Carson Foster Will Use Unusual Strategy to Test-Run Olympic Trials This Weekend

2020 Ohio MAKO Senior Meet

  • February 28th-March 1st, 2020
  • Corwin Nixon Aquatic Center, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2020 OH MAKO Senior Meet”

US National Teamer Carson Foster will make his first big Olympic preparation in long course at the 2020 Ohio MAKO Senior Meet this weekend. The meet, usually a short course yards event, is a big marker for the top high school-aged swimmers in the state of Ohio, which includes the 18-year old Foster.

Specifically, Foster will test out his preparedness to race a trio of 200 IMs within a 40 hour window, which is what he’ll have to do in order to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team later this summer in Omaha, Nebraska.

On Friday morning, Foster began his meet with a 2:00.27 in the 200 IM prelims. He’ll follow that with a swim in the ‘finals’ on Friday (which he’ll treat as semi-finals).

Then, on Saturday morning, the plan is to do enough in the 200 fly prelims to earn a spot in a finals heat on Saturday evening, at which point he will take a DQ by swimming the finals of the 200 fly as a 200 IM in order to simulate the Olympic Trials schedule.

Foster will then race the 200 free as scheduled on Sunday.

Foster has never swum a meet with semi-finals for races 200 meters or longer before, so this simulation will give him a taste of the Olympic Trials experience.

In 2016, it took a 2:01.96 to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 200 IM and 1:59.86 to qualify for the finals of the men’s 200 IM. The top 2 finishers at that meet were Michael Phelps in 1:55.91 and Ryan Lochte in 1:56.22.

In the 2018-2019 season, Foster ranked 18th in the world in the 200 IM with a 1:58.46 to win gold at the World Junior Championships. That also made him the 5th-fastest American. At the U.S. Open in December, he swam a best time of 1:57.59.

Fastest Americans, Men’s 200 LCM IM, 2018-2019 Season

  1. Chase Kalisz – 1:56.78
  2. Michael Andrew – 1:57.49
  3. Abrahm Devine – 1:57.66
  4. Ryan Lochte – 1:57.76
  5. Carson Foster – 1:58.46
  6. Shaine Casas – 1:58.83

Foster graduated high school early and is sitting out his last season of high school competition in order to prepare for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials this summer. That preparation will include several camps around the country, notably an upcoming camp in Sarasota, Florida with fellow National Teamer and Olympic hopeful Luca Urlando.



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4 years ago

if andrew swims this or doesn’t match his richmond time, and lochte falters, then foster will make the team. kalisz is probably capable of a sub-1:57 regardless of his shape (he did so in Gwangju at arguably his worst meet of the quad) and devine, frankly, i’m not sure about. foster will definitely go sub 1:58 at trials. whether it’s good enough i’d say is now 50/50

4 years ago

The entire point of the sport is push yourself to get faster and even push others around you to new levels. This is what Carson is doing. Just because some of you have never been in the position to have a LEGIT shot at an Olympic team doesn’t give you a reason to hate on someone for progressing. Being an athlete in Ohio I can assure you the majority of athletes and coaches are all for the success that his family and mason has had. Get off your soap box and realize that swimming is about going fast in a clean and self developing manor. Look at the bigger picture.

Reply to  Swimmerinlane9
4 years ago


Reply to  Swimmerinlane9
4 years ago

People getting personal now about my soapbox. I’m not from Ohio, don’t know the fosters, just commenting on why I don’t like the situation. I’m sure he’s a good kid

Reply to  Sccoach
4 years ago

@sccoach So when a swimmer intentionally works on a new technique for x stroke do you get all in an uproar because it’s new and not everyone else is doing it. If making major international teams was as simple as fitting your process in the box that everyone was using then we’d see a lot more people like Carson. Just because he’s talented suddenly we can hate on him? There are so many bigger issues in the sport than a kid from mason trying HIS BEST to prepare for the big stage. You speak about people getting personal…aren’t you a hypocrite for judging his personal choices that literally have no ill intent. I can’t believe people these days. Let the… Read more »

Reply to  Swimmerinlane9
4 years ago

I think you are going way overboard here and you are the one in an uproar. I’m posting opinions, that is what happens on message boards. I’m not hating or getting personal, you are. I like reading about Carson Fostet’s accomplishments, I don’t like what he’s doing here and would post the same thing if it was anyone else doing it

Also changing techniques and swimming a 200 IM in a 200 fly final aren’t comparable. Sorry

Mady Schlecter
4 years ago

Not only should he get DQ’ed for doing the wrong stroke, but that also falls under the unsportsmanlike conduct rule if he wants it do it in a time trial or 2 free.

Reply to  Mady Schlecter
4 years ago

Agree! #teammady

Wanna Sprite?
4 years ago


Reply to  Yeet
4 years ago

While this is an interesting fact, it’s a little irrelevant. Four years was a long time ago. Things/teams change to try to do things better and improve. Maybe making it long course will bring in more teams and money

4 years ago

“The meet, usually a short course yards event, is a big marker for the top high school-aged swimmers in the state of Ohio”
This meet is meant for swimmers who haven’t qualified for any other championship meets, ie. swimmers without sectional, futures and especially OLYMPIC TRIAL cuts.
There’s a reason it’s usually short course.
Instead of swimming other meets, Mason chooses to put their best swimmers in this meet because they will have little to no competition. Like this summer, when the senior meet was changed to different flights of warmups (separating the “slower” swimmers and therefore not prioritizing the kids that have no other meet to go) because Mason swimmers crowded the pools.
Go to… Read more »

Reply to  Yeet
4 years ago

I will chime in since I’m the new self-appointed defender of Mason. Do you really think a team as strong as Mason is going to a meet because there is “little to no competition”??? Sometimes teams don’t want to travel for meets because travel can be draining and it can impact training the next week. Also, is Mason such a large team that their presence at a meet is the main reason for a crowded pool? I thought they were fairly mid-size club.
Lastly, it would seem like the staff at Mason has a pretty good thing going right now. Why would they default to doing things like every other team in Ohio? Which is what you suggest they… Read more »

Reply to  dan
4 years ago

Mason is also close to Oxford and a fast pool. Ohio kids just got done with 3 weekends in a row of swimming for high school season. This is most kids 4th weekend in a row- mentally and physically challenging. Compared to other teams, not as many Mason kids here. Culture is a big difference at Mason too. Most kids who go there get faster. They do have a good thing going.

Reply to  Yeet
4 years ago

Maybe Rays families want to swim in a meet that is close to home, in a very fast pool, while save thousands of dollars… Interesting idea.

Reply to  Yeet
3 years ago

Actually no, this meet is used as a way to have swimmers compete for their club team after having swam for their high school. It is not just for people without Futures, Sectionals, etc. and it is a taper meet for most people

Ron kauk
4 years ago

He would win the Olympics if he went to St. X

Sponge bob
4 years ago

I’m rooting for the kid, but I just don’t see how he’s going to be top 2 in that Final 2 IM. Best of luck Carson.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Sponge bob
4 years ago

(probably the wrong take for this comments section)

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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