Jake Mitchell Gives Detailed Perspective on 400 Free Time Trial

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Reported by James Sutherland.

MEN’S 400 FREE TIME TRIAL

  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 3:46.78
  1. Jake Mitchell (CSC), 3:45.86

In an unbelievable solo time trial effort, Carmel Swim Club’s Jake Mitchell produced the swim of his life to crush the Olympic qualifying time of 3:46.78 in 3:45.86, effectively putting him on the U.S. Olympic team.

Mitchell really attacked the race, out almost two seconds faster than he was in the individual final at the 100 (52.63) and more than three at the 200 (1:49.86) before closing just a quarter of a second slower, 1:56.00 compared to 1:55.25 on Sunday on the back-half.

Mitchell’s splits:

  • 25.16
  • 27.47 (52.63)
  • 28.47
  • 28.76 (1:49.86)
  • 29.13
  • 28.90 (2:47.89)
  • 29.13
  • 28.84 (3:45.86)

If you haven’t been following along, only Kieran Smith (3:44.86) went under the FINA ‘A’ time in the men’s 400 free final, leaving the second Olympic spot up for grabs. If no one in the field that finished ahead of Zane Grothe, who was 11th in the prelims, managed to get under the 3:46.78 standard, then the Olympic spot would be Grothe’s provided there was space on the roster.

As the runner-up in the final, Mitchell had first dibs on the available spot—as long as he went sub-3:46.78, it would be his, even if someone else went faster. And he did just that, dropping more than two seconds from his best time of 3:47.95, set at the 2019 World Juniors, in the process.

In This Story

50
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
50 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Kraken
1 month ago

Honestly the best race of trials, pulling that time off by himself with no one to race against.

monsterbasher
Reply to  The Kraken
1 month ago

Once again reminds me why I hate NBC with the fury of a thousand suns. Please for the love of god USA swimming change providers. I for one would love to see the TNT crew provide swimming coverage. Lol

Bevo
Reply to  monsterbasher
1 month ago

The pre-canned NBC coverage including sticking in other sport promos like track and field during “our” Trials is a huge slap in the face. We have so many great stories to share, like this race of the meet by Mitchell. We’ve lost control of the coverage, now we settle for watching track and field ads and promos? Come on, someone, step up and represent. There is no crossover interest in track and field outside of supporting USA athletes. Let’s keep swimming top of mind for all segments.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Bevo
1 month ago

I actually have a huge interest in track and field and know a number of swim fans who enjoy both. Not sure why you think swim fans are/should be one dimensional sports fans…

The Beard
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

I’ve never been so engaged in what was going on in the background of something I was watching.

Swim3057
Reply to  monsterbasher
1 month ago

USA Swimming does not control the rights for Olympic team selection events. It is negotiated with the USOPC and part, of the rights for all Olympic Trials (summer and winter). NBC has the rights to the Olympic Games through 2032 so both the Games and Trials will remain on their airwaves until at least then.

monsterbasher
Reply to  Swim3057
1 month ago

Until 2032? Lord help us.

AThomas
Reply to  monsterbasher
1 month ago

It helps to remember, this coverage isn’t for true swim fans. Too bad, really, but this is what we get. On the flip side, we get details and true fan reaction on places like swimswam.

Caleb
Reply to  AThomas
1 month ago

I am a seasoned TV producer, handled years of live coverage, and can’t imagine what they were thinking. This could/should have been an amazing story that was all over the Today show this morning… they just blew it and if it were my shop, heads would roll.

Bevo
Reply to  Caleb
1 month ago

Now we’re talking

Dan
Reply to  Caleb
1 month ago

I was going to say the same thing about people need to get reassigned (never worked in TV though).

Alec Scott
1 month ago

One of the most amazing high pressure performances in the history of the sport in my opinion.

A C
1 month ago

Wow! How do you like me now?

Penguin
1 month ago

Man this guy slaps his chest hard

Deepblue
1 month ago

Gonna give closing my eyes while breathing a try. Sounds tough.

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Good for him but I repeat and I stand by this, they should have sent only Kieran smith to represent USA in the men’s 400 free.

SCCOACH
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

This is a wacky stance. He earned a spot fair and square

He said what?
Reply to  SCCOACH
1 month ago

This isn’t wacky. The real Bobo just outed himself. Arrogance to another level.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Sorry I disagree. The final is a race where no-one is going for time and they went out slow. Mitchell is clearly good enough to be there and if he shaves a bit more time off he could final and medal.

HJones
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

He would have to shave a significant chunk of more time to be a medal chance. Whether Sun swims or not, it will likely still take 3:42-3:43 to medal. But, he is certainly in a position to final.

Coach
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

I agree with Bobo. He needed a second chance.
What makes the US Olympic team so great and so competitive is that there are no second chances.
Same as the games.
Kieran Smith went out hard and got it done. Nothing stopping the others going with him. It’s not like the Fina A time hadn’t been published for over 2 years now

Toocool4you
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

But there are at least 3 more “second chances” after this meet. Trials should the last chance, because … trials.

Well done jake Mitchell!!!

Svird
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

He got second at trials and hit the qualifying time within the qualifying period. It’s unusual that he hit the qualifying time after trials but he made the team by the book.

Yall are being so dramatic about this lmao.

Congrats to Jake Mitchell!

mds
Reply to  Svird
1 month ago

Svird — directly on point.

Katie
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

The world has been shut down for 15 months and you’re arguing that anyone – but especially an NCAA swimmer who swam yards all of early 2021 and didn’t have the opportunity to do tapered LCM until Olympic Trials – shouldn’t get a second swim because he didn’t meet the A standard in summer 2019? Because he would have spent fall 2019 and winter 2020 swimming yards until Covid shut everything down. Like, when are you expecting the NCAA swimmers to have had the chance to do tapered LCM in the past two years?

maverick1993
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

I get the sentiment but there is no way he could medal…he would have to drop another 3 seconds which is an eternity from the level he is at. Props to him though for delivering this performance all by himself and under pressure. sign of a great mindset.

Beachmouse
Reply to  maverick1993
1 month ago

There are many athletes who take that second chance and really capitalize on it. Ariana Kukors at WCs comes to mind.

Riccardo
Reply to  maverick1993
1 month ago

Yeah might as well have told Vanderkaay to pack it in when he went 3:47.6 at Trials in 2012. Oh wait he got the bronze and only lost to two convicted dopers.

HJones
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Unless I am mistaken, Mitchell has the lowest roster priority at the moment because the second place finish in the 400 race and his A-cut were achieved independently. Once it is determined if all second place finishers and the fifth and sixth place swimmers in the 100 and 200 freestyles can be added, Mitchell would then be added if there is space (unless, of course, he qualifies top 2 in another event and hits the respective A-cut while doing so).

Could someone correct me if this logic is wrong?

Admin
Reply to  HJones
1 month ago

That’s correct.

AThomas
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Is this correct? Looks to me like rule 1.3.4 says the sorting occurs Saturday at 9pm. This would only apply to Mitchell if he got the OQT after Trials?

R&R
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

It’s not like they changed the rules for him. Done, and good for him and team USA.

He said what?
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Welcome back. Now the arrogant and opinionated Bobo shows his true self. The one a few of us remember. And why he gets the downvotes he gets.

John
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Care to quantify your reasoning?

DMSWIM
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

I don’t understand the Bobo Gigi hate. While people may not agree with his opinion, it’s not outside of the realm of reasonable. I’m glad Jake got the opportunity and made it, but it’s a valid argument that if you can’t make the cut in the final at Trials, you shouldn’t be on the team.

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

people will downvote me for it, but I have to agree. Once you get to the olympics you have prelims, quarters, semis, and finals. you have to progress through the stages and win, there is no time trial that will get you into the next stage. because you had a bad prelim, or a bad semi race or whatever should not mean that after said even your time trial should leapfrog anyone else in the standings other than a good old pat on the back good job, but you should have done that in the actual race.

what he did is very very very impressive, but IMO… too late.

Emma
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

This has always been the rule. Not sure that everyone understands this. Many countries have this come into play constantly. Swimming is getting deeper through many countries, not just the US anymore, so this is going to likely happen more in the future.

Just like other meets, the Olympics have a certain qualifying period. Each country gets to decide who they can send (which is Trials for the U.S. and probably most countries), but the qualifying time is about whether they may enter the meet (Olympics). So not really sure what the problem is here… just b/c swimming didn’t used to be so deep across non-U.S. countries so this never came into play before.

Ger
1 month ago
Bevo
Reply to  Ger
1 month ago

Maybe nbc will stick this in between the Uber Eats commercials if we’re lucky. Thanks Ger for providing this. With more days to come, this is going to be one of the highlights.

VA Steve
Reply to  Ger
1 month ago

You have to have a hard heart not to love this and believe he earned his spot. Thanks for the post, made me tear up.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Ger
1 month ago

That’s swimming right there in a nutshell. One-on-one versus the clock, and everyone diggin’ it. Fantastic.

Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

This is one of the coolest sports stories in recent memory. And talk about clutch performances.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »