Home Aquatic Buddies Adam Chaney, Jonny Kulow Author Classic Double Swim-Off

Buddies Adam Chaney, Jonny Kulow Author Classic Double Swim-Off


U.S. Olympic Trials: Buddies Adam Chaney, Jonny Kulow Author Classic Double Swim-Off

After the first swim-off, a sentence that should keep you glued already, Adam Chaney was ready with a deadpan.

“That was planned, yeah,” the droll Florida swimmer said.

If Chaney was planning to tie with someone for the eighth spot in the semifinals of the men’s 50 freestyle, then tie with that person again in the swim-off … well, he’d have a hell of a sense of humor. But in casting his scene partner, he would go with few others before Jonny Kulow, his pal from international duty and a fellow chaser of a spot at the Paris Olympics at U.S. Olympic Trials.

“I love this dude,” Kulow said. “We swam together at Pan Ams as teammates. He’s the best guy I’d want to do it again with.”

In the most exciting saga of Trials, Chaney ended up prevailing late into the Indianapolis night Thursday, winning the second swim-off in 21.81 seconds to Kulow’s 21.99.

Chaney was still humming from his third swim of the night when he reached the mixed zone.

“Probably the most nervous I’ve ever been, I can feel it,” he said. “… You’ve just got to experience it to understand. I don’t know if anybody else has ever done that. I’m glad they (the fans) only got to stay tuned watch. It definitely helped.”

The pair were teammates for Team USA in the Pan American Games last fall. Chaney won gold in the 100 backstroke. Kulow took silver in the 50 free (in 21.90) and tied Brooks Curry for 100 free silver. They both swam on the silver-winning 400 free relay, Kulow leading off and handing off to Chaney. At NCAAs, they won two relay gold medals each for Arizona State and Florida, respectively.

Kulow was ninth in prelims at 22.01, Chaney 14th in 22.26. In separate heats of the semifinals, each went 21.89. Both sped up to 21.79, each of which were best times, in the first swim-off.

Kulow had been 21.87. Chaney’s best time of 22.00 dates to Olympic Trials in 2021. That wasn’t the focus of Thursday’s drama, but it sure felt good at the end.

“The confidence, it’s great,” Chaney said. “Just three 21s in the past hour, it feels good. And I got faster.”

The semis went off at 8:25, with the first swim-off at 9:18 and the second at 9:50. Both seemed eager to get the final spot in Friday night’s final resolved early.

“I feel like it’s one of those things where it’s kind a nice, you can chill out for a little bit because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Kulow said. “It is a little anxiety-inducing maybe.”

It was the second engrossing swim-off of the day, with Tokyo and Tennessee teammates Erika Connolly and Catie DeLoof settling the final relay spot (and a likely medal) with Connolly rallying to win the 100 free to cap the morning session.

Chaney said he retreated to his music between swim-offs. He checked his phone briefly for a little pump up – a “get it done” text from his dad was most helpful – while he and Kulow mostly kept to themselves.

The times are an added bonus for Chaney. Asked if he was impatient to get there, he offered, “No, I think it just needed to find its way. And that’s what it took.”

It took something that most in attendance are likely to never see again.

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