U.S. Olympic Trials Preview, Day Nine: Women’s Splash-and-Dash and Men’s Mile Conclude Meet

Bobby Finke -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Olympic Trials Preview, Day Nine: Women’s Splash-and-Dash and Men’s Mile Conclude Meet

American swimmers, coaches, officials and hundreds of thousands of fans will make their way to Lucas Oil Stadium — home of the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts — for a unique U.S. Olympic Trials, complete with three temporary pools (two 50-meter and one 25-meter). The action takes place from June 15-23, with swimmers putting their hopes and dreams on the line for the opportunity to represent Team USA at the Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

These previews are part of a comprehensive Trials edition of Swimming World, which is set to be released this week.



Gretchen Walsh — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The favorite in the women’s 50 free would probably be Kate Douglass, who broke a seven-year-old American record on the way to a silver medal at February’s World Championships. But Douglass is likely to skip this event because of a schedule conflict with the 200 IM. Torri Huske, a finalist in this event at the 2022 Worlds, might also prioritize the medley over the splash-and-dash.

But swimmers sure to be in this event include Abbey Weitzeil and Simone Manuel, the qualifiers for the U.S. at the last two Olympics. The field will also include Gretchen Walsh, who clobbered the American record in the 50 yard free this college season while becoming the first woman ever to split under 20 seconds on a 200 free relay.

This could be the event where Walsh has the best chance of winning an individual medal at a major meet.

Favorites: Gretchen Walsh, Abbey Weitzeil, Kate Douglass
Contenders: Torri Huske, Simone Manuel
Wild Cards: Olivia Smoliga, Catie DeLoof, Gabi Albiero
Top 2 at 2021 Trials: Simone Manuel 24.29, Abbey Weitzeil 24.30
World Record: 23.61 Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (Fukuoka, 7-30-23)


Three years ago, Bobby Finke won Olympic gold medals in the 800 and 1500 free with come-from-behind stunners. Now, Finke is an undisputed favorite for Olympic gold. He is unlikely to approach his American-record time of 14:31.59 that he clocked on his way to silver in an exciting showdown at last year’s World Championships, but his track record indicates that Finke will be ready to shine in the Olympic final.

However, it is unlikely that the U.S. will send a second medal-contending swimmer to Paris, with no American aside from Finke having qualified for an international final in the mile since Connor Jaeger and Jordan Wilimovsky finished second and fourth, respectively, at the 2016 Olympics.

Charlie Clark has joined Finke at the World Championships the last two years, while Michael Brinegar qualified for the 2021 Olympics in both distance races.

Favorite: Bobby Finke
Contenders: Charlie Clark, Will Gallant, Michael Brinegar
Wild Cards: Daniel Matheson, David Johnston, Luke Whitlock
Top 2 at 2021 Trials: Bobby Finke 14:46.06, Michael Brinegar 15:00.87
World Record/Splits: 14:31.02 Sun Yang, CHN (London 8-4-12)
27.09                             55.80 (28.71)               1:25.26 (29.46)          1:54.31 (29.95)
2:23.66 (29.35)          2:52.63 (28.97)            3:22.16 (29.53)          3:51.50 (29.34)
4:20.73 (29.23)          4:49.62 (28.89)           5:18.88 (29.26)          5:48.15 (29.27)
6:17.40 (29.25)           6:46.74 (29.34)           7:16.15 (29.41)            7:45.45 (29.30)
8:14.94 (29.49)           8:44.32 (29.38)          9:13.78 (29.46)           9:43.10 (29.32)
10:12.52 (29.42)         10:41.73 (29.21)          11:11.27 (29.54)           11:40.64 (29.37)
12:09.81 (29.17)         12:39.00 (29.19)         13:08.39 (29.39)         13:37.53 (29.14)
14:05.34 (27.81)         14:31.02 (25.68)

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