Auburn Freshman Lawson Ficken Drops Half-a-Second to Hit Olympic Trials Cut in the 50 free

2023 Auburn Long Course Invite

  • November 29, 2023
  • James E. Martin Aquatic Center, University of Alabama, Auburn, Alabama
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “Auburn Long Course Invite”

While long course attention turns to the US Open in Greensboro this week, the Auburn Tigers are hosting a one-day, prelims-finals, long course invite on Wednesday.

The meet, essentially an intrasquad time trial event, saw a bunch of season and lifetime bests, but perhaps none was bigger than the one done by Lawson Ficken in finals of the 50 free.

Most events had just a couple of entries, and few swam through to the evening finals session, but after a 25.92 in prelims, the freshman swam 25.48 in the evening session. That comes under the 25.69 Olympic Trials cut in the event and books Ficken’s ticket to the United States’ biggest domestic meet.

That makes her the 60th woman to qualify for the US Olympic Trials in that event and ties as the 39th seed to date.

That time marks a big drop for Ficken whose previous best time of 26.01 was done in July 2022, between her junior and senior seasons of high school, at the US National Championships. Earlier this fall, during the long course time trials of the Georgia Invitational, she swam 26.27.

If we start to play the transitive game of swimming times, this could mean a huge collegiate contribution for Ficken as well this season. At the meet where she swam that 26.27, she went a best time of 22.57 in yards.

This long course time, even with the NCAAs fairly-unfavorable conversion factors, betters that to 22.47.

Her teammate Emma Steckiel took three shots at hitting the standard in the 50 free but wound up stalling out at 25.77, which she swam twice in the evening session.

Other Highlights:

  • Auburn junior Polina Nevmovenko, a Russian international, swam 55.66 in the 100 free. That’s about two-tenths off her lifetime best done at July’s Russian National Swimming Cup Final. Wyllo Hanson (56.28 vs. 56.19) was also not far off her best.


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VA Steve
3 months ago

That’s cool, I didn’t know you could do this in an inter-squad event. Congrats

3 months ago

Great swim, congratulations

Comfy Pants
3 months ago

Amaaaaazing! Emma Steckiel is next — so close. Major congrats on the fast Nov. swims, all.

3 months ago


Luis Vargas
3 months ago

Congrats Lawson!!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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