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2024 U.S. Olympic Trials: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

The wait is finally over.

SwimSwam is on the scene and reporting live from the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials, which kick off this morning from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The competition will commence with the heats of the women’s 100 butterfly, and it will be followed by the women’s 400 free, men’s 100 breast and men’s 400 free for a four-event opening session.

Several of the top female swimmers at the Trials will be competing right from the jump with Torri HuskeGretchen WalshRegan Smith and Claire Curzan set to take on the women’s 100 fly.

Katie Ledecky headlines the women’s 400 free with a chance to book a ticket to her fourth Olympic team in tonight’s final, while reigning world champion Nic Fink leads the men’s 100 breast and relatively wide open men’s 400 free has David Johnston and Kieran Smith coming in as top seeds.

WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2016 Olympic Games
  • American Record: 55.64, Torri Huske – 2022 World Championships
  • U.S. Open Record: 55.66, Torri Huske (USA) – 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials
  • World Junior Record: 56.20, Claire Curzan (USA) – 2021 TAC Titans Premier Invitational
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Torri Huske, 55.66
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 57.92

Semi-Final Qualifiers:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (NAC), 55.94
  2. Torri Huske (AAC), 56.26
  3. Regan Smith (TXLA), 56.68
  4. Alex Shackell (CSC), 57.07
  5. Kelly Pash (TXLA), 57.66
  6. Beata Nelson (UN-WI), 57.68
  7. Claire Curzan (TAC-NC), 58.17
  8. Abby Arens (WOLF), 58.19
  9. Emma Sticklen (TXLA), 58.22
  10. Lillie Nordmann (ALTO), 58.38
  11. Leah Shackley (BRY), 58.47
  12. Josephine Fuller (TENN), 58.56
  13. Annika Parkhe (PAC), 58.58
  14. Olivia Bray (TXLA), 58.67
  15. Charlotte Crush (LAK), 58.68
  16. Dakota Luther (TXLA), 58.73

Gretchen Walsh couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2024 Olympic Trials.

Coming off a standout NCAA season that was highlighted by her earth shattering record in the 100 fly, Walsh became just the seventh woman in history to break 56 seconds in the long course pool, clocking 55.94 to become the second-fastest American of all-time.

Walsh extinguished her previous best time of 56.14 to overtake Dana Vollmer for the #2 spot in American history, and she also moved up to #6 all-time.

All-Time Performers, Women’s 100 Butterfly (LCM) – Sub-56

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 55.48 – 2016 Olympic Games
  2. Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 55.59 – 2021 Olympic Games
  3. Zhang Yufei (CHN), 55.62 – 2020 Chinese Nationals
  4. Torri Huske (USA), 55.64 – 2022 World Championships
  5. Emma McKeon (AUS), 55.72 – 2021 Olympic Games
  6. Gretchen Walsh (USA), 55.94 – 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials
  7. Dana Vollmer (USA), 55.98 – 2012 Olympic Games

American Record holder Torri Huske followed Walsh’s swim by producing the #2 time of the morning in the final heat, touching in 56.26.

Huske sits atop the world rankings this season with her blistering time of 55.68 from the Pro Swim Series stop in San Antonio.

Regan Smith topped the first circle-seeded heat in a time of 56.68, having set a PB of 56.26 earlier this year.

Smith notably had the fastest back half in the field at a scorching 29.57.

Qualifying 4th overall was Carmel’s Alex Shackell, who chipped 15 one-hundredths off her previous best of 57.22 in 57.07, maintaining her place as the #3 performer of all-time in the girls’ 17-18 age group.

After breaking 58 seconds for the first time earlier this season, Beata Nelson had a promising opening swim to the Trials, resetting her best time in 57.68 to comfortably qualify 6th into the semis.

Lakeside’s Charlotte Crush dropped nearly three-tenths from her best time to earn a semi-final berth in 15th, clocking 58.68 to slot into 10th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

In Heat 5, Jersey Wahoos standout Audrey Derivaux kicked off her first Olympic Trials with an impressive showing, notching a lifetime best of 59.25 to move into #2 all-time in the girls’ 13-14 age group.

The cut-off for the semi-finals ended up being markedly quicker than it was in 2021—58.73 compared to 59.05 three years ago.

WOMEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • World Record: 3:55.38, Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – 2023 World Championships
  • American Record: 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2016 Olympic Games
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:57.94, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series
  • World Junior Record: 3:56.08, Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2023 World Championships
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky, 4:01.27
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 4:07.90

Final Qualifiers:

  1. Katie Ledecky (GSC), 3:59.99
  2. Paige Madden (NYAC), 4:04.83
  3. Jillian Cox (TXLA), 4:06.35
  4. Madi Mintenko (PPA), 4:07.53
  5. Erin Gemmell (NCAP), 4:08.42
  6. Aurora Roghair (ALTO), 4:09.67
  7. Katie Grimes (SAND) / Anna Peplowski (ISC), 4:09.87

Katie Ledecky asserted her dominance right from the get-go in the women’s 400 freestyle, taking out the final heat at a blistering pace alongside Claire Weinstein before pulling away to a decisive victory.

Ledecky soared home to a time of 3:59.99, her 29th time under the 4:00 barrier.

The 27-year-old holds the top seed heading into tonight’s final by nearly five seconds, with fellow Tokyo Olympic finalist Paige Madden qualifying 2nd in 4:04.83. Madden is coming off setting a best time earlier this season in 4:03.02.

Longhorn Aquatics’ Jillian Cox chipped a quarter-second off her best time to advance in 3rd at 4:06.35, while 16-year-old Madi Mintenko broke 4:08 for the first time to move up to #6 all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group.

The biggest story coming out of the women’s 400 free is who didn’t make the final.

Weinstein was out fast with Ledecky early but faded down the stretch, splitting 2:14-plus over the second 200 to finished 30th in 4:14.20—nearly 10 seconds shy of her best time.

Bella Sims was in Weinstein and Ledecky’s heat but was never really in the battle at the front, trailing throughout and touching in 4:12.49 to place 20th.

Also missing out was Leah Smith, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the event, who was 10th in 4:10.09.

Smith revealed in April that she dealt with a torn labrum earlier this year.

Weinstein (4:04.54) and Smith (4:06.80) ranked 3rd and 4th among Americans this season coming into the meet, trailing only Ledecky and Madden.

One of the swimmers who took advantage of some of the big names slipping up was Alto Swim Club’s Aurora Roghair. The 21-year-old set a best time of 4:09.46 in May, and was essentially right on that (4:09.67) to make the final in 6th place, ahead of a 7th-place tie between Katie Grimes and Anna Peplowski.

MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE— PRELIMS

  • World Record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR) – 2019 World Championships
  • American Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew – 2021 Olympic Trials
  • U.S. Open Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew (USA) – 2021 Olympic Trials
  • World Junior Record: 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 2017 World Junior Championships
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Michael Andrew – 58.73
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 59.49

Semi-Final Qualifiers:

  1. Nic Fink (NYAC), 59.24
  2. Josh Matheny (ISC), 59.34
  3. Charlie Swanson (NOVA), 59.44
  4. Jake Foster (RAYS), 59.59
  5. Michael Andrew (MASA), 59.72
  6. Liam Bell (CAL), 1:00.15
  7. Brian Benzing (TUS), 1:00.16
  8. Luke Rodarte (CAL) / Tommy Cope (CW), 1:00.23
  9. Noah Nichols (CA-Y), 1:00.24
  10. Matt Fallon (UPN), 1:00.35
  11. Cody Miller (SAND), 1:00.45
  12. Daniel Roy (TDPS), 1:00.57
  13. AJ Pouch (VT), 1:00.61
  14. Will Licon (TXLA), 1:00.78
  15. Danny Kovac (TRI) / Ben Cono (TOC), 1:00.80

Reigning world champion Nic Fink led a group of five men sub-1:00 in the heats of the 100 breast, clocking 59.24 out of the 11th and final heat ahead of Jake Foster (59.59).

Fink and Foster were the two U.S. representatives in this event at the 2024 World Championships, producing respective times of 58.57 and 59.48 in Doha which ranked them 1-2 among Americans this season coming into the meet.

The penultimate heat saw Michael Andrew take things out fast for the early lead before he was overtaken by Josh Matheny (59.34) and Charlie Swanson (59.44) down the stretch, with Andrew rounding out the top five in 59.72.

The swim for Swanson marked a new lifetime best, knocking off his previous mark of 59.89 set last summer.

Putting up monstrous best times to qualify 6th and 7th were Liam Bell and Brian Benzing, who both came in with best times in the 1:01.1 range and took off essentially a full second, with Bell at 1:00.15 and Benzing in 1:00.16.

The #3 seed coming in, Noah Nichols, and the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Cody Miller, were among the group of swimmers in the 1:00-mid-range qualifying for the semis. Nichols and Miller both came in with season-bests of 1:00.2 and put up times of 1:00.24 and 1:00.45, respectively.

Tying for 16th were Danny Kovac and Ben Cono in 1:00.80, meaning we’ll likely see a swim-off for the last spot in the semis.

The swim for Kovac was a new lifetime best, his first time sub-1:01, while Cono’s PB of 1:00.18 stems from the 2021 Olympic Trials.

Three swimmers were disqualified in the event, all for “alternating kicks.” That was Zhier FanFlynn Crisci and Alex Lakin.

MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (GER) – 2009 World Championships
  • American Record: 3:42.78, Larsen Jensen – 2008 Olympic Games
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:43.53, Larsen Jensen (USA) – 2008 Olympic Trials
  • World Junior Record: 3:44.31, Peter Mitsin (BUL) – 2023 European Junior Championships
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Kieran Smith — 3:44.86
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 3:46.78

Final Qualifiers:

  1. Luke Whitlock (FAST), 3:46.42
  2. David Johnston (TST), 3:47.17
  3. Jake Mitchell (FLOR), 3:47.76
  4. Aaron Shackell (CSC), 3:47.96
  5. Jake Magahey (SA), 3:48.16
  6. Kieran Smith (RAC), 3:48.25
  7. Daniel Matheson (SUN), 3:48.57
  8. Bobby Finke (SPA), 3:48.63

Fishers Area’s Luke Whitlock had a statement swim in the final heat of the session in the men’s 400 free, storming his way to the top time of the session by three-quarters of a second.

The 18-year-old fired off a time of 3:46.42, obliterating his previous best time of 3:49.10 and moving into #2 all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group, trailing only Larsen Jensen‘s effort from the 2004 Olympics.

All-Time Performers, U.S. Boys’ 17-18 400 Freestyle (LCM)

  1. Larsen Jensen, 3:46.08 – 2004
  2. Luke Whitlock, 3:46.42 – 2024
  3. Michael Phelps, 3:46.73 – 2003
  4. Klete Keller / Aaron Shackell, 3:47.00 – 2000 / 2003

Whitlock went toe to toe with David Johnston and Jake Mitchell in the eighth and final heat, and the trio ended up securing the three middle lanes for the final.

Johnston, the top seed coming in, clocked 3:47.17 for 2nd, while Mitchell rallied over the last 150 to snag 3rd in 3:47.76.

Five of the eight ‘A’ final qualifiers ended up coming out of the last heat, with Jake Magahey and Daniel Matheson also getting in on the action.

Carmel’s Aaron Shackell impressed in Heat 7, outduelling Kieran Smith to touch 1st in 3:47.96, with Smith securing a spot in the final not too far behind in 3:48.25.

Age group phenom Luka Mijatovic had a tantalizing battle in Heat 6 with Norvin Clontz, storming his way to a new lifetime best of 3:50.71, just three one-hundredths shy of Larsen Jensen‘s National Age Group Record for 15-16 boys of 3:50.68 set in 2002.

Mijatovic ended up 12th overall. He set his previous best of 3:51.18 in March, breaking his own 13-14 NAG record.

Placing 11th was LIAC’s Sean Green, who dropped his best time down from 3:53.04 to 3:50.55 to rank him 18th all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE— SWIM-OFF

  • World Record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR) – 2019 World Championships
  • American Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew – 2021 Olympic Trials
  • U.S. Open Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew (USA) – 2021 Olympic Trials
  • World Junior Record: 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 2017 World Junior Championships
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Michael Andrew – 58.73
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 59.49
  1. Danny Kovac (TRI), 1:00.47
  2. Ben Cono (TOC), 1:00.50

Danny Kovac and Ben Cono put on a show to conclude the first session in Indianapolis, battling stroke for stroke in the 100 breaststroke with a spot in the semis on the line.

In the end, it was Kovac getting his hands on the wall first by three one-hundredths, 1:00.47 to 1:00.50, to solidify a spot in tonight’s session.

The swim for Kovac marked his second consecutive lifetime best on the day, while Cono’s was quicker than the prelims (1:00.80) but shy of his PB set at the 2021 Trials (1:00.18).





Read More:2024 U.S. Olympic Trials: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap