Dressel Cuts A 21.04 Dash; Finke’s 14:46 Grants Gators Every Freestyle Win; & It’s Redemption For Manuel As Trials Conclude

2021-06-20 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Caeleb Dressel - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Caeleb Dressel matched the biggest rattling the 21sec barrier has ever had when he equalled his 21.04 American record in the dash in a curtain-closing session at Olympic Trials in Omaha that delivered redemption for Simone Manuel and a U.S. women’s 4x100m freestyle team in desperate need of speed.

Dressel was a class apart, his 21.04 matching the American records, continental and national, he established for the World title at Budapest 2017.

Michael Andrew – after victories in the 100m breaststroke and 200m medley – checked into a third event in Tokyo at 21.48, that confirming the end of the road for he 2012 Olympic 100m freestyle champion Nathan Adrian, on 21.73 for third.

If Dressel’s time makes him favourite for the crown at the Games next month, his win, and that of Bobby Finke, on 14:46.06 in the 1500m freestyle, meant this: all the freestyle victories and Top Tokyo Tickets at trials this past week went to Florida Gators:

Caeleb Dressel - by Mike Lewis, courtesy of the ISL
Caeleb Dressel – by Mike Lewis, courtesy of the ISL
  • 50 Free: Caeleb Dressel
  • 100 Free: Caeleb Dressel
  • 200 Free: Kieran Smith
  • 400 Free: Kieran Smith
  • 800 Free: Bobby Finke
  • 1500 Free: Bobby Finke

There was no sign of the ‘overtraining syndrome’ Manuel spoke of, after a miss in the 100m freestyle, as she battled for her place on the team for Tokyo with Abbey Weitzeil. The flurry and spray settled at 24.29 to 24.30 in Manuel’s favour, Torri Huske, among golden hopes for the 100m butterfly at her debut Games, third home in 24.46.

Simone Manuel – by Patrick B. Kraemer

Manuel making the team delivers relief not onto for her but a 4x100m free quartet that without her looked unlikely to make the podium in Tokyo. There is also this: while Manuel looks forward to the day when she can simple be known as “the swimmer”, not “the black swimmer”, her presence on the swim team doubles the numb er of Africa-American swimmers on the women’s team, Natalie Hinds having made the cut for the 4x100m free relay as fourth home in the solo final. Manuel’s redemption coincided with the weekend of Juneteenth.

Trials ended with the 1500m freestyle, in which Finke had no peer, his 14:46.06 elevating him from 7th to 5th on the all-time USA ranking:

  • 14:39.48 Jaeger, Connor
  • 14:45.03 Wilimovsky, Jordan
  • 14:45.29 Jensen, Larsen
  • 14:45.54 Vanderkaay, Peter
  • 14:46.06 Finke, Robert
  • 14:46.78 Vendt, Erik

Official Nominations For Team USA:

Several swimmers, such as Michael Brinegar (800/1500 free) and obvious relay berths are not included below but may be added to USA Swimming’s published list of nominations before a team expected to be around 50-strong is confirmed.


  • Chase Kalisz- 400 I.M., 200 I.M.
  • Kieran Smith- 200 free, 400 free 
  • Michael Andrew- 50 free, 100 breaststroke, 200 I.M.
  • Townley Haas- 200 free 
  • Drew Kibler- 4×200 free relay 
  • Andrew Seliskar- 4×200 free relay 
  • Ryan Murphy- 100 back, 200 back
  • Jordan Wilimovsky- 10K 
  • Zach Harting- 200 fly 
  • Bobby Finke- 800 free, 1500 free
  • Nic Fink- 200 breaststroke
  • Caeleb Dressel- 50 free, 100 free, 200 fly
  • Zach Apple- 100 free, 4×200 free relay
  • Blake Pieroni- 4X100 free relay
  • Brooks Curry- 4×100 free relay
  • Bryce Mefford- 200 back
  • Tom Shields- 100 fly


  • Emma Weyant- 400 I.M. 
  • Torri Huske -100 fly 
  • Katie Ledecky- 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free
  • Regan Smith- 100 back, 200m fly 
  • Lilly King- 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke
  • Haley Anderson- 10K 
  • Ashley Twichell- 10K 
  • Paige Madden- 400 free, 4×200 free relay 
  • Allison Schmitt- 200 free, 4×200 free relay 
  • Katie McLaughlin- 4×200 free relay  
  • Alex Walsh- 200 I.M. 
  • Hali Flickinger- 200 fly, 400 I.M.
  • Annie Lazor- 200 breaststroke
  • Abbey Weitzeil- 50, 100 free
  • Erika Brown- 100 free
  • Olivia Smoliga- 4×100 free relay
  • Natalie Hinds- 4×100 free relay
  • Claire Curzan- 100 fly
  • Rhyan White- 100 back, 200 back
  • Lydia Jacoby- 100 breaststroke
  • Kate Douglass- 200 I.M.
  • Erica Sullivan- 1500 free
  • Phoebe Bacon- 200 back
  • Katie Grimes- 800 free
  • Simone Manuel – 50 free

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