2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Previews: Women’s 100 Breast – The Rematch



  • World Record: 1:04.13 — Lilly King (USA), 2017
  • American Record: 1:04.13 — Lilly King, 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:04.45 — Jessica Hardy (USA), 2009
  • World Junior Record: 1:04.35 — Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
  • 2021 Olympic Champion: Lydia Jacoby (USA), 1:04.95
  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Lilly King, 1:04.79
  • 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:10.29
  • 2024 Olympic Qualifying Time: 1:06.79

Lilly King assumed the status of being the best 100 breaststroker on the planet in 2016, roaring to the Olympic gold medal, and her dominance in the event continued for the rest of the 2010s, winning back-to-back World Championship titles in 2017 and 2019 while also claiming the world record in a blistering 1:04.13.

King’s status atop the event not only domestically, but worldwide, hadn’t been put under serious pressure leading into the Olympic Trials in 2021, but an upstart teenager from Alaska threatened the throne in Omaha.

Lydia Jacoby, 17 at the time, didn’t come out of nowhere at the Trials, but she sure did surprise everyone.

Entering the meet with a best time of 1:06.38, Jacoby showed that she could challenge Annie Lazor for the second spot on the Olympic team in the semis, breaking 1:06 for the first time in 1:05.71, and then in the final, Jacoby had the fastest split in the field on the second 50, touching 2nd to King in 1:05.28 to qualify for Tokyo.

For many swimmers, the high of breaking through and making your first Olympic team can lead to a lull at the Games, where they might be slightly off their best and end up being knocked out in the heats or semis. That was not the case for Jacoby, who stunned the world in Tokyo, running down defending champion King and newly-minted Olympic Record holder Tatjana Smith (Schoenmaker) to snag Olympic gold in 1:04.95.

King settled for bronze in 1:05.54, losing her Olympic title and suffering her first loss in the event in a major long course competition since she broke onto the scene in Rio.

At the 2024 Olympic Trials, it’s King versus Jacoby yet again, only this time we know it’s coming.


We have to go back nearly a decade, to 2014-15, to find a season where King wasn’t the top-ranked American in the women’s 100 breast.

Even in 2020-21, when Jacoby won Olympic gold, King swam a faster time at the Olympic Trials, 1:04.72.

In the three years since, King’s consistency has continued while Jacoby has been a bit up and down. She missed the 2022 World Championship team, but rebounded with a very impressive 2023, qualifying for the Worlds in Fukuoka and winning 100 breast bronze and beating King head-to-head in the final (both were significantly faster at U.S. Nationals).

King vs Jacoby – 100 BR Season-Bests

Season King Jacoby
2020-21 1:04.72 1:04.95
2021-22 1:05.32 1:06.21
2022-23 1:04.75 1:05.16
2023-24 1:05.67 1:05.74

King has eight sub-1:05 swims on her resume and has an unmatched ability to come out on top at selection meets. The 27-year-old recently said she’s not retiring after Paris, but won’t be swimming through 2028, so this is her last run at the Olympics and she’ll be leaving no stone unturned in her pursuit to get there.

If this were a prediction of who might place higher at the Olympics, Jacoby might have the edge given she beat King in both Tokyo and Fukuoka, but at Trials, it’s hard to bet against King.

The 20-year-old Jacoby should be right there, though, as she’s had an impressive two seasons at the University of Texas, improving leaps and bounds in short course after it appeared to be a weakness of hers relative to long course prior to entering college.


The only swimmer on paper who has a realistic chance of upending a second straight King/Jacoby combo for the U.S. in the women’s 100 breast at the Olympics is Kaitlyn Dobler, who has been within striking distance of breaking onto a senior international team for a few years but hasn’t quite taken that next step.

Dobler was 5th at the 2021 Olympic Trials in 1:06.29, 3rd at the 2022 International Team Trials (1:06.19), and then 3rd again at the 2023 U.S. Nationals, setting a lifetime best of 1:05.48.

That time ended up being faster than what won silver at the 2023 Worlds, with the entire final being relatively slow outside of world champion Ruta Meilutyte.

Dobler had been 1:07-high in-season prior to going 1:05-mid, and followed up her performance at Nationals with four more 1:06s in the summer, including earning a silver medal at the U23 European Championships in August (1:06.70).

The 22-year-old has consistently been in the upper echelon of sprint breaststrokers in the NCAA, winning the 100 breast title in 2022 and placing 3rd this past season.

She’s already been 1:06.71 in the long course pool this year, doing so at the San Antonio Pro Swim in April, which is faster than she’s ever been at a true in-season, non-taper meet.

There was initially some concern that something knocked Dobler out of the meet after she wasn’t on the initial psych sheets, but the updated version confirmed her entry.

Overthrowing the King/Jacoby mountain and claiming one of the top two spots is a tall order, but what Dobler showed last year at Nationals says she can be right there.



Three of the top eight seeds on the psych sheets are occupied by University of Virginia-trained swimmers, with breaststroke specialist Emma Weber joined by two of the most versatile women in the world, Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh.

Weber is on an impressive improvement curve, following up a lifetime best of 58.39 in short course at NCAAs with a new long course PB of 1:06.50 a few weeks later at the San Antonio Pro Swim.

That swim marked the 20-year-old’s first time under the 1:07 threshold, and with two months of specific long course prep since that 1:06-mid, she could be pushing the 1:06 barrier in Indianapolis which puts her in the top four.

Despite entering the 100 breast and setting a PB of 1:06.36 a few weeks ago, Douglass has said she’s only racing the 100 free, 200 breast and 200 IM (and maybe the 50 free) in Indianapolis, so she won’t be in the field.

Walsh surprisingly opted not to enter the 400 IM in Indianapolis, instead going for the 200 IM and both breaststrokes.

The 22-year-old owns a best time of 1:07.59 and went 1:07.70 in January. As more of a 200 swimmer, Walsh doesn’t have the drop-dead speed of someone like King, Jacoby or Dobler, but something in the 1:06s could be in the cards.

Ella Nelson is another UVA product to watch for, though she’ll have more of a presence in the 200 breast. She sits 17th on the psych sheets at 1:08.48.

Young Guns

Piper Enge leads a group of teenagers who could make some noise in this event in Indianapolis, as the Bellevue Club product and Texas commit accrued some international experience in February, racing at the 2024 World Championships in Doha.

Enge, who turned 18 on June 9, was four one-hundredths shy of a medal in the 100 breast at World Juniors in September, clocking a best time of 1:07.29 in the final. She followed up by brining her PB down to 1:07.27 in March, giving her some momentum heading to Indianapolis.

The other teenagers who have broken 1:09 this season are dual-sport athlete McKenzie Siroky and SwimMAC’s Elle Scott.

Siroky is an intriguing prospect, having initially committed to playing collegiate ice hockey before changing her mind, choosing swimming, and opting to redshirt the 2023-24 NCAA season to prepare for these Trials. She only has seven long course 100 breast swims on record, ever, but has brought her best time down under 1:08 in short order. It’s hard to gauge what she can do under the Trials microscope—she set her PB of 1:07.92 in the prelims at the Westmont Pro Swim and then added two seconds in the final—but if she makes it into the final it’ll make things interesting.

Scott, a 16-year-old Cal commit, set her PB of 1:08.99 in May at the Martha McKee Invite, putting her in the conversation for a second swim, but it will likely take something in the 1:07s to make the final.

Raya Mellott (1:08.26) and Molly Sweeney (1:08.60) are two other youngsters with competitive best times to watch for, while 16-year-old Addie Robillard has only been 1:09.69 this season but set a PB of 1:08.79 last summer.


At the age of 28, Rachel Bernhardt swam a career-best time of 1:07.38 at U.S. Nationals last year, placing 5th in the final in 1:07.76.

Now 29, she’s continued to impress while representing Team Charlotte, clocking 1:07.97 at the Martha McKee Open in May. Those performances put her directly into the conversation for a spot in the final.

Miranda Tucker, 27, is also sitting high on the psych sheets as one of the few swimmers born before 2000 in the event, ranked 11th at 1:07.98. However, Tucker has no swims on record since last year.

Breeja Larson, 32, resurfaced in February after retiring in 2021. Her fastest swim since returning is 1:10.08, so she’ll be in tough to make the semis, but deserves a mention as a 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

NCAA Notables

Duke’s Kaelyn Gridley, UNC’s Skyler Smith, NC State’s Abby Arens, USC’s Isabelle Odgers and Ohio State’s Hannah Bach are some of the top-ranked swimmers we’ve yet to touch on coming off NCAA seasons.

The fastest among the group, both this season and all-time, is Smith, who went 1:07.52 on the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monaco.

In the NCAA, Bach was the top finisher among the five in the 100 breast, placing 6th. Her best time in LC was set at the 2021 Trials in 1:07.89.


King’s track record on U.S. soil is hard to go against, and though we expect a great race between her and Jacoby, King is the pick to win with Jacoby a close second.

Dobler should mix things up with those two, but with just the one sub-1:06 swim under her belt, it’s hard to back her to upend one of the heavy favorites.

For the rest of the field, Weber and Walsh should be in the ‘A’ final if they’re on—assuming Walsh doesn’t scratch—and the rest of the top eight spots will be hotly contested with no shortage of women capable of being in the 1:07-mid-to-high range.


1 Lilly King 1:05.67 1:04.13
2 Lydia Jacoby 1:05.74 1:04.95
3 Kaitlyn Dobler 1:06.71 1:05.48
4 Emma Weber 1:06.50 1:06.50
5 Alex Walsh 1:07.70 1:07.59
6 Piper Enge 1:07.27 1:07.27
7 Skyler Smith 1:07.52 1:07.52
8 Hannah Bach 1:08.53 1:07.89

Dark Horse: Gabrielle RoseAt 46, Rose is far and away the oldest swimmer in the field. She was a Brazilian Olympian in 1996, a U.S. Olympian in 2000—making the 200 IM final—and has returned to the sport and reeled off numerous sub-1:10 swims in the 100 breast over the last eight months. She set a best time of 1:09.13 in early June, and while we are not suggesting Rose will drop three-plus seconds and challenge for an Olympic berth, a second swim is not out of the question given that this is a relatively weak event (depth-wise) in the U.S.

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Viking Steve
1 month ago

I think KD swims at least a prelim 100 breast to warm up into the meet… and probably swims all the way through.

Otherwise she doesn’t swim until mid-meet

1 month ago

The biggest takeaway is that Smith’s last name is no longer Schoenmaker. Was such a fun last name

Reply to  Shaddy419
1 month ago

Swimswam writers breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Grand Moff Tarkin
1 month ago

I think this could be one of the craziest races of the meet. Obviously King, Jacoby, and Dobler…but Douglass, Walsh, and Weber put a lot of question marks in this. The Virginia women have done some wild things in the pool the past 3 years. Douglass and Walsh have so much versatility, are extreme talents, and perform under pressure. Can’t wait! Rooting for Dobler!

1 month ago

Jacoby is definitely getting a spot. Her back half is always clutch and her first 50 has gotten so much better.

1 month ago

They should put Gabrielle Rose on a pedestal and be done with the meet.

1 month ago

I’ll take Gridley over Rose as the dark horse.

I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
1 month ago

Dobler and Jacoby PLEASEEEEEEE

1 month ago

The times of 1:07.69 from Lydia Jacoby and 1:07.95 from Kaitlyn Dobler in the 100 BR during the month of May do not inspire confidence.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

cherry-pick swims all you want, but they’ve both been 1:05 this year. it would take a crazy swim from dobler for either one to miss the team

Reply to  owen
1 month ago

In calendar year 2024, the fastest time that Kaitlyn Dobler has posted is 1:06.71.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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