Olympic Swimming Trials event-by-event outlook for Monday night

Katie Ledecky
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OMAHA — An event-by-event look at Monday night’s Olympic Swimming Trials semifinals and finals session (8 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports app):

Women’s 100m Butterfly Final
Olympic champion Dana Vollmer, coming back from March 2015 childbirth, and Kelsi Worrell are massive favorites to secure the two Olympic berths. They were nearly one second faster than the rest of the qualifiers from Sunday’s semifinals.

Men’s 200m Freestyle Semifinals
Ryan Lochte
, groin injury and all, actually swam faster in his preliminary heat Monday morning than he did in the same race four years ago. He safely qualified fifth into the 16-swimmer semifinals but said he was still in pain. The top eight between two semifinals Monday night will make Tuesday’s final. Conor Dwyer, the 2013 World silver medalist who made the Olympic 400m free team Sunday, was the fastest Monday morning.

Women’s 100m Breaststroke Semifinals
Lilly King
, the top-ranked American this year, qualified fastest into the semis, .12 ahead of Katie Meili, who was the fastest American last year. Former world-record holder Jessica Hardy made it with the fourth fastest time in prelims.

Men’s 100m Breaststroke Final
Kevin Cordes broke a seven-year-old American record in Sunday’s semifinals, and Cody Miller was only .15 behind Cordes. They are clear favorites to make their first Olympic team. Michael Andrew, a 17-year-old who turned pro at 14, is a dark horse as the fourth seed going into the final.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Women’s 400m Freestyle Final
The question is who will finish second to Katie Ledecky, who had the fastest qualifying time Monday morning by a half-second. It could be Olympic silver medalist Allison Schmitt, or it could be Leah Smith, who entered Trials as the second-fastest woman in the world this year behind Ledecky. Smith was 3.52 seconds faster than Schmitt in their preliminary heat.

Men’s 100m Backstroke Semifinals
David Plummer
Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers have been the three fastest Americans, in some order, in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They qualified first, fourth and fifth into the semifinals as they head toward a final showdown Tuesday night.

Women’s 100m Backstroke Semifinals
London Olympic champion Missy Franklin qualified fifth fastest into the 16-swimmer semifinals. Athens and Beijing Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin was seventh fastest. Rachel Bootsma, who finished between Franklin and Coughlin at 2012 Trials and was 11th in London, placed 18th overall in the prelims and will miss the semifinals unless two swimmers scratch.

MORE: Lochte must draw on painful past to make Olympic team

Scotty James wins fifth X Games snowboard halfpipe title

Scotty James
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Scotty James doesn’t have Olympic gold, but he remains king of the X Games halfpipe.

James, the Australian snowboarder who took bronze and silver at the last two Olympics, earned his fifth Aspen gold, repeating as champ of the biggest annual contest under falling snow in the Colorado Rockies. Only the retired Shaun White has more X Games men’s snowboard halfpipe titles with eight.

Nobody on Friday night attempted a triple cork, which was first done in competition by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano last season en route to the Olympic title. Hirano placed sixth Friday.

“It was a tough night, pretty interesting conditions,” James said. “Had to adjust the game plan. The show goes on.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression over the course of a three-run jam session for the entire field rather than scoring individual runs.

Earlier, Olympic gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand repeated as women’s snowboard slopestyle champion, passing Olympic bronze medalist Tess Coady of Australia on the final run of the competition. Sadowski-Synnott, the only snowboarder or skier to win Olympic, world and X Games slopestyle titles, capped her finale with back-to-back 900s.

The competition lacked 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion Jamie Anderson, who announced her pregnancy last month.

Canada’s Megan Oldham landed the first triple cork in women’s ski big air competition history to beat Olympic silver medalist Tess Ledeux of France, according to commentators. Oldham, a 21-year-old ex-gymnast, was fourth at the Olympics.

Eileen Gu, the Olympic champion from China, did not compete but is entered in halfpipe and slopestyle later this weekend.

ON HER TURF: U.S. freeskier Maggie Voisin on grief, loss, finding motivation

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Isabeau Levito wins U.S. figure skating title at age 15, followed by comeback stories

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Isabeau Levito won her first U.S. figure skating title at age 15, cementing her status as the new leading American woman to open the new Olympic cycle.

Levito, the world junior champion, tallied 223.33 points between two strong programs in San Jose, California. She distanced two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell, who went 19 months between competitions due to foot and ankle injuries in 2021 and 2022 and scored 213.12.

Tennell was just two hundredths behind Levito after Thursday’s short but had multiple jumping errors in the free skate.

Levito followed her as last to go in the free and nailed the most pressure-packed performance of her young career, including the hardest jump combination done of the entire field. She didn’t receive a single negative mark from a judge for her 19 technical elements in her two programs.

Moments later, she was in tears backstage.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Scores | Broadcast Schedule

“I was just so proud of myself for staying so calm and staying so focused, doing exactly what I aimed to do,” Levito, who hasn’t finished off the podium in more than 20 events dating to November 2016, said on NBC. “I’m ready to start bouncing off the walls.”

Amber Glenn, 23, placed third and will likely become the oldest U.S. women’s singles skater to make her world championships debut in at least 45 years. Glenn botched her 11th attempt to join the list of U.S. women to land a clean triple Axel (tally according to Skatingscores.com) but still moved up from fourth after the short program, passing Starr Andrews.

Last year, Glenn entered nationals as the fourth-ranked U.S. woman and a hopeful for the three-woman Olympic team. She placed 14th in the short program, competing unknowingly with COVID-19, then tested positive and withdrew before the free skate.

In 2021, Glenn was the U.S. silver medalist, yet passed over for a spot on the two-woman world team in favor of the more experienced Karen Chen, who finished 35 hundredths behind Glenn at those nationals.

Levito, Tennell and Glenn are expected to make up the team for March’s world championships, decided by a committee.

Gracie Gold, a two-time U.S. champion who was fifth after the short program, popped a pair of planned triple Lutzes and dropped to eighth.

None of the three 2022 U.S. Olympians competed. Alysa Liu and Mariah Bell retired. Chen is a student at Cornell and might not return.

Nationals continue Saturday with the free dance and pairs’ free skate, live on NBC Sports and Peacock.

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