Olympic Trials Day 6 Prelims: Katie Ledecky Stays True to Form; Ashley Twichell Sneaks In

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S Olympic Trials Day 6 Prelims: Katie Ledecky Stays True to Form in First: Ashley Twichell Sneaks In

In an event where the audience generally knows the outcome of the first-place finisher, we were left debating who was going to occupy the remaining seven spots in the final on Saturday, especially with the scratch of Katie Grimes. The final seats were all taken by swimmers in the final two heats of the morning’s prelims swim.

Sixteen-year-old rising star Kayla Han, took an early command of the second heat of the circle. But her job was not over so quickly as she had 2024 Olympic qualifier, Paige Madden, third place finisher in the 400-meter free, Jillian Cox, World Junior Champion, Katie Hurst, and the most decorated open water swimmer, Ashley Twichell, to answer to throughout the remainder of the race – not an easy heat to race in the slightest.

In the end it wasn’t enough, as Cox took first with a time of 8:31.58, which will seed her in the second position at finals. Madden touched with 8:31.80 for the third seed and Hurst will be fifth with a time of 8:32.24. Twichell snuck into the final in the eighth-place position with a time of 8:33.93.

Then there was the ending that we all knew was going to happen: Katie Ledecky got in the water and did what she does best – distance freestyle. To no one’s surprise, she won the heat and will be seeded first in the final with a time of 8:17.70.

The rest of the Olympic Trials heat was left to battle each other in Ledecky’s wake. Solidifying her spot in second in the heat was Aurora Roghair with a time of 8:31.59 – she will be seeded third going into the final. Rachel Stege also earned a second swim, in the sixth seed position, with a time of 8:32.38.


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