As swimmers finish Olympic Trials prep, must-see events take shape

2016 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials - Day 7
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Over the next two weekends, many of the U.S.’ top swimmers are expected to fine-tune in races ahead of next month’s Olympic Trials by competing across the country.

Indianapolis hosts the last pre-Trials meet of the Tyr Pro Swim Series this week. Olympic Channel airs live finals coverage Friday at 6 p.m. ET. NBCSN airs live finals coverage Saturday at 6. USASwimming.org streams finals on Wednesday and Thursday.

Lilly KingRegan Smith and Nathan Adrian are the headliners in Indy.

Over in Georgia, Caeleb DresselRyan Lochte and Ryan Murphy are entered in the Atlanta Classic from Friday through Sunday, live streaming on Swim Atlanta’s YouTube channel.

Next week, Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel are expected to compete in Austin, Texas, according to Swimswam.com.

At Trials in Omaha, the top two per individual event will make the Olympic team. Here’s a look at what are shaping up to the most exciting finals at Trials …

Women’s 100m Backstroke
Top 5 since 1/1/2019
1. Regan Smith 57.57 WR
2. Kathleen Baker 58.56
3. Phoebe Bacon 58.63
4. Olivia Smoliga 58.73
5. Katharine Berkoff 59.29

Top 5 since 1/1/2021
1. Olivia Smoliga 59.04
2. Claire Curzan 59.37
3. Regan Smith 59.39
4. Kathleen Baker 59.45
5. Rhyan White 59.66

The most loaded event in American swimming: the current world record holder (Smith), the previous world record holder (Baker), the world bronze medalist (Smoliga) and a pair of teen stars (Bacon, 18, and Curzan, 16). The U.S. has four in the world top 10 since the start of 2019, and that doesn’t include Curzan, who during the pandemic lowered a bunch of national age group records. An Olympic medal-worthy swimmer will not make the team.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley
Top 5 since 1/1/2019
1. Chase Kalisz 1:56.78
2. Michael Andrew 1:56.83
3. Carson Foster 1:57.59
4. Abrahm DeVine 1:57.66
5. Ryan Lochte/Sam Stewart 1:57.76

Top 5 since 1/1/2021
1. Michael Andrew 1:57.98
2. Kieran Smith 1:59.38
3. Abrahm DeVine 1:59.65
4. Ryan Lochte 1:59.72
5. Caeleb Dresel 2:00.13

The most intriguing men’s event ever since it became clear that it’s Lochte’s primary, and maybe only, shot at qualifying for a fifth Olympics at age 36. To become the oldest U.S. Olympic male swimmer in history, Lochte must navigate a field that includes the 2017 World champion (Kalisz), a phenom who turned professional at age 14 (Andrew, now 22) and a man nearly half his age (19-year-old Carson Foster, who in 2018 broke a national age group record). In Lochte’s favor: the U.S. is not nearly as dominant in this event as it once was. No Americans are in the top five in the world since the start of 2019. None are in the top 10 this year. And it’s believed that Lochte hasn’t raced a 200m IM fully fit or fully rested in this Olympic cycle. He has the ability to go significantly faster than the 1:57.76 he clocked at 2019 Nationals, his first meet back from a 14-month suspension when he said he was 22 pounds overweight.

Women’s 200m Freestyle
Top 5 since 1/1/2019
1. Katie Ledecky 1:54.40
2. Allison Schmitt 1:56.01
3. Simone Manuel 1:56.09
4. Katie McLaughlin 1:56.48
5. Leah Smith 1:57.40

Top 5 since 1/1/2021
1. Katie Ledecky 1:54.40
2. Katie McLaughlin 1:57.48
3. Allison Schmitt 1:58.04
4. Torri Huske 1:58.09
5. Justina Kozan 1:58.10

For Ledecky, the most challenging event on her program given she’s not expected to try for the Olympic team in the 100m free. Though Ledecky hasn’t won a major international 200m free title since Rio, she also hasn’t been beaten by a countrywoman in a full meet 200m free in seven years. The Olympic Trials field should nonetheless be decorated. Schmitt is the 2012 Olympic champion and American record holder. Manuel is the world champion in the 50m and 100m frees who should be valuable on the 4x200m free relay come Tokyo, if not making the individual 200m free. Smith is the Olympic 400m free bronze medalist.

Men’s 100m Freestyle
Top 5 since 1/1/2019
1. Caeleb Dressel 46.96
2. Ryan Held 47.39
3. Maxime Rooney 47.61
4. Zach Apple 47.69
5. Blake Pieroni 47.87

Top 5 since 1/1/2021
1. Ryan Held 48.68
2. Nathan Adrian 48.74
3. Caeleb Dressel 48.82
4. Zach Apple 48.89
5. Justin Ress 49.06

Dressel repeated as world champion in 2019 in the second-fastest time in history. He’s expected to make the Olympic team in three individual events, including this one. The intrigue lies with Adrian, the 2012 Olympic champion coming back from testicular cancer. Adrian, an eight-time Olympic medalist, made the U.S. team for the year’s biggest meet (Olympics/worlds/Pan Pacs) each of the last 12 times. The 32-year-old also has a chance in the 50m free, but his focus has always been the 100m. Keep in mind that, in addition to the top two racing it individually at the Olympics, it’s expected that the top six at Trials will make the Olympic team in the 4x100m free relay pool. Adrian is ranked eighth in the U.S. since the start of 2019.

Women’s 100m Butterfly
Top 5 since 1/1/2019
1. Claire Curzan 56.20
2. Torri Huske 56.69
3. Kelsi Dahlia 57.06
4. Katie McLaughlin 57.23
5. Regan Smith 57.34

Top 5 since 1/1/2021
1. Claire Curzan 56.20
2. Torri Huske 56.69
3. Katie McLaughlin 57.39
4. Gretchen Walsh 57.43
5. Regan Smith 57.88

Maybe no event has been impacted more by the one-year Olympic postponement. Dahlia was the U.S.’ fastest 100m flyer every year from 2015 through 2019. But last month, high schoolers Curzan and Huske posted those nation-leading times. Then there’s Smith, another teen, who owns both backstroke world records but can also swim both butterflies at Olympic Trials without having to race more than twice in any single session in Omaha. This will be the first event at Trials for all of these swimmers. The 200m fly may be just as exciting, featuring world silver and bronze medalists Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot and Smith, who just before the Olympics were postponed swam a time that would have won the 2019 World title.

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After an Olympic medal, Ryan Cochran-Siegle sets new goal going into Beaver Creek

Ryan Cochran-Siegle
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For all Ryan Cochran-Siegle accomplished in one special super-G last season — coming back from breaking his neck the year before in the world’s most daunting race to winning the U.S.’ lone Olympic Alpine skiing medal — he prefers to view that winter as a whole.

“It was kind of, I think, still a learning year,” he said in a recent interview. “I realize there was some definitely shortcomings as well [as success] with my races. I think I have a lot more to prove going forward.”

Notably, Cochran-Siegle said his downhill form wasn’t where he wanted it to be. After notching the U.S. men’s first World Cup downhill podium in nearly four years in the 2020-21 season, his best finish in the discipline last season before his Olympic super-G silver medal was sixth at Beaver Creek, Colorado, last December.

“I’d like to get my downhill skiing back to where it was the year prior,” he said. “I ended up doing well by the end of the year, but I think still missing the podium and all that, I’m trying to get more consistent.”

Cochran-Siegle returns to Beaver Creek for the annual Birds of Prey World Cup stop — airing on NBC Sports and Peacock this weekend — as the top hope to extend one American streak and to end one American drought.

The U.S. men’s Alpine team notched at least one World Cup podium every calendar year from 1999 through 2021. It was a regularity in the 2000s and early 2010s between Bode Miller and Ted Ligety. It hasn’t happened often recently, and not at all in 2022 with one month left. But there are plenty of opportunities, starting with a super-G on Friday and downhills Saturday and Sunday on home snow.

Americans often post their best results at Beaver Creek. Last year in a super-G, Travis Ganong picked up his first World Cup podium in nearly five years. In 2019, Tommy Ford earned his first World Cup victory in a giant slalom.

But it has been eight years (five races, more specifically) since an American made a downhill podium at Beaver Creek, the nation’s longest drought since it became an annual World Cup stop in 2004.

Cochran-Siegle opened the speed season last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta, by posting the best American finish of ninth in a downhill. It was his best result ever at Lake Louise, but it wasn’t satisfying.

“As a team we recognize today was a little bit of a letdown all said and done,” he said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “I think we’re definitely more capable than that.”

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Figure skating TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 season

Ilia Malinin
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NBC Sports, USA Network, E! and Peacock combine to air live coverage throughout the figure skating season, starting with Skate America in two weeks.

From October to April, the platforms will combine to air more than 200 hours of coverage, including the Grand Prix Series (October to December), the U.S. Championships in January and the world championships in March.

Peacock will live stream coverage of every event at those major competitions throughout the season.

All NBC, USA and E! coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Figure skating experienced more change this year than any other in recent history.

Russian skaters are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. None of the reigning Olympic gold medalists are entered in the fall Grand Prix Series. Yuzuru HanyuAlysa Liu and the ice dance couple of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue retired.

Enter American Ilia Malinin, the 17-year-old world junior champion who last month became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quadruple Axel in competition. Malinin and Olympic silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan duel at Skate America, the first top-level event of the season.

The U.S. also has the top returning ice dance couple of Madison Chock and Evan Bates, reigning world pairs’ champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and Isabeau Levito (15) and Lindsay Thorngren (16), who took gold and bronze at last season’s junior worlds.

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2022-23 Figure Skating Season Broadcast Schedule

Date Competition Time (ET) Platform
Oct. 21 Skate America 7:20-8:45 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 21 Skate America 7:30-10:30 p.m. USA Network
Oct. 21 Skate America 8:45-10:30 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 22 Skate America 2:40-4:15 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 22 Skate America 3-6 p.m. NBC
Oct. 22 Skate America 4:15-6 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 22 Skate America 7:15-8:45 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 22 Skate America 8-11 p.m. USA Network
Oct. 22 Skate America 9-11 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 23 Skate America 1-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 23 Skate America 3-5 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 23 Skate America 2-5 p.m. E!
Oct. 28 Skate Canada 2-3:30 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 28 Skate Canada 3:45-5:15 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 28 Skate Canada 6:45-8 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 28 Skate Canada 8-9:45 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 29 Skate Canada 1:15-3:15 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 29 Skate Canada 3:25-5 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 29 Skate Canada 6-7:15 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 29 Skate Canada 7:30-9:30 p.m. Peacock
Oct. 30 Skate Canada Noon-1:30 p.m. NBC*
Nov. 4 Internationaux de France 8-9:30 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 4 Internationaux de France 10-11:20 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 4 Internationaux de France 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 4 Internationaux de France 1:45-3 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 5 Internationaux de France 8-10 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 5 Internationaux de France 10:10-11:45 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 5 Internationaux de France Noon-2 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 5 Internationaux de France 2:10-3 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 6 Internationaux de France 10 a.m.-Noon E!*
Nov. 12 Internationaux de France 2:30-4 p.m. NBC*
Nov. 11 Grand Prix: England 1-2:05 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 11 Grand Prix: England 2:25-4 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 12 Grand Prix: England 8:45-10 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 12 Grand Prix: England 10:20 a.m.-Noon Peacock
Nov. 12 Grand Prix: England 1:30-2:50 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 12 Grand Prix: England 3-5 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 13 Grand Prix: England 6:15-8:05 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 13 Grand Prix: England 8:20-10 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 13 Grand Prix: England 4-6 p.m. NBC*
Nov. 17 NHK Trophy 10:30-11:40 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 18 NHK Trophy 12:15-1:50 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 18 NHK Trophy 2:15-3:35 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 18 NHK Trophy 5-6:35 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 18 NHK Trophy 10-11:20 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 19 NHK Trophy 11:50 p.m.-1:40 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 19 NHK Trophy 2:50-4:25 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 19 NHK Trophy 5:30-7:20 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 20 NHK Trophy 4-6 p.m. NBC*
Nov. 25 Grand Prix: Finland 6-7:05 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 25 Grand Prix: Finland 7:50-9:20 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 25 Grand Prix: Finland 10:45 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 26 Grand Prix: Finland 12:40-2 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 26 Grand Prix: Finland 5:45-7:05 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 26 Grand Prix: Finland 7:20-9:10 a.m. Peacock
Nov. 27 Grand Prix: Finland 11:15 a.m.-1:05 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 27 Grand Prix: Finland 1:25-3 p.m. Peacock
Nov. 27 Grand Prix: Finland 4-6 p.m. NBC*
Dec. 8 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 1:15-2:15 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 8 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 2:30-3:30 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 9 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 9 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 1:45-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 9 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 3-4 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 7:30-8:30 a.m. Peacock
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 6:30-7:30 a.m. E!*
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 7:30-8:30 a.m. E!
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 8:30-9:30 a.m. E!*
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 1:40-2:40 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final (Torino) 3-4 p.m. Peacock
Dec. 11 Grand Prix: Final (Torino) 3:30-6 p.m. NBC*
Jan. 26 U.S. Championships 7-9 p.m. USA Network
Jan. 26 U.S. Championships 9:30 p.m.-Midnight Peacock
Jan. 26 U.S. Championships 10 p.m.-Midnight USA Network
Jan. 27 U.S. Championships 4:30-7 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 27 U.S. Championships 5-7 p.m. USA Network
Jan. 27 U.S. Championships 8-11 p.m. NBC
Jan. 28 U.S. Championships 2:30-4:30 p.m. NBC
Jan. 28 U.S. Championships 5-7 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 28 U.S. Championships 7-8 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 28 U.S. Championships 8-10 p.m. USA Network
Jan. 29 U.S. Championships 2:15-6 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 29 U.S. Championships 3-6 p.m. NBC
Feb. 5 U.S. Championships 4-6 p.m. NBC*
Jan. 25 European Championships 5:15-8:30 a.m. Peacock
Jan. 25 European Championships 10:20 a.m.-4 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 25 European Championships 2-4 p.m. E!
Jan. 26 European Championships 5-11 a.m. Peacock
Jan. 26 European Championships 9-11 a.m. E!
Jan. 26 European Championships Noon-3 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 27 European Championships 5-10 a.m. Peacock
Jan. 27 European Championships 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Peacock
Jan. 27 European Championships 1-3 p.m. E!
Jan. 28 European Championships 6-10 a.m. Peacock
Jan. 28 European Championships 8-10 a.m. E!
Jan. 28 European Championships 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Peacock
Feb. 5 European Championships 2-4 p.m. NBC*
Feb. 9 Four Continents Championships 2-6 p.m. Peacock
Feb. 9 Four Continents Championships 8 p.m.-Midnight Peacock
Feb. 10 Four Continents Championships 8 a.m.-Noon USA Network*
Feb. 10 Four Continents Championships 1:15-3:30 p.m. Peacock
Feb. 10 Four Continents Championships 4:25-7 p.m. Peacock
Feb. 10 Four Continents Championships 8 p.m.-Midnight Peacock
Feb. 11 Four Continents Championships Noon-2 p.m. E!*
Feb. 11 Four Continents Championships 4:25-7 p.m. Peacock
Feb. 11 Four Continents Championships 8 p.m.-Midnight Peacock
Feb. 12 Four Continents Championships 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. E!*
Feb. 12 Four Continents Championships 3-6 p.m. Peacock
Feb. 19 Four Continents Championships Noon-2 p.m. NBC*
Mar. 21 World Championships 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 22 World Championships 1:45-8 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 22 World Championships 6-8 a.m. USA Network
Mar. 22 World Championships 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 23 World Championships 1:45-8 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 23 World Championships 6-8 a.m. USA Network
Mar. 23 World Championships 8-10 a.m. USA Network*
Mar. 23 World Championships 9:45 p.m.-3:15 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 24 World Championships 4:15-8:30 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 24 World Championships 6:30-8:30 a.m. USA Network
Mar. 24 World Championships 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 25 World Championships 4:15-8:30 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 25 World Championships 6:30-8:30 a.m. Peacock
Mar. 25 World Championships 8-10 p.m. NBC*
Apr. 9 World Championships 3-6 p.m. NBC*
Apr. 4 World Synchronized Skating Championships Noon-2 p.m. USA Network*
*taped coverage