50 More Men, 23 Women Have Qualified for Olympic Trials Post-Quarantines

USA Swimming says that they still haven’t made a decision about what to do with regards to swimmers who hit new Olympic Trials standards in 2021, but hope to have more information by the end of January.

When the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the corresponding US Olympic Swimming Trials, were postponed by a year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there was uncertainty as to what would happen with qualifiers for the latter event. The primary balance in play was how to make it fair for those swimmers who were counting on a spring taper meet that never happened to hit their Trials standards with USA Swimming’s desire to keep the meet smaller than in previous years – with a stated goal of around 1200-1400 swimmers.

In April, after USA Swimming put a pause on all sanctioned swim meets, there were (essentially*) 1,213 swimmers qualified for the US Olympic Trials – within USA Swimming’s target range.

* Some swimmers who have hit qualifying standards and who are eligible to represent the US, along with another country, have not necessarily declared a sporting citizenship yet, but this number is correct-enough for any pragmatic purpose).

At that time, the organization decided to take a ‘wait and see’ approach and kept the existing Olympic Trials standards in-tact through at least December 31, 2020.

As that initial deadline approaches, a spokesperson for the organization says that “they will remain as is for the moment.”

“We want to avoid any hasty decisions and continue to try and gather as much information as possible about what Trials may look like in 5.5 months,” the spokesperson said. “We will look to provide current qualifiers, and future qualifiers, more information by the end of January.”

The possibility is in play, of course, that the Olympic Trials will be reduced in size, as we’ve seen happen in countries like Canada, because of the impact of the pandemic, though USA Swimming has not publicly proposed such a reduction in any manner.

While the U.S. Federal Government Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar has said that by April, all Americans who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine will have access to a first dose (out of two required doses for the currently-approved vaccines), there are no guarantees that by June enough will be vaccinated to hold an event this large. Furthermore, so far, the distribution of vaccines have lagged behind targets nationally.

New Qualifiers in Late 2020

If the Trials are able to move forward with all swimmers who have qualified, 73 more Americans have added their name to that list since August, when USA Swimming first allowed times to count for national meet qualifying.

That list includes 50 new male qualifiers and 23 new female qualifiers. This brings the total up to 1,288 qualifiers, though we know some of those have opted to not continue training – like Claire Adams and Asia Seidt.

That still leaves USA Swimming within its stated target range, though the trend indicates that if they leave the standards in place until June of next year, they’ll probably exceed 1,400 qualifiers.

The median age of new male qualifiers is 18, while the median age of new female qualifiers is 17.

Among those on the list of new qualifiers are Daniel Diehl. Diehl set several 13-14 National Age Group Records before aging up late this year, including a 1:36.75 in the 200 yard free, and was 15 when he swam 55.46 in the 100 back in long course. Diehl was unattached at the time, but trains with the Cumberland YMCA.

He is the youngest of the new male qualifiers. The only female younger than him among new qualifiers is 14-year old Levenia Sim of TNT Swimming.

Samantha Pearson, a Stanford commit and the #18-ranked recruit in the high school class of 2020, has hit 4 new Olympic Trials standards since quarantines have lifted. Pearson, who is deferring her enrollment at Stanford and at last check was training with David Marsh’s Team Elite group in Southern California, now has cuts in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM according to USA Swimming’s database.

Arkansas’ Peyton Palsha has 3 new Trials cuts.

On the boys’ side, four new qualifiers have broken through with 3 new Trials cuts each: Sam Hoover, Daniel Matheson, Cade Oliver, and Landon Gentry.

Note: the lists below don’t include already-qualified swimmers who hit cut times in new events, or improved previous cuts.

New Male Qualifiers

Swimmer Club Age Number of Cuts
McCarty, Quintin Pikes Peak Athletics 16 1
Lichinsky, Gregg Unattached 20 1
Guiliano, Chris TOPS Swimming 17 1
Evert, Jake Mercersburg Academy 19 1
Schiavone, Chris Franklin & Marshall College 22 1
Graunke, Jeremy Rio Salado Swim Club 17 1
Hoover, Sam North Carolina Aquatic Club 17 3
Cotter, Michael TAC Titans 17 1
Mestre, Alfonso University of Florida 19 2
Matheson, Daniel Scottsdale Aquatic Club 18 3
Chai, Matthew FAST Swim Team 16 1
Custer, Liam Sarasota Sharks 16 2
Kravitz, Caleb Saint Petersburg Aquatics 19 1
Porges, Dylan Unattached 20 1
Norris, Lance TAC Titans 17 1
Johnson, Luke Unattached 21 1
Diehl, Daniel Unattached 15 1
Simons, Nick Lake Oswego Swim Club 16 2
Saleem, Ziyad Schroeder YMCA Swim Team 17 2
Oliver, Cade Franklin Regional Swim Team 17 3
O’Leary, Griffin Barrington Swim Club 17 1
Patterson, Ryan Dynamo Swim Club 21 1
Modglin, Will Zionsville Swim Club 16 1
Porrazzo, Ralph Swim UpHill 28 1
Edwards, Max University Of Virginia 20 1
Bochenski, Grant Hinsdale Swim Club 17 1
Janton, Tommy Western Ymca Wahoos 16 2
Miller, Brandon North Carolina Aquatic Club 17 1
Stump, Zach Westerville Aquatic Club 16 1
Ponsler, Kyle Fishers Area Swimming Tigers 16 2
Driggers, Landon Rio Salado Swim Club 19 1
Morikawa, Connor Unattached 19 1
Brown, Gerald Unattached 22 1
Bethel, Henry Carpet Capital Aquatics Club 18 1
Patton, Ben U. of Missouri 20 1
Schultz, Jackson Unattached 19 1
Rodarte, Luke Unattached 22 1
Ball, Jake Shark Tank Racing Squad 23 1
Frick, Jakob Nation’s Capital Swim Club 17 1
Yep, Jassen Unattached 18 1
Gentry, Landon Nation’s Capital Swim Club 16 3
Gessner, Erik Unattached 20 1
Lowe, Dalton University of Louisville 18 1
Harm, Jonah Mercersburg Academy 19 1
McKenna, Conor Lakeside Aquatic Club 17 1
Tack, Ethan Unattached 20 1
Aurnou-Rhees, Spencer New Albany Aquatic Club 16 1
Gusev, Alexander Unattached 19 1

New Female Qualifiers

Swimmer Club Age Number of Cuts
Pearson, Samantha SOCAL Aquatics Association 19 4
Winter, Kailyn Quicksilver Swimming 17 1
Fiske, Sophie Madison Aquatic Club 17 1
McCarty, Eboni Madison Swimming Association 17 1
Shackelford, Sarah Virginia Tech 19 1
Paegle, Kristina Indiana Swim Club 16 1
Rausch, Malia Austin Swim Club 17 1
Stoneburg, Blair Treasure Coast Aquatics 16 2
Cardwell, Summer Tampa Bay Aquatic Club 16 1
Palsha, Peyton University Of Arkansas Swimming 21 3
Pennington, Caroline TAC Titans 17 2
Sim, Levenia TNT Swimming 14 1
Berglund, Berit Carmel Swim Club 15 1
Johnson, Faith Rocket Aquatics 16 1
Schobel, Marie Unattached 20 1
Huggins, Maddy Saluki Swim Club 17 1
Maccausland, Heather NC State University 19 1
Roberts, Liz Gamecock Aquatics 32 1
Sunseri, Mia Wheeling YMCA 18 1
Cook, Lizzy Tualatin Hills Swim Club 18 1
Jump, Mallory Unattached 19 1
Peroni, Martina New Albany Aquatic Club 16 1
Duncan, Sophie Nation’s Capital Swim Club 16 2

Note: Alexa Reyna of the Westchester Aquatic Club in New York has also hit a US Olympic Trials qualifying standard. A dual citizen of the US and France, she has not yet decided which country she’ll represent internationally.

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1 year ago

I think there might be some disappointed swimmers. I don’t see how out Trials will handle over a thousand swimmers will be on deck unless all can be vaccinated by June! And fans, that is hard to imagine. And then it is worth having a huge man made venue for this limited Trials. USA swimming must be thinking of all these scenarios! Make sure your Omaha hotel deposits are refundable

Inclusive Parent
1 year ago

You have the D Diehl is the youngest qualifier, male or female. If Levenia Sim got her cut, as your list indicates, she is still 14.

Reply to  Inclusive Parent
1 year ago

I think the article stated new qualifiers since quarantine. There are 14 year olds who qualified when trials were to be held this past summer.

1 year ago

Maybe have the Trials located in a major city with multiple venues available that meet the pool requirements for the USA Olympic swimming trials? Prelims are held at multiple locations throughout the city. For example if you have 20 heat’s of Mens 200M free maybe have 5 different locations so the heats are going on simultaneous just spread across the 5 different locations. When you get to Semis and Finals since the majority of the athletes are eliminated you hold them at one central location in the evenings that doesn’t change. It would require some coordination to make sure that if you had a swimmer in multiple events that all their prelim events for that day would be at that… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg
Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  Greg
1 year ago

I had this exact thought when Canada announced their changes.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I would rather a small head to head field myself.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I don’t disagree about culling the field down to the top 36th. I know a lot of people will be disappointed but it isn’t a bad idea. Having so many pools as in my proposal will also add significantly to the cost of putting on the event which might not be realistic considering all the financial pressure that USA swimming is under.

Don’t forget that there’s some portion of this decision that involves ‘protecting the Olympians.’ It’s a lot easier to protect the Olympians with a smaller field.”

I am betting on that we will be at the point with a vaccine that the entire USA Olympic team and staff will be vaccinated. If the US Congress can be… Read more »

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Trials in Indy with smaller field

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

They could do a hybrid model…say, name the top 20 per event who qualify directly for the big Trials meet, and then have qualifying meets at multiple venues to determine the other sixteen spots. In all likelihood, the Olympians will come from the top 20 seeds, but this would leave the door open to potential breakout swimmers. And everyone who swims at one of the qualifiers can say they swam at Olympic Trials. No solution is perfect, but this seems as good a compromise as anything.

Reply to  Ferb
1 year ago

The thing is….and I don’t think it has been said yet…not all pools are the same. See US Open. Ughhhhhhhhhhh. Also, for those saying outside, clearly no one is thinking about the poor backstrokers! (Although I’d rather have a meet than no meet whether separate venues or outdoors. But gosh USAS can you please finds some equity here, same warmup pool availability, same video feeds, same everything! Don’t be dissing groups of swimmers with crappy facilities.) if they can’t manage that, I think you do one smaller meet and have an also-qualified meet later.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I would say ahead of time, maybe a week, to allow time to travel, and so you can hold a full prelim/semi/final meet for the big event, but that’s just off the top of my head.

NC Fan
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

My solution (not that I’ve been asked): On Dec 31st snap the chalk at the time of the 50th qualifier in each event. Anyone that time or faster by June gets to swim that event. Plus, like NCAAs, if you are qualified by that criteria then you can swim any event you have the original OT cut in. Rationale: you want at least 3 circle seeded heats and not all of the top 50 as of Dec 31 will swim each event for various reasons so this will likely give you 40-60 per event. And if a swimmer is qualified and in Omaha then no reason not to let them swim other events since they are having to go through… Read more »

Reply to  Greg
1 year ago

Outdoor is better from a covid vantage point, and if you can’t do 14,000 fans, then an indoor arena is unnecessary. USA Swimming must be considering outdoor alternatives (Irvine?)

Reply to  swimgeek
1 year ago

There is plenty of great outdoor pools that can be used with good weather. They could even build one in a parking lot. 2004 Olympic Swim Trials in Long Beach comes to mind.

Reply to  Greg
1 year ago

Indianapolis has several venues and you can utilize Purdue and Indiana as well. Nat for the finals. Put the names on the wall. Iconic.

1 year ago

How many 50m pools does Indy have?

Old Rocket Swimmer
Reply to  Dan
1 year ago

The most indoor 50 meter pools in North America.

Cousin Eddie
Reply to  Dan
1 year ago

Honestly a lot – it depends how far out you want to go from the Nat. but assuming we try to stay with in 30 mins I can think of:

Carmel – 1
Pike – 1
Fishers – 2 (FHS and HSE HS)
North Central – 1
Brownsburg – 1
Center Grove – expected to be done in April I think

I am sure I am missing a number of them-that’s just what I can think of off hand plus IUPUI Nat….That said Pike usually higher water temp and some can have air issues etc so the “not all pools are created equal plays in big time and the challenge of swimming more than one… Read more »

1st class lineman
1 year ago

Most of these swimmers can’t even train right now , let alone worry about where and how this event is going to be held.

Reply to  1st class lineman
1 year ago

wrong, every person on this list is swimming right now. It would be hard to make cuts since the quarantine if you weren’t swimming.

1st class lineman
Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

My son is on this list and his training has been on again off again since June. He has been out of the water since 12-13. Hopefully when training resumes it will be uninterrupted until a taper meet of some sort.

1 year ago

Congrats to the new qualifiers! If Trials doesn’t go as planned, as some people said, this will mark a moment in time. If some swimmers are pushed aside, at least they will be able to say they went under the original/”normal” cuts, and nothing can take away the fact that these are great times for most people.

1 year ago

It would be better to move this to an outside venue than to cut the field. So, many kids (my daughter among them) have worked literally their entire lives to get to this point. To cut to the field to 36 would be a travisty. She qualified on the first day at junior nationals as a senior in high school and while she is a better long course swimmer has been training in 25-yard pools since starting college and during the pandemic. But at the same time has been lifting weights in college and is much stronger than she was when she qualified 16 months ago.

Better to split the trials to men and women, and have both outside in… Read more »

Reply to  Alan
1 year ago

Congratulations to you daughter. I totally understand she would be devastated not being able to swim at trials.

I think it’s USA swimming’s job to do what is most safe for everyone, even if it means many will be disappointed. The accomplishment will stand – she qualifies for the Trials. That’s something very few can say.

Depending on the vaccine situation and metrics, a large gathering of people doesn’t seem like it’s in the works right now.

Fortnite Nick
1 year ago

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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