U.S. women’s swimming rankings going into world championships trials

Claire Curzan
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There are 14 individual Olympic swimming events per gender. So far this year, the fastest U.S. woman in nine of them has been either Katie Ledecky (of course) or Claire Curzan.

Ledecky is again dominating the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles domestically going into the world championships trials from April 26-30 in Greensboro, N.C., where the top two per individual event are in line to make the team for Budapest.

She hasn’t lost to another American in any of those events in eight years.

But the 17-year-old Curzan has Ledecky beat in another way: five 2022 nation-leading times to four. And Curzan has done it across three different strokes.

She continued the climb that started during the early days of the pandemic, when she rattled off personal bests and national age group records off training tethered in a wetsuit in an unheated backyard North Carolina pool.

After placing 10th in her Olympic debut in Tokyo in the 100m butterfly, she won four events at each of the two Pro Series stops so far this year. However, none of her 2022 nation-leading times would have placed in the two at last year’s Olympic Trials. She may need to go faster in Greensboro, her favorite pool, to make waves at trials.

Several top U.S. women have yet to race in an Olympic-size pool this year.

Simone Manuel hasn’t raced at all since the Tokyo Games, and there has been no word on whether she plans to enter world trials.

Then there are the NCAA stars who have been focused on short-course yards racing, including Stanford’s Torri Huske and Regan Smith and Virginia’s Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh.

MORE: U.S. men’s swimming rankings

2022 U.S. Women’s Swimming Rankings (based on USA Swimming and FINA database times)
50m Freestyle
1. Claire Curzan — 24.43
2. Abbey Weitzeil — 24.73
3. Erika Brown — 24.81
4. Mallory Comerford — 25.11
5. Linnea Mack — 25.12

100m Freestyle
1. Claire Curzan — 53.68
2. Abbey Weitzeil — 54.01

3. Erika Brown — 54.08
4. Natalie Hinds — 54.30
5. Olivia Smoliga — 54.71

200m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 1:54.66
2. Paige Madden — 1:57.12
3. Erin Gemmell — 1:57.41
4. Claire Weinstein — 1:58.53
5. Leah Smith — 1:58.55

400m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 4:00.95
2. Leah Smith — 4:04.73
3. Erin Gemmell — 4:09.81
4. Hali Flickinger — 4:10.38
5. Katie Grimes — 4:11.17

800m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky — 8:11.83
2. Leah Smith — 8:22.80
3. Bella Sims — 8:30.83
4. Claire Weinstein — 8:32.51
5. Katie Grimes — 8:37.05

1500m Freestyle
1. Katie Ledecky – 15:39.45
2. Katie Grimes — 16:20.63
3. Kristen Stege — 16:29.47
4. Michaela Mattes — 16:29.86
5. Chloe Kim — 16:36.10

100m Backstroke
1. Claire Curzan — 58.73
2. Olivia Smoliga — 59.53
3. Hali Flickinger — 59.78
4. Rhyan White — 1:00.05
5. Erika Brown — 1:00.53

200m Backstroke
1. Claire Curzan — 2:07.31
2. Regan Smith — 2:07.43

3. Olivia Smoliga — 2:09.35
4. Phoebe Bacon — 2:10.66
5. Rhyan White — 2:10.88

100m Breaststroke
1. Lilly King — 1:05.32
2. Annie Lazor — 1:06.48
3. Lydia Jacoby — 1:06.87
4. Piper Enge — 1:08.12
5. Isabelle Odgers — 1:09.80

200m Breaststroke
1. Annie Lazor — 2:22.59
2. Lilly King — 2:23.69
3. Lydia Jacoby — 2:28.03
4. Isabelle Odgers — 2:28.73
5. Kaelyn Gridley — 2:31.02

100m Butterfly
1. Claire Curzan — 56.89
2. Kelsi Dahlia — 57.53
3. Beata Nelson — 58.24
4. Torri Huske — 58.29
5. Lucy Bell — 58.69

200m Butterfly
1. Hali Flickinger — 2:06.67
2. Kelly Pash — 2:09.21

3. Lindsay Looney — 2:09.81
4. Justina Kozan — 2:09.83
5. Emma Sticklen — 2:09.98

200m Individual Medley
1. Leah Hayes — 2:11.22
2. Beata Nelson — 2:11.76
3. Melanie Margalis — 2:12.03
4. Leah Smith — 2:13.53
5. Justina Kozan — 2:14.05

400m Individual Medley
1. Hali Flickinger — 4:36.46
2. Katie Ledecky — 4:39.68
3. Leah Smith — 4:39.78
4. Katie Grimes — 4:41.37
5. Emma Weyant — 4:42.01

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In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing

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Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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