U.S. Olympic Trials: Kieran Smith Leads Men’s 200 Free Finals Qualifiers

kieran-smith-olympic-trials
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The first men’s event of the Olympic Trials Day 2 finals was the first with relay implications, making the 200 free semifinal heats even more energized. Kieran Smith took the top spot overall with a 1:45.74 heading into the finals in the event, continuing his strong performance at the trials. Smith won the 400 free on night one.

The top four finishers automatically qualify for the Olympics to swim in the 4×200 freestyle relay, while the top two will swim the 200 free individually.

The event had a cross section of youth, experience and speed, led by Kieran Smith, who is quickly putting together a dominating performance in Omaha.

Zach Apple was second in the heat and overall, finishing in 1:46.22, ahead of Townley Haas (1:46.30) and Luca Urlando (1:46.93).

Drew Kibler won the first semifinal heat in 1:46.70, ahead of Blake Pieroni (1:46.84) and Andrew Seliskar (1:46.95). Patrick Callan, the No. 2 seed from prelims, was fourth in the heat at 1:47.00.

Carson Foster, who missed a spot in the 400 IM by one on night one, took ninth in the semifinals of the 200 free.

The event was without Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held, who scratched after the prelims, but there was plenty of star power in the water in Omaha.

The Olympic trials semifinal event saw four current or former Texas swimmers in the field, no surprised given their dominance in the event at the NCAA championships, two of those swimmers qualifying for the final.

The American record is 1:42.96 set by Michael Phelps in 2008 and Phelps was on hand to watch this race from the stands.

Top 8 results:

  1. Kieran Smith, 1:45.74
  2. Zach Apple, 1:46.22
  3. Townley Haas, 1:46.30
  4. Drew Kibler, 1:46.70
  5. Blake Pieroni, 1:46.84
  6. Luca Urlando, 1:46.93
  7. Andrew Seliskar, 1:46.95
  8. Patrick Callan, 1:47.00

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