Jay Litherland Adds 200/400 Free To IM’s, No 200 Back At Trials


2016 Olympian in the 400 IM Jay Litherland is slated to compete in four events at U.S. Nationals: the 200 and 400 IM, and the 200 and 400 freestyle.

The medleys were a given, and after winning the 200 free at the Santa Clara Pro Swim shortly after the 400 IM, that one isn’t a surprise either. Entering the 200 free keeps him out of the 200 back, which is also on day 2. At the Olympic Trials he swam both, as they were on different days, just missing the final in 9th in the 200 back. In the 200 free, the morning after earning his Olympic berth in the 400 IM, he missed the semis in 21st.

The 400 free is one event we didn’t see him contest last summer, as it was on the same day as the 400 IM in Omaha. If he chooses to swim it, he looks to be in for a drop after showing his freestyle and endurance are in good shape in Santa Clara. If he qualifies in the 400 IM on day 3, he could opt to swim this as sort of a fun event with the pressure off. If he heads into day 4 having yet to qualify, he could give this event a go to give himself every opportunity to make the team. He could also opt to scratch the event in either scenario to rest for the 200 IM on the final day.

The 200 IM is another wide open event this year, with both Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte not competing. Litherland’s college teammate Chase Kalisz is favored to win, and that second spot is largely up for grabs, with Cal’s Josh Prenot probably the next biggest threat.

Litherland is seeded 13th in the 200 free, 2nd in the 400 IM, 8th in the 400 free, and 6th in the 200 IM. We’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out in Indianapolis, but Litherland is a major threat to qualify in multiple events.


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I don’t know about the 400 free. The 400 free has 3 guys at 3:45. The race will be between Grothe, Smith and Haas. Remember that great race at the 2016 OT?

I am sure he could make the final, but why bother if he’s going to need his strength for his better events.


He’s a maniac


Michael Andrew for the silver 200 I’m

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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