U.S. Olympic Trials: Michael Andrew, Ryan Held Tie for 50 Free Top Seed; Caeleb Dressel Tied for Seventh


Michael Andrew — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

by DAVID RIEDER – SENIOR WRITER

20 June 2024, 09:13am

U.S. Olympic Trials: Michael Andrew, Ryan Held Tie for 50 Free Top Seed; Caeleb Dressel Tied for Seventh

Michael Andrew returned to the competition pool Thursday morning for the first time since fading to eighth in the 100 breaststroke final, and he will try to sneak onto the Olympic team in the 50 free. Andrew was the World Championships silver medalist in the event in 2022, and his lifetime best is 21.41, second-best in the field behind Caeleb Dressel.

In prelims, Andrew tied for the top qualifying mark as he blasted his way to a time of 21.70 in heat nine while Ryan Held equaled that mark two heats later. Held, who was left off the Olympic team in heartbreaking fashion three years ago after finishing sixth in the 100 free, is again in limbo after Wednesday night’s 100-meter final, but he is sitting in a much stronger position after taking fifth this time around.

The two men who earned individual spots in the 100 free were just behind, with Jack Alexy touching in 21.74 for the third seed and Chris Guiliano claiming the fourth seed in 21.83. Guiliano is the first American man since Matt Biondi in 1988 to qualify for both the 100 and 200 free at the Olympics, and Biondi also swam the 50-meter event at those Olympics.

August Lamb dropped almost a half-second from his seed time to take fifth in 21.87, followed by Quintin McCarty (21.98) and a tie for seventh between Caeleb Dressel and Matt King at 22.00. Dressel qualified for his third Olympic team Wednesday with his third-place finish in the 100 free.

Jonny Kulow finished ninth in 22.01, and Jack Dolan was 10th (22.07). The remaining semifinalists include David Curtiss (22.18),Payton Sorenson (22.19), Matthew Jensen (22.24), Adam Chaney (22.26), Drew Salls (22.28) and Daniel Bates (22.28).

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