400 Free Time Trials Set for Tuesday and Friday, For 2nd – 10th Place Finishers

by Annika Johnson 58

June 15th, 2021 News

There will be two men’s 400 free time trials during the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II, USA Swimming announced Monday night. The first is scheduled for Tuesday night and the second will take place on Friday night. Both will start after the finals session.

Kieran Smith was the only swimmer to get under the FINA A cut in the men’s 400 free final on Sunday night. We broke down what that means and the rules regarding the A cut (Olympic Qualifying Standard) versus the B cut (Olympic Selection Time) here.

Since the only other U.S. swimmer who has achieved the A cut during the qualification period, Zane Grothe, placed 11th in the event, the time trial will be between swimmers who finished 2nd through 10th place. They won’t have to beat Grothe’s time (he went a 3:45.78 at the 2019 World Championships), they only have to attain the A cut (3:46.78) since they have already placed higher than him at Trials.

2nd place finisher Jake Mitchell is excited about the time trial. “I know as the meet goes on I normally feel a lot better. Especially [after] I got my first race jitters out … There’s gonna be a lot less nerves, I know that I’m swimming fast,” he told reporters on Monday after there were some plans in motion for the time trials. Mitchell finished with a time of 3:48.17.

Ross Dant, who placed 3rd, also has a solid chance to break the A cut. He touched the wall at 3:48.30, right with Mitchell.

Top Ten Finishers in Men’s 400 Free Final:

  1. Kieran Smith (not eligible for time trial)
  2. Jake Mitchell
  3. Ross Dant
  4. Chris Wieser
  5. Brooks Fail
  6. Trey Freeman
  7. Mitch D’Arrigo
  8. Andrew Abruzzo
  9. Jake Magahey
  10. Coby Carrozza

Not only will 2nd through 10th place be eligible for those two time trials, USA Swimming stated that “all athletes who finished 2nd through 10th in the men’s 400m Free will have until June 27 to achieve an A time (at a FINA approved meet) and be considered for nomination to the Olympic team.”

There are a few FINA approved meets before that time: a meet in Mission Viejo June 26-27, a meet in the Bahamas June 24, and technically the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.

USA Swimming clarified that 2nd through 10th place finishers in the 400 free can also time trial the event on their own any day during the meet. “If more than one athlete makes the FINA A time standard in Omaha, they will be ranked in finish order, based on the June 13 results,” they said.

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Pez
3 months ago

So if Mitchell goes the standard hes in no matter what?

Swammer
Reply to  Pez
3 months ago

Exactly!

DLSwim
Reply to  Pez
3 months ago

Yes.

Zanna
Reply to  Pez
3 months ago

Yes

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Pez
3 months ago

I’m here from the future to tell you that…well, let’s just say you will be very pleased.

CRD
3 months ago

What if nobody swims fast enough, does Zane Grothe go then?

Swammer
Reply to  CRD
3 months ago

I think either Grothe goes or they will just take Smith.

coachymccoachface
Reply to  Swammer
3 months ago

I really think it would be stupid to take Grothe esp if they have to take him over who got 6th in the 200 free or 100 free

swim6847
Reply to  coachymccoachface
3 months ago

I think Grothe is last priority in this case. If the team size hasn’t been reached after pulling in the 6th place finishers, then Grothe goes.

Rafael
Reply to  swim6847
3 months ago

Priority is not, First in each event, top 4 100/200, then 2nd each event, then 5 and 6 of relays?

swim6847
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Yes, but I think I read since Grothe didn’t hit the qualifying standard at trials, they’ll only take him if the team size hasn’t been reached. I could be wrong though.

owen
Reply to  swim6847
3 months ago

yeah he didn’t get second, so i don’t think he gets priority over the 5/6th 100/200 freestylers

Xman
3 months ago

Book a trip to the Bahamas. If you make it awesome, I’d not you’re in the Bahamas 🌄

GATOR CHOMP 🐊
Reply to  Xman
3 months ago

If we get the whole crowd behind a time trial i think someone could have the swim of their life, especially mitchell who admitted to swimming the race too conservatively on the front half

TNM
3 months ago

So why is it 2nd through 10th? Why not 2nd through 8th, which would only cover the finals swimmers? If they are opening the door to 9th and 10th, why not 11th through 16th? If they are going to give two swimmers outside finals (9th and 10th) a second chance, why not Grothe? I don’t get the logic of all swimmers above Grothe getting a second chance and not Grothe himself.

I think this would be less controversial if 2nd through 8th get a second chance. Okay, that’s finals swimmers. I understand the logic. But the fact that 9th and 10th get another chance is opening a can of worms.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  TNM
3 months ago

Interesting viewpoint and I think I agree. It makes no sense for 9th and 10th to be included in this. No disrespect to those swimmers but they should be shut out like Grothe.

Last edited 3 months ago by The unoriginal Tim
JimSwim22
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
3 months ago

Because the selection rules say the highest place from trials that have made the A cut get to go. Right now Grothe is the only A cut and he got 11 so only those in front of him have a shot

Anon
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
3 months ago

But Grothe isn’t shut out.

P K
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
3 months ago

The extra time trial is just a convenience. Anyone at the meet can swim a time trial during the regular time trial session; this just serves to organize the time trial (and do it at night when a crowd will be there). That’s why 9th and 10th place are included–because they would be able to time trial anyway or set a time at another FINA approved meet (e.g. Mission Viejo).

Assuming the team does not fill during Priority 2 selection (second swimmers in non-100/200 Free events), Grothe doesn’t need to swim in a time trial; he already has the OQT. The purpose of the time trial is not to be the fastest swimmer during the time trial, but rather to… Read more »

distanceswammer
Reply to  TNM
3 months ago

Because that’s literally how the selection rules are written…. It’s not that controversial. Grothe already has the A standard and can only make it if 2-10 don’t hit the cut. Him re-swimming it will not change that he got 11th. It’s based on your place at trials and not necessarily your time. This time trial situation is more of a monkey wrench than a can of worms.

Idk
Reply to  TNM
3 months ago

It’s based off finish order so if number 3 and number 9 swim under the A cut and 9 swims faster, 3 still gets to go. It goes up to 10 because grothe has the A cut and it doesn’t matter how fast he swims because it’s based off finish order. Number 12 can’t qualify because grothe has the A cut and yet again it’s based off finish order. In other words they are giving everybody a second chance the cutoff is grothe because he doesn’t need one.

Last edited 3 months ago by Idk
Anon
Reply to  TNM
3 months ago

Because according to qualification procedure Grothe holds the second position right now. If you didn’t let 9 and 10 vie for that spot then you’re saying Grothe is allowed consideration while missing the A finals but others are not. This procedure is basically: anyone in the field can try for an A cut. It’s only relevant for 2-10 because Trials finish order is still the determinator and any A cut below 11 loses based on that order.

It’s weird but makes the most sense according the rules in place.

Philip Johnson
3 months ago

The American swim system just isn’t up to par in developing male 400-1500 swimmers.

Last edited 3 months ago by Philip Johnson
coachymccoachface
Reply to  Philip Johnson
3 months ago

But dude Michael Andrew made the olympics so it’s cool.

Ole 99
Reply to  Philip Johnson
3 months ago

It certainly has more of an emphasis/opportunity on the shorter races. Thus, swimmers gravitate to the those races. We like the idea of being the best at everything, but as a nation we care way more about sprint than endurance races. I believe the same could be said for the US in track.

Powerplay
Reply to  Ole 99
3 months ago

You’re right. USA men much weaker in endurance sports vs 1970s/80s. Swimming, track, triathlon, cycling. The rest of the world got faster. USA men not so much. USA women have done better. Yes, there are exceptions, but general trend is there.

The Weez
Reply to  Ole 99
3 months ago

I don’t know track well enough to compare, other than to state that in the 70s and 80s distance / mid distance was “cool.” Prefontaine has two movies about him. Not a sprinter. Not a relay guy at those distances (I don’t think).

Biggest boost to US mid distance would be to add the 1000 back into NCAA Champtionships and Conference Champs (see the Ivies). Give bigger importance, scoring opportunities. Right now, why do you really want a miler / pure distance type, other than to fill gaps. Maybe they can swim the 500, maybe score points enough to matter, and then MAYBE they can also do a 4IM or 2Fly to round out their three pinnacle meet events.… Read more »

Andy Hardt
Reply to  The Weez
3 months ago

Definitely read this as “add the 1000 back(stroke)” the first time through…

Just sayin...
Reply to  Philip Johnson
3 months ago

That’s because distance swimming and training is awful and soul-crushing if done properly. “Yay! I get to swim the 1000 (or 1650) free, 500 free, and probably the 200 fly or 400IM at every single college duel meet,” said no college swimmer ever if they are honest.

Carlos Fernandez
Reply to  Philip Johnson
3 months ago

The entire sport has become more sprint and muscle-based. It’s just that NCAA’s has highlighted this fact.

Gary Hall, Jr. had to get out of college swimming not too long ago b/c it was incompatible with sprint training. (Thanks to Auburn and the rise of sprint coaches like Mike Bottom et al, it’s less of an issue nowadays.)

ISL will continue to hammer home that pool swimming is a sprint sport. 200’s and below are sprints. All the relays are sprints.

Now that the 800 has been added and open water swimming is growing in prestige, there will be a tug to keep distance athletes in the sport. But it’s going to take several years to pick up steam.

GATOR CHOMP 🐊
3 months ago

Based on Dant dropping over 3 seconds in the 400 he’s primed for a really good 800 and 1500. I’d say he snags the second spot in the 800.

Ol' Longhorn
3 months ago

Talk about money on the line, Jake Mitchell. Go for it.

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

That decision rewards weakness.
They should only send Kieran Smith in the 400 free.
Only him deserves to represent USA in that event.
It sends a message of laxity and certainly will not help raise the level in the next years.

GATOR CHOMP 🐊
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

It would be a shame if I ratio’d your comment Bobo

Ole 99
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

not sending swimmers to international meets due to arbitrary time standards set by the national swimming body has really helped propel France to the top of the medal standings.

Xman
Reply to  Ole 99
3 months ago

That’s Fina’s standard not USA Swimming. Otherwise they would just send 2nd place.

Toocool4you
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Maybe grothe is going to light the place up at the MVN meet, aka wave III. Too bad they didn’t make trials the last chance to qualify.

DLswim
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

The procedure for selection is in the rules set by USA Swimming well in advance of the Olympics, so it’s not like the federation can arbitrarily change them at this point.