U.S. Open Prelims: Caeleb Dressel Comes Out Strong with 51.83 in 100 Fly


by MATTHEW DE GEORGE – SENIOR WRITER

01 December 2023, 11:53am

U.S. Open Prelims: Caeleb Dressel Comes Out Strong with 51.83 in 100 Fly

Based on the evidence of Thursday, Caeleb Dressel’s U.S. Open looks less sluggish than sluggish to start.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo rectified a B final placement in prelims Thursday by blasting a time of 21.99 seconds in finals that would’ve been fourth in the A final.

Friday, Dressel made sure he didn’t miss out, going 51.83 to finish third in prelims of the 100 fly. That places him in the thick of the title hunt, trailing the leading Canadian duo.

Josh Liendo set the best time of the morning in 51.71, flying the flag of Florida. Second was Ilya Kharun in 51.75.

Dressel is joined under 52 seconds by Hungary’s Hubert Kos, who went 51.86. Trenton Julian and Santo Condorelli tied for fifth in 51.90. Zach Harting and Aiden Hayes tied for the final finals spot in 52.20.

That relegates Shaine Casas to another B final in 52.24, though he performed quite well there a night earlier. Michael Andrew finished 14th and Ryan Murphy 19th.

Also in prelims:

Summer McIntosh, the 400 free champ, led the way in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:41.95. The world record holder is more than a second up on Emma Weyant, with Regan Smith third in 4:43.93. Four Canadians made the A final, with Ella Jansen fifth, Tess Cieplucha seventh and Bailey Andison eighth.

Chase Kalisz is in position to do the IM double after finishing second in a narrow battle in the 400 IM prelims. Carson Foster led the way in 4:18.35, but Kalisz is lurking .19 seconds back. Another three tenths back is Jay Litherland, in a convergence of the top American IMers of the last two Olympic cycles. Baylor Nelson was seventh.

The women’s 100 fly is no less engaging than the men’s, with 11 swimmers under a minute. Claire Curzan led the way in prelims at 57.38, .27 up on Gretchen Walsh. Torri Huske earned the third seed in 58.10. The A final includes international flavor thanks to Katerine Savard and Farida Osman. Teen Leah Shackley is also in the A final after a 59.53.

Katie Ledecky set the pace in the 200 free, a domineering 1:56.75 that was more than a second and a half clear of the field. Anna Peplowski was closest in 1:58.33. Also in the A final are Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey and in-form Hungarian Minna Abraham, plus American teen Erin Gemmell. Veterans Leah Smith (sixth) and Simone Manuel (seventh) also booked A final spots, though Paige Madden just missed out in 10th.

Henry McFadden led what looks like a wide open men’s 200 free, the top eight separated by .92 seconds. McFadden went 1:47.31. Drew Kibler was second in 1:47.35, with Luca Urlando a further two tenths back. Grant House and Kieran Smith are among the Americans in the A final, with Blake Pieroni and Brooks Curry in the B final.

Lilly King had appeared to set the fastest time in the women’s 100 breaststroke, but she was disqualified for a downward butterfly kick. That leaves Lydia Jacoby as the top seed in 1:07.02. Kate Douglass was third in 1:07.52. Siobhan Haughey showed off by going 1:08.38 for fifth, ahead of Anna Elendt. Lithuania’s Kotryna Teterevkova was second.

The men’s 100 breast brought a tie for the top seed, with Josh Matheny and Michael Andrew both going 1:00.18. Denis Petrsashov, Noah Nichols and Cody Miller were all within a tenth of a second. Nic Fink finished seventh and Matt Fallon was eighth to round out an intriguing A final.

Regan Smith led the way in a 100 backstroke lousy with Olympians. The American record holder set the pace in 58.47, .46 seconds up on Katharine Berkoff. Claire Curzan was third, a tenth up on Olivia Smoliga. Kennedy Noble and Leah Shackley, in fifth and seventh, respectively, represent the next wave. Sixth-place Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White in eighth are among the established vets hanging firm.

Hubert Kos finished a busy morning by taking the top time in the men’s 100 back in 53.50. Ryan Murphy glided home in 54.15 for fourth, trailing Jack Aikins and Evangelos Makrygiannis by small margins. Daniel Diehl is also in a loaded A final in 54.46, just ahead of Justin Ress and Hunter Armstrong.

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