USA Swimming’s final lists of Olympic Trials qualifiers prior to the official psych sheets have been posted, through the Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, and so it’s time to have some fun with numbers.
First, for reference, here are the lists:
Men’s Olympic Trials Qualifiers.
Women’s Olympic Trials Qualifiers.
A few limitations. There are still swimmers included in these lists who have dual citizenship with the United States and another country or are USA Swimming members, and have already declared that they are competing for another country. For example, swimmers like Eric Ress (France) and Stephanie Au (Hong Kong).
There will also be more qualifications in the coming few weeks, as the country rolls into long course season. We already know of a few notable Olympic Trials cuts since Charlotte – including 40-year old Erika Braun in North Carolina.
But aside from that, we can come up with some pretty interesting facts and figures.
Number of Swimmers & Entries
First, the most hotly-debated numbers: how many Olympic Trials qualifiers will there be?
Women – 1040 qualifiers
Men – 1030 qualifiers
If we presume that there’s maybe 75 swimmers of either gender who aren’t actually going to race (that includes swimmers who have retired, swimmers who are competing for other countries, and swimmers who just don’t swim) we’re staring down the barrell of 1900 swimmers. The gender ratio is actually a shift from post summer Nationals, where there were a few more males that qualified than females (776-734)
Though there’s nearly an identical number of qualifiers, the number of entries by each woman, on average is higher than each male competitor, though the gap has closed since August.
Women – 1998 entries (1.92 entries/athlete
Men – 1854 entries (1.8 entries/athlete)
Both of these entries per athlete numbers have dropped since fall, speaking to more swimmers who have gotten their cuts in a single event during the winter season.
Let’s look at some superlatives about the youngest and oldest qualifiers. On the women’s side, 5 different swimmers have qualified in 2012 at only 13 years old – Keaton Blovad of the Phoenix Swim Club, Claire Adams of the Carmel Swim Club, Courtney Mykkanen from Irvine Novaquatics, Courtney Hanson from La Mirada, and Lauren Case from the Chatahoochee Swim Club in Georgia.
Of those three, only Adams and Blovad will stil be 13 by the time the trials roll around, and Blovad is the younger of those two. Blovad, who is qualified in the 100 back with a 1:03.43, almost scored her second Olympic Trials cut in the 50 free at this weekend’s Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine (the home pool of Mykkanen). But it appears that we will have no super-young qualifiers ala Dana Vollmer at this year’s meet.
On the men’s side, there won’t be any swimmers under the age of 15 in attendance.
At the other end, the most recent official lists have three swimmers qualified over the age of 40 – Janet Evans (40), Dara Torres (45), and Steve West (40). We also know that Erika Braun also has her 50 freestyle cut from post-Charlotte, so that’s another 40-year old.
Further highlighting how early female swimmers retire, there are only 8 Olympic Trials qualifiers on the list so far who will even be 30 and over; aside from the 40+ crew, the next-oldest is T2’s Erika Erndl at 33. The men’s side will have roughly double that many over the age of 30.
Teams with Most Qualifiers
We also wanted to take a look at which programs were producing the most Olympic Trials qualifiers. Often times, this math can be fuzzy for post-grads who change teams very frequently and don’t always officially repreesent the team that they’re actually training with. But, if we give each team credit for every Olympic Trials qualifier who swam a best time while officially representing them, there are 16 programs with 15 or more Olympic Trials qualifiers. Most of the teams on this list are not that surprising – including Tucson Ford and their massive postgrad group with 45 qualifiers. But Boilermaker Aquatics – the Purdue-affiliated team – is a bit of a surprise.
Two of the best junior-level clubs in the country, the Bolles School and Curl Burke, are just behind with 14 qualifiers each.
|Tucson Ford Dealers 45|
|SwimMAC Carolina 38|
|Longhorn Aquatics 37|
|California Aquatics 32|
|North Baltimore Aquatic 29|
|Indiana University 29|
|Stanford Swimming 28|
|Tennessee Aquatics 22|
|Club Wolverine 21|
|Ohio State University 20|
|Boilermaker Aquatics 19|
|FAST Swim Team 16|
|Trojan Swim Club 16|
|Minnesota Aquatics 16|
|Athens Bulldog Swim 16|
|Mission Viejo Nadadores 15|
Separated by LSC, 56 of the 59 USA Swimming LSC’s have qualifiers. The lone exceptions are the Border Swimming LSC (near El Paso); the Alaska LSC; and the Maine LSC. Based on the same criteria as above, California not surprisingly dominates the lists, with the two most qualified LSC’s. In order, the top-10 LSC’s:
Southern California Swimming – 161
Pacific Coast Swimming – 124
Florida Swimming – 105
Indiana – 92
North Carolina Swimming – 92
Southeastern Swimming (Tennessee/Alabama/Western half of the Florida Panhandle) – 88
Middle Atlantic – 80
Georgia – 76
Ohio – 76
Arizona – 71
In most cases, these numbers are skewed heavily by the presence of big post-grad teams. For example, a huge chunk of Southeastern Swimming’s entry is made of swimmers from Auburnand Tennessee. More than half of the swimmers in the Arizona LSC come from a single program at Tucson Ford.