2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS
- Wave I Dates: June 4-7, 2021
- Wave II Dates: June 13-20, 2021
- Prelims: 10am CDT | Finals: 7pm CDT
- Where: CHI Health Center / Omaha, Nebraska
- 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying Cuts
- Wave I & II Event Order
- LCM (50m)
- Wave II Psych Sheets
Upon the pre-scratch psych sheets for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials (Wave II) dropping this morning, everyone instantly clamored to see what events Caeleb Dressel had put on his schedule.
Dressel, who has been the world’s most dominant male swimmer since the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games, has entered in six events for Omaha, found below:
- 50 free (#1 seed, 21.04)
- 100 free (#1 seed, 46.96)
- 200 free (#11 seed, 1:47.31)
- 100 fly (#1 seed, 49.50)
- 200 fly (#9 seed, 1:56.29)
- 200 IM (#14 seed, 1:59.97)
The first four events on the list above are no-brainers. Dressel is the two-time defending world champion in the men’s 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly, and it would be hard to argue that he isn’t the favorite to win Olympic gold in all three in just over a month’s time.
As for the 200 free, Dressel’s primary motivator to enter that race is likely to put his name in the hat for the 800 free relay, an event in which he hasn’t yet represented the U.S. in on the international stage. Prevailing sentiment is that he’ll give the race a go in the prelims and try to post a time that gives him consideration for the relay in Tokyo, similar to what Michael Phelps did in 2008 in the 100 freestyle.
Dressel owns a PB of 1:47.31 in the 200 free, making him the 11th seed in the event, but it’s pretty wide open at the top, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him head for the semis and see where it takes him if he feels good about his prelim.
The other two events the 24-year-old has entered are the 200 fly and 200 IM. Gregg Troy‘s swimmers have commonly over-entered events and scratched several in past meets, and it would certainly be a surprise to see Dressel take on either, especially given how the scheduling works out.
If Dressel went for the 200 free final, the 200 fly semis would fall later that same session. Then, the 200 fly final comes shortly after the 100 free semis the next night. And then the 200 IM? There’s only one event separating its semis from the 100 free final.
If we look back at the 2016 Trials, Dressel entered seven events (50/100/200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 fly, 200 IM) and only ended up swimming four of them – scratching the 100 fly semis and failing to advance out of the 200 free heats.
Dressel qualified for the 2016 Olympic team at the age of 19 in the 100 freestyle, ultimately placing sixth in the Olympic final while adding a pair of relay gold medals in Rio, and he also placed fourth in the 50 free at Trials.
So, while he’s entered six events to keep his options open, and we know he can handle doubles extremely well, it would still be surprising to see Dressel risk Olympic spots in his primary events to tackle additional ones, given how the schedule plays out.
Assuming he does not swim the 200 fly, Dressel could swim all the way through to the 200 free final before any of his other races, so that’s certainly in play. He did race the final of the event at the 2017 World Trials, ending up sixth overall.