2022 U.S. Trials: Finke Is the Oldest Entrant in the 1500 at Just 22

2022 U.S. International Team Trials

Thanks to SwimSwam Data Guru Barry Revzin for helping to compile this data.

The current top male distance swimmers in the U.S. are a young bunch. With the U.S. International Team Trials upon us, the oldest men entered in the 800 and 1500 freestyles are just 22 years old.

In the 1500, teammates Bobby Finke and Trey Freeman from the University of Florida are the oldest entrants. Both 22 years old, they will be competing against a field of mostly 17-19 year olds.

Update: Freeman has since scratched the 1500 but is currently still entered in the rest of the meet.

Finke and Freeman are both entered in the 800 as well, with fellow 22 year old Will Roberts rounding out the trio of “old” distance swimmers. Roberts is the oldest of the three, born in July of 1999. Finke and Freeman were born in November, 1999 and March, 2000 respectively.

The age range in both events is 15-22. The average age is 18.5 in the 800 and 18.6 in the 1500. By comparison, at the Olympic Trials in 2021 the average ages were 20.4 in the 800 and 20.1 in the 1500. The age range was 16-29 for both. At U.S. Nationals in 2018 (one of the meets used to select the 2019 World Championship team) average age was 19.5 in the 800 and 19.0 in the 1500, with the age range being 16-26 in both.

Meet/Year Event Total Entries Average Age Age Range
2018 U.S. Nationals 800m free 65 19.5 16-26
1500m free 55 19.0 16-26
2021 Olympic Trials 800m free 49 20.4 16-29
1500m free 35 20.1 16-29
2022 U.S. International Team Trials 800m free 38 18.5 15-22
1500m free 25 18.6 15-22

In 2018, Zane Grothe and Jordan Wilimovsky were at the top of the age range in both the 800 and 1500, being 27 and 25 respectively. In 2021, Grothe and Wilimovsky were entered in both races again, thus pushing the age range up 2 years. This year, Wilimovsky is not competing and Grothe is still entered in the meet, just not the long distance events. Their absences are one noticeable factor contributing to the overall lower age range.

In general, the field as a whole seems to be somewhat younger this year. Even in years where the age averages were lower, there was still a larger range of ages than there is this year. 

However, when it comes to the athletes who advance beyond trials, being on the younger side isn’t necessarily unusual. The average age of U.S. men’s distance swimmers at the last 4 Olympics and World Championships is 22.9. The actual ages of each selected athlete has fluctuated a bit over the years, with a few being unusually high (namely Grothe and Wilimovsky) and the occasional youngster (Finke in 2017). 

Meet/Year Event Name Age
2016 Olympics 1500m free Connor Jaeger 25
Jordan Wilimovsky 22
2017 World Championships 800m free Zane Grothe 26
Clark Smith 22
1500m free True Sweetser 19
Bobby Finke 17
2019 World Championships 800m free Jordan Wilimovsky 25
Zane Grothe 28
1500m free Jordan Wilimovsky 25
Zane Grothe 28
2021 Olympics 800m free Bobby Finke 21
Michael Brinegar 21
1500m free Bobby Finke 21
Michael Brinegar 21

At the 2022 Trials, Finke is the top seed and heavy favorite in both the 800 and 1500 freestyles. He just finished a successful senior season at the University of Florida, earning a National Championship title in the 1650 yard freestyle at NCAAs in March. Finke also finished 9th in the 500 and 4th in the 400 IM.

A junior at the University of Florida, Freeman is seeded 6th in the 800. He also competed at the 2022 NCAAs, earning 11th place finishes in the 200 and 500 freestyles and 15th place in the 1650.

Roberts, a graduate student swimming unattached for Cal-Berkeley, is the 11th seed in the 800.

At Trials, all three athletes will have full schedules. Finke is also entered in the 400 IM and 400 freestyle, seeded 4th and 9th respectively. Freeman rounds out his schedule with the 200 freestyle as the 13th seed and 400 freestyle as the 2nd seed. Roberts is entered in the 400 IM (18th seed), 400 freestyle (26th), and 200 butterfly (13th) well. 

At the 2022 Trials, the even with the highest average age is the Men’s 200 Meter Breastroke at 20.4. The lowest average age is 18 in both the Women’s 400 IM and the Women’s 200 Backstroke. Overall, the Women’s races tend to be slightly younger than the Men’s.

The men’s 1500 will be raced on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening at US Trials.

Below is a complete chart of each event with the total number of entries, age range, and average age of the athletes entered (based on whole-number ages)

EVENT Total # of Entries Average Age Age Range
#1 Women 200 LC Meter Butterfly
36 19 15-32
#2 Men 200 LC Meter Butterfly
32 19.8 15-28
#3 Women 100 LC Meter Freestyle
40 19.6 15-28
#4 Men 100 LC Meter Freestyle
54 19.6 15-27
#5 Women 800 LC Meter Freestyle
25 18.3 13-27
#6 Men 1500 LC Meter Freestyle
25 18.6 15-22
#7 Women 200 LC Meter Freestyle
52 19.3 14-30
#8 Men 200 LC Meter Freestyle
54 19.6 15-30
#9 Women 200 LC Meter Breastroke
36 18.7 14-27
#10 Men 200 LC Meter Breastroke
39 20.4 16-33
#11 Women 200 LC Meter Backstroke
34 18 15-27
#12 Men 200 LC Meter Backstroke
28 19.2 15-26
#13 Women 50 LC Meter Butterfly
42 19.3 14-32
#14 Men 50 LC Meter Butterfly
30 20 15-30
#15 Women 400 LC Meter IM
35 18 13-27
#16 Men 400 LC Meter IM
33 19.7 15-28
#17 Women 100 LC Meter Butterfly
50 19.3 14-32
#18 Men 100 LC Meter Butterfly
42 20.2 15-30
#19 Women 50 LC Meter Breastroke
34 18.9 14-34
#20 Men 50 LC Meter Breastroke
39 19.8 16-33
#21 Women 50 LC Meter Backstroke
44 18.8 14-27
#22 Men 50 LC Meter Backstroke
29 20 15-27
#23 Women 400 LC Meter Freestyle
30 18.9 13-27
#24 Men 400 LC Meter Freestyle
44 19.5 15-30
#25 Women 100 LC Meter Breastroke
41 19.3 14-34
#26 Men 100 LC Meter Breastroke
44 20.3 16-33
#27 Women 100 LC Meter Backstroke
50 18.8 14-27
#28 Men LC Meter Backstroke
36 19.9 15-27
#29 Women 1500 LC Meter Freestyle
25 18.2 13-25
#30 Women 200 LC Meter IM
45 19 14-32
#31 Men 200 LC Meter IM
46 20.2 15-28
#32 Men 800 LC Meter Freestyle
38 18.5 15-22
#33 Women 50 LC Meter Freestyle
49 19.8 14-34
#34 Men 50 LC Meter Freestyle
52 19.7 15-30

 

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Name
9 months ago

You forgot McBroom & Kleugh heard they deck entered

Iambic Pentameter
9 months ago

With age comes wisdom, apparently.

Backstrokebro
9 months ago

Bro I commented this like an hour after the psych sheets came out 😩

Xman
9 months ago

Reminds me of 2004 trials

Luke Schwenk
9 months ago

Is Charles Clark doing the 800?

Dylan
Reply to  Luke Schwenk
9 months ago

Charlie clark is racing everything because he is unbeatable (and indubitably known as the BMOC at ohio state)