Day 7 U.S. Olympic Roster Update: All But One Woman Locked In; Held In Jeopardy


All second-place finishers for both men and women are locked onto the Olympic team, as are the women’s 5th-place finishers in both the 100 and 200 frees. Just one woman is still outside the roster cap, and likely to get in tomorrow.

The men’s side might be setting up for heartbreak. With just 7 doubles so far, the men need 3 doubles in 4 Olympic spots tomorrow to get all men in – and even then, Ryan Held might be outside the relay-only cap of 12 swimmers, men and women.

Here’s a quick breakdown:


We hit 9 doubles today, locking in all second-place finishers and the two 5th-place relay-only swimmers (Bella Sims in the 200 free; Catie DeLoof in the 100 free). The only one still outside is 6th-place 200 free finisher Brooke Forde. She will officially make the team if any of the following swimmers finish in the top 2 in tomorrow night’s 50 free final:

  • #1 seed Abbey Weitzeil
  • #2 seed Torri Huske
  • #5 seed Erika Brown
  • #7 seed Kate Douglass
  • #8 seed Catie DeLoof


The men are at 7 doubles. All second-place finishers are locked in as of tonight. As of right now, three relay-only swimmers sit outside the roster cap, in this selection priority order:

Swimmer Event / Place
Modified World Rank
1 Bowe Becker 100 FR / 5th 29th
2 Patrick Callan 200 FR / 6th 32nd
3 Ryan Held 100 FR / 6th 49th

Below are the remaining double opportunities. Becker will officially make the team if any one of these swimmers finishes in the top 2 tomorrow. Callan will make the team if two of them finish in the top two.

  • Caeleb Dressel, 50 free
  • Michael Andrew, 50 free
  • Bowe Becker, 50 free
  • Bobby Finke, 1500 free
  • Michael Brinegar, 1500 free

It’s a pretty complex scenario for Held to make the team. FINA rules limit each nation to 12 relay-only swimmers. The U.S. is currently projected to have 13 (Kibler, Seliskar, Pieroni, Curry, Becker, Callan, Held, McLaughlin, Smoliga, Hinds, Sims, DeLoof, Forde). Held is the lowest world rank among them. So he needs three of the five swimmers above to finish top-2 in their event, plus for a current relay-only swimmer to qualify individually, thus making them no longer a relay-only swimmer. So Held needs three of five above to finish in the top two, plus one of the swimmers below to also finish in the top two:

  • Bowe Becker, 50 free
  • Catie DeLoof, 50 free

Held could also make the team in the very unlikely scenario that we get two brand-new qualifiers in the women’s 50 free tomorrow and Forde isn’t selected, assuming the men get three more doubles as well.


Tonight’s new qualifiers are noted in bold.

Tentative qualifiers (who need a certain number of multi-event qualifiers to be officially added) are listed in italics.


  1. Emma Weyant: 400 IM
  2. Torri Huske: 100 fly
  3. Katie Ledecky: 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 4×200 free relay
  4. Regan Smith: 100 back, 200 fly
  5. Lilly King: 100 breast, 200 breast
  6. Allison Schmitt: 200 free, 4×200 free relay, 4×100 free relay
  7. Paige Madden: 400 free, 4×200 free relay
  8. Katie McLaughlin: 4×200 free relay
  9. Alex Walsh: 200 IM
  10. Hali Flickinger: 400 IM, 200 fly
  11. Annie Lazor: 200 breast
  12. Abbey Weitzeil: 100 free, 4×100 free relay
  13. Erika Brown: 100 free, 4×100 free relay
  14. Olivia Smoliga: 4×100 free relay
  15. Natalie Hinds: 4×100 free relay
  16. Claire Curzan: 100 fly
  17. Rhyan White: 100 back, 200 back
  18. Lydia Jacoby: 100 breast
  19. Kate Douglass: 200 IM
  20. Erica Sullivan: 1500 free
  21. Phoebe Bacon: 200 back
  22. Katie Grimes: 800 free
  23. Bella Sims: 4×200 free relay
  24. Catie DeLoof: 4×100 free relay
  25. Brooke Forde: 4×200 free relay


  1. Chase Kalisz: 400 IM, 200 IM
  2. Kieran Smith: 400 free, 200 free, 4×200 free relay
  3. Michael Andrew: 100 breast, 200 IM
  4. Townley Haas: 200 free, 4×200 free relay
  5. Drew Kibler: 4×200 free relay
  6. Andrew Seliskar: 4×200 free relay
  7. Ryan Murphy: 100 back, 200 back
  8. Zach Harting: 200 fly
  9. Bobby Finke: 800 free
  10. Nic Fink: 200 breast
  11. Caeleb Dressel: 100 free, 100 fly, 4×100 free relay
  12. Zach Apple: 100 free, 4×200 free relay, 4×100 free relay
  13. Blake Pieroni: 4×100 free relay
  14. Brooks Curry: 4×100 free relay
  15. Jay Litherland: 400 IM
  16. Jake Mitchell: 400 free
  17. Andrew Wilson: 100 breast, 200 breast
  18. Hunter Armstrong: 100 back
  19. Gunnar Bentz: 200 fly
  20. Michael Brinegar: 800 free
  21. Bryce Mefford: 200 back
  22. Tom Shields: 100 fly
  23. Bowe Becker, 4×100 free relay
  24. Patrick Callan: 4×200 free relay
  25. Ryan Held: 4×100 free relay


Here’s an overly-simplified version of the U.S. Olympic selection process: the team can have a maximum of 26 men and 26 women. Swimmers are added to the roster in these priorities until the roster cap is hit:

  1. Top 4 in 100/200 frees, Winner of all other events
  2. 2nd-place finisher in all events (besides 100/200 free)
  3. 5th-place finisher in 100/200 free
  4. 6th-place finisher in 100/200 free

We track ‘doubles’ as a way of knowing when the next priority of swimmers can be officially added to the team. A ‘double’ is effectively a swimmer qualifying in more than one event. One swimmer qualifying in three events counts as two ‘doubles’ for our purposes.

The Magic Numbers:

  • 6 doubles on either the men’s or women’s side means all priority 2 athletes (2nd-place finishers) can be added for that gender
  • 8 doubles on either the men’s or women’s side means all priority 3 athletes (5th-place in 100/200 free) can be added for that gender
  • 10 doubles on either the men’s or women’s side means all priority 4 athletes (6th-place in 100/200 free) can be added for that gender

After Day 7:

  • Women – 9 doubles:
    • Katie Ledecky: 200/400/800/1500 free
    • Regan Smith: 100 back, 200 fly
    • Hali Flickinger: 200 fly, 400 IM
    • Lilly King: 100/200 breast
    • Paige Madden: 400 free/4×200 free relay
    • Allison Schmitt: 200 free, 4×100 free relay
    • Rhyan White: 100/200 back
  • Men – 7 doubles:
    • Kieran Smith: 200/400 free
    • Michael Andrew: 100 breast, 200 IM
    • Ryan Murphy: 100/200 back
    • Chase Kalisz: 200/400 IM
    • Zach Apple: 100 free, 4×200 free relay
    • Andrew Wilson: 100/200 breast
    • Caeleb Dressel: 100 free, 100 fly

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1 year ago

Can’t use a picture of Bowe from NCAAs reppin MN!? #NotSECBorn #B1G

1 year ago

Worth noting that overall athlete numbers for swimming will reduce marginally for Paris (recent swim swam article). Given this I’d say it’s unlikely FINA would push to add 50 form strokes given it would need to do this without any increase in numbers. Obviously they can also control overall numbers by adjusting the A and B times which would reduce the size of some teams. Either way this current experience perhaps shows that the US commitment to both send top 2 in each event and select down to 6th for free relays can’t always be achieved without a few Phelps or Ledecky types who ‘soak up’ several events each.

1 year ago

Why is it that track and field can still take 3 per event?

Reply to  StuartC
1 year ago

Because Track and Field never had a Games like swimming had in 1976, where East Germany won almost literally all the women’s medals and the U.S. won almost literally all the men’s medals, including like six gold-silver-bronze sweeps.

Jay Imus
1 year ago

Looks like Adrian or MA will get a chance to be part of that relay.

ACC fan
1 year ago

If Jake Mitchell can time trial a better time, then why can’t Ryan Held TT for a better world ranking? Leaving Held off the team is a loss for the USA

Reply to  ACC fan
1 year ago

Because in the 100 free there were already several people were under the fina A cut. No one but Kieran got that in the 400 finals so they had to figure something out and the time trial is what they did

Reply to  MX4x50relay
1 year ago

Different scenario. Relay only swimmers are only required to have the OST/FINA B cut to swim on a relay. In this case, the difference was because USA Swimming wrote the procedure that way. I think we might be in this same scenario if a relay swimmer didn’t have an OST cut in the relay in question, but those OST cuts are much, much easier to achieve.

1 year ago

Who is that in the picture?

ACC fan
Reply to  thezwimmer
1 year ago


1 year ago

What are the qualifying times used for individual events? Is it the FINA A times? Why was the opportunity given for the 400 free swimmer to get the time in a time trial instead of just saying ‘sorry you missed it’ which is essentially what they did at Aust trials (with two exceptions).

Reply to  KMS
1 year ago

To have two swimmers in an individual event, both swimmers must have the OQT/FINA A cut, achieved at a FINA approved meet from March 1, 2019 through June 27, 2021. This is why Jake Mitchell (or anyone else for that matter in an individual event) could swim a time trial–because USA Swimming’s selection rules do not require the OQT to be achieved in the finals of Olympic Trials, but rather at any FINA approved meet within the time period. Note that based on the USA Swimming selection criteria, if Mitchell never got the time, USA Swimming was going to send a second swimmer in that spot who did have an OQT (highest finisher at Trials who also has an OQT… Read more »

Reply to  KMS
1 year ago

It’s the FINA A cuts. And the reason is because a few countries, like Australia and Britain are specifically trying to mimic the atmosphere that America has.

In most events, you have to be a medal threat (or at least a finals threat) to make top 2 in the US. That’s not really true for any other country in a majority of events.

The idea is that that pressure, that knowledge that being good enough to semi-final at the Games is not necessarily enough to get you there, is a big part of why America keeps producing top athletes. The standards are high enough to produce athletes that will meet them.

Other countries are trying to artificially… Read more »

1 year ago

This roster is a mess. They might not even win medal table in Tokyo. I’m only confident in Dressel, Ledecky and Murphy. Weakest roster in ages.

Reply to  damiansport1
1 year ago


Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

OK, you can add her. outside of that, many doubts.

Reply to  damiansport1
1 year ago

That’s what i meant but saying they might not win medal table. Team with most golds wins it.

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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