2024 U.S. Olympic Trials: Day 7 Prelims Live Recap

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

Day 7 of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials starts with another quick prelims session that sees, like yesterday, just three individual events. The morning starts with the men’s 100 butterfly. Following that event, the women will take on the 200 IM and the 800 free.

The men’s 100 fly will be a barnburner of an event as Dare Rose will have one last shot of making the Olympic roster after failing to make the team in the 200 fly. Shaine Casas‘s 200 IM performance last night put him in a good spot to make the team, but he may have another shot in this morning’s 100 fly, where he is the 2nd seed. Looking to add another event to their already confirmed tickets are Caeleb Dressel and Thomas Heilman. Dressel, the AR holder, and Heilman, one of the breakout swimmers of last summer, should prove to be a tough competition for the aforementioned pair.

The women’s 200 IM remains Alex Walsh‘s last chance of making the Olympic team. The 2021 Tokyo silver medalist in this event finished 3rd in the 200 breast last night behind Kate Douglass and Lilly King. Walsh and Douglass, who also medaled in this event in Tokyo, are the two favorites, but Torri Huske, who has rapidly improved her breaststroke, and 2022 Worlds medalist Leah Hayes are candidates to upset the pair.

The last event of the day sees Katie Ledecky as the top seed. Ledecky is pretty good at freestyle, and more so at distance free so expect to see a strong swim from her in the morning. Fellow 2021 Tokyo Olympian in the event, Katie Grimes, has opted not to swim this event in favor of her 200 back final, so the competition for the second spot will come down between Jillian Cox and Claire Weinstein.

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY — Prelims

  • World Record: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 49.45 (2021) 
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel – 49.45 (2021) 
  • U.S. Open Record: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 49.76 (2021; semifinals) 
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (HUN) – 50.62 (2017)
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Caeleb Dressel – 49.87
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 51.67

Semifinal Qualifiers:

  1. Caeleb Dressel (GSC) – 51.14
  2. Zach Harting (CARD) – 51.49
  3. Aiden Hayes (WOLF) – 51.58
  4. Luke Miller (WOLF) – 51.74
  5. Dare Rose (Cal) – 51.88
  6. Finn Brooks (ISC) – 51.90
  7. Kaii Winkler (EA) – 52.13
  8. Danny Kovac (TRI) – 52.14
  9. Ryan Murphy (CAL) – 52.24
  10. Trenton Julian (MVN) – 52.29
  11. Thomas Heilman (CA-Y) -52.30
  12. Gabriel Jett (CAL) – 52.35
  13. Michael Andrew (MASA) – 52.36
  14. Jack Dahlgren (TRI) – 52.51
  15. Matt Josa (TEAM) – 52.52
  16. Evan Fentress (OSU) – 52.56

Taking the first heat of the morning and building on Cal’s success last night in the 200 back was Colby Mefford, who dropped half a second off his seed to take the win and top time in 53.05. Mefford placed 5th in the 200 fly earlier in the week.

Heat 2 saw Danny Kovac crush his competition as he won the heat by nearly a full second and posted a time of 52.14. Kovac tied for 16th in the prelims of the 100 breast, won a swim-off, and then went on to place 14th in the semi, stopping the clock in 1:00.47

Kovac’s time from the 2nd heat still stood up through heat 5, NC State’s Noah Henderson tried his best to take over the top time, taking the race out fast, 24.23, but could not replicate Kovac’s closing speed, and clocked a time of 52.69, to sit second overall with 4 heats remaining.

Kovac’s 52.14 lasted just one more as heat 7, the first of the circle-seeded heats, saw Michael Andrew, Caeleb Dressel, and Ryan Murphy duel it out. Dressel, the American record holder, got to the wall first in 51.14, easily out-pacing Murphy and Andrew on the back half. Dressel was out in 24.07 and came home in 27.07 to take over the top time so far. Arsenio Bustos, who will be in tonight’s 200 IM final, no-showed this heat.

Shaine Casas, the #2 seed in the event, also did not show up for his 100 fly in heat 8, as he, like Bustos, has a final this evening. In his absence, a pair of NC State swimmers stepped up as Aiden Hayes and Luke Miller finished one-two in the heat at times of 51.58 and 51.74 and slotted into 2nd and 3rd behind Dressel.

The last heat saw Zach Harting, who, in addition to finishing 8th in the finals of the 200 fly, has spent much of the week riling up the crowd in warm-ups, post a new personal best of 51.49 and overtake Hayes as the #2 seed in the event. Dare Rose and Thomas Heilman, who represented the US in Fukuoka in this event, were also in the last heat, with Rose finishing 2nd in 51.88 (good for 5th overall) and Heilman touched in 52.30, which ranks him 11th.

WOMEN’S 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY— Prelims

  • World Record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu, Hungary (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 2:06.89 – Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)
  • American Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.09 – Kate Douglass, USA (2023)
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Alex Walsh – 2:09.30
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 2:11.47

Semifinal Qualifiers:

  1. Alex Walsh (NAC) – 2:11.62
  2. Kate Douglass (NYAC) – 2:11.80
  3. Isabel Ivey (GSC) – 2:11.89
  4. Beata Nelson (UN-1-WI) – 2:12.30
  5. Leah Hayes (TIDE) – 2:12.52
  6. Torri Huske (AAC) – 2:12.66
  7. Zoe Dixon (FLOR) – 2:12.67
  8. Lilla Bognar (TG) – 2:12.83
  9. Zoie Hartman (ABSC) – 2:14.10
  10. Kelly Pash (TXLA) – 2:14.13
  11. Abby Harter (CA-Y) – 2:14.14
  12. Lucy Bell (ALTO) – 2:14.21
  13. Campbell Chase (COR) – 2:14.55
  14. Camille Spink (TENN) – 2:14.68
  15. Paige Maceachern (UCLA) – 2:14.90
  16. Megan Van Berkom (UOFM) – 2:15.16

Heat 2’s Megan Van Berkom held the fastest time through the first two heats, swimming 2:15.16, dropping .41 from her seed, but Paige Maceachern in heat 3 overtook that time, posting a 2:14.90. Maceachern’s last 50 split of 31.48 was the big difference over Van Berkom as she closed in 32.22. It was Maceachern’s first time under the 2:15 barrier.

Second in the 100 butterfly and 2nd in the 100 free, Torri Huske led Isabel Ivey by nearly a second at the 100-meter turn. Huske, who has worked hard to improve her breaststroke, gave up a little ground to Ivey in the 3rd 50 as the Gator closed the gap to .42. Ivey, who finished runner-up to Alex Walsh at the 2024 NCAAS, passed Huske in the freestyle and posted a time of 2:11.89, a new personal best by over a half a second. Huske appeared to shut it down on the free and was content to let Ivey take the win as Huske finished in 32.64 and registered a time of 2:12.66, more than four seconds off her entry time.

The penultimate heat saw the #2 seed, Alex Walsh, post the faster time of the morning so far, as she stopped the clock at 2:11.62. Walsh trailed Beata Nelson at the half-way mark, as Nelson, who swam collegiately for Wisconsin, was out in 1:01.41, , whereas Walsh was 1:01.78. Walsh out split Nelson by two seconds in the breaststroke and never looked back. Nelson touched in 2:12.30, dropping .08 from her seed time.

The last heat saw reigning 200 IM Worlds Champion, Kate Douglass take to the water. Douglass, who won the 100 free and 200 breaststroke, posted a time of 2:11.80. She looked smooth and controlled over the race, never going to her legs or expending too much energy. Leah Hayes, a 2022 Medalist in this event, was a shadow behind Douglass for much of the race and finished in 2:12.52, to take the 5th seed into tonights semifinal.

WOMEN’S 800 FREESTYLE – Prelims

  • World Record: 8:04.79, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2016 Olympic Games
  • American Record:  8:04.79, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2016 Olympic Games
  • U.S. Open Record: 8:06.68, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2016 Pro Swim Series, Austin
  • World Junior Record: 8:11.00, Katie Ledecky (USA)
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky, 8:14.62
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 8:26.71

Final Qualifiers:

  1. Katie Ledecky (GSC) – 8:17.70
  2. Jillian Cox (TXLA) – 8:31.58
  3. Aurora Roghair (ALTO) – 8:31.59
  4. Paige Madden (NYAC) – 8:31.80
  5. Kate Hurst (SCAR) – 8:32.24
  6. Rachel Stege (ABSC) – 8:32.38
  7. Claire Weinstein (SAND) – 8:33.68
  8. Ashley Twitchell (TAC) – 8:33.93

Hayden Miller, swimming for Texas A&M, posted the top time from heat 1, stopping the clock in 8:39.70, a new personal best. Finishing behind Miller was Kennedi Dobson. Dobson recorded a time of 8:44.51, a new personal best by 1.16 seconds. What makes this even more special is the fact that roughly 25 minutes earlier, she swam in the first heat of the 200 IM, where she finished 22nd in a time of 2:15.76, a new PB by .29.

It was a tighter race in heat 2 as Mila Nikanorov and Gena Jorgenson dueled each other from across the pool. Nikanorov, who swam out of lane 3, was nearly three seconds ahead of lane 6’s Jorgenson, but the Nebraska swimmer closed hard and dropped the deficit to a little more than a second, touching in 8:36.72 to Nikanorov’s 8:35.36.

Heat three saw outside smoke as Alabama’s Liberty Williams took the win from lane one. Williams, who was 18th in the 1500 free earlier in the week closed in 29.77 to drop over two seconds from her seed time, stopping the clock in 8:40.10. Katie McCarthy recorded the top time out of heat 4, stopping the clock in 8:41.00.

Heat 5, the penultimate heat and the first of our circle-seeded heats, was a cat-and-mouse affair as Jillian Cox, Paige Madden, and Kate Hurst tried to keep an eye on each other and not let anyone get too far ahead. Madden led at the 400, flipping in 4:12.80, but was slowly reeled in by Cox and Hurst. Cox would get her hand on the wall first and take over the top time as she finished in 8:31.58, .22 ahead of Madden.

I’ll stand by my statement that Ledecky is pretty good at freestyle as she absolutely dominated her heat and the field, posting a time of 8:17.70. Ledecky was 2:00.84 at the 200, and the next fastest was Paige Madden’s 2:04.67 and was the only swimmer under 4:12 a the 400 as she flipped in 4:06.52. A pillar of consistency Ledecky was 31 lows-mids from the 150 mark to the 800. Having a strong race to place second behind Ledecky in the heat was Aurora Roghair, who posted a new personal best of 8:31.59.

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Garbage Yardage
20 days ago

Dressel has always seemed like a stand-up guy to me but did he throw some low-key shade at Mandrew after that race? Maybe I misread that but it warmed my heart.

memesupreme
20 days ago

If Murphy is top 8 for the 100 fly and MA is 9th, would Murphy scratch the final like he did last year lol

cheese
Reply to  memesupreme
20 days ago

If I’m Murphy, I’d probably aim to stay in the final and keep Andrew out if it helps secure more relay-only swimmers. Michael isn’t anywhere near medal territory in the 100 fly, so might as well help out King and Pieroni at the detriment of Andrew if Murphy is making his decision off of what swimmers would be in the running, which I don’t necessarily think he would be doing.

PineappleNoMore
Reply to  cheese
20 days ago

Do you really think Murphy would choose to swim an extra race at trials because he likes Pieroni more than MA? I assume he’s mostly focused on his own performance at this meet and lets all the other adult elite athletes take ownership over their own careers and success, the way adult elite athletes are supposed to. FWIW, I don’t think MA’s making the team in this race and I hope the swimmers who’ve placed top 6 for relays get to go. But I think it would be a weird and overbearing need for control if an athlete here decided to manage their own racing schedule so that they could manipulate the team selection process and control the roster.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
20 days ago

Why didn’t kathleen baker swim the backstrokes?

swimfan
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
20 days ago

has she quietly retired?

i used to be fast now im fat
Reply to  swimfan
20 days ago

i looked it up she has NOT officially retired as of like a month ago when the first psych sheets came out but she hasn’t competed in a while so yeah basically

CAA Swammer
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
20 days ago

She’s enjoying retired life on the beach. Literally.

Yikes
20 days ago

It’s gotta be hard to be a coach like DeSorbo or Nesty who have huge contingents there and giving everyone the simultaneous support they need. Like last night, how do you console Aikens after maybe the biggest heartbreak of the meet, pump up and steady Alex for her last event, celebrate with Kate, and then you have like 8 other people also swimming. Just a lot of emotional labor.

oxyswim
Reply to  Yikes
20 days ago

You build a good staff and rely on the relationships those people have with the athletes as well! There’s no way DeSorbo or Nesty are the one coach that every athlete on those teams feels most comfortable with or has as a lead coach every day. For Alex previously Blaire was a big part of that.

jim
Reply to  Yikes
20 days ago

Truly makes me wonder if Bella Sims got lost in the shuffle this year with Nesty…Ledecky and Dressel are pretty much the female and male face of USA Swimming…that’s quite a lot of pressure Nesty has just with those two to ensure they are primed and ready to go for trials (especially Dressel, getting him BACK to his prime).

Let alone a dozen or more other swimmers who need his equal attention. Bella, I just don’t know…is it just possible this was her first international trials meet basically without Aitkens? If you look at Grimes and Weinstein, they’re doing about what you’d expect. Sims seems like not just slightly off, but majorly off. Like, slower than regular TYR meets and… Read more »

Crazycucumber93
Reply to  jim
20 days ago

Sims seemed sick or something. Even if she completely missed her taper she should have swam faster than she did, especially later in the week

cheese
Reply to  jim
20 days ago

Missing your taper normally doesn’t make a swimmer drastically slower in every single event they compete in. Usually if a swimmer tapers for a distance race and they miss it slightly, they can still pull off some decent shorter races. Assuming Bella was tapering with the 400 and 800 as possible swims, her 100 and 200 should’ve been stronger. Likewise, someone might go all in on a sprint race, flub their taper, and still perform decently in at least one of their other shorter distances, particularly given the muscle memory of elite athletes. I think there’s something deeper going on with either an illness or a personal issue.

Last edited 20 days ago by cheese
Swimfan
20 days ago

Can we please have a 4×200 medlay relay 🙏🙏🙏

swimfan
Reply to  Swimfan
20 days ago

omg that’d be amazing but idk if people wanna add another 200. but i’d take this over the mixed…

2back: smith
2br: dougie
2fly: shackell (lol run it back smith 🥺)
2free: ledecky

Swimfan
Reply to  swimfan
20 days ago

The American women would have won Beijing (hoelzer, soni, Hershey and hoff), won london (Franklin, soni, Adams and Schmitt-world record) won London (dirado,king,Adams, ledecky) and won Tokyo as well (white, king, smith and ledecky-world record based on times and ledeckys 1:53.8 split like she did on the relay)

Eye guy
Reply to  Swimfan
20 days ago

Beijing 200 fly would be Breeden and London fly would be Hershey.

Sub13
Reply to  Swimfan
20 days ago

The Australian women would actually have the world record from Fukuoka at 8:25.36. USA’s add ups in Tokyo were 8:25.37. Crazy how close that is though.

Swimfan
Reply to  Sub13
20 days ago

Yes crazy! I think the 4×200 medlay would be more exciting than the mixed medlay

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  swimfan
20 days ago

sick bro

PineappleNoMore
Reply to  Swimfan
20 days ago

I’d take a 4 x 50 medley or a 4 x 200 medley over the mixed relays.

jablo
20 days ago

wtf when did 2nd place in the women’s 800 turn into a dogfight?? 2 seconds between 2-8 in an 800????

Last edited 20 days ago by jablo
Masters swammer
Reply to  jablo
20 days ago

The final is going to be 🔥

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  jablo
20 days ago

It should be fun to watch.

Last edited 20 days ago by Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
xman
21 days ago

Question where is the training camp this year?

dg5301
Reply to  xman
21 days ago

Raleigh, NC at TAC.

xman
Reply to  dg5301
20 days ago

What about the 2nd wing in Europe?

Freddie
Reply to  xman
20 days ago

Croatia

Last edited 20 days ago by Freddie
Admin
Reply to  xman
20 days ago

Raleigh July 2-11, Croatia July 11-22, Paris July 23-25.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
21 days ago

The key for the 27 year old Katie Ledecky in the W 800 FR is to maintain 30.75 splits from 50 meter mark to the 750 meter mark.

Noah Fence
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
20 days ago

Thanks Ya i’ll let her know for ya

Outside Smoke
Reply to  Noah Fence
20 days ago

Ledecky tonight: “I really couldn’t have gone the 8th fastest time in my career without the help of Relay Names Guy. He told me to hold pace which I never considered before.”

Brizz
Reply to  Outside Smoke
20 days ago

You’re never too old to learn.

Noah Fence
Reply to  Outside Smoke
20 days ago

Relay names guy is secretly coach Nesty confirmed?!?

PineappleNoMore
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
20 days ago

Do you think this will still be key for her after she turns 28, or does pacing stop mattering in distance races when your age is an even number?