Night one of the U.S. Swimming Trials delivered the drama, excitement and record-setting performances fans have come to expect from the Omaha spectacle. Out of the night's three finals, five swimmers earned their places on the U.S. Olympic Team. Even the night's semifinal heats produced must-see action. See all the highlights and results below.

Men’s 400m Individual Medley

Jay Litherland, that's how you kick off Olympic Trials. Entering the final 50 meters of the first final of the week, Litherland trailed 19-year-old Carson Foster by a full body length. By the end of the race, it was Litherland, by a touch, joining fellow Rio Olympian and silver medalist Chase Kalisz on the U.S. Olympic Team.

Kalisz won the men's 400m IM final in a time of 4:09.09, ahead by over a second. After the race, he received a warm embrace from his longtime friend and former training partner, Michael Phelps.

But it was the race for second place, and for the second spot in the event at the Tokyo Olympics, that brought the crowd to its feet. Foster, the leader in the morning's prelims, led the race through the first two strokes but began to gradually fade in the breaststroke portion. Thanks to a brilliant freestyle leg, Litherland will compete at the Olympics in Japan, a country that is near and dear to his heart. Litherland's mother is a native of Japan, and the former Georgia Bulldog is fluent in Japanese.


1. Chase Kalisz (4:09.09)   

2. Jay Litherland (4:10.33)   

3. Carson Foster (4:10.86)

4. Bobby Finke (4:11.44)

5. Jake Foster (4:13.74)

6. David Johnston (4:16.81)

7. Michael Daly (4:19.05

8. Sam Stewart (4:22.83)

 Clinched Olympic spot

Men’s 400m Freestyle

By the halfway point of the men's 400m freestyle final, it was clear that Kieran Smith's race would not be against the other swimmers in the pool, but against the clock. In a relative rarity for the U.S. Swimming Trials, the worldwide Olympic time standard was a factor in determining if Smith or any American male swimmer would be awarded a spot in the event in Tokyo. 

None had managed to crack the 3:46.78 barrier prior to the beginning of U.S. Trials. Smith, the University of Florida senior, changed that with authority. He carried an American record pace through 200 meters and brought the race home in a time of 3:44.86.

A tight finish for second place followed in Smith's wake, with Jake Mitchell touching first in a time of 3:48.17. Despite the second-place finish, Mitchell's time was not strong enough to qualify for Tokyo.

Zane Grothe, who finished 11th in the prelims and did not qualify for the final, could be in line for the second U.S. spot in the event if no other men hit the qualifying standard in the next two weeks. Prior to today, Grothe was the only American who had previously met that Olympic standard.


1. Kieran Smith (3:44.86) 

2. Jake Mitchell (3:48.17)

3. Ross Dant (3:48.30)

4. Chris Wieser (3:48.42)

5. Brooks Fail (3:48.47)

6. Trey Freeman (3:49.07)

7. Mitch D'Arrigo (3:50.87)

8. Andrew Abruzzo (3:51.45)

  Clinched Olympic spot

Women’s 400m Individual Medley

A phenomenal women's 400m IM final produced the four fastest swims of 2021, but only those of 19-year-old Emma Weyant and Rio 2016 Olympian Hali Flickinger were good enough to earn spots on the U.S. Olympic Team.

Weyant and Flickinger just beat out Melanie Margalis and a late-charging Leah Smith, as all four women finished under 4:35. 

Flickinger led the majority of the final, then was nearly overtaken by Margalis in the breaststroke leg. But both tightened in the last 50 meters while Weyant charged ahead in lane five to take the Trials victory.


1. Emma Weyant (4:33.81) 

2. Hali Flickinger (4:33.96) 

3. Melanie Margalis (4:34.08)

4. Leah Smith (4:34.55)

5. Ally McHugh (4:36.81)

6. Brooke Forde (4:38.69)

7. Evie Pfeifer (4:40.23)

8. Justina Kozan (4:42.72)

  Clinched Olympic spot


Sunday's session saw a pair of American records set in the two events in their semifinal stage.

The first came from Torri Huske in the first semifinal of the women's 100m butterfly. Her time of 55.78 paced the field by better than a full second.

A little over an hour later, Michael Andrew set his second continental mark of the day with a 100m breaststroke swim of 58.14. It beat out his prelim time, also an American record at the time, by five hundredths of a second.