and not being in the constant spotlight is probably what the therapist ordered

8 months ago

My early prediction is Regan Smith (best odds), Kate Douglass (next best), Alex Walsh (third best), Torri Huske (fourth or fifth best), Leah Hayes (fourth or fifth best)

Last edited 8 months ago by CavaDore
Emo boi
Reply to  CavaDore
8 months ago

regan ain’t even here

The Mayor of Casterbridge
8 months ago

Would love to see what David Curtiss can do if he makes the A final.

Reply to  The Mayor of Casterbridge
8 months ago

He gonna go crazy