U.S. Olympic swim trials: Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky win again

Caeleb Dressel reacts after winning the Men's 100 butterfly finals Saturday, June 22, 2024.
Caeleb Dressel celebrates after winning the men’s 100 butterfly at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Saturday.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)
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Caeleb Dressel locked up his second individual race in Paris, giving him another chance to shine after his stellar performance at the last Olympics.

Keep an eye on Kate Douglass, too. She could be one of the the biggest American stars at the pool.

And, of course, Katie Ledecky will be swimming a whole bunch of events.

Dressel, the winner of five gold medals at the Tokyo Games, claimed a victory in the men’s 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Saturday night.


Dressel followed up his triumph in the 50 freestyle with a winning time of 50.19 seconds, giving him a chance to defend another of the gold medals he captured in Tokyo.

Douglass locked up her third individual event at the Olympics with a victory in the 200-meter individual medley.

She was neck and neck with Alex Walsh at the final turn, but no one could keep up with Douglass on the freestyle leg.

She finished in 2:06.79, while Walsh held on for the second Olympic spot in 2:07.86.

Douglass has lived up to her billing as one of the world’s most versatile swimmers, also claiming trials victories in the 200 breaststroke and 100 freestyle.

“I’m really happy with that,” Douglass said. “I was coming into the meet trying to win all three events, but I didn’t think I’d be able to achieve that. So I’m happy I did.”

Ledecky romped to her fourth victory of the trials, winning the 800 freestyle in 8 minutes, 14.12 seconds. Paige Madden took the second spot in 8:20.71.

Ledecky plans to drop the 200 freestyle from her Olympic program, but will be competing in the 400, 800 and 1,500 free, as well as the 4x200 free relay.


Dressel didn’t come close to his world record of 49.45, which he set at the last Olympics. But he led all the way and touched about a half-body length ahead of 17-year-old Thomas Heilman, who earned the second spot for Paris in 50.80.

Dressel will also swim up to three relays at the Summer Games, which would put him close to the six-event program he had in Tokyo. The only event he didn’t win three years ago was the mixed relay.

“It’s tough making it through the trials,” Dressel said. “This truly is the hardest part.”

The only individual gold that Dressel won’t get to defend in Paris is the 100 freestyle. He missed out with a third-place showing in his first event of these trials.

Caeleb Dressel, who won five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, wins the 50-meter freestyle to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games.

June 21, 2024

Heilman will also compete in the 200 butterfly, winning that event at the trials to become the youngest male to make the U.S. swim team since 15-year-old Michael Phelps in 2000.

“The butterfly is in good hands with this guy,” Dressel said, motioning toward Heilman. “He’s scary, scary.”

Walsh will get to swim at the Olympics with her sister Gretchen, finally making the team on the next-to-last night of the trials.


“It means the world,” said Alex Walsh, who competed without her sister in Tokyo. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Paris after she made it. This is a dream we’ve been dreaming for so long.”