Michael Andrew made the U.S. Olympic team last summer in the freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley. Could he add a butterfly for the world championships this summer?
The versatile Andrew won the 100m fly over Olympic champion and world-record holder Caeleb Dressel at a Pro Series meet in Westmont, Illinois, on Friday. Andrew clocked 51.74 seconds, edging fellow 22-year-old rising star Shaine Casas by .03 and Dressel by .05.
PRO SWIM SERIES: Full Results
Andrew entered last summer’s Olympic Trials as the fastest American in the 100m fly for the year, but scratched the event as he focused on the overlapping 200m individual medley. In Tokyo, he finished fourth, fourth and fifth in three individual events, adding a gold with the medley relay.
Next month, Andrew will face more schedule decisions at the world championships trials, where the top two per individual Olympic event are again in line to make the team. The 100m fly is the same day as the 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke, non-Olympic events that Andrew swam at the last worlds in 2019.
If USA Swimming selection procedures remain the same as in the past, Andrew could swim those non-Olympic 50m events at worlds without swimming them at trials, provided he makes the team in the 100m in the corresponding stroke.
Dressel should still be considered the massive 100m fly favorite at trials next month in Greensboro, N.C. He has a reputation for making massive time drops at major meets, so defeats on the Pro Series circuit aren’t too significant. Andrew appears the favorite for the second spot at trials, assuming he swims it this time.
In other events Friday, Claire Curzan, who made the Tokyo Olympic team in the 100m fly at age 16, won both the 100m fly and the 200m backstroke. Curzan flew the fastest in 56.89, beating Rio Olympian Kelsi Dahlia by .64.
The women’s 100m fly at world trials could include four of the five fastest Americans in history in the event, including American record holder Torri Huske, who isn’t in Westmont as she competes for Stanford.
Curzan lowered her personal best in the 200m back in prelims and finals, bringing it from 2:10.16 to 2:07.31 against a field lacking the top Americans. She now ranks fifth in the U.S. in the event since the start of 2021.
Katie Ledecky bypassed the 200m freestyle for the 400m individual medley and placed third in an event she doesn’t swim at major meets. Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger prevailed in 4:36.46, distancing Leah Smith by 3.32 seconds. Ledecky touched in 4:40.28.
Ryan Murphy extended a near-three-year domestic win streak in the 200m backstroke, touching in 1:56.78, a comeback win over Casas (1:58.09).
The Pro Series meet finishes Saturday at 7 p.m. ET with finals streaming on USASwimming.org.
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