U.S. World Championship Trials: Day 4 Prelim Live Recap



After posting wins in the 800 and 200 free already this week, World Record holder Katie Ledecky will race this morning in the 400 free as the heavy favorite, though an interesting contest should shape up behind her. A resurgent Leah Smith comes in as the second seed, but a trio of Sandpipers swimmers, including Katie Grimes and Claire Weinstein, who have already qualified for Worlds, will look to continue their distance free excellence.

Kieran Smith, this week’s 200 free champion, comes in as the top seed in the 400 free, just ahead of Florida teammate Trey Freeman. In the women’s 100 breast, current World Record holder Lilly King comes in as the top seed, just ahead of Lydia Jacoby, the Olympic champ. In the men’s breast, Michael Andrew, who broke the American Record in the 50 breast last night, comes in as the top seed.

The women’s 100 back offers a stacked field, including former World Record holder Regan Smith, last night’s 50 back champion Katharine Berkoff, 200 back champion Phoebe Bacon and Olympians Olivia Smoliga, Rhyan White and Claire Curzan.

The men’s 100 back also features a strong field, with World Record holder Ryan Murphy coming in as the top seed. He should be challenged, however, as Hunter Armstrong, Justin Ress and Shaine Casas threw down a trio of blazing 50 backs last night, including Armstrong and Ress undercutting Kliment Kolesnikov’s World Record.

Women’s 400 free

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Katie Ledecky (Unattached): 4:00.38
  2. Leah Smith (TXLA): 4:04.83
  3. Bella Sims (SAND): 4:09.78
  4. Hali Flickinger (SUN): 4:10.03
  5. Claire Weinstein (SAND): 4:10.90
  6. Katie Grimes (SAND): 4:11.39
  7. Cavan Gormsen (LIAC): 4:13.76
  8. Erin Gemmell (NCAP): 4:14.04

Florida pro Katie Ledecky took care of business this morning, winning the final heat with a near-even-split 4:00.38. Qualifying second behind her was Leah Smith, who dominated her heat in 4:04.83, leaving her nearly five seconds clear of third qualifier Bella Sims of Sandpipers.

Sandpipers had two other high schoolers make the A final as well, with Claire Weinstein qualifying 5th and Katie Grimes qualifying 6th. High schooler Cavan Gormsen of LIAC and Erin Gemmerll of NCAP also qualified for the A final, finishing 7th and 8th, respectively.

200 fly champion Hali Flickinger of Sun Devil qualified 4th in 4:10.03.

Men’s 400 free

  • 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)
  • Junior World Record: Mack Horton (AUS): 3:44.60 (2014)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Luke Hobson (TEX): 3:50.28
  2. Trey Freeman (FLOR): 3:50.58
  3. Coby Carrozza (TEX): 3:50.60
  4. Kieran Smith (FLOR): 3:50.72
  5. Charlie Clark (OSU): 3:51.62
  6. Ross Dant (NCS): 3:52.10
  7. Nicholas Caruso (GSC): 3:52.29
  8. Tyler Watson (FLOR): 3:52.98

Texas’ Luke Hobson dropped two and a half seconds from his seed to take the top spot in 3:50.28, touching just ahead of Florida’s Trey Freeman in his heat. Freeman qualified second in 3:50.58.

Texas; Coby Carrozza won the final heat in 3:50.60 to qualify third and touched just ahead of another Florida Gator, Kieran Smith. Smith, the defending Olympic bronze medalist in this event, qualified fourth in 3:50.72.

Texas’ Carson Foster, who entered the morning as the fourth seed, no-showed. The 400 IM and 400 free are on the same day at Worlds, so he would be unable to compete in both had he qualified in this event.

Women’s 100 breast

  • World Record: Lilly King (USA): 1:04.13 (2017)
  • American Record: Lilly King: 1:04.13 (2017)
  • US Open Record: Jessica Hardy (USA): 1:04.45 (2009)
  • Junior World Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU): 1:04.35 (2013)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Lilly King (ISC): 1:06.20
  2. Kaitlyn Dobler (Unattached): 1:06.85
  3. Annie Lazor (ISC): 1:07.05
  4. Lydia Jacoby (STSC): 1:07.58
  5. Alex Walsh (UVA): 1:07.96
  6. Hannah Bach (OSU): 1:08.37
  7. Anna Keating (UVA): 1:08.89
  8. Mackenzie Looze (IU): 1:08.93

Top seed and World Record holder Lilly King took care of business this morning, pulling away from her heat over the final 25 meters to take the top seed in 1:06.20. USC sophomore Kaitlyn Dobler, the NCAA champ in this event, qualified second in 1:06.85, while King’s IU training partner Annie Lazor qualified third in 1:07.05.

The defending Olympic champ Lydia Jacoby qualified 4th in 1:07.58, two and a half seconds off of her seed. UVA’s Alex Walsh qualified fifth in 1:07.96 after dropping over a second from her seed.

Men’s 100 breast

  • World Record: Adam Peaty (GBR): 56.88 (2019)
  • American Record: Michael Andrew: 58.14 (2021)
  • US Open Record: Michael Andrew (USA): 58.14 (2021)
  • Junior World Record: Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA): 59.01 (2017)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Michael Andrew (MASA): 58.78
  2. Nic Fink (MAAC): 59.63
  3. Tommy Cope (ISC): 1:00.25
  4. Cody Miller (SAND): 1:00.56
  5. Charlie Swanson (NOVA): 1:00.61
  6. Zhier Fan (MTRO): 1:00.64
  7. Kevin Houseman (NU): 1:00.94
  8. AJ Pouch (VT): 1:01.22

Top seed Michael Andrew dominated the final heat this morning en route to taking the top qualifying spot with a 58.78. He will be flanked this evening by 200 breast champ Nic Fink, who qualified second in 59.63.

Indiana’s pro group got a pair of swimmers into tonight’s A final, with Tommy Cope qualifying 3rd in 1:00.25 and Olympian Cody Miller qualifying 4th in 1:00.56.

Metroplex Aquatics’ Zhier Fan, a Stanford commit, dropped nearly four tenths from his seed to qualify 6th in 1:00.64, 7th all time in the 17-18 age group.

Women’s 100 back

  • World Record: Kaylee McKeown (AUS): 57.45 (2021)
  • American Record: Regan Smith: 57.57 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Regan Smith (USA): 57.92 (2021)
  • US Open Record: Regan Smith (USA): 57.57 (2019)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Regan Smith (Unattached): 58.29
  2. Rhyan White (BAMA): 58.98
  3. Katharine Berkoff (NCS): 59.14
  4. Isabelle Stadden (Unattached): 59.18
  5. Claire Curzan (TAC): 59.25
  6. Phoebe Bacon (Unattached): 59.55
  7. Olivia Smoliga (SUN): 1:00.02
  8. Amy Fulmer (OSU): 1:00.63

Stanford’s Regan Smith defended her top seed this morning, dominating her heat to touch in 58.29, 7 tenths clear of the field. Alabama’s Rhyan White qualified second in 58.98, winning heat 4.

Katharine Berkoff, who broke the American Record in the 50 back last night, qualified 3rd in 59.14, while Cal’s Isabelle Stadden qualified 4th in 59.18.

Claire Curzan, who has been on a tear this week, qualified 5th in 59.25, while Wisconsin sophomore and this week’s 200 back champion Phoebe Bacon qualified 6th in 59.55.

Men’s 100 back

  • World Record: Ryan Murphy (USA): 51.85 (2016)
  • American Record: Ryan Murphy: 51.85 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA): 51.94 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS): 52.53

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Justin Ress (MVN): 53.10
  2. Ryan Murphy (CAL): 53.17
  3. Shaine Casas (Unattached): 53.31
  4. Hunter Armstrong (OSU): 53.55
  5. Daniel Diehl (CUY)/Jack Aikins (UVA): 53.86
  6. —-
  7. Daniel Carr (Unattached): 54.00
  8. Sam Stewart (Unattached): 54.35

Mission Viejo pro Justin Ress took the top seed in 53.10 by just outtouching top seed Ryan Murphy in the final heat of the morning. Murphy, the current World Record holder, qualified secon in 53.17.

Texas pro Shaine Casas won his heat in 53.31, while Hunter Armstrong, the newly-minted 50 back World Record holder, qualified 4th in 53.55. The top four qualifiers finished within 4 tenths of each other, setting up another backstroke showdown this evening.

16-year-old Daniel Diehl of Cumberland YMCA finished tied for 5th with UVA’s Jack Aikins in 53.86.



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8 months ago

feels like since leaving Georgia, Hinds has gotten faster and Smoliga has lost her edge

Reply to  meathead
8 months ago

Smokies did just match her PB in the 100. But doesn’t seem she can keep up with the new back girls

Hasbulla Front Squat
8 months ago

Someone needs to get Hunter Armstrong on a SARMS cycle. Let’s see what he’s really capable of.

8 months ago

At the 2004 Olympics, a 1:00 swim in the women’s 100 back won the gold medal. Now it’s just enough to qualify for the final in the USA WC trials. Crazy.

Reply to  Luigi
8 months ago

Look at the mirror to get a sense of 18 years period in human life. Also you can check how many backstroke world record holders have we seen during last 18 years. We have even seen IMers being Olympic gold medalists in backstroke events. To me it indicates that the competition in women backstroke was undeveloped yet in 2004.

Reply to  Yozhik
8 months ago

They also learned that UW kicking is faster and speed and power training have taken off in the last 18 years.

Reply to  Yozhik
8 months ago

Thank you for reminding me of my mortality, but I stand by what I said. Take the men’s 100 free. It took a 48.1 to win it in Athens, but 48.7 was enough to enter finals here. The current level of American female (and male, for that matters) backstrokers is just through the roof.

Reply to  Luigi
8 months ago

Don’t take offense Luigi. Please. I am learning from you because whatever you are writing is worth reading. But the time flies and our memory returns us more often now to the events that stands too far already in time.

Reply to  Yozhik
8 months ago

I did not take offense 🙂

Reply to  Yozhik
8 months ago

how do you spell wrong? LOVELESS

8 months ago

Could there be a 51. Tonight? The other question is will Ryan Murphy make the team? We could see 4 guys at 52 low or better

Reply to  Thomas
8 months ago

No way we see 51

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  Thomas
8 months ago

Ryan Murphy has already made the team.
In fact, a nice feature of this race tonight is that Ress / Murph / Casas / Armstrong technically will all have rosters spots. So -that- added pressure should be off, and allow them to go all out. I’m anticipating a 51 tonight.

Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
8 months ago

What roster spot does Ress have? He’s not a lock in the 100 free relay

Reply to  Bud
8 months ago

Ress was second to Armstrong in the 50 back

Reply to  Jukester
8 months ago

Ress has to win the 100 back or get second to Armstrong to secure his spot. Second place in the 50s do not qualify for a spot on the team only if they win the 100 of the even or get second to the person who won the 50

Reply to  swimmer
8 months ago

He is probably in, but not quite…

Reply to  swimmer
8 months ago

Ress was 6th in the 100 Free, so he could qualify for the relay if there are enough doubles, but you are right about the 50 BK.

Reply to  Thomas
8 months ago

Geez it be great to see the bad sport Murphy miss out on the 100 back!!!!

tea rex
8 months ago

Why Urlando scratch? Does he still not think he’s a good backstroker? 🙁

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  tea rex
8 months ago

The anti-Hunter Armstrong

Reply to  tea rex
8 months ago

43.3 scy is pretty quick

The goat
8 months ago

I just mortgaged my house, took a flight to Las Vegas, watched a magic show, and bet my entire net worth on a Hunter Armstrong sub-52 100 back tonight.

Becky D
Reply to  The goat
8 months ago

You know you can do that all online now, right?

Reply to  Becky D
8 months ago

Doesn’t have same affect.

Sherry Smit
8 months ago

lmao the people who said Bacon was gonna be off form

8 months ago

Pulling for Shaine tonight. I think a key for him is his turn– his turns have been a bit sluggish and he needs to hit that turn tonight to qualify.

8 months ago

He has very long turns….even @ SCW’s

Reply to  PhillyMark
8 months ago

Armstrong had a very long turn today as well