Caeleb Dressel, miserable out of the water, at last can make splashes at Olympic Trials

Caeleb Dressel
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Caeleb Dressel could win seven medals in Tokyo, but he’s not qualified for the U.S. team yet. His first chance to secure a spot comes on the fifth day of the eight-day Olympic Swimming Trials.

Dressel is the favorite in the men’s 100m freestyle, the headline final on Thursday night. All of his three primary event finals are in the back half of the schedule in Omaha.

“These meets are quite miserable when you’re not swimming, to be honest,” Dressel said after posting the fastest semifinal time Wednesday. “You’re left alone with your own thoughts.”

Dressel, intent on not being defined by swimming, could have any number of things to ponder.

In the last two years, he recorded 36 podcast episodes with friend Ben Kennedy, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, jumped out of a plane, visited hundreds of bees, got engaged and married to Megan Haila, bought a house and built furniture for it.

Yet while in Nebraska, “The most comfortable I feel is in the water,” said Dressel, who as a 19-year-old in Rio won two relay golds.

The next four days play a significant role in determining (likely confirming) Dressel’s gold-medal chances in Tokyo. He is reigning world champion and the fastest man in history in the 50m and 100m frees (outside of the brief super-suit era a decade ago) and the 100m butterfly (broke Michael Phelps‘ world record).

His more questionable events are relays: Of the four relays that Dressel could swim in Tokyo, the U.S. lost three of them at the 2019 Worlds. But the Americans still made the podium in each one.

Dressel, who earned seven golds at the 2017 Worlds and eight medals at the 2019 Worlds (including events not on the Olympic program), could join a short list of swimmers to win seven medals at a single Games: Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Women’s Event Previews | Men’s Event Previews

A look at tonight’s races …

Men’s 800m Freestyle FINAL — 8:05 p.m. ET
An event returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904, now that the Olympic swimming program has all of the same events for men and women. Will Gallant, who this year has chopped 8.39 seconds off his personal best, qualified first into the final. He’s followed by Bobby Finke, a pre-meet favorite, and Ross Dant, who entered Olympic Trials ranked 23rd in the nation this year. While Katie Ledecky has won every Olympic and world title in this event since 2012, a U.S. man last made the podium at worlds in 2013.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke FINAL — 8:19
Josh Prenot, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, failed to qualify outright for the semifinals and then said he will be taking at least a year off from competitive swimming. Matt Fallon, an 18-year-old who entered Trials ranked seventh in the nation this year, was the surprise top qualifier into the final. He was followed immediately by the pre-meet favorites, in order of semifinal time: Nic Fink, Kevin Cordes, Will Licon, Andrew Wilson and Daniel Roy. Those top six were separated by .67 in the semis.

Women’s 100m Freestyle Semifinals — 8:30
Olympic and world champion Simone Manuel was sixth-fastest in the morning heats in her first swim of Olympic Trials. She’s joined by the other favorites, including Abbey Weitzeil, Olivia Smoliga, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan. Top eight overall to Friday’s final.

Men’s 200m Backstroke Semifinals — 8:43
Olympic champion Ryan Murphy and the top contenders are all here, including potential first-time Olympians Austin Katz and Shaine Casas.

Women’s 200m Butterfly FINAL — 8:59
Hali Flickinger, who already finished second in the 400m individual medley, was fastest by 1.16 seconds in the semis of this her primary event. No. 2 seed Regan Smith, too, is looking to make the team in a second event here after winning the 100m backstroke. Katie Drabot, 2019 World bronze medalist (Flickinger got silver), missed the final. Charlotte Hook, just .19 behind Smith in the semis, could become the fourth woman 17 or younger to be in line to make the team. The last time the U.S. had four swimmers 17 or younger at an Olympics was 2000. The last time it had four women 17 or younger was 1996, according to

Men’s 100m Freestyle FINAL — 9:09
The top two qualify for the individual Olympic 100m free. The top four make the 4x100m free relay team. Fifth and sixth are likely to get in the relay pool, too. No question Dressel is a significant favorite despite going just .01 faster than Zach Apple in the semis. This final was circled before the meet in large part to see if 2012 Olympic champion Nathan Adrian could make the team, a year and a half after a testicular cancer diagnosis, but he was eliminated in the semis.

Women’s 200m Breaststroke Semifinals — 9:19
Annie Lazor, who missed the team in the 100m breast by one spot, was fastest in prelims, by 1.72 seconds. Training partner and Olympic 100m breast champion Lilly King and Emily Escobedo, the other top contenders, were third and fourth.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley Semifinals — 9:39
Ryan Lochte, bidding at 36 to become the oldest U.S. Olympic male swimmer in history, was second-fastest in the morning prelims, 2.23 seconds behind Michael Andrew. Can Lochte get into the final and hold off 19-year-old Carson Foster (.47 behind Lochte in prelims) and 2017 World champion Chase Kalisz (.66 behind Lochte in prelims)?

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Summer McIntosh breaks 400m individual medley world record, extends historic week

Summer McIntosh

Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh broke her second world record this week, lowering the 400m individual medley mark on Saturday.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old who trains in Sarasota, Florida, clocked 4 minutes, 25.87 seconds at the Canadian Championships in Toronto.

She took down Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s world record of 4:26.36 from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Before Saturday, McIntosh had the fourth-fastest time in history of 4:28.61.

“It’s always nice to set world records,” McIntosh said.

On Tuesday, McIntosh broke the 400m freestyle world record, becoming the youngest swimmer to break a world record in an individual Olympic event since Katie Ledecky in 2013.

McIntosh also this week became the fourth-fastest woman in history in the 200m individual medley and the eighth-fastest woman in history in the 200m butterfly.

In each of her four races this week, she also broke the world junior record as the fastest woman in history under the age of 19.

She is entered to swim the 200m free on the meet’s final day on Sunday. She is already the eighth-fastest woman in history in that event.

McIntosh, whose mom swam the 1984 Olympic 200m fly and whose sister competed at last week’s world figure skating championships, placed fourth in the Tokyo Olympic 400m free at age 14.

Last summer, she won the 200m fly and 400m IM at the world championships, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

This summer, she could be at the center of a showdown in the 400m free at the world championships with reigning world champion Ledecky and reigning Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus of Australia. They are the three fastest women in history in the event.

Around age 7, McIntosh transcribed Ledecky quotes and put them on her wall.

MORE: McIntosh chose swimming and became Canada’s big splash

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Hilary Knight leads new-look U.S. women’s hockey roster for world championship

Hilary Knight

Hilary Knight headlines a U.S. women’s hockey roster for this month’s world championship that lacks some of the biggest names from last year’s Olympic silver-medal team. Changes have been made as the U.S. looks to end losing streaks to Canada, both overall and in major finals.

The full roster is here. Worlds start Wednesday in Brampton, Ontario, and run through the gold-medal game on April 16.

It was already known that the team would be without stalwart forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield, who plans to return to the national team after having her first child this summer, and Brianna Decker, who announced her retirement last month.

Notable cuts include the No. 1 goalies from the last two Olympics: Alex Cavallini, who returned from Christmas childbirth for the tryout camp this past week, and Maddie Rooney, the breakout of the 2018 Olympic champion team.

Cavallini, 31, was bidding to become the first player to make an Olympic or world team after childbirth since Jenny Potter, who played at the Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010 as a mom, plus at several world championships, including less than three months after childbirth in 2007.

Forward Hannah Brandt, who played on the top line at last year’s Olympics with Knight and Coyne Schofield, also didn’t make the team.

In all, 13 of the 25 players on the team are Olympians, including three-time Olympic medalists forward Amanda Kessel and defender Lee Stecklein.

The next generation includes forward Taylor Heise, 23, who led the 2022 World Championship with seven goals and was the 2022 NCAA Player of the Year at Minnesota.

The team includes two teens — 19-year-old defender Haley Winn and 18-year-old forward Tessa Janecke — who were also the only teens at last week’s 46-player tryout camp. Janecke, a Penn State freshman, is set to become the youngest U.S. forward to play at an Olympics or worlds since Brandt in 2012.

Abbey Levy, a 6-foot-1 goalie from Boston College, made her first world team, joining veterans Nicole Hensley and Aerin Frankel.

Last summer, Canada repeated as world champion by beating the U.S. in the final, six months after beating the U.S. in the Olympic final. Canada is on its longest global title streak since winning all five Olympic or world titles between 1999 and 2004.

Also at last summer’s worlds, the 33-year-old Knight broke the career world championship record for points (now up to 89). She also has the most goals in world championship history (53). Knight, already the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s hockey player in history, will become the second-oldest American to play at a worlds after Cammi Granato, who was 34 at her last worlds in 2005.

The Canadians are on a four-game win streak versus the Americans, capping a comeback in their recent seven-game rivalry series from down three games to none. Their 5-0 win in the decider in February was their largest margin of victory over the U.S. since 2005.

Last May, former AHL coach John Wroblewski was named U.S. head coach to succeed Joel Johnson, the Olympic coach.

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