Chris Guiliano Aims For A Third Individual Event In Paris (U.S. Trials Night 7 Preview)

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

Look alive everyone, it’s time for the seventh night of finals in Indianapolis at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. We’ve got three straight finals to start the session so we’ll see more swimmers earn their Paris roster spots. Two semifinals close out the night in the men’s 100 fly and women’s 200 IM. Though–and this does need to be said at this point–that assumes there will be no swim-offs.

Order of Events

  • Men’s 50 freestyle — final
  • Women’s 200 backstroke — final
  • Men’s 200 IM — final
  • Men’s 100 butterfly — semifinals
  • Women’s 200 IM — semifinals

Men’s 50 Freestyle

The men’s splash and dash kicks off the session. While I think the men’s 200 IM later in the session does have a higher chaos factor, it isn’t by much. But chaos is also just the nature of this race. Chris Guiliano continued to shine in semifinals of this race, clocking a lifetime best (21.59) to grab the top seed. Caeleb Dressel looked much more explosive in semifinals than he did in prelims, winning his semifinal in 21.61. Jack Alexy (21.66), Ryan Held (21.82), and Michael Andrew (21.83) are all in with a real chance to get top two as well.

And Adam Chaney will be in lane 8 after winning the second swim-off of the night for the last spot in the final. Chaney had never broken 22 seconds before the original semifinal but did it three times over the course of an hour, swimming his fastest (21.79) in the first swim-off against Jonny Kulow.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

Fresh off adding the 200 butterfly to her Olympic schedule, Regan Smith cruised to a 2:06.41 in the 200 backstroke semifinal. She’s the top qualifier by .82 seconds, leading a 2:07.23 from Phoebe Bacon. Bacon, Claire Curzan (2:07.47), and Katie Grimes (2:07.75) all posted 2:07s and will flank Smith as they duke it out for second place.

This is a field of established 200 backstroke stars: Bacon and Rhyan White are Tokyo Olympians in this event, Curzan is the reigning world champion, Kennedy Noble and Isabelle Stadden are the 2023 Pan Am Games gold and silver medalists. Grimes is the dark horse in this race.

Already named to the team in the pool for the 1500 freestyle and 400 IM, Grimes broke 2:08 for the first time in the semifinal. She scratched the 800 freestyle this morning and a big swim in the final could see her upset some of the biggest backstroke stars the U.S. has to offer for that second roster spot.

Men’s 200 IM

Chaos reigns in the men’s 200 IM final. And that’s not just because Shaine Casas is in the mix.

This week’s 400 IM champion Carson Foster had a quiet semifinals swim; he improved from prelims but moves through to the final in 4th place (1:57.96) which isn’t the place many expected him to be. Is it worth reading anything into that? It’s hard to say, especially since this is the first event since that 400 IM on Day 2 that he hasn’t scratched.

Instead, it’s the 30 year old veteran Chase Kalisz who will be in lane 4 tonight after posting his fastest time (1:56.83) since the 2022 U.S. Open. Then it’s Casas in 1:57.87 over a second behind. Kieran Smith, already named to the team, snuck in for 3rd place in 1:57.94.

Four of these finalists (Shaine Casas, Grant House, Arsenio Bustos, and Will Modglin) all no-showed the 100 butterfly heats this morning, clearly going all in on this race. Modglin got scratched into the 200 IM semifinals, then made it into the final in 8th with a lifetime best 1:58.44, breaking 2:00 for the first time.

Semifinals

Men’s 100 Butterfly

Caeleb Dressel dropped a 51.14 in the first circle-seeded heat of the men’s 100 fly, which stood up as the top time of the morning through the last two heats. That put him in a good position for this double tonight as he’ll get to be in the second semi.

The top eight swimmers are separated by exactly a second after prelims, with the top six all breaking 52. Zach Harting swam a lifetime best 51.49 to move through to the semis in second while it’s five NCAA guys who make up the rest of the sub-52s, including 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Dare Rose (5th, 51.88).

Women’s 200 IM

The real race in the women’s 200 IM won’t happen until the final. Instead, what’s likely going to happen tonight is that the top competitors are going to try and cruise into the final without showing too many of their cards. In her last chance to make the Paris team, Alex Walsh swam the fastest this morning (2:11.62) with her teammate Kate Douglass just .18 seconds behind (2:11.80).

The top seven qualifiers are separated by just 1.07 seconds and along with the Cavaliers include the likes of Torri Huske, Leah Hayes, Beata Nelson, and Isabel Ivey. There’s a gap of 1.27 seconds between 7th and 8th right now, which does give the swimmers at the top some wiggle room but for the rest of the semifinalists, that means they’ll have to be at their very best tonight to grab one of the remaining final lanes.

 

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bobthebuilderrocks
24 days ago

Funny enough, I’m pretty sure I saw Biondi right before the start of the session.

EXCALIBUR
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
24 days ago

where was that ?

catfish
24 days ago

and he did it

Jean Marie
24 days ago

I’m saying it’s Alexy and Dressel for the two spots.

This Guy
Reply to  Jean Marie
24 days ago

If everyone is on top of their game I agree. If either has a mistake then it’s Guiliano

Stallion06
24 days ago

He’s a beast, he’s a dawg, he’s a problem

EXCALIBUR
Reply to  Stallion06
24 days ago

oh yes

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
24 days ago

Does the SwimSwam photo curse strike tonight?

Andy
24 days ago

Swimswam trying to put the fix in for their official contest picks by putting Guiliano on the lead picture…

joannietheswimmer
24 days ago

Finals heat sheets?

This Guy
24 days ago

So if Alexy gets even a mediocre start he should get a spot. Can’t believe he hasn’t figured out a safe say to hit an average start. He doesn’t need to nail it

Snarky
Reply to  This Guy
24 days ago

His best start was in the preliminary of the 100

EXCALIBUR
Reply to  Snarky
24 days ago

totally right

small bird
Reply to  This Guy
24 days ago

called it

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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