US Olympic Trials: Autumn Haebig Swims Big 1:01.2 100 Back, Jacob Steele Beats Men’s Field

autumn-haebig
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Nebraska Cornhusker Autumn Haebig represented the Big Red in Omaha well with a 1:01.23 in the 100 back final on Friday night at the US Olympic Trials Wave I. Haebig had swum a 1:01.5 this morning after not being under 1:02 since November 2018 as she will swim on at the Wave II Olympic Trials next week. 1:01.2 would put Haebig 25th nationally in the 100 backstroke this year as she may improve enough to grant herself a place in the semi finals come Wave II.

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Haebig will be joined in Wave II by Arkansas’ Kobie Melton (1:01.89), who held off Michigan’s Casey Chung (1:01.93) at the last stroke. Haebig and Melton were 1 and 2 at the 50, but Chung was closing on the Razorback who swam a little slower than her time this morning but it was enough to get her advanced to Wave II. Chung had already been under 1:02 a couple times in her career but this is her fastest swim since 2019 Juniors.

Autumn Haebig, who became the first Nebraska swimmer to win a Big Ten title since joining the conference in 2011, has been on a tear this year, scoring in two events at NCAAs this year and now seeing a big drop to make Wave II in the 100 back.

Results:

  1. Autumn Haebig, 1:01.23
  2. Kobie Melton, 1:01.89
  3. Casey Chung, 1:01.93
  4. Bayley Stewart, 1:02.05
  5. Tea Laughlin, 1:02.22
  6. Tatum Wall, 1:02.44
  7. Marie Schobel, 1:02.83
  8. Emily Lenihan, 1:03.01

In the men’s race, Indiana’s Jacob Steele won a tight race with a 55.23, lowering his own best that he swam three years ago at Nationals in Irvine. He punched his ticket to wave II with Auburn commit Nathaniel Stoffle in second at 55.28. Stoffle swims for the Spartan Aquatic Club in Georgia and broke 56 seconds for the first time today, while getting all the way down to 55.2 today.

Steele, who just finished his senior year at Indiana, will join a large contingent of Hoosier undergrad and postgrads that have qualified for the meet. Steele is now in the top 30 nationally ahead of Trials. Stoffle put himself 24th all-time in the 17-18 age group with his swim.

RJ Kondalski made things interesting out in lane eight as he and Blake Hanna out in lane one had the fastest last 50s in the field with Hanna of Cincinnati coming home in 28.36 and Kondalski of Ohio State coming back in 28.48. Kondalski was third overall at 55.40 with Hanna in fifth at 55.69.

Cancer survivor Ethan Gogulski of Texas A&M finished in fourth at 55.60.

Results:

  1. Jacob Steele, 55.23
  2. Nathaniel Stoffle, 55.28
  3. RJ Kondalski, 55.40
  4. Ethan Gogulski, 55.60
  5. Blake Hanna, 55.69
  6. Nate Germonperez, 55.75
  7. Tucker Burhans, 55.93
  8. Joseph Hayburn, 56.50