2024 U.S. Olympic Trials: Day 6 Prelims Live Recap

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

Day 6 of 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials starts with another quick prelims session. There are just three events on the schedule for this morning: the women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, and men’s 200 IM.

But that’s not all that’s on tap. After the preliminaries of these three events happen, Catie DeLoof and Erika Connolly (neé Brown) will swim-off for the sixth and final relay spot available for the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay in Paris.

In the 200 backstroke, the sole women’s event of the session, Regan Smith will set herself up to take on the 200 fly final/200 backstroke semifinal dirty double tonight.

Smith is on fire this week and has been impressive even in her morning swims, but likely won’t do more than she has to this morning. Like the women’s 100 backstroke, this is a stacked race and both Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White–the women who beat Smith in this event in 2021–are back in the field. In particular, Bacon had an under the radar strong 100 back swim, so she could be building towards something special here. The same goes for Kennedy Noble, who’s 100 back exploits were much more noticeable as she swam a 58, but the 200 backstroke is really where she shines.

Then it’ll be time for the men’s splash and dash. All four members of the newly named 4×100 freestyle relay for Paris will be in the field aiming to add another event to their roster. After such big swims in the 100/200 freestyle, Chris Guiliano could move up from his 10th place seed. Caeleb Dressel is in search of an individual Olympic berth and Jack Alexy will aim to back up his 2023 Worlds silver medal later in the rounds.

The last prelim event of the session is the men’s 200 IM. Newly named Olympian Carson Foster will begin his quest to sweep the medleys after claiming the 400 IM on night 2. Michael Andrew, a Tokyo Olympian in this event, has scratched out but there are plenty more challengers for Foster to keep an eye on. Shaine Casas comes in as the top seed and you never know what he’s got in store. Chase Kalisz will want to join Foster in the IM double up, while swimmers like Destin Lasco, Maximus Williamson, and Trenton Julian are all still hoping to book a ticket to Paris.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 2:03.14 — Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 2023
  • American Record: 2:03.35 — Regan Smith, 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:03.80 — Regan Smith (USA), 2023
  • World Junior Record: 2:19.64 – 2:03.35 — Regan Smith (USA), 2019
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Rhyan White, 2:05.73
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 2:10.39

Semifinal Qualifiers: 

  1. Isabelle Stadden (CAL), 2:08.53
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND), 2:08.68
  3. Claire Curzan (TAC), 2:08.90
  4. Phoebe Bacon (UW), 2:09.14
  5. Regan Smith (TXLA), 2:09.30
  6. Rhyan White (WOLF), 2:09.66
  7. Teagan O’Dell (MVN), 2:09.76
  8. Lilla Bognar (TG), 2:09.94
  9. Kennedy Noble (WOLF), 2:09.99
  10. Krista Marlin (OSU), 2:10.26
  11. Caroline Bentz (NCAP), 2:10.47
  12. Audrey Derivaux (JW), 2:10.89
  13. Maggie Wanezek (EBSC), 2:10.95
  14. Catie Choate (FLOR), 2:11.18
  15. Sarah Rodrigues (JAC), 2:11.37
  16. Josephine Fuller (TENN), 2:11.42

The heats of the 200 backstroke got off to a quiet start this morning. In heat 4, Vera Conic swam a lifetime best of 2:12.09, that stood until the first circle seeded heat, where Isabelle Stadden won in 2:08.53, bringing the top time of the morning well under 2:10 for the first time.

Stadden’s time is just off her season-best (2:08.53) but it held up through the last two heats as the fastest time of the morning.

In the next heat, Claire Curzan pulled ahead of Josephine Fuller at the 100-meter mark, splitting 32.09 on the second 50 to take a half body length lead. She continued to pace the field through the back half of the race, taking the heat win in 2:08.90, good for 3rd overall heading into semifinals.

Katie Grimes held off a back half push from American record holder Regan Smith in the last heat. Grimes took the win in 2:08.68, starting to approach her personal best 2:08.01. Smith pushed on the back of the race but still looked smooth, posting a 2:09.30 to move through safely in 5th.

She’s sandwiched in between the Tokyo Olympians in this event. Phoebe Bacon sits 4th after a 2:09.14 morning swim, while Rhyan White finished 2nd to Stadden in their heat with a 2:09.66.

Overall, it took a 2:11.42 to make it back, which is the fastest cut off for a semifinal at this meet in history, according to the in-arena announcer.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE — PRELIMS

  • 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
  • World Junior Record: 21.75 — Michael Andrew (USA), 2017 / 2017
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Caeleb Dressel, 21.04
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 21.96

Semifinal Qualifiers: 

  1. Michael Andrew (MASA)/Ryan Held (SUN), 21.70
  2. Jack Alexy (CAL), 21.74
  3. Chris Guiliano (ND), 21.83
  4. August Lamb (CA-Y), 21.87
  5. Quintin McCarty (WOLF), 21.98
  6. Matt King (TFA)/Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 22.00
  7. Jonny Kulow (SUN), 22.01
  8. Jack Dolan (SUN), 22.07
  9. David Curtiss (TAC), 21.18
  10. Payton Sorenson (CDOG), 22.19
  11. Matthew Jensen (CAL), 22.24
  12. Adam Chaney (FLOR), 22.26
  13. Drew Salls (WOLF)/Daniel Baltes (OSU), 22.28

Six men broke 22 seconds during prelims of the men’s 50 freestyle. Michael Andrew was the first man to get under the mark, dropping a 21.70 in the first of the three circle-seeded heats. That knocks a hundredth off his previous season-best.

In the final heat, Ryan Held matched Andrew’s time, tying them as the fastest qualifiers. Held’s been as fast as 21.68 already this season.

Last night’s 100 freestyle individual qualifiers Jack Alexy and Chris Guiliano joined the top pair sub-22 this morning. Alexy won his heat in a season-best 21.74. Meanwhile, Guiliano continues to roll at this meet. He took .13 seconds off his lifetime best with a 21.83.

Virginia’s August Lamb also set a lifetime best in prelims, crushing his previous personal best 22.23, which he set back in 2021. There were signs that Lamb had something big in store this week; at the NCAP Elite Invite a few weeks ago, he swam 22.31, his fastest time in three years.

Caeleb Dressel moves through to the semifinal easily, clocking 22.00 to tie for 7th with Jonny Kulow.

Payton Sorenson, 31, had a big swim out of heat 2. In his only his second meet since the 2021 Olympic Trials, he came within a tenth of his lifetime best. Sorenson posted a 22.19, qualifying 12th for the semifinals.

MEN’S 200 IM — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 1:54.00 — Ryan Lochte (USA), 2011
  • American Record: 1:54.00 — Ryan Lochte (USA), 2011
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.56 — Ryan Lochte (USA), 2009
  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 – Hubert Kos (HUN), 2021
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Michael Andrew, 1:55.44
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 1:57.94

Semifinal Qualifiers: 

  1. Carson Foster (RAYS), 1:58.38
  2. Maximus Williamson (LAC), 1:58.58
  3. Chase Kalisz (TXLA), 1:58.62
  4. Grant House (SUN), 1:58.83
  5. Kieran Smith (RAC), 1:59.04
  6. Shane Casas (TXLA), 1:59.10
  7. Owen McDonald (ISC), 1:59.13
  8. Destin Lasco (CAL), 1:59.45
  9. Mitchell Schott (PRIN), 1:59.67
  10. Rex Maurer (TXLA), 1:59.71
  11. Arsenio Bustos (WOLF), 2:00.08
  12. Ryan Merani (KYA), 2:00.16
  13. Baylor Nelson (TAMU), 2:00.17
  14. Nate Germonprez (TXLA), 2:00.21
  15. Trenton Julian (MVN), 2:00.24
  16. Colin Geer (MICH), 2:00.34

Grant House and Owen McDonald closed hard in the penultimate heat of the men’s 200 IM, both trying to catch up to Carson Foster. They both out-split him on the freestyle leg; Foster seemed to be in cruise control but didn’t let either get ahead of him, picking up his pace in the closing meters to ensure he got his hand on the wall first.

Foster touched in 1:58.38, which held up as the fastest time of the morning. Three men joined him under the 1:59 mark including Maximus Williamson, who looked much more himself this morning after a rough start to the meet in the 200 freestyle. Williamson won the final heat in 1:58.58 and sits two-tenths behind Foster heading into semifinals.

Chase Kalisz looked solid in the first circle-seeded heat, holding off a quick close from Deston Lasco (1:59.45) and swimming a 1:58.62.

Top seed Shaine Casas moved through to the semifinals comfortably in 6th with a 1:59.10.

Neither Daniel Diehl nor Jay Litherland were on deck for their heats. Both are racing the 200 backstroke final later this evening.

Women’s 100 Freestyle — Swim-Off

  1. Erika Connolly (neé Brown), 53.76
  2. Catie DeLoof, 53.80

In her fifth 100 freestyle of the meet, Erika Connolly (neé Brown) got the job done, beating Catie DeLoof in the swim-off for 6th place in the women’s 100 freestyle. As a reminder, the as long as there are enough roster spots, the 5th and 6th place finisher in the 100/200 freestyle is added to the Olympic roster. So with this win, Connolly has likely booked her ticket to Paris and made her second Olympic team.

After trailing at the turn, Connolly out-touched DeLoof by four-hundredths, 53.76 to 53.80. Both swimmers were faster than the 53.86 they swam in the actual final.

Men’s 50 Freestyle — Swim Off

  1. Tommy Palmer (SUN), 22.23
  2. Dillon Downing (SA), 22.24

There was almost another a tie in the swim-off for first alternate in the men’s 50 freestyle. Tommy Palmer went his second personal best of the day to secure 17th place. Coming into the meet, Palmer’s best was the 22.77 he swam at the Trojan LA Invite in July 2023.

Both Palmer and Downing were faster than the 22.33 they swam in prelims, with Palmer beating Downing by just a hundredths of a second.

Downing’s 22.24 is a personal best as well, getting under the 22.31 that he swam last summer.

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Z Tech
21 days ago

The US Aussie rivalry exist because of pure merit. Both nations have a rich heritage in the sport and have been the top two for awhile. We don’t need to artificially stoke it

Derp
21 days ago

Nesty having Dressel focus more on back half speed is what will cost him the golds in the fifty and free and 100 fly . Fly and die is legitimate what worked for him . Yes trying to figure out how to hold back halfers off like chalmers and pop I see where that matters but he lost his best edge which was his explosiveness . I don’t think he makes it in the 50 downvote away . His fly he will survive and make top two because he is more talented at fly than free . Downvote away

Stan Crump
21 days ago

Michael Andrew revives!

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Stan Crump
21 days ago

Calm down! It’s only the heats.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
21 days ago

Can Kate scratch the 100 free in Paris and just swim the relay? No point whatsoever in her racing it. I don’t see a way that she can get on the podium in that race.

gitech
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
21 days ago

She has options of medal. I think that she can get a bronze. Medals should be for Marrit, mollie, siobhan and her.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
21 days ago

After reviewing the results from the women’s 200 meter backstroke at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, the ideal progression for Regan Smith in the women’s 200 meter backstroke:

Heats – 2:10.0
Semis – 2:06.5
Final – 2:03.0

Call it unfinished business.

kaz
21 days ago

Is there anywhere I can watch the medal ceremonies for the trials? Sick of nbc not showing them.

Octavio Gupta
Reply to  kaz
21 days ago

Lucas Oil Stadium.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  kaz
21 days ago

agree.. they are very special

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  kaz
21 days ago

Buy a ticket.

chickenlamp
Reply to  kaz
21 days ago

They’re probably not going to show the naming of the team at the end of the meet either.😔

mparisi22
21 days ago

The roster for men is currently at 23. That leaves 3 more spots left, and there are 5 more finals. Here is a breakdown of each event:

200 back will more than likely have Murphy plus one new qualifier (+1)

50 free will likely contain at least one of Dressel/Guiliano/Alexy/Held. Andrew is the only other guy who I think could get in there (+0/1)

200 IM will likely contain at least one of Foster/Kalisz. Casas/Williamson are the potential spoilers to those 2. Smith is also in contention but wouldn’t add a spot. (+0/1)

100 fly needs to be one of Dressel/Heilman. I would put Rose in as taking one of the spots along with Dressel (+1)

1500 free will more… Read more »

Yikes
Reply to  mparisi22
21 days ago

Theoretically could Lasco make the 200 IM and bump King? That would be wild

Mparisi22
Reply to  Yikes
21 days ago

Yeah I didn’t think about that. If Lasco does make it in the 200 IM, which I’m not convinced that he will just yet, he would maybe swim prelims of the 4×100 free relay if the roster exceeds 26 and King is out. It could also be Pieroni who doesn’t make it. I’m not sure how the decision would be made between the two of them.

Last edited 21 days ago by mparisi22
Towelie
Reply to  Mparisi22
21 days ago

I think pieroni is the first out based on how his time stacked up vs king’s

Jack
Reply to  Mparisi22
21 days ago

I think they cut whoever is the lowest in the world rankings first if they have to cut a 6th place finisher.

Swammer11
Reply to  Jack
21 days ago

For the Olympics, I think it’s based on percentage past the OQT

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  mparisi22
21 days ago

M 200 BK – Murphy, Aiken or Jones
M 50 FR – crapshot
M 1500 FR – Finke, Clark
M 100 FL – Dressel, Rose
M 200 IM – Foster, Casas or Williamson

Someone will get screwed over by the roster limit.

MTK
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
21 days ago

Not including Kalisz as a potential top 2 in the 200IM seems a bit dismissive.

Last edited 21 days ago by MTK
Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  MTK
21 days ago

Chase Kalisz has his spot locked up in the 400 IM. Let someone else have some fun.

MTK
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
21 days ago

My point is that someone may not get screwed over by the roster limit, Kalisz’s result in the 200IM is a big factor.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  MTK
21 days ago

As as opposed to someone new in the M 200 IM.

Snarky
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
21 days ago

Clark seems way off. I’m thinking whitlock or johnston at this point for the second spot which could create two more doubles if whitlock is second. Foster and Kalicz in the IM also seems likely since they put the least effort into their respective prelims swims. I see perhaps 6 or 7 more doubles.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Snarky
21 days ago

As far as I know, David Johnston has not qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

I count four doubles with the M 50 FR pending. The M 50 FR is a crapshoot, more so this year than three years ago.

jeff
Reply to  mparisi22
21 days ago

it’d be a big upset but I can imagine Jones and Aikins upsetting Murphy in the 200

SwimmerTX
Reply to  jeff
21 days ago

I’m not entirely convinced that will happen, but I will admit there is a >1% chance it could occur.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  jeff
21 days ago

Thou shall not think like Andrew.

Let’s go Cal Bears!

Alexy, Jones, Murphy, Rose

DeRubempre
21 days ago

Michael Andrew and Ryan Held tied the top in 50 free prelims.

Do hope Caleb could make the team in 50 free.

Past performances have it that 100 fly be his forte by which he’s been enjoying substantial, not marginal edge over others.

Hopefully he could get 2 spots in both 100 fly and 50 free.

Last edited 21 days ago by DeRubempre

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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