2024 U.S. Olympic Trials: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

Just three events will take place during Monday morning prelims at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials, with the women’s 400 IM, women’s 100 back and men’s 800 free on the schedule.

Katie Grimes, the first athlete to qualify for Team USA in Paris after winning bronze in the women’s 10km at last summer’s World Championships, headlines the 400 IM as the double Worlds silver medalist, having placed in the runner-up position behind Canada’s Summer McIntosh in both 2022 and 2023.

Grimes has looked solid thus far in Indianapolis, advancing through to the final of the women’s 200 free which will take place tonight (she also made the 400 free final but scratched out).

World and American Record watch will be on high alert for Regan Smith the next two nights in the 100 back, as the 22-year-old had a very impressive showing in the 100 fly, moving to #5 all-time (tie) despite placing 3rd and missing a spot on the Olympic team.

Smith lowered her American Record down to 57.51 less than a month ago, and could be taking aim at Kaylee McKeown‘s world record at some point over the next two days.

The battle for 2nd in the women’s 100 back has been a much-debated topic with 2023 World Championship bronze medalist Katharine Berkoff, 2024 world champion Claire Curzan and Tokyo Olympic finalist Rhyan White among the main players in the running.

Olivia Smoliga, the #4 seed coming into the meet, was a surprising scratch this morning, making the battle for lanes in the semis and final a little less crowded.

The session will wrap with seven heats of the men’s 800 free, where we expect to see an intense battle for lanes in the final with defending Olympic champion Bobby Finke the lone swimmer who will be able to put it on cruise control.

There are a total of 12 men entered sub-8:00—behind Finke’s 7:38, Ross Dant and David Johnston are the only others under 7:50.

One name to watch will be Luke Whitlock, the 18-year-old who rattled off a significant lifetime best in the 400 free to move into #2 all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

Whitlock set a personal best of 7:50.20 in May, and only needs to drop two more seconds to take out Larsen Jensen‘s 17-18 NAG record of 7:48.09 from the 2003 World Championships.

WOMEN’S 400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 4:24.38, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2024 Canadian Trials
  • American Record: 4:31.12, Katie Hoff – 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials
  • U.S. Open Record: 4:28.61, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2022 U.S. Open
  • World Junior Record: 4:24.38, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2024 Canadian Trials
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Emma Weyant, 4:33.81
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 4:38.53

Final Qualifiers:

  1. Emma Weyant (FLOR), 4:38.96
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND), 4:39.63
  3. Lucy Bell (ALTO), 4:40.79
  4. Lilla Bognar (TG), 4:41.14
  5. Leah Hayes (TIDEIL), 4:42.97
  6. Zoe Dixon (FLOR), 4:43.30
  7. Leah Smith (TXLA), 4:43.45
  8. Audrey Derivaux (JW), 4:45.23

Emma Weyant made her move on the breaststroke leg in the final heat of the women’s 400 IM, overtaking Katie Grimes and holding her off to claim the top seed into tonight’s final in 4:38.96.

The performance from Weyant inches under her season-best time by four one-hundredths, having clocked 4:39.00 at the Atlanta Classic last month. The 22-year-old is the reigning Olympic silver medalist in this event, having set her PB of 4:32.76 in that Tokyo final.

Grimes, the two-time World Championship silver medalist in this event, looked comfortable en route to claiming the 2nd seed for the final in 4:39.63. She should have plenty more in the tank tonight having been as fast as 4:32.76 this year.

The top three spots heading into tonight came out of that final heat, as Alto Swim Club’s Lucy Bell knocked nearly a second off her personal best in 4:40.79 to advance in 3rd.

Team Greenville’s Lilla Bognar topped reigning World Junior champion Leah Hayes in the first circle-seeded heat, with Bognar clocking 4:41.14 for 4th overall. Bognar’s swim is just shy of her lifetime best 4:40.97 set last summer, while Hayes went 4:42.97 after setting a PB of 4:36.84 at World Juniors.

Age group standout Audrey Derivaux had a big swim out of an outside lane in Heat 3, dropping over four seconds to finish in a time of 4:45.23 and move up to #7 all-time in the girls’ 13-14 age group.

All-Time Rankings, U.S. Girls’ 13-14 400 IM (LCM)

  1. Becca Mann, 4:39.76 — 2012
  2. Katie Anderson, 4:39.82 — 2004
  3. Kayla Han, 4:42.96 — 2023
  4. Erika Hansen, 4:44.45 — 1985
  5. Claire Tuggle, 4:44.81 — 2018
  6. Elizabeth Beisel, 4:44.87 — 2007
  7. Audrey Derivaux, 4:45.23 — 2024
  8. Mariah Denigan, 4:45.41 — 2018

The 14-year-old, who came into the meet with a lifetime best of 4:49.32 set last summer, ended up cracking the final in 8th.

Notably missing the final was Carmel’s Kayla Han, who is coming off a very impressive 4th-place finish in the 400 free. Han, 16, owns a personal best of 4:42.32 but only mustered a time of 4:47.71 to finish 10th.

WOMEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 57.33, Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 2023 World Cup – Budapest
  • American Record: 57.51, Regan Smith – 2024 NOVA Speedo Grand Challenge
  • U.S. Open Record: 57.51, Regan Smith (USA) – 2024 NOVA Speedo Grand Challenge
  • World Junior Record: 57.57, Regan Smith (USA) – 2019 World Championships
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: 58.35, Regan Smith
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 59.99

Semi-Final Qualifiers:

  1. Regan Smith (TXLA), 57.93
  2. Katharine Berkoff (WOLF), 58.09
  3. Kennedy Noble (WOLF), 58.55
  4. Josephine Fuller (TENN), 58.80
  5. Isabelle Stadden (CAL), 59.10
  6. Rhyan White (WOLF), 59.23
  7. Claire Curzan (TAC-NC), 59.43
  8. Phoebe Bacon (UW), 59.61
  9. Leah Shackley (BRY), 59.63
  10. Teagan O’Dell (MVN), 59.83
  11. Charlotte Crush (LAK), 1:00.02
  12. Erika Pelaez (EA), 1:00.11
  13. Maggie Wanezek (EBSC), 1:00.33
  14. Caroline Bentz (NCAP), 1:00.47
  15. Emma Kern (TXLA), 1:00.54
  16. Rylee Erisman (LAKR), 1:00.71

Regan Smith asserted herself in the final heat of the women’s 100 back, responding to Katharine Berkoff‘s blistering swim in the previous heat by adding another sub-58 to her resume.

Smith fired off a time of 57.93 for the 18th sub-58 of her career, carrying the positive momentum she created in the 100 fly forward into one of her premier events. The 22-year-old broke her five-year-old American Record in the 100 back last month in 57.51, less than two tenths shy of the world record.

Berkoff, who set a PB of 58.01 last year, rocketed to a time of 58.09 in the penultimate heat to advance 2nd into the semis, doing so alongside Wolfpack teammate Kennedy Noble, who cracked 59 seconds for the first time in 58.55. Noble, whose previous best was 59.11, moves up to #16 all-time in the event and #8 among Americans.

Also going sub-59 for the first time was Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller, who improved her lifetime best by nearly nine tenths of a second, 59.67 to 58.80, to qualify 4th into the semis.

Six more women went under 1:00, including Cal’s Isabelle Stadden (59.10), Tokyo Olympic finalist Rhyan White (59.23) and reigning world champion Claire Curzan (59.43). Stadden dropped just over a tenth form her season-best, while White was .03 off.

In 11th, 16-year-old Charlotte Crush dropped five one-hundredths from her best time in 1:00.02, remaining at 11th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

After missing the final of the 400 free and the semis of the 200 free, Florida’s Bella Sims was back in the water this morning in the 100 back, cracking 1:01 for the first time in 1:00.88, ended up 18th overall.

MEN’S 800 FREE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 7:32.11 — Zhang Lin (CHN) — 2009 World Championships
  • American Record: 7:38.67 — Bobby Finke – 2023 World Championships
  • U.S. Open Record: 7:40.34 — Bobby Finke (USA) – 2023 U.S. National Championships
  • World Junior Record: 7:43.37 — Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) – 2022 European Championships
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Bobby Finke, 7:48.22
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time — 7:51.65

Final Qualifiers:

  1. Luke Whitlock (FAST-IN), 7:51.22
  2. Bobby Finke (SPA-FL), 7:51.71
  3. David Johnston (TST-CA), 7:52.49
  4. Ross Dant (WOLF), 7:53.78
  5. Luke Ellis (SAND), 7:54.26
  6. Daniel Matheson (SUN), 7:54.97
  7. Will Gallant (TST-CA), 7:56.03
  8. Sean Green (LIAC), 7:56.47

Luke Whitlock followed up his breakout swim on Day 1 in the 400 free with a very controlled prelim in the men’s 800 free, leading the penultimate heat wire-to-wire to finish in a time of 7:51.22, just over a second shy of his lifetime best (7:50.20) that ranks him #3 all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

The 18-year-old Fishers Area product advances 1st into the final after his time held up over the last heat, which was won by defending Olympic champion Bobby Finke in 7:51.71.

Finke topped the heat over The Swim Team’s David Johnston, who logged a time of 7:52.49. Johnston set a PB of 7:48.20 earlier this year at the 2024 World Championships.

Sun Devil Swimming’s Daniel Matheson was 3rd in the final heat to advance through in 6th, touching in 7:54.97 for a new season-best. Matheson set a best of 7:52.34 last summer.

Trailing Whitlock in the second-to-last heat were Wolfpack Elite’s Ross Dant, Sandpipers’ Luke Ellis and TST’s Will Gallant, all qualifying for the final as well. Ellis, 17, dropped two seconds from his lifetime best (set while he was 16) to move him into #6 all-time among 17-18 boys.

Long Island Aquatic Club’s Sean Green was the standout from the first few heats of the men’s 800 free, crushing his personal best time in 7:56.47 to move into 11th all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

All-Time Performers, U.S. Boys’ 17-18 800 Freestyle (LCM)

  1. Larsen Jensen, 7:48.09 – 2003
  2. Chad La Tourette, 7:49.90 – 2007
  3. Luke Whitlock, 7:50.20 – 2024
  4. Bobby Finke, 7:51.45 – 2018
  5. True Sweetser, 7:53.32 – 2016
  6. Luke Ellis, 7:54.26 – 2024
  7. Andrew Abruzzo, 7:54.51 – 2018
  8. Jake Mitchell, 7:54.70 – 2019
  9. Ross Dant, 7:56.03 – 2019
  10. Tom Dolan, 7:56.33 – 1994
  11. Sean Green, 7:56.47 – 2024

The 17-year-old Green’s previous best was 8:05.34 set nearly two years ago. He ended up cracking the final in 8th, with Ohio State’s Charlie Clark ended up on the outside looking in in 9th at 7:56.63—more than six seconds shy of both his best time (7:50.07) and season-best (7:50.49).

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Jean Skarlupka
29 days ago

Why did you leave out Katie Ledecky…and her winning days.

Admin
Reply to  Jean Skarlupka
29 days ago

Hi Jean, Katie didn’t swim in this session.

ggg
1 month ago

“I can’t wait to talk to daddy” is crazy

Sapiens Ursus
1 month ago

I mean I’m glad the splits and wr comparison is back but it’s kinda funny this event of all of them is where it returns

Swimfan
1 month ago

How awesome would it be if we have 3 swimmers under 58 in the 100 back the we did with the fly tonight

Joel Lin
1 month ago

I can guarantee this – every NCAA swimmer from the 1980s will be on their feet rooting for Katherine Berkoff tonite. Her Pops has always been one of the great people in the sport & we’d all be thrilled to see his daughter join him as an Olympian.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Joel Lin
1 month ago
  • tonite AND tomorrow nite.
Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Joel Lin
1 month ago

I certainly hope Katharine Berkoff breaks thru the 58 second barrier.

David Berkoff
Reply to  Joel Lin
1 month ago

Thank you Joel for the kind words and words of support for Katharine. KB works incredibly hard and she loves this sport and all it gives in return. I can tell you that being a swim dad is almost as nerve-wracking as my days as a contender at Trials 30 plus years ago. This isn’t easy. Best of luck to all of the athletes!

Fran
Reply to  David Berkoff
1 month ago

MT proud!!!!!

Sub13
1 month ago

Regan looking dangerous. The backstrokes in Paris will be explosive

cheese
1 month ago

Amped to see some of the relay rosters tonight.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  cheese
1 month ago

The 400 IM/200 FR double is brutal.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

The athlete with the most pressure tonight has to be Lydia Jacoby.

Tomek
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

This is her only chance

EXCALIBUR
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

and her swims are not too promising for the last spot left ….after Lilly

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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