U.S. Olympic Trials: Abbey Weitzeil First in 50 Free Prelims, Simone Manuel Rebounds to Qualify Second; 17 Swimmers to Semifinals After Overturned DQ

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Simone Manuel -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Olympic Trials: Abbey Weitzeil First in 50 Free Prelims, Simone Manuel Rebounds to Qualify Second; 17 Swimmers to Semifinals After Overturned DQ

Fresh off a win in the 100 free Friday evening, Abbey Weitzeil returned to the pool for the 50 free prelims and won the final heat in 24.50, in route to the top qualifying time for semifinals. Weitzeil will be looking to win both the 100 and the 50 for the second straight Olympic Trials. Meanwhile, in the same heat, Simone Manuel qualified second for the semifinals in 24.56. Manuel had a disappointing swim in the 100 free and finished ninth, and she revealed after the race that she had been diagnosed with Overtraining Syndrome.

At a press conference that night, an emotional Manuel walked through one of the most difficult years in her life and pledged that she would be back with more championship-level swimming in the future. After only ony day off, Manuel might be able to uncork that type of swim here and try to book herself a spot on the Olympic team after all.

After her 100 free win, Weitzeil said she would be rooting for Manuel even while she was swimming. “I’m going to be cheering my head off for her in the 50 as I’m swimming,” Weitzeil said. “I want her to do so well. I really want her with us on the team.”

Meanwhile, 100 fly winner Torri Huske won heat seven to take third overall in 24.61, and Friday night’s 100 free runner-up Erika Brown took fourth in 24.76. Kate Douglass, already second in the 200 IM and on the team, was fifth in 24.78, and Catie DeLoof, likely to qualify for the team after finishing fifth in the 100 free, qualified sixth in 24.82. Gretchen Walsh, on the other hand, had a rough 100 free and did not make the semifinals, but she bounced back to qualify seventh here in 24.88. The last swimmer to break 24 was Kelsi Dahlia, who was third in the 100 fly and missed the final in the 100 free, and Dahlia swam a time of 24.98.

Linnea Mack, who was originally DQ’ed, was reinstated after placing ninth in 25.09. Olympians Natalie Hinds (fourth in the 100 free) and Claire Curzan (second in the 100 fly) were 10th in 25.24 and 11th in 25.24, respectively. Curzan was well off her best time this year of 24.17, which ranks her tied for fifth in the world and the top American.

Grace Countie was originally listed as 16th in 25.49, but she was bumped out of the semifinals when Mack’s DQ was overturned. However, a later announcement kept Countie in the semifinals as the 17th-placed swimmer. Thus, she will likely compete in lane 0 in the second semifinal. That will be the second time this week there will be nine swimmers in a heat. Previously, Kaitlyn Dobler swam in lane 0 in the 100 breast final after Molly Hannis’ semifinal DQ was overturned.

The group of swimmers who did not advance included 2016 third-place finisher Madison Kennedy (19th, 25.53) and 100 free third-place finisher and Olympic qualifier Olivia Smoliga (25th, 25.69).


  1. Abbey Weitzeil 24.50
  2. Simone Manuel 24.56
  3. Torri Huske 24.61
  4. Erika Brown 24.76
  5. Kate Douglass 24.78
  6. Catie DeLoof 24.82
  7. Gretchen Walsh 24.88
  8. Kelsi Dahlia 24.98
  9. Linnea Mack 25.09
  10. Natalie Hinds 25.22
  11. Claire Curzan 25.24
  12. Alyssa Marsh 25.25
  13. Cora Dupree 25.42
  14. Chloe Larson 25.42
  15. Anya Goeders 25.43
  16. Camille Spink 25.45
  17. Grace Countie 25.49


  1. avatar

    How do you get a dq in 50 free?

    • avatar
      Mr Swim

      False start…or a flinch.

    • avatar

      False start

    • avatar

      If you leave too early you can get a DQ!

      • avatar

        Pull on the lane rope 🙂