U.S. Olympic Trials, Day One Semifinals: Charlie Swanson Secures Surprise Top Seed for 100 Breaststroke Final

Charlie Swanson

U.S. Olympic Trials, Day One Semifinals: Charlie Swanson Secures Surprise Top Seed for 100 Breaststroke Final

Between the Pan American Games of 2019 and the World Championships of 2022, Charlie Swanson has experience representing the United States in international competition. Now, an Olympic berth is within reach for the 26-year-old, as Swanson became the surprise top seed for the final of the 100-meter breaststroke at the United States Olympic Trials in Indianapolis.

Surging down the stretch, Swanson registered a career-best time of 59.34 during Saturday night’s semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium. That effort enabled Swanson to book Lane Four in the final, with Josh Matheny (59.42) and Nic Fink (59.46) qualifying second and third. Swanson was out in 28.15 in his semifinal, but his homecoming speed of 31.19 enabled him to post the fastest time of the evening session.

While Swanson headed to Indy as a contender for the Paris Olympics in the 200 breaststroke, he wasn’t expected to challenge for a berth in the 100 breaststroke. Yet, two races have altered Swanson’s outlook in the shorter distance. Both of Swanson’s swims on Saturday resulted in personal bests, as his semifinal performance followed a mark of 59.44 in the preliminaries.

The third-place finisher in the 100 breaststroke at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Fink will be the third seed for the final on Sunday night. Fink had his fastest effort of Saturday during prelims, where he checked in at 59.24. Although he was slightly slower at night, Fink knows how to get the job done. At each of the past three editions (2022-24) of the World Championships, Fink has earned a place on the podium in the 100 breaststroke, highlighted by a gold medal earlier this year in Doha.

Matheny is another contender for a trip to Paris and has experience on Team USA rosters. Matheny was the winner of the first semifinal, where he was followed by Liam Bell (59.57) and Jake Foster (59.63), who qualified fourth and fifth overall. The field for the final will also feature Michael Andrew (59.65), Noah Nicholas (59.76) and Luke Rodarte (59.78).

Andrew is far from the form he flashed at the Trials for the Tokyo Games. Three years ago, he produced an American record of 58.14 in the 100 breaststroke, one of three events in which he qualified for the Olympic Games. This time around, he hasn’t sniffed the 59-second barrier, but with a lane in the final, Andrew has given himself a chance to qualify for a second Olympiad.

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