Jake Mitchell Excited at Prospect of 400 Free Time Trial

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Reported by James Sutherland.

MEN’S 400 FREE FINAL

  • World Record: Paul Biedermann (GER) – 3:40.07 (2009)
  • American Record: Larsen Jensen – 3:42.78 (2008)
  • US Open Record: Larsen Jensen – 3:43.53 (2008)
  • World Junior Record: Mack Horton (AUS) – 3:44.60 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Mack Horton (AUS) – 3:41.55
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Connor Jaeger – 3:43.79
  • Wave I Cut: 3:57.29
  • Wave II Cut: 3:54.21
  1. Kieran Smith (FLOR), 3:44.86
  2. Jake Mitchell (CSC), 3:48.17
  3. Ross Dant (NCS), 3:48.30

It was Kieran Smith against the clock in the men’s 400 free final, and the University of Florida swimmer got the job done as he torched his personal best and got well under the FINA ‘A’ cut in a time of 3:44.86.

Smith, 21, got out and attacked the race from the jump, flipping in a blazing 1:50.35 at the 200. He held it together down the back-half, annihilating his previous best of 3:47.71 and the Olympic qualifying time of 3:46.78.

This performance makes Smith the first first-time Olympian of the Trials so far. He now ranks tied for 10th in the world this season.

Four men ended up finishing within three-tenths of one another in the hotly-contested race for second, with Carmel’s Jake Mitchell out-touching Ross DantChris Wieser and Brooks Fail in a time of 3:48.17. That falls two-tenths shy of Mitchell’s best of 3:47.95, set at the 2019 World Juniors.

Since two men didn’t hit the ‘A’ standard here, then whoever has the fastest ‘A’ cut time, and the highest finish at Trials, at any other meet in the qualifying period gets to go. That window is open until June 27. Zane Grothe, who is not in this final, has hit the cut. There’s a FINA-approved meet in Mission Viejo June 26-27. If a swimmer achieves the cut in Mission Viejo, and finished ahead of Grothe here in Omaha, they would get the spot above him.

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Jake fan
1 month ago

We believe in you Jake! Big support from Carmel Indiana!

ACC
1 month ago

I think it’s a tall order for any of them to go 3:46. Also what a weird dynamic for a race. Going under the cut and winning doesn’t guarantee you a spot, because if someone beat you in finals and also goes under the cut they get the spot, even if you beat them by 5 seconds.

oxyswim
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

I don’t think we get more than one of these guys under the A cut, if that. And if anyone is that far under the A cut, but doesn’t make it because someone else who beat them at trials got it I won’t feel bad. They had their chance at Trials like every other swimmer.

Konner Scott
1 month ago

I’m excited for him. I think he can do it. He’s been 3:47 before and admits he swam this race conservatively. It’ll be interesting to see if he tries to take it out faster & hold on.

Melissa
Reply to  Konner Scott
1 month ago

If they don’t go out in 1:50.x they may as well stop snd get out.

Xman
Reply to  Melissa
1 month ago

They should have somebody rabbit for them

Konner Scott
Reply to  Melissa
1 month ago

Eh, I don’t think you need to go 1:50/1:55 to get the time. I think 1:51 high/1:54 high should be enough if you split it right. Some people can probably get even closer to an even split than that. Depends on the specific swimmer though.

R&R
Reply to  Konner Scott
1 month ago

He also said he was in serious pain at the end (as anyone would be, racing).

I agree with the folks saying that dropping to 3:46.78 is a tall order for anyone with a shot.

Maybe Jake Magahey…

A C
1 month ago

Seems like Grothe is marginal to make the team given the 26-man limit — if none of the 2 through 8 finishers hit the 400 Free Olympic qualifying standard. I would like to see him swim the time trial to show that he can hit the standard now and, if he can’t, he would at least help the other 7 swimmers to get the standard.

ACC
Reply to  A C
1 month ago

He’s got 3 other events, and I don’t see why he would help another person take his slot.

Last edited 1 month ago by ACC
A C
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

The time trial will be at the end of the meet, right? And like I said, he is marginal to make the team given that he finished ninth in the prelims and the team has a 26-man limit including relay specialists.

A C
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

I would agree that he should not swim the time trial if he makes the team in another event — because then the coaches will allow him to swim the 400 Free as well.

Anthony Preda
1 month ago

Could someone hypothetically break the World Record in the 400 time trial and not get selected on the Olympic Team because they didn’t swim faster than Grothe earlier?

Is there any chance Ledecky and Phelps could deck enter the 400 Free Time Trial?

A C
Reply to  Anthony Preda
1 month ago

Uggh, if they break the world record, then ipso facto they would swim faster than Grothe’s time.

Blackflag82
Reply to  A C
1 month ago

The rule is that they had to beat Grothe earlier and make the A cut. If whomever got 15th swam a world record between now and the Olympics that person would not be eligible to make the team. ‘earlier’ is the key word there

A C
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

Oh yeah. I am assuming that only those seven swimmers who finished 2 through 8 on Sunday, plus maybe Grothe, are going to swim the Time Trial at the end of this meet, and again at Mission Viejo. Of course, others can possibly swim it, but can you think of anybody else who could realistically hit the Olympic qualifying standard?

Blackflag82
Reply to  A C
1 month ago

No, but the OP was asking hypothetically as he mentioned…curious of the technicalities I assume, so it doesn’t really matter if there is actually someone who is capable in relation to his question.

P K
Reply to  Anthony Preda
1 month ago

It’s like breaking the world record in a B consolation final. You’re still 9th place. (I think this actually happened at a Pan Pac meet a few years ago, in part due to the restrictions on number of swimmers per country in the final.)

The meet sanction requires you to be entered in the meet to enter in any time trial events, so Phelps would be out. Ledecky can’t swim in a men’s event; she would require at least one lane of separation if they combined the events in one heat.

Riccardo
1 month ago

It is a tall ask for all these guys to go 3:46.78 after seeing their 200s. If 1:48 high or 1:49 low is all you have in the tank for a 200 that 3:46.7 is a really tough time to try to hit for the 400. They certainly can’t be out in 1:52 high or 1:53s as they were last night.

That said if it happens I will be rooting for them as hard as anyone to make it happen.

Joe
Reply to  Riccardo
1 month ago

I think Magahey might be able to do it, he was a 1:47 and if he has the speed to go a little faster I could see him split a 1:51.5/1:54.5 or something.

Corn Pop
1 month ago

Just admit you have a we

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