U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials are taking place June 13-20 in Omaha, Nebraska. Wednesday's finals session can be seen live on NBC at 8 p.m. ET, as well as streamed on NBCOlympics.com [HERE] and the NBC Sports App.
Katie Ledecky takes center stage in a manner that, literally, only she can on Night 4 of the U.S. Swimming Trials.
Ledecky will attempt to become the first woman in history to qualify for both the 200m freestyle and 1500m freestyle events at the Olympics – and she’ll have to do it all in one night.
It’s a grueling double that no other serious Tokyo contender will attempt at U.S. Trials. But Ledecky’s unique versatility makes her a heavy favorite to not only qualify in both events, but win them outright.
The 24-year-old Stanford grad is the defending Olympic champion in the 200 free and the fourth-fastest woman in the event in history. She enters Wednesday’s final with the top semifinal time at 1:55.83.
The women’s 1500 free, meanwhile, is making its Olympic debut this summer. It is considered Ledecky’s strongest event. She first set a world record in the event in 2013 and has lowered her own mark five other times since. It currently sits at 15:20.48, over 18 seconds faster than any other woman in history.
Ledecky will have a little over an hour of recovery time between the conclusion of the 200 free final and the beginning of the 1500 free. She will aim to add both events to her Tokyo calendar which already includes the 400m freestyle. She won that event to confirm her third Olympics appearance Monday.
While Ledecky rests, Olympic spots will be awarded in the men’s 200m butterfly and women’s 200m IM. Zach Harding and Luca Urlando are well-positioned to earn Olympic bids in the event Michael Phelps dominated for more than a decade, with Cal’s Trenton Julian in the mix as well.
The women’s 200 IM field was paced in the semifinals by a pair of 19-year-olds, Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass. Rio Olympian Melanie Margalis hopes to break up the youth movement from Lane 2.
Semifinal heats in three events are also on tap for Wednesday’s primetime session, including in the men’s 100m freestyle. Caeleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian will look to sprint their way into Thursday’s final.
Follow along here for up-to-the-minute highlights and results as the action unfolds.
Men's 100m Freestyle - Semifinals
Olympic veteran Nathan Adrian got out to an early lead in the first semifinal, leading at the 50-meter mark, but Blake Pieroni blazed home to lead the field, finishing in 48.13. Brooks Curry and Bowe Becker took second and third in the heat in 48.51 and 48.62, respectively. Adrian, in pursuit of his fourth Olympics, faded to sixth place in 48.92 -- missing out on advancing to the final for the first time since 2008.
In the second heat, sprint star Caeleb Dressel went out in 22.6 at the 50, just ahead of Ryan Held. Dressel finished first in 47.77, just .01 ahead of Zach Apple, who charged late to take second. Held, a 2016 Olympian, ended up third in 48.34.
ADVANCING TO THE FINAL:
1. Caeleb Dressel - 47.77
2. Zach Apple - 47.78
3. Blake Pieroni - 48.13
4. Ryan Held - 48.34
5. Brooks Curry - 48.51
T-6. Bowe Becker/Coleman Stewart - 48.62
8. Brett Pinfold - 48.73
Women's 200m Freestyle - Final
Bella Sims, as she did in prelims and semis, took things out quickly and led at the first 50. She faded by the 100-mark with Katie Ledecky and Allison Schmitt, looking to make her fourth Olympics, pulling ahead. Ledecky charged late in the 3rd 50, building a .75 second lead at the 150-mark. Ledecky pulled nearly a body-length ahead to win in 1:55.11., and despite a late push from Paige Madden, Schmitt touched first for the No. 2 spot by .01 in 1:56.79.
"I'm excited and it was a great race. I'm excited to be going to Tokyo," an emotional Schmitt said. "It's been tough, but I have a very supportive crew behind me and we all made it through this year, and that's where these tears are coming from."
The top four finishers are guaranteed spots in Tokyo as potential members of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, and two additional swimmers could join if the roster size allows.
1. Katie Ledecky - 1:55.11
2. Allison Schmitt - 1:56.79
3. Paige Madden - 1:56.80
4. Katie McLaughlin - 1:57.16
5. Bella Sims - 1:57.53
6. Brooke Forde - 1:57.61
7. Gabby DeLoof - 1:57.86
8. Leah Smith - 1:58.13
Men's 200m Butterfly - Final
Cal's Trenton Julian, who led the field for the first 100 in semis, again led at the 50- and 100-meter marks, but at a more subdued pace. 2019 World Aquatics Championships team member Zach Harting and former age group phenom Luca Urlando made their moves on the third 50, overtaking Trenton. Harting held on to take the win in 1:55.05, but then it was 2016 Olympian Gunnar Bentz who charged in the final yards to overtake Urlando, going 1:55.34. Urlando was third, .09 seconds behind Bentz.
Harting, and likely Bentz, will represent the U.S. in one of Michael Phelps' signature events in the first Games without him since 1996.
1. Zach Harting - 1:55.06
2. Gunnar Bentz - 1:55.34
3. Luca Urlando - 1:55.43
4. Nicolas Albiero - 1:55.85
5. Trenton Julian - 1:56.35
6. Corey Gambardella - 1:56.79
7. Zach Brown - 1:57.13
8. Brooks Fail - 1:57.53
Women's 200m Butterfly- Semifinals
Nineteen-year-old Regan Smith, who's already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 backstroke, won the first semifinal in 2:07.89. Olivia Carter was second in that heat in 2:08.44 and Dakota Luther third in 2:08.82.
In the second heat, Rio Olympian Hali Flickinger cruised to a win in 2:06.73, establishing herself as the strong favorite for the final tomorrow night. Charlotte Hook was second in 2:08.08 and Kelly Pash third in 2:08.69.
ADVANCING TO THE FINAL:
1. Hali Flickinger - 2:06.73
2. Regan Smith - 2:07.89
3. Charlotte Hook - 2:08.08
4. Olivia Carter - 2:08.44
5. Kelly Pash - 2:08.69
6. Dakota Luther - 2:08.82
7. Rachel Klinker - 2:09.18
8. Lindsay Looney - 2:09.56
Men's 200m Breaststroke - Semifinal
Nic Fink, who just missed out on an Olympic spot in the 100-meter breast, won the first semifinal heat in 2:09.13. Andrew Wilson, who nabbed the (likely) second Olympic spot in the 100 breast was second in 2:09.48, with Daniel Roy just behind at 2:09.57.
In the second semi, teenager Matt Fallon continued his meteoric rise. In this morning's swim, he dropped over a full second from his previous best time and became the No. 2 17-18 performer in U.S. history with a 2:10.13. Tonight, stunningly, he went 2:08.91 to become the top 17-18 American ever and the No. 1 seed heading into the final. Roy held the previous record for a 17-18-year-old male at 2:09.73.
Olympian Kevin Cordes was just behind Fallon in the second heat at 2:09.31. Cody Miller, the 2016 bronze medalist in the 100 breast, missed out on advancing to the final with a 2:12.71.
ADVANCING TO THE FINAL
1. Matt Fallon - 2:08.91
2. Nic Fink - 2:09.13
3. Kevin Cordes - 2:09.31
4. Will Licon - 2:09.39
5. Andrew Wilson - 2:09.48
6. Daniel Roy - 2:09.57
7. Jake Foster - 2:10.13
8. Aj Pouch - 2:10.76
Women's 200m Individual Medley - Final
Teenager Torri Huske, who set the American record in the 100 fly earlier this week, got out to a .66-second lead at the 100-meter mark. Alex Walsh and Madisyn Cox charged on the breaststroke leg, passing Huske. But then in the final 15 or so yards of the race, Kate Douglass charged, passing Cox. Walsh's winning time was 2:09.20 and Douglass finished in 2:09.32. Just .04 seconds separated the first- through third-place finishers.
Melanie Margalis, a 2016 Olympian in this event, finished sixth in 2:11.77.
"That was the hardest 15 meters I've ever had to swim," Walsh said after the race.
1. Alex Walsh - 2:09.30
2. Kate Douglass - 2:09.32
3. Madisyn Cox - 2:09.34
4. Torri Huske - 2:10.38
5. Meghan Small - 2:11.65
6. Melanie Margalis - 2:11.77
7. Beata Nelson - 2:11.96
8. Emma Barksdale - 2:13.35
Women's 1500m Freestyle - Final
Though Katie Ledecky got out to her usual early lead in the first-ever women's 1500 final at Trials, Erica Sullivan kept things close much of the way. Ledecky really broke away around the 1000-mark, however, eventually finishing in 15:40.50, more than 10 seconds ahead of Sullivan, to win her second event of the night.
Sullivan, also an open-water standout, likely qualified for her first Olympics with a new personal best time of 15:51.18. Katie Grimes was less than a second behind Sullivan, followed by open-water stars Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell. Anderson and Twichell are both already qualified for Tokyo in open water and have been since 2019.
1. Katie Ledecky - 15:40.50
2. Erica Sullivan - 15:51.18
3. Katie Grimes - 15:52.12
4. Haley Anderson - 15:55. 60
5. Ashley Twichell - 16:01.62
6. Ally McHugh - 16:08.52
7. Sierra Schmidt - 16:08.69
8. Kensey McMahon - 16:20.03