Conor Dwyer takes over 200 IM spot at Worlds for Tyler Clary

A day after Michael Klueh replaced the injured Matt McLean on the U.S. roster for this summer’s World Championships, we’ve got another event shakeup.

Tyler Clary will give up his spot in the 200 IM for Conor Dwyer.

That 200 IM entry spot has already seen its fair share of moving and shaking this year. The spot, of course, originally went to Michael Phelps after last summer’s U.S. Nationals, but when Phelps was kicked off the Worlds team after his DUI, Clary inherited the post.

But as momentum started to grow in early 2015 to reinstate Phelps to the team, Clary went on the record saying he’d give the spot back willingly.

“He’s vital,” Clary told ESPN at the time. “I don’t see myself as being a competitor at his level in the 200 IM, and I don’t have the same chance of getting a medal.”

Those comments help explain why Clary was willing to pass the spot along to Dwyer as well. Clary was looking at the busiest schedule of any U.S. man in 2015, with entries in the 200 back, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM.

Dwyer, meanwhile, was set to compete in the 200 free individually, and was a relay qualifier on the 4×100 free relay, giving him ample room to add the 200 IM to his slate. Though Dwyer has mostly made his mark internationally as a freestyler, he’s an extremely versatile talent who can compete in both IM distances.

Phelps has yet to be reinstated to the team, and the closer we get to the summer, the less likely it is that USA Swimming would make such a major roster change. But on the other hand, Phelps did get one major boost last month from FINA, the international governing body for swimming.

Perhaps the biggest difficulty in reinstating Phelps to the Worlds team would be the athletes he would displace. Tim Phillips was already added to the team to take Phelps’ 100 fly spot, and it would be a difficult situation for a Phelps return to bump Phillips off of the team entirely.

But FINA publicly floated the idea earlier this month of extending a special invitation to Phelps, where he could compete as an extra entry in what would be a brand-new loophole.

The updated roster from USA Swimming can be seen here.

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2 points of note: 1. Clary dropping this event increases the likelihood of him being used the 4×2 freestyle relay. Although he’s not world class, USA is looking for guys who can split 1:46, let alone 1:45s at this point. This boosts Clary’s chances. Additionally, unless something happens, his chance of earning a 200IM spot for London was slim, but swimming the 4×200 free this summer opens the door for more serious selection for next year. 2. Will Phelps’ absence and dearth of international competitive backlog hurt him in Rio? He could face a more competitive US Open field due to the early selection process, but we’ve seen lack of competition hurt stars in the past. This could turn out… Read more »


Did not think of Clary in the 800 free relay. He was the one that came from behind and won it for the USA at SCM worlds with a split of 1:42 or something?


Exactly G3 – I saw the race way after SC Worlds was ended ! amazing race and unbeleivable anchor from Clary ! He out touched everybody in the last 25 meters while being 2 seconds behind when he took the anchor .


Exactly what i thought while reading the article !!!! Spot on JOHN26 .

Hulk Swim

This is why picking the team last summer was a bad idea.

Now we are sending a squad that FEELS like it was manipulated… “hey, drop this event so this guy can swim it and we’ll use you here instead because another guy pulled out with injury”.

This is at least the 4th change like this. At least.


Here are a few points to add to the discussion: 1. The best time I could find in the 200 IM from Clary was 1:57.61 from way back in 2010. The best time I could find from Dwyer was 1:57.41 from last summer’s Nationals. 2. Dwyer and Clary both competed in the 200 IM in 2014, in which Dwyer ended the year ranked #6 and Clary #10. Dwyer was also ranked #8 at the end of 2013 in the 200 IM, but Clary apparently did not make it a focus event that LC season. 3. The 4 events Clary qualified to swim in Kazan were, unfortunately, closely bunched together in the World Championship schedule. If he had kept the 200… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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