Mallory Comerford Swims Her Fastest 100 Free in Two Years in Prelims


Former American Record holder in the 100 free Mallory Comerford qualified 4th into the finals of the same event on Tuesday to open up her 2022 US World Championship Team Trials in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Normally, a 24-year old former World Record holder qualifying for an A-Final would not be that newsworthy. In this case, though, Comerford’s 54.18 was a significant bounceback from what we’ve seen out of her over the last several years in this race.

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Natalie Hinds (Unattached): 53.77
  2. Claire Curzan (TAC)/Torri Huske (Unattached): 54.16
  3. —-
  4. Mallory Comerford (CARD): 54.18
  5. Abbey Weitzeil (CAL): 54.19
  6. Erika Brown (TNAQ): 54.27
  7. Olivia Smoliga (SUN): 54.32
  8. Kate Douglass (UVA): 54.58

Comerford went into the COVID-19 shutdown with a firey swim at the Des Moines Pro Swim Series in March – where so many famously swam fast in their last shot before the Olympics were called off.

When racing resumed after the pandemic, though, she was well off her paces. Comparing her racing since a post-Olympic Trials break, though, she’s well ahead of the curve she had going into Trials.

Comerford wasn’t out of the water for long during COVID-19: her boyfriend Clark Burckle manages swim, tennis, and fitness clubs in the Louisville area, so she had access to water more than most did in the early parts of the pandemic – but she seemed to have trouble finding her pacing when she got back in the water. After a couple of slow swims in November of 2020 and January of 2021, she went to a local invite in Nashville and was aggressive on the front-half, the way she needs to be when at her best, but suffered for it big-time on the back-half.

But on Tuesday morning, she was able to both push her front-half and her back-half, which is how she swims this race when she’s at her best.

A 54.18 isn’t the ‘game-changer’ that the U.S. needs for a Simone Manuel-less relay to challenge the Australians, and that weight is not on Comerford alone, but it is a big step in the right direction for her. At 24-years old, she’s still young enough to recapture her peak performance, which would be a massive leap for the American relay.

Time Progression, Mallory Comerford, 100 LCM Freestyle:

Meet Date 1st 50 2nd 50 Final Time
US International Trials April 26, 2022 26.28 27.90 54.18
PSS – San Antonio April 2, 2022 26.56 28.39 54.95
PSS – Westmont March 3, 2022 26.58 28.27 54.85
US Open Dec 4, 2021 26.24 28.50 54.74
US Olympic Trials June 17, 2021 26.28 28.15 54.43
PSS – Indy May 13, 2021 26.81 28.56 55.37
PSS – San Antonio Mar 4, 2021 26.78 28.58 55.31
NAC January LC Invite Jan 23, 2021 26.13 29.28 55.41
PSS – San Antonio Jan 17, 2021 27.20 28.82 56.02
US Open November 14, 2020 26.77 28.44 55.21
PSS – Des Moines March 5, 2020 26.18 27.69 53.87
2019 World Championship Personal Best 25.51 27.08 52.59

Comerford is also entered in the 50 free, 50 fly, and 100 fly this week.

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7 months ago

So happy to see this. Been following her since her breakout at NCAAs and she’s a fun one to watch. A great story of pushing through adversity if she can make the team tonight and shine at World’s.

Wheel Snipe Seli
7 months ago

Was just wondering the other day what the latest on her was. Ya love to see it!

Big Mac #1
7 months ago

This puts a smile on my face

7 months ago

Didnt she have mono as well I heard?

7 months ago

Comerford’s regress doesn’t look like she lost raw speed only or she was lack of speed endurance. The shape of her splits remain pretty similar. It’s more like her engine got less fuel. Today in the morning she had the fastest second half of the race than anybody else. Although everybody were pretty slow with that. She was the only one under 28sec.
Mallory may show under 54sec in final but will she be among top 6 finishers is hard to predict because the leading swimmers didn’t push themselves to the limits on the way home in prelim session. Weitzeil(28.21), Brown(28.32) and even Smoliga(28.41) can get ahead of her in final.
I really want to see her shining… Read more »

Former Big10
7 months ago

Pulling for her! She was awesome to watch for those couple of years.

Just Sayin'
7 months ago

Dat Burckle taper tho

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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