U.S. Olympic Trials Preview, Day Two: Torri Huske Targeting 100 Butterfly World Record; Men’s 400 IM Offers Intriguing Duel

Torri Huske
Torri Huske -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Olympic Trials Preview, Day Two: Torri Huske Targeting 100 Butterfly World Record

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 next week.


carson foster

Carson Foster — Photo Courtesy: Emily Cameron

Three years ago, teenager Carson Foster was the leader in the 400 IM final for most of the race, only to falter down the stretch as Chase Kalisz and then Jay Litherland roared ahead. Those two men ended up winning gold and silver, respectively, at the Tokyo Olympics.

Since then, however, Foster has established himself clearly among the world’s best in the longer medley, winning two consecutive silvers at the World Championships behind world-beater Leon Marchand.

Kalisz, now 30, remains a strong force in the event, having recorded quicker marks in both 2022 and 2023 than he did in winning Olympic gold. Litherland remains one of the world’s top finishers in the event, and so does Bobby Finke, best known for his distance freestyle skills, but a threat in the medley as well.

The U.S. could certainly send two medal contenders to Paris, but given Marchand’s excellence plus improved depth in the event, the American men will need to target 4:07s to ensure their podium hopes.

Favorites: Carson Foster, Chase Kalisz
Contenders: Jay Litherland, Bobby Finke
Wild Cards: David Johnston, Baylor Nelson, Mason Laur
Top 2 at 2021 Trials: Chase Kalisz 4:09.09, Jay Litherland 4:10.33
World Record/Splits: 4:02.50 Leon Marchand, FRA (Fukuoka 7-23-23)
25.77                            54.66 (28.89)             1:26.06 (31.40)         1:56.64 (30.58)
2:30.51 (33.87)         3:04.28 (33.77)          3:34.11 (29.83)         4:02.50 (28.39)


This is an event where would-be medal contenders could be left at home, as five different Americans broke 57 last year. The favorite to repeat as Trials winner is Torri Huske, the 2022 world champion in this event and the American record holder. Entering Trials, Huske is the only swimmer in the world to break 56 so far this year, having clocked 55.68 in April to narrowly miss her own American record.

Gretchen Walsh, meanwhile, annihilated the fastest 100-yard fly time ever by a full second during the most recent college season, and she was a World Championships finalist in her senior-level international debut last year.

Claire Curzan, an Olympian in this event alongside Huske in 2021, won silver at this year’s Worlds in the event, while versatile swimmers Kate Douglass and Regan Smith would both be contenders if they opt to race the 100 fly, although Douglass has already revealed her plans to skip the event.

Favorites: Torri Huske, Gretchen Walsh
Contenders: Claire Curzan, Regan Smith
Wild Card: Alex Shackell
Top 2 at 2021 Trials: Torri Huske 55.66, Claire Curzan 56.43
World Record/Splits: 55.48 Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (Rio 8-7-16)
26.01                              55.48 (29.47)


Nic Fink will race at the Olympic Trials less than a month before his 31st birthday, but since missing the Olympic team in the 100 breast by just 6-hundredths in 2021, he has been the country’s premier swimmer in the event.

He has been on the podium at every major meet over the past three years, and at the World Championships last February, he won gold in the 100 breast, defeating a field missing China’s Qin Haiyang, but including the three men who made up the podium at the Tokyo Olympics: Adam Peaty, Arno Kamminga and Nicolo Martinenghi.

Meanwhile, Michael Andrew will try to return to the international stage after missing last year’s Worlds. He is the American record holder at 58.14 and ranked No. 4 all-time, but he has struggled in this event in recent years.

Josh Matheny was a finalist at last year’s Worlds, while Jake Foster made the top-eight this year. And we cannot count out Cody Miller, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist still going strong at age 32.

Favorite: Nic Fink
Contenders: Michael Andrew, Josh Matheny, Noah Nichols, Jake Foster
Wild Cards: Cody Miller, Liam Bell
Top 2 at 2021 Trials: Michael Andrew 58.73, Andrew Wilson 58.74
World Record/Splits: 56.88 Adam Peaty, GBR (Gwangju 7-21-19)
26.63                              56.88 (30.25)

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael Gorvitz
Michael Gorvitz
20 days ago

Gretchen Walsh should pray that Reagan would not compete in the event, otherwise it will be Huske, Smith. Gretchen the best chance is 4×100 freestyle relay.

20 days ago

At Paris I certainly hope Marchand wins 400m IM Gold, Foster or Clarebut Silver and young Aussie Petric maybe Bronze (but he’ll be lucky to make the Australian team!).
Although Huske would be Gold favourite in 100m Butterfly I hope Emma does it!
Finally I’m all for a ‘ThreePeaty’ in the 100m Breastroke, American veteran Fink for Silver and China’s Quin Haiyang Bronze.
Not a prediction just a ‘if wishes were fishes’ statement!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x