At least 8 of the 49 swimmers who qualified forward from Wave I of the US Olympic Swimming Trials to Wave II won’t race at the second meet in Omaha.
Included among the 9 are one of the best stories out of the Wave I meet: a pair of US Naval Academy men who went 1-2 in the 800 free.
Garrett McGovern (8:11.25) and Luke Johnson (8:12.13) took the top two spots in Wave I. With 2 swimmers in each event earning a qualification forward to the Wave II meet, where faster qualifiers have been pushed automatically through, both had the opportunity to race again in the bigger show this week in Omaha.
According to Navy men’s head coach Bill Roberts, each had their own reason.
“We waited until after their 1500s on Monday night to discuss,” Roberts said. Johnson was 5th in the 1500 and McGovern was 8th.
“At that time, we decided it would be best not to accept the opportunity to advance. Carrying the taper for those two events for another week plus was going to be difficult.”
Roberts says that Johnson, who recently graduated, was “happy to finish the meet with most of his team” and will now move on to his Naval service. Naval academy graduates are required to have a minimum of 5 years of active service in the U.S. Navy.
McGovern, with his coach, decided that he was ready to move on to focus on the 2021-2022 NCAA season, and is now back home and in training.
Missy Cundiff, who won the 50 free at the Wave I meet, is beginning an auditing internship at Grant Thornton on Monday. She entered the Wave I meet seeded 46th, and her coach Nate Kellogg says that winning “exceeded her expectations.”
“Missy’s mature perspective allows her to understand that swimming is a part of her life, not her entire life. Although swimming in Wave II would have been a amazing experience, this internship will also be a critical experience for her future beyond swimming.
“As her coach, I fully support her decision. As always, she has represented William & Mary incredibly well and I am so proud of her.”
William & Mary almost cut their swimming programs last year, but a huge push by the school’s alumni saved them from elimination. Cundiff’s “Save Tribe Swimming” video was a big part of launching that effort.
When one of the two (or in the case of the women’s 50 free, three) swimmers chooses not to accept the invite to Wave II, they are not replaced by the next best Wave I finisher.
Wave II qualifiers faced many logistical challenges. On top of having to carry their tapers forward for two weeks, they would have to make plans, and pay for, the period between the two meets, and find last minute travel and lodging in Omaha – which became substantially more expensive once teams for the College Baseball World Series were announced.
Wave I to Wave II Qualifiers who Chose Not to Enter (Projected Seed based on Wave I time):
- Garrett McGovern, Navy, M. 800 free, 8:11.25 (50th seed)
- Luke Johnson, Navy, M. 800 free, 8:12.13 (54th seed)
- Missy Cundiff, William & Mary, W. 50 free, 25.49 (29th seed)
- Joshua Brown, Highlander Aquatic Club, M. 1500 free, 15:35.94 (35th seed)
- Hayden Miller, Cy Fair Swim Club, W. 800 free, 8:39.81 (25th seed)
- Abigail McCulloh, Swim Atlanta, W. 800 free, 8:42.17 (29th seed)
- Liam Bresette, Arizona State, M. 200 free, 1:49.22 (32nd seed)
- Lexi Cuomo, Virginia, W. 100 fly, 1:00.06 (46th seed)