US Olympic Trials: Sequeira, Kurakin, Maldari Lead Day Three Heats at Wave I

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

US Olympic Trials: Sequeira, Kurakin, Maldari Lead Day Three Heats at Wave I

UC San Diego’s Ivan Kurakin got the men’s racing started with the top team in the 400 freestyle heats with a 3:57.88 as he came in seeded with a 3:56.2. He is seeded ahead of NC State’s Curtis Wiltsey (3:57.91) as both of them were in the last heat with Kurakin in lane six and Wiltsey in lane one. No one in the prelims got under the existing Wave I Olympic Trials cut but the race should intensify tonight when all eight swimmers line up next to each other with a spot in Wave II on the line.

Georgia Tech’s Clark Wakeland, who came from lane eight in heat three, is seeded third at 3:58.30 ahead of Tennessee commit Griffin Hadley (3:58.32), who came from heat one as the last seeded swimmer. It wasn’t a best time for either of those swimmers but it was enough to get a spot in the A-Final with a Wave II spot on the line for the top two finishers.

Rose Bowl’s Rex Maurer, who also came from a non-seeded heat, is fifth at 3:58.48 ahead of Notre Dame’s Liam Hutchinson (3:59.29).

19-year-old Aaron Sequeira of the Cincinnati Marlins had the fastest time in the 100 butterfly heats with a 53.11, lowering a half second from his best of 53.6 as he will occupy lane four in tonight’s final with an invite to Wave II Olympic Trials on the line. He is seeded ahead of Micah Slaton of Missouri at 53.28, who was a 53.5 on the heat sheet. Sequeira, who swims at Stanford, leads a field with a lot of new best times.

NC State’s Noah Henderson, who won the final heat, is seeded third at 53.55 ahead of 200 fly champ Carl Bloebaum. The Virginia Tech commit moved up to 49th all-time in the 17-18 age group as he broke 54 for the first time from heat one. Fellow 17-year-old Patrick Keough of King Aquatic Club also broke 54 for the first time with a 53.82 which puts him 64th all-time in the 17-18 age group.

27-year-old Lucas Bureau of Virginia Tech separates those two high schoolers in fifth at 53.61 after he came in as the second overall seed.

16-year-old Caleb Maldari of Bluefish Swim Club swam the top time in the 200 back heats at Wave I Olympic Trials with a 2:01.17 to lower his own best of 2:01.4. That swim put him 19th all-time in the 15-16 age group in the 200 backstroke as he is seeded ahead of Cal’s Colby Mefford (2:01.62) and Cincinnati’s Blake Hanna (2:01.84) who swam 2:01s for the first time in their lives.

100 back champ Jacob Steele is seeded fourth at 2:02.17 after coming in with the top time on the psych sheet. He could factor into who makes the Wave II field after he has already solidified his spot in the 100 and can let it fly in tonight’s finals. He is seeded ahead of Cincinnati’s Hunter Gubeno (2:02.28), who emerged from heat one, and Indianapolis’ Landon Driggers (2:02.49).

Olympic Trials Info:

Men’s 400 Free:

  1. Ivan Kurakin, 3:57.88
  2. Curtis Wiltsey, 3:57.91
  3. Clark Wakeland, 3:58.30
  4. Griffin Hadley, 3:58.32
  5. Rex Maurer, 3:58.48
  6. Liam Hutchinson, 3:59.29
  7. Jack Dubois, 3:59.35
  8. Brice Barrieault, 3:59.63

Men’s 100 Fly:

  1. Aaron Sequeira, 53.11
  2. Micah Slaton, 53.28
  3. Noah Henderson, 53.55
  4. Carl Bloebaum, 53.57
  5. Lucas Bureau, 53.61
  6. Patrick Keough, 53.82
  7. Sam Artmann, 53.94
  8. Matthew Whelan, 53.97

Men’s 200 Back:

  1. Caleb Maldari, 2:01.17
  2. Colby Mefford, 2:01.62
  3. Blake Hanna, 2:01.84
  4. Jacob Steele, 2:02.17
  5. Hunter Gubeno, 2:02.28
  6. Landon Driggers, 2:02.49
  7. Sam O’Brien, 2:02.52
  8. Bradley Dunham, 2:02.58