U.S. International Team Trials: Luca Urlando Touches Out Trenton Julian for Men’s 200 Fly Triumph

Luca Urlando -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. International Team Trials: Luca Urlando Touches Out Trenton Julian for Men’s 200 Fly Triumph

Three years ago, Luca Urlando looked like the next big hope for the United States in the 200 butterfly after he swam a time of 1:53.84 at a tune-up meet. However, Urlando could not recapture that form for several years, and he narrowly missed the U.S. Olympic team with a third-place finish in the 200 fly at Olympic Trials. Now, he is a member of the a senior U.S. international team for the first time after a dramatic win in the 200 fly at the U.S. International Team Trials.

Cal’s Trenton Julian opened up a massive lead in the early portion of the race, and he posted an insane 150-meter split of 1:22.98. Julian then came back to the field on the final length as Urlando surged. In the end, Urlando finished in 1:54.10, while Julian was just behind in 1:54.22. Both men will qualify to represent the United States at this summer’s World Championships.

The U.S. has not won a 200 fly medal at the Olympics or World Championships since Michael Phelps retired after the 2016 Olympics, but both Urlando and Julian will have legitimate medal hopes this year. In this race, both men swam faster than Federico Burdisso’s bronze-medal-winning time of 1:54.45 from the Tokyo Olympics.

Louisville’s Zach Harting, the Olympic Trials winner in this event last year, placed third in 1:55.09. Harting was only three hundredths off his winning time from last year, but huge improvements by Urlando and Julian gave them the edge this year. Chase Kalisz placed fourth in 1:56.03, and Nick Albiero (1:56.27) was fifth.

Urlando’s swim comes on the heels of a breakout performance at the NCAA Championships last month where he finished a close second in both butterfly races as well as third in the 200 IM. In an unexpected twist, Urlando also took down Ryan Murphy’s American record in the 100-yard backstroke while leading off the University of Georgia’s 400 medley relay. But this was the international breakthrough Urlando had been waiting for, and he slammed the water in joy after finally qualifying for the top international squad. Urlando will also have a strong chance to add a relay spot in Tuesday’s 200 freestyle.

Julian, meanwhile, joins his parents in representing the U.S. internationally. His mother, Kristine Quance Julian, was a gold medalist in the 400 medley relay at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, while his father, Jeff Julian, swam on U.S. national teams and has become an elite-level coach, most recently at the helm of a new pro group with the Mission Viejo Nadadores.


Here are all the links you need for coverage of the USA Swimming International Team Trials:
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