U.S. Olympic Trials, Day 1: Erin Gemmell, Katie Grimes Scratch 400 Free to Bump Up Leah Smith (Finals Heat Sheet)

erin gemmell
Erin Gemmell -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Olympic Trials, Day 1: Erin Gemmell, Katie Grimes Scratch 400 Free to Bump Up Leah Smith (Finals Heat Sheet)

The first evening session of the U.S. Olympic Trials will see swimmers named to the Olympic team in the women’s and men’s 400 freestyle. The session also has semifinals action in the women’s 100 butterfly to begin the session and in the men’s 100 breaststroke to finish.

Click here to view the heat sheet.

The 100 fly semis will see Torri Huske and Gretchen Walsh as the top seed in each of their respective semifinals. Huske, the American-record holder in this event and a gold and bronze medalist at the World Championships, swam a mark of 56.26 in prelims while Walsh broke 56 for the first time in the morning. She will swim next to Regan Smith in the semis.

The first final, the men’s 400 free, had a surprise top qualifier in Luke Whitlock, who dropped almost three seconds from his best time in prelims. The center of the pool also includes defending national champion David Johnston plus Whitlock’s fellow Indianapolis-area swimmers Jake Mitchell and Aaron Shackell.

Katie Ledecky began her Olympic Trials with a brilliant 3:59.99 400 free prelims swim while Paige Madden, an Olympic finalist in 2021, looks to return to that stage this year. The final will look a little different than prelims after both Erin Gemmell and Katie Grimes scratched the event to concentrate on their other upcoming races, Gemmell the 200 free and Grimes the 400 IM. That bumped Kayla Han and Leah Smith into the final. Smith, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time world champion in the event, will have her chance at night after a rough prelims swim.

Finally, the men’s 100 breast will see favorite Nic Fink racing in between American-record holder Michael Andrew and Brian Benzing in the second semifinal heat, with a pair of other swimmers who were sub-1:00 in prelims, Josh Matheny and Jake Foster, in the first semi.

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Steve West
1 month ago

This is going to be a great finals for sure!

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