2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Day 5 Overreaction: There Should be a Marching Band on Deck


The following article is my opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of SwimSwam as a whole.

We’ve endured nine sessions so far, and while I don’t want to say energy is low, the number of scratches and no-shows seems to be increasing. That includes James Sutherland, whose towering absence had me taking over live recap duties this morning.

Luckily, it was a short session in a long pool so I had time to collect myself in between heats, but I’ll be glad to pass on the torch tonight.

I’ll Take Stroke for 200

There were three stroke 200s on deck this morning. I wasn’t expecting many athletes to improve on their entry times, but I was happy to be surprised. Even more surprising were the qualifiers who earned a semis berth from heat 1.

The first was Gabrielle Rose, already well-known for her performance in the 100 breast. She was seeded D.F.S. (not to be confused with Declared False Start) and rose (ha) all the way to 14th. I was a big fan of her splits, which showed incredible consistency. Rose was 34.41/38.52/38.94/38.26, absolutely cooking her competition on the final 50. With only one exception (shout out future Engineer Sarah Bernard, you should rush Course 2!) the rest of the field faded hard.

Well-split 200s make me incredibly happy, even when they’re done in my least favorite stroke.

Ben Irwin was another heat 1 hero who made it to semis, this time in the 200 back. Irwin was on the opposite end of the spectrum to Rose; he sent it. And I respect that. He was 27.80/29.39/30.37/31.40, splits I would have killed for at a different stage in my life. I can imagine how that must have felt coming home, but he made it. And he’ll make it another swim tonight.

This is starting to sound like a “Swims You Might Have Missed” write-up, which I hope I haven’t self-sabotaged by blowing all the good ones here. But I like watching swimming!

Everyone Needs to Cheer More

Yesterday my eyes and ears were drawn to section 423, which was packed with spectators in neon-green shirts screaming their heads off. Even after five heats of the women’s mile, eight heats of the women’s 100 free, and nine heats deep into the men’s 200 breast, they were the loudest in the stadium.

This morning, a squad clad in Irish green filed into the section immediately behind the media. They too cheered their heads off, first for Marcus Reyes-Gentry, and then for Tommy Janton.

What I’m trying to say is: I need everyone else to step up their game. It’s not that hard to wear the same color t-shirt and shout the same name in unison. It’s been proven that the stadium can get loud when it wants to. I have it on good authority that it reached 100 dB during the women’s 200 free final.

Athletes, you aren’t exempt from this whinging. Y’all should be spelling names, whooshing on the start, and bringing all the energy to the deck.

Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I have been to a single international meet before and there was a trumpet player in the stands who sounded off before every heat. That’s the energy I’m craving; someone ripping arpeggios like it’s the Kentucky Derby.

Speaking of, someone should put a marching band on deck. There’s plenty of room. Replace all the piped-in music and have them play the walkouts. Here’s my nomination:

The Percussive Arts Society is headquartered in Indianapolis, so I know there are a bunch of drums somewhere in this city. If someone from PAS is reading this, call me. I held it down on bass drum 4 for a single high school football season.

I Think I Need a Third Section

Maybe I’m running low on words after five days in Indy, or maybe this morning really was just a snack before the feast tonight.

What am I most excited for? Hard to say. Those who know me personally will agree I’ll pick the funniest option, every time. The one thing I can beg for is a louder crowd, because (I think) I’m bound by media neutrality and cannot contribute myself.

So if you’re here in Indy tonight, you better be cheering. Get on your feet. Ring your SwimSwam branded cowbell. Do it for the bit! Unless I missed the memo, we’re all here because we love swimming. So show out and show big!

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Missy Kaye
29 days ago

The Notre Dame cheering section is no doubt fueled by Tanner Filion (right side of photo) who has more spirit in his little finger than most will ever muster. Tanner comes from a rich history of good sportsmanship and team building from a small club in Boulder, Colorado. You might want to find him (after his race this morning) and see what makes the magic because there is nothing like it anywhere. Tanner embodies a love for sports and support for his teammates past and present that is truly exceptional. Ask him about the Alamacka spirit, which seems to be contagious!

1 month ago

I look at splits to see if the race was swum well. Check out Harting and Julian 2fly splits. They both went from 29s on 3rd 50s to 33s on the last ones!
Also check American women 2free top 8 splits first 100 vs 2nd 100s. Then compare Aussie top 8 2frees splits!

1 month ago

yea, the daytime dj was about as loud as the musack playing in the elevator at the public library. im sure the evening events were louder but jeez… rather dull n dry during the day. A few simple loud tunes from the DJ woulda sparked that crowd into more fun.
— i still cheered loud but it music woulda been helpful in between heats,l.

1 month ago

Love the engineer shoutout! Roll tech!

1 month ago

they need to start selling the Regan Smith mittens in the pro shop

Reply to  swimster
1 month ago

Regan needs a mitten sponsor pronto. Missed opportunity for a winter gear company to get in on the Summer Olympic hype!

1 month ago

Love this. Thanks

1 month ago

Dynamo Swim Club is the loud group of youngsters bringing the hype from Section 423!

Team, Family, Dynamo!
1 month ago

Section 423 is Dynamo Swim Club!