Isabella Rongione from the Fish swim team in Virginia will be the youngest swimmer swimmer at next week’s USA Swimming National Championships and World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, Indiana.
But not by much.
Rongione, who is a rising distance star and a multi-time National Age Group Record breaker will be 13 years, 8 months, and 11 days old when the meet starts next week, which is 6 days younger than another star-in-the-making Cassidy Bayer from the Nation’s Capital Aquatic Club (not too far away, either).
Neither swimmer is just coming along for the ride, either; Rongione is seeded 9th in the women’s 1500 free (though it will be a tall order for her to final) and 17th in the 800 free, while Bayer is seeded as high as 21st out of 35 in the 200 fly.
Both girls will age up in September, with Bayer’s birthday falling on September 9th (9-9-99) and Rongione’s coming the week after on September 15th.
On the men’s side of the meet, things have gotten a little younger than at the Olympic Trials; unlike in Omaha, there will be a 14-year old there, and it’s not the one you might guess. Clearwater distance National Age Group Record breaker Matthew Hirschberger has qualified to swim both the men’s 800 and 1500, though this will largely be a big learning opportunity as he is the last seed in each.
The oldest swimmers, meanwhile, will still be significantly younger than what we saw at last year’s Olympic Trials. There will be no 45-year old Dara Torres, no 40-year old Janet Evans, no 40-year old Erika Braun, and no 40-year old Steve West.
Instead, this year, the oldest woman will be T2’s Erika Erndl, who is entered in a stunning six events at 35 years old. She is seeded 6th in the 100 fly and 13th in the 100 free, which are her two best opportunities to qualify for Barcelona, though she’s really improved her 200 IM and is seeded 10th there as well. What’s really impressive about her six-events in five-days schedule is that all six of them are Olympic events, so she’s not just loaded up on 50’s.
The next two oldest are Randall Bal (November 14th, 1980) and Anthony Ervin (May 26th, 1981), who will both be 32 years old when the meet starts.
The average age of swimmers at this meet (counting out whole years only) comes out to about 19.7 years old.
Below is a table of the youngest and oldest qualifiers on the list. There are a total of 24 swimmers under the age of 16 among the 458 entered.
|Cassidy Bayer||13||Nation’s Capital|
|Isabella Rongione||13||The Fish|
|Claire Adams||14||Carmel Swim Club|
|Kendall Brent||14||Swim Florida|
|Megan Byrnes||14||Nation’s Capital|
|Matthew Hirschberger||14||Clearwater Aquat|
|Emily Meilus||14||Nation’s Capital|
|Amy Bilquist||15||Scottsdale Aquat|
|Katherine Drabot||15||Ozaukee Aquatics|
|Erin Emery||15||Sandpipers Of Ne|
|Brad Gonzales||15||Irvine Novaquatics|
|Elise Haan||15||T2 Aquatics|
|Kaitlin Harty||15||Greenwood Memori|
|Cassandra Jernberg||15||Schroeder YMCA|
|Kennedy Lohman||15||Lakeside Swim|
|Rebecca Mann||15||Clearwater Aquat|
|Katie McLaughlin||15||Mission Viejo|
|Courtney Mykkanen||15||Irvine Novaquatics|
|Destiny Nelson||15||Frisco Aquatics|
|Mary Pelton||15||North Baltimore|
|Asia Seidt||15||Lakeside Swim|
|Alexandra Szekely||15||Central Bucks|
|Lilly Vivado||15||Bluefish Swim|
|Elizabeth Zeiger||15||Bluefish Swim|
|Natalie Coughlin||30||California Aquat|
|Mark Gangloff||31||New York Athleti|
|Randall Bal||32||Arden Hills Swim SN/NYAC|
|Anthony Ervin||32||California Aquat|
|Erika Erndl||35||T2 Aquatics|