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.
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|
|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|
|Norris, Lance||TAC Titans||17||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|
|Bethel, Henry||Carpet Capital Aquatics Club||18||1|
|Patton, Ben||U. of Missouri||20||1|
|Ball, Jake||Shark Tank Racing Squad||23||1|
|Frick, Jakob||Nation’s Capital Swim Club||17||1|
|Gentry, Landon||Nation’s Capital Swim Club||16||3|
|Lowe, Dalton||University of Louisville||18||1|
|Harm, Jonah||Mercersburg Academy||19||1|
|McKenna, Conor||Lakeside Aquatic Club||17||1|
|Aurnou-Rhees, Spencer||New Albany Aquatic Club||16||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|
|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|
|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.