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
- Chase Kalisz, 4:09.09
Men’s 400 free
- Kieran Smith, 3:44.86
Women’s 400 IM
- Emma Weyant, 4:33.81.
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
- Jay Litherland, 4:10.33
Men’s 400 free
Women’s 400 IM
- Hali Flickinger, 4:33.96
*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.