US Olympic Trials: Heather MacCausland Drops Huge 1:08.2 100 Breast, Zhier Fan Breaks 1:02 for First Time in Wave I

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

US Olympic Trials: Heather MacCausland Drops Huge 1:08.2 100 Breast, Zhier Fan Breaks 1:02 for First Time

NC State freshman Heather MacCausland dropped a huge best time in the finals of the 100 breaststroke at the US Olympic Trials Wave I meet in Omaha as she was a 1:08.27 after having never broken 1:10 coming into the day. MacCausland was a 1:09.9 this morning and unleashed a stellar second 50 with a 35.94 as only one other swimmer broke 37 seconds on the back 50.

MacCausland’s time puts her 11th nationally in the United States in 2021 alone as she could be in line to reach semi finals come next week’s Wave II meet at Olympic Trials.

Virginia commit Zoe Skirboll came in second from lane 5 with a 1:09.32 after she also broke 1:10 for the first time in her life today and earn a spot at the Wave II meet next week.

Skirboll turned third at the 50 at 32.86 with MacCausland in second at 32.33 and Virginia Tech’s Joelle Vereb (32.16) in the lead. Skirboll swam a lifetime best to move up to 19th all-time in the 15-16 age group as she will be a freshman at the reigning national champs Virginia in the fall of 2022.

Vereb faded on the back 50 with a 37.85 split after breaking 1:10 for the first time this morning and coming in with the top seed. She was third with a 1:10.01.

Florida International’s Taylor Grabenhorst (1:10.64) finished in fourth ahead of Kansas’ Kate Steward (1:10.71) and Duke’s Sally Foley (1:10.82).

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Results:

  1. Heather MacCausland, 1:08.27
  2. Zoe Skirboll, 1:09.32
  3. Joelle Vereb, 1:10.01
  4. Taylor Grabenhorst, 1:10.64
  5. Kate Steward, 1:10.71
  6. Sally Foley, 1:10.82
  7. Kylie Powers, 1:11.23
  8. Kaylee Hamblin, 1:11.93

In the men’s 100 breast, rising high school senior Zhier Fan of Metroplex swam a big best time in his own right with a 1:01.74, breaking 1:02 for the first time in his career to clinch a spot in the Wave II meet and move himself up to 21st all-time in the 17-18 age group. Fan has yet to commit to a school yet but allowed his stock to rise after having a 1:02.2 best time.

He will be joined in the Olympic Trials Wave II by Auburn’s Reid Mikuta (1:01.88), who had the fastest time in the heats this morning as he broke 1:02 for the first time this morning and was just 0.01 off his heats time.

18-year-old Indiana commit Luke Barr nearly took a Wave II spot from lane 1 as he turned third at the 50 behind Wisconsin’s Eli Fouts (28.56) and Fan. Barr closed, along with Princeton’s Corey Lau, who came into the final from heat 1 this morning. Lau split a very quick 32.85 on the back 50 behind only Mikuta (32.57) and Fan (32.77) as it was not enough, finishing fourth at 1:02.58 with Barr in third at 1:02.41.

Fouts faded to fifth at 1:02.65 with Navy commit Jakob Frick in sixth at 1:02.68.

Results:

  1. Zhier Fan, 1:01.74
  2. Reid Mikuta, 1:01.88
  3. Luke Barr, 1:02.41
  4. Corey Lau, 1:02.58
  5. Eli Fouts, 1:02.65
  6. Jakob Frick, 1:02.68
  7. Luke Massey, 1:02.85
  8. Jake Ball, 1:03.07