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:
- Nathan Adrian, 50 free, 100 free
- Zach Apple, 4×100 free relay
- Michael Chadwick, 4×100 free relay
- Pace Clark, 200 fly
- Jack Conger, 200 fly
- Kevin Cordes, 50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast
- Abrahm DeVine, 200 IM
- Caeleb Dressel, 50 free, 50 fly, 100 fly, 100 free, 4×200 free relay
- Conor Dwyer, 4×200 free relay
- Nic Fink, 200 breast
- Robert Finke, 1500 free
- Matt Grevers, 50 back, 100 back
- Zane Grothe, 400 free, 800 free, 4×200 free relay
- Townley Haas, 200 free, 4×100 Free Relay
- Chase Kalisz, 200 IM, 400 IM
- Jay Litherland, 400 IM
- Cody Miller, 50 breast, 100 breast
- Ryan Murphy, 100 back, 200 back
- Jacob Pebley, 200 back
- Tim Phillips, 100 fly, 50 fly
- Blake Pieroni, 200 free, 4×100 free relay
- Justin Ress, 50 back
- Clark Smith, 400 free, 800 free, 4×200 free relay
- True Sweetser, 1500 free
- Kathleen Baker, 50 back, 100 back, 200 back
- Elizabeth Beisel, 400 IM
- Mallory Comerford, 100 free, 4×200 free relay
- Madisyn Cox, 200 IM
- Hali Flickinger, 200 fly
- Bethany Galat, 200 breast
- Sarah Gibson, 100 fly, 50 fly
- Lilly King, 50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast
- Katie Ledecky, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 4×100 free relay
- Dakota Luther, 200 fly
- Simone Manuel, 50 free, 100 free, 4×200 free relay
- Melanie Margalis, 4×200 free relay, 200 IM
- Katie Meili, 50 breast, 100 breast
- Lia Neal, 4×100 free relay
- Cierra Runge, 4×200 free relay
- Leah Smith, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 400 IM
- Regan Smith, 200 back
- Olivia Smoliga, 100 back, 4×100 free relay
- Hannah Stevens, 50 back
- Kelsi Worrell, 50 fly, 100 fly, 4×100 free relay
- Abbey Weitzeil, 50 free
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.
THE WOMEN’S TEAM
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 Baker, Lilly King and Kelsi Worrell. Olivia 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
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.
Favorites into world champs
50 free: Proud
100 free: Adrian
200 free: Yang
400 free: Yang
800 free: Paltrinieri
1500 free: Paltrinieri
50 back: Xu
100 back: Xu
200 back: Murphy
50 breast: Peaty
100 breast: Peaty
200 breast: Wantanabe
50 fly: Santos
100 fly: Schooling
200 fly: Sakai
200 IM: Hagino
400 IM: Kalisz
4×100 free relay: U.S
4×200 free relay: U.S
4×100 medley relay: U.S
50 free: Sjostrom
100 free: Sjostrom
200 free: Ledecky
400 free: Ledecky
800 free: Ledecky
1500 free: Ledecky
50 back: Fu
… Read more »
No Ledecky in 4×200???
tkrisz – if an athlete is not a ‘relay only’ swimmer for an event, USA Swimming doesn’t list it. Couldn’t tell you why, but they’ve always run this way. So top 2 in 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, etc. won’t have those respective relays.
Do swimmers named to both the Worlds team and WUGs usually do both?
googal – Jared Anderson did a quick review, and found that 9/10 eligible for both did, in fact, swim both. The timing is a little different this year, and the travel could be brutal (both sites are very far away), but that’s what typically happens.
Per USA Swimming’s selection criteria, athletes named to the World Championship team are not eligible for the World University team:
2. Additional Requirements for Selection.
A. To ensure that USA Swimming selects the best possible team for the World Championships, all swimmers who qualify for the World Championships are ineligible for selection to the World University Games Team, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by USA Swimming. Athletes will be allocated to the teams for these two competitions in the following order of importance to USA Swimming and must swim in the competition to which they are assigned, unless otherwise excused pursuant to these Selection Procedures:
(i) 2017 World Championships
(ii) 2017 World University Games
ClubCoach – Swimmers in only relays or non-Olympic events at Worlds are allowed to swim both Worlds and WUGs. There are a handful of swimmers in that category this year. By my count: Lia Neal, Cierra Runge, Hannah Stevens, Zach Apple, Michael Chadwick and Justin Ress
I misunderstood the question. My bad
Would have been a great story if Andrew Wilson had made the team. It is still amazing that he swam at Emory. As the winner of the 50-Breast i hoped he could have made it.
Who are the assistant coaches? I believe it was already announced in Indy during the roster parade.
US potential in my opinion
MEN. Much will depend on Dressel’s schedule.
50 free. Dressel GOLD (if he has a smart schedule)/Adrian FINAL
100 free. Adrian GOLD/Dressel SILVER OR BRONZE
200 free. Haas GOLD/Pieroni FINAL
400 free. Grothe FINAL/Smith FINAL
800 free. Grothe FINAL/Smith FINAL
1500 free. Sweetser FINAL/Finke FINAL
50 back. Ress GOLD/Murphy BRONZE
100 back. Grevers SILVER OR BRONZE/Murphy SILVER OR BRONZE
200 back. Murphy SILVER OR BRONZE/Pebley BRONZE
50 breast. Cordes SILVER OR BRONZE/Miller FINAL
100 breast. Cordes SILVER OR BRONZE/Miller FINAL
200 breast. Cordes GOLD/Fink FINAL
50 fly. Dressel GOLD/Phillips FINAL
100 fly. Dressel GOLD/Phillips FINAL
200 fly. Conger BRONZE/Clark FINAL
… Read more »
Seems awfully realistic.
Except for Leah Smith not finaling in the 400IM
Sjostrom is going to lose? Not a chance. I agree the Chinese mens backstroker is the favorite. You don’t have much faith in Leah Smith? Dressel sweeping the 50/100 fly? I dont think he can win the 50 other guys go under 23. The men’s 100free is a crapshoot its all about who has the hot hand that day.
Sjostrom losing to Simone twice? what makes you think that will happen? And Dressel sweeping the fly? You think he will suddenly drop significant time in both events?
I believe he is telling the POTENTIAL, not the true results.As a potential, I agree.As a prediction, I disagree.
I fear we will see Sarah blasting 3 WR’s or more.And men 50 free/100free has five to six guys with a chance of winning.
I get the potential, I just don’t think Simone has the potential to win, Dressel I think does.
Murphy’s not in the 50 back because he didn’t win the 50 or 100 at trials
As a comparison, here’s is a Furry ‘Furriner’s rough summation of US prospects in Budapest
Relays: Clear favourites in all Olympic relays except M4X200 & W4X100 and those I’d weigh them as narrow favourites. Hard to judge just how seriously other major nations will take mixed relays given Olympic announcement came after most nations had concluded selections but US has to be seen as overwhelming favourites in both
Men: Very much in medal picture in both sprint FS and a chance of 1-2 in 100 but I see Scott as main hurdle. 50 a gold chance but not sure bet. Similarly in the mix in both 200 & 400, gold chances better in 200. Realistically needing significant time drops to… Read more »
Your predictions in W 100 free is almost as wrong as Mel.
Dont see dressel as potential gold on 50 fly and the 50 free 100 fly double is tough. Medal in one might cost on the other. Even semis might be tough.
I like Manuel, but she will not beat Sjostrom.
No way Dressel will win gold in 50fly. Even medaling is tough.
the one accurate comment gets downvoted
Most of these for the POTENTIAL. Are good picks,but Manuel does not even have the potential to win the sprint free races. She has potential to get silver,but sjostrom is far and away the favorite.
Any guesses on how to put together the mixed medley relay?
Murphy, King, Dressel, Manuel ???
I would go with Murphy, Cordes, Worrell, and Manuel.The difference between Worrell and Dressel will be lower than between Cordes and King.
Not sure what I would do…if we go by “best times” than the Worrell over Dressel makes sense to me, but if we are going by times swam at trials than it would make sense to keep Dressel on it and keep King. Although looking at straight trials times, Baker had a really fast 100 back (58.57) whereas Murphy and Grevers were both off their best times, 52.7 winning…I might consider throwing Baker on that relay, using the boys in the middle, and Manuel at the end. But maybe waiting and seeing how individuals are swimming during that week is the best way to make a decision at that point.
Are we just gonna forget that comerford beat Manuel in the 100. Manuel may have the experience,but you’ve seen how consistently comerford has stepped up on big stages this year. It would not surprise me if she beat Manuel at worlds.
I think the women usually swim fly and free on most mixed.
You have about a 6 second difference on the first three legs bk, br, fly so any 2 out of those 3 should be the male legs of the race. I’m inclined to go Murphy, Cordes, Worrell even though it might be slightly suboptimal on paper maybe dressel is overloaded and you want the men to get the team out in front in smooth water. I think thats what I would call the safe option but if King drops a WR on us then hell yeah let her swim it.
Prelims, Grievers Melli Phillips and Lea Neal. Or how about Ress, Miller Worrell Neal
Take the 4 best women and the 4 best men, mix them however you like for the prelim/final split. I just don’t see the US losing this one.
Robert Finke made the World Team at 17. That’s the youngest male in years, isn’t it?
He’s got a smooth stroke and a great sense of pace for a 1500 (and longer) swimmer.