U.S. International Team Trials: Chase Kalisz Turns to His Weapon to Win 200 IM Ahead of Carson Foster


U.S. International Team Trials: Chase Kalisz Turns to His Weapon to Win 200 IM Ahead of Carson Foster

For years, we have become accustomed to Chase Kalisz flourishing in the individual medley events, his extraordinary breaststroke prowess frequently the deciding factor in his races. Well, that major weapon once again proved to be the difference, as the 28-year-old veteran won the 200-meter individual medley on Saturday night at the USA Swimming International Team Trials.

Surging to the front of the field on the breaststroke leg, Kalisz stayed strong down the finishing length of freestyle and touched the wall in 1:56.21 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. That performance was enough to fend off Carson Foster, who registered a time of 1:56.65 for second place. Earlier in the week, Kalisz and Foster finished in the opposite order in the 400 medley, meaning both men will see double duty at this summer’s World Championships in Budapest.

At the midway point, Foster paced the opposition at 54.07, with Kalisz sitting in third at 54.87. But the next 50 meters shifted the dynamic of the race, thanks to Kalisz popping a breaststroke split of 32.77, the fastest in the field by nearly a second. Foster, meanwhile, splipped back to second place after splitting 34.24. Over the last 50 meters, Kalisz and Foster did what was necessary, maintaining their positions to qualify for Worlds. Third place went to Sam Stewart in 1:57.70.

Dating to 2017, this summer will mark the fourth consecutive global competition in which Kalisz will contest both medley events – three World Championships (2017, 2019, 2022) and the 2020 Olympic Games. When Worlds were held in Budapest in 2017, Kalisz was the double gold medalist, and now he will return to that city with the chance of collecting additional hardware.

Coming off an Olympic title in the 400 IM from Tokyo, Kalisz is no longer the upstart and heir apparent to Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the medley disciplines. Rather, he has embraced his veteran role, sharing knowledge and insights with those who will eventually carry the banner for the United States. When Foster won the 400 IM earlier in the week, he paid tribute to Kalisz. After the 200 medley, Kalisz tipped his cap, recognizing the rising talent of his American teammate.

Foster and superstar potential were first linked several years ago, as the Ohio native emerged as a junior-level standout. In quick order, he landed a scholarship to the University of Texas, just missed a berth to the Olympic Games in Tokyo and collected three medals at the 2021 World Short Course Championships.

This week, Foster took another significant step in his burgeoning career.

As much as Foster was a highly touted prospect, the past five days have affirmed his status as a big-time performer. In three events, he proved he can close deals, and he will now have a busy schedule at the World Championships. Not only will Foster chase the podium in both medley events at Worlds, he will play a critical role as the United States seeks redemption in the 800 freestyle relay, an event which Team USA was disappointingly left off the podium at the most recent Olympics.

As he alluded to earlier this year, Michael Andrew indeed opted to skip the event and placed his focus on the 50 freestyle and a duel with reigning Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel. With the fifth-place finisher from the Olympic Games out of the picture, qualifying for Budapest opened up. It was further opened when Shaine Casas, among the world leaders, also withdrew, due to the event conflicting with the 200 backstroke at the World Champs.


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