US Open Day 3 Prelims: Regan Smith Takes Top Seeds; Thomas Heilman Sets Two NAG Records

ue-open-regan-semith-Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Regan Smith (USA) after the women's 200m butterfly heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

The 2021 US Open continued from the Greensboro Aquatic Center on Friday morning with Day 3’s prelims sessions.

The biggest storylines from the morning were Regan Smith taking two top seeds. The freshman and Olympic medalist took the top seed in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly. Meanwhile Thomas Heilman broke two 13-14 NAG records.

Other strong performances earned top seeds heading into finals.

More meet coverage

Here is a look at Smith’s events:

Women’s 100 Backstroke

Regan Smith made her long awaited debut for Stanford, though the US Open isn’t a college meet. Smith, who won multiple Olympic medals in Tokyo, had deferred her commitment to train for the Olympics and is now finally training at Stanford.

This was her first meet since officially becoming a part of Stanford’s team, and she put together a strong swim in the 100 backstroke, touching the wall in  59.51. She was the lone swimmer in the field to break a minute and was less than two seconds off the US Open record of 57.82 that she set at the Olympic Trials.

She could inch closer to that mark in finals.

Anya Mostek finished with the second seed in 1:01.89, followed by Kobie Melton (1:02.09).

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Women’s 100 Butterfly

Regan Smith was extremely strong in her first race since joining Stanford. She was the lone swimmer to break a minute in the 100 butterfly, just as she was the only one to do so in the backstroke as well.

Smith touched the wall in 59.22 to take the top seed int he 100 butterfly. The time was strong but more than three seconds behind the US Open record set by Torri Huske at trials (55.66).

Autumn D’Arcy took the second seed (1:00.42) followed by Sydney Lu (1:00.59) and Mallory Comerford (1:00.68).

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The rest of the prelim events:

Women’s 400 IM

As her individual medley-focused meet continued, Leah Smith continued to perform well in the four-stroke events.

The 2016 Olympian took the top seed in the 400 IM to kick off Friday’s US Open session. She touched the wall in 4:43.64, finishing a full four seconds ahead of the field.

It was a strong swim but still 11 seconds off of the US Open record set by Katinka Hosszu in 2015 (4:31.07). Smith will likely chip further into that in finals.

Second-place finished Julia Podkoscielny took the second seed in 4:47.64, followed by Ella Jansen (4:48.07).

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Men’s 400 IM

With a lot of attention on Florida’s Bobby Finke, it was South Florida’s Collyn Gagne who took the top seed in the men’s 400 IM.

He touched the wall in 4:23.15.

Baylor Nelson from SwimMAC was second in 4:23.98, followed by Finke. The Olympic gold medalist touched the wall in 4:25.32.

In his first taper meet since the Olympics, Finke could be poised for a strong finals swim.

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Men’s 100 Butterfly

Thomas Heilman broke the 13-14 National Age Group Record in the 100 fly. Heilman touched the wall in 53.43 to take the top seed into finals in the event at the US Open.

He broke his own record in the event of 54.43 that he set when he was 13. Before that, the NAG belonged to Michael Andrew at 54.59.

Florida’s Eric Friese took the second seed in 53.47, followed by Iago Moussalem Amaral (53.62).

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Women’s 200 Free

Katie Ledecky broke the championship meet’s record to take the top seed in the 200 freestyle. She touched the wall in 1:56.06 to break her own previous meet record of 1:56.24 set in Atlanta in 2019.

It sets up to be a pretty interesting final with Ledecky clearly the favorite. But there are some other challengers in the fray with Tokyo Olympian Paige Madden taking the second seed in 1:58.12, followed by Erin Gemmell (1:59.99) and 2016 Olympian Leah Smith (2:00.32), swimming in her second event o the day.

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Men’s 200 Free

Florida’s Trey Freeman took a strong second 50 to push into the lead and hang on to take the top seed in the 200 free. He touched the wall in 1:59.17.

Andrej Barna took the second seed in 1:49.74, followed by Hoe Yean Khiew (1:50.02), but it was 14-year-old Thomas Heilman that again got the attention.

Heilman broke the 13-14 National Age Group Record with a swim of 1:51.27 to take the fourth seed. It was his second NAG record within the hour. The previous mark was a 1:53.04 set by Maximus Williamson during the summer.

It is the fourth NAG record for Heilman in two days. This was the only one where he didn’t break his own mark, but someone else’s.

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Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Virginia’s Noah Nichols took the top seed in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.82), the lone swimmer in the field under a 1:02.

Likith Prema was second in 1:02.34, followed by Brandon Fischer (1:02.38).

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Women’s Breaststroke

Ohio State’s Hannah Bach took the top seed in the 100 breaststroke (1;09.790 ,followed nay Ahryoung Kim (1:10.51) and Jing en Phee (1:10.73).

* There was a technical issue with Omega results for this event. We will update as soon as possible.


Men’s 100 Backstroke

The session ended with the men’s 100 backstroke where several swimmers will be within striking distance

Vaggelis Makrygiannis took the top seed in 54.18, the lone swimmer under 55.

Sam Stewart took the second seed in 55.55, followed by Yeziel Morales (55.76).

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