How the 2021 U.S. Olympic Roster Looks after Night 1 of Trials

Night one of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials is in the books, with three new Trials champions crowned. Here’s how the roster is looking after the first session of finals:

2021 OLYMPIC ROSTER AFTER NIGHT ONE

Men’s 400 IM

Men’s 400 free

  • Kieran Smith, 3:44.86

Women’s 400 IM

The 2nd place finishers aren’t guaranteed a spot on the team yet, because of a cap on team size. Only 26 men and 26 women are allowed on the team, based on the fact that up until this year, there were 13 events with two individual spots for each. That’s changed with the addition of the 800 free for the men and the 1500 for the women, but the roster caps haven’t changed, and when you add in relay swimmers, it’s possible that the US may end up with more swimmers who could be qualified than there are spots on the team.

However, it’s extremely unlikely for 26 different men to qualify for each unique spot on the team. Rather, there are instances where someone like Caeleb Dressel might qualify in two or three events, thus opening up more spots for people who finish second.

Per the USA Swimming Selection Criteria, swimmers are selected for the team in four “priorities.” There are a few other nuances, including what happens if the rosters run out of room before all the swimmers in a certain priority are added, but that’s usually not an issue.

  • Priority #1. The first priority will be comprised of both (i) the four best finishing Available Swimmers based on finish order during the Finals of the Qualifying Competition in each of the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle Events, and (ii) the best finishing Available Swimmer based on finish order during the Finals of the Qualifying Competition in each of the individual Events other than the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle.
  • Priority #2. The second priority will be comprised of the second best finishing Available Swimmer based on finish order during the Finals of the Qualifying Competition in each of the individual Events other than the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle.
  • Priority #3. The third priority will be comprised of the fifth best finishing Available Swimmer based on finish order during the Finals of the Qualifying Competition in each of the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle.
  • Priority #4. The fourth priority will be comprised of the sixth best finishing Available Swimmer based on finish order during the Finals of the Qualifying Competition in each of the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle.

TENTATIVE QUALIFIERS FOR Tokyo

Men’s 400 IM

Men’s 400 free

  • *

Women’s 400 IM

*We had a very unusual situation tonight, where only one man in the 400 free final was under the FINA ‘A’ cut in the event. You can read the whole story here, but we’ll quote the most relevant information:

The #2 spot currently belongs to Zane Grothe thanks to a 3:45.78 at the 2019 World Championships. To be bumped, a swimmer doesn’t have to beat that time in Mission Viejo, they just have to hit the Olympic “A” standard of 3:46.78 AND have placed higher than Zane at Trials. So this means that the swimmers eligible to do so are: Ross Dant, Chris Wieser, Trey Freeman, Brooks Fail, Jake Mitchell, Andrew Abruzzo, Mitch D’Arrigo, Jake Magahey, and Coby Carrozza.

If more than one of those swimmers gets the “A” cut in Mission Viejo, the Bahamas, or at a Time Trial later this week, then whoever finished highest of those swimmers who hit the “A” cut go to Tokyo.

Kalisz will return to the US Olympic team in the event in which he earned a silver medal in Rio, while Smith and Weyant will both be first-time Olympians. Assuming Litherland and Flickinger make the team (and they should), they will also be 2nd-time Olympians. It’s a Bulldog-heavy (projected) roster so far, as Kalisz, Litherland, and Flickinger all swam at the University of Georgia.

The men’s 100 breast and women’s 100 fly semifinals were also contested tonight, with Michael Andrew and Torri Huske qualifying for the top seeds going into finals after tonight after each broke the American Record in their respective races.

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Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

Congratulations to all three!

run-dmc
1 month ago

I’ve been doubting Chase for the past three years. His negative attitude must be for show. Inside he’s a great competitor.

I knew from nationals 2019 that Emma Weyant was a threat. But to see her bring home that last 50 was amazing. I’m still recovering from it.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  run-dmc
1 month ago

Mute the TV for the best effect. Though it was never brought up, that existing theoretical Lane 7 threat (Leah Smith) on the whole freestyle leg outside the lane 3-4-5 cluster made that race a classic when in real time. Easy to dissect it afterwards, but in the moment you just couldn’t make the call (especially after just watching Litherland’s final 50).

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  run-dmc
1 month ago

Fabulous race.

I honestly thought Melanie Margalis would swim faster. In one race, the women posted the four fastest times in the women’s 400 meter individual medley for calendar year 2021.

Cate
Reply to  run-dmc
1 month ago

He’s been battling a shoulder injury. He talked about it in the post race presser.

Krishnasai
1 month ago

I feel so bad for Carson Foster

Khachaturian
Reply to  Krishnasai
1 month ago

at least he is young

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Krishnasai
1 month ago

I felt sick for Carson Foster and so relieved when Emma Weyant rallied. Those wild card spots need to go to the youth, especially in races like the 400 medley. Jay Litherland made me sick for the second trials in a row. That deep closer style is for suckers and fools. You cannot cede ground like that at highest level. When he chased down Lochte I knew that was throwing away a medal. Tonight wasn’t throwing away a medal but it deprived a spot to someone with much greater upside and a far more intelligent approach to the race.

akf
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 month ago

Being able to close like that is a real upside. Jay Litherland earned his spot for the 2nd trials in a row. Kudos to Jay!

Megbert
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 month ago

I felt sick for Jay Litherland. Those wild card spots need to be kept out of the hands of the young. The fly and die style is for suckers and fools. You must try to back half the race at the highest level. When he chased down and won the silver at world’s I knew the strategy is true. His win tonight solidifies that someone with greater upside and a more intelligent strategy wins.

Last edited 1 month ago by Megbert
Zanna
1 month ago

So Magahey gets another chance to put up a time? My money is on him to make it

PVSFree
Reply to  Zanna
1 month ago

Is there a chance one of those guys goes for a 400 time in the 800/1500? You’d have to figure for some of them, their odds at making the team on the 400 are better than their odds at making it on the 800/1500

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  PVSFree
1 month ago

Someone will try it.
Who? No idea.

Swammer
Reply to  PVSFree
1 month ago

Well I was hoping to see another Ross Dant mile backstroke but I guess it would be smarter if he actually swam the mile freestyle or went for the 400. 🙄but I’ll keep dreaming of a backstroke mile at trials.

Hswimmer
1 month ago

Pick em update?

Swammer22
1 month ago

Could someone explain how a time trial could make the team with an A cut in the 400 free? I thought only certain meet were eligible for Olympic qualifying times.

coach
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
1 month ago

Do you know where we can get time trial results? Omega still hasn’t posted time trial results from Wave 1.

ab88
1 month ago

these guys weren’t even close to the FINA A limit. I doubt anything will change..

Swimmer
Reply to  ab88
1 month ago

Yeah very rarely someone can improve that much in a span of 2 weeks, but you never know

DLswim
Reply to  ab88
1 month ago

Unless one of the guys that didn’t make the final misjudged what it would take to make the final and didn’t go 100%.

nx123
Reply to  DLswim
1 month ago

I think that’s exactly what happened with Magahey. This 400 free is definitely not over yet

MTK
1 month ago

Can’t believe people were doubting Kalisz for the past 2 years since the 400IM flop at Worlds. His comments at 2019 Worlds even seemed to indicate that he hadn’t trained as hard that year for the 400, because he knew he was going to be really grinding in late 2019 through the lead-up to trials, so he was giving himself a bit of a breather.