Full American Roster For The 2017 World Championships

Now that the U.S. World Championship Trials have wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at their roster for Budapest and give it a little analysis.

Take a look at the full roster below:



In terms of experience, the women’s team has a higher percentage of 2016 Olympians, yet both rosters have an equal amount of inexperience. A third of each roster is entering their first Olympics or LC World Championships.


In total, the women’s team has 21 swimmers, with 14 of them 2016 Olympians. In addition, six of those 14 were individual medalists, and an additional six won medals in relays. With two thirds of the roster swimming in Rio last year and one third entering their first major international competition, the team has a nice blend of youth and experience.

In terms of where their strengths and weaknesses are, it’s easy to look at freestyle as their biggest strength. Katie Ledecky has won back-to-back World and Olympic titles in the 200 through 800 free, and also won the 1500 in Kazan. With the improvements of Leah Smith, the U.S. could easily have two women on the podium in the majority of those events, with the 200 likely being the biggest challenge.

On top of their prowess in the 200 and up, Simone Manuel was the co-Olympic champion last year in the 100 free, and was beaten out in Indianapolis by rising star Mallory Comerford. So the U.S. is looking good there.

The sprint back, breast and fly have at least one potential medalist in each, led by Kathleen BakerLilly King and Kelsi WorrellOlivia Smoliga and Katie Meili are also right on the doorstep and could snag a minor medal, like Meili did last year in Rio. The 200 IM is also looking strong, with a legit 1-2 punch in Melanie Margalis and Madisyn Cox.

They are maybe weakest in the 200 fly, where Hali Flickinger is a potential medalist if she has a big swim but is still only ranked 10th in the world this year. Last year the women’s 200 breast was the weakest event overall, with no finalists, but King and Bethany Galat seem to have that now under control ranked 2nd and 4th in the world.

There really isn’t one major glaring weakness on the women’s team. The 50 free, 50 fly, 100 fly and 400 IM are a few events where they could struggle to have two women in the final, but even there they have strong medal chances from their other entrant.

They should have continued success in the relays as well. The defending Olympic champ Aussies may be trouble in the 4×100 free, but the loss of Cate Campbell this year certainly hurts them. The medley relay shouldn’t be a problem, and no one boasts their depth in the 4×200 free.


The men’s team is a bit bigger with 24 on the roster, but they do have the same number of Olympians (14). 13 of them competed in Rio, as we know Matt Grevers has made a triumphant return to the team. Along with the 14 Olympians, there are 8 entering their first Worlds or Olympics. There are two others, Tim Phillips and Nic Fink, who have previously been on the World Championship team but never on the Olympic team. Their roster includes five men who medaled individually last summer, and an additional six who won relay medals.

Their most obvious weakness is the men’s 1500, where we saw many big names sit out. True Sweetser and Robert Finke, ranked 9th and 10th in the world, will need to have best times just to make the final, but either way will be gaining valuable experience for the future.

Though Clark Smith and Zane Grothe are a bit more established in the U.S., they’ll both be swimming their first individual events at a major international meet, as Smith only swam on the 4×200 prelim relay in Rio. Both could potentially medal in say, the 400, but they will have to be dialed in for the prelims. The men’s distance events are always fast in the morning, and it usually results in a big name or two missing the final because they didn’t execute.

The distance free events are probably where they’ll have the most difficulty medalling, with strong contenders leading the charge in the other events. Caeleb Dressel will contend for individual medals in the sprint free and fly events, and he’ll be joined by the ever reliable Nathan Adrian in the free. Tim Phillips also posted some quick times at Nationals and looks like a good to bet to final in the 50 and 100 fly.

They’re well covered in backstroke with Ryan Murphy, Grevers, Jacob Pebley and Justin Ress all legitimate medal hopes. Kevin Cordes and Cody Miller lead the breaststroke lineup, and Chase Kalisz will contend for gold in the 400 IM.

The 200 IM may be one where there’s a bit of a question mark, but there’s sort of a question mark around the world in this event. With no Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte this year, this one is really anyone’s game. And though Kalisz and Abrahm DeVine probably wouldn’t be anyone’s first pick to medal in the event, in Indianapolis Kalisz was faster than the silver medal winning time in Rio, and DeVine was faster than the bronze medal winning time.

The 400 free relay looks to be back on top of the world, with two guys sub-48 and two 48.2 at Trials they’re looking like the favorites for gold. The medley relay will only be an issue if the British can shore up their opening leg, and though the 4×200 might not be as dominant as it once was, they’re still the favorites for gold with three men ranked inside the world’s top-8.

With the mixed relays really anything could happen, but the U.S. is certainly capable of contending for gold in both the 4×100 free and 4×100 medley.

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3 years ago

I still don’t understand how Gibson got the 50 fly spot behind Worrell and not Moffit?

Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

Hswimmer – only the winners of the non-olympic events made the team. The second spots go to athletes already on the World Championships team, which Gibson was from the 100 fly.

Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

It is all stated in their meet selection process that was published for all to see before Nationals

3 years ago

I’d like to see home teams and coaches named.

Reply to  Mac
3 years ago

I’d like to see the OW swimmers acknowledged.

3 years ago

At what point do swimmers have to announce whether they intend to swim all their events? I’m wondering about Leah Smith. If she drops the 1500, would that move the second place finisher onto the team?

SEC fan
Reply to  northernsue
3 years ago

I think it would be smart for Smith to drop the 1500 since it is at the beginning of the meet. It will tax her in all her other events. And she can still rock silver in her 4 and 8 free and the 4IM, but if she swims that 1500 on the second day of the meet, she may be tired in her other races, including the 4x200FR. I believe the 2nd place 1500 swimmer, Hannah Moore, would make the roster, but I’m not sure.

Reply to  SEC fan
3 years ago

But presumptuous to say she can “rock” silver in 800fr/400im – Isn’t it? I have a good few athletes ahead of her in both. You say it like it’s a dead cert.

Reply to  SEC fan
3 years ago

Hannah Moore would not be added – they’d give the spot to someone else already on the roster.

Reply to  SEC fan
3 years ago

That girl is “untaxable.” She’s like the Eveready rabbit.

Reply to  northernsue
3 years ago

Smith said in her post race interview with NBC that she intends to swim it.

bobo gigi
Reply to  dmswim
3 years ago

The US relay will need Leah Smith at her best. She has very few medal chances in the 1500 free and no chances at all in the 200 free.

Reply to  bobo gigi
3 years ago

time for predictions!
Who is going to medal in Hungary?

Reply to  DDias
3 years ago

Speaking of this, when will swimswam post their event-by-event predictions? Cannot wait

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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