The 2023-24 swimming season is underway, which means one thing: the Olympic campaign is here.
We’re now less than nine months away from the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials and the anticipation is building for what should be a spectacle at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the 380 men who have qualified for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials thus far, it’s time to see which female swimmers have made the cut as we stand here in late September.
So far, we count 304 women who have made the cut for the Trials, a significant drop relative to the men’s total.
2024 US Olympic Trials Standards:
|2:16.09||200m Individual Medley||2:03.49|
|4:49.89||400m Individual Medley||4:25.19|
Let’s learn a little bit more about who is qualifying.
- Note: LSC and club data can be a bit wonky if athletes change clubs during the qualifying period.
- See the 2021 data here to make fun comparisons. Remember there was an extra year on that qualifying period because of the COVID-19 delay.
Swimmers With The Most Events
Is there any surprise that Bella Sims, the swimmer who has the fastest time in 10 of 14 individual events in the girls’ high school class of 2023, leads all swimmers in terms of number of events qualified?
Sims has met the standard in a staggering 10 events, and it speaks to how Ron Aitken has developed his swimmers at the Sandpipers of Nevada with Katie Grimes ranking 2nd with nine events and Claire Weinstein tied for 4th with seven.
Although one could argue that all three swimmers are best in the freestyle events, they’re all extremely versatile and strong in the medley events, with Grimes notably the back-to-back World Championship silver medalist in the 400 IM.
A total of 13 athletes have qualified in at least six events, with Regan Smith ranking 3rd behind Sims and Grimes with eight events.
|Full Name||Club||LSC||Event Count|
|1||Sims, Bella||Sandpipers Of Nevada||CA||10|
|2||Grimes, Katie||Sandpipers Of Nevada||CA||9|
|3||Smith, Regan||Sun Devil Swimming||AZ||8|
|4||Weinstein, Claire||Sandpipers Of Nevada||CA||7|
|4||Smith, Leah||Longhorn Aquatics||ST||7|
|4||Bellard, Hannah||Club Wolverine||MI||7|
|7||Douglass, Kate||New York Athletic Club||MR||6|
|7||Shackell, Alex||Carmel Swim Club||IN||6|
|7||Nelson, Beata||Wisconsin Aquatics||WI||6|
|7||Pash, Kelly||Longhorn Aquatics||ST||6|
|7||Ledecky, Katie||Gator Swim Club||FL||6|
|7||Bray, Olivia||Longhorn Aquatics||ST||6|
|7||Kozan, Justina||Trojan Swim Club||CA||6|
Bella Sims‘ Qualified Events:
- 100 free – 53.73
- 200 free – 1:55.45
- 400 free – 4:03.25
- 800 free – 8:29.85
- 1500 free – 16:19.29
- 100 back – 1:01.50
- 100 fly – 59.74
- 200 fly – 2:09.89
- 200 IM – 2:12.15
- 400 IM – 4:43.83
The qualified female athletes for Trials represent 135 different clubs, not including seven unattached swimmers.
Most of the teams at the top are tied to colleges, with Longhorn Aquatics and Ohio State University leading the charge as the only two teams to qualify double-digit women.
The top club not attached to a university is Carmel Swim Club, which had five qualifiers. Unlike some other clubs not affiliated with colleges, Carmel actually had five of its current homegrown swimmers qualify (rather than those representing the club but primarily training at a university): Alex Shackell, Berit Berglund, Lynsey Bowen, Ellie Clarke and Molly Sweeney.
|2||Ohio State University||10|
|3||Indiana Swim Club||9|
|4||Alto Swim Club||8|
|6||University of Louisville||7|
|7||Sun Devil Swimming||6|
|7||University of Florida||6|
|7||Aggie Swim Club||6|
The 50 freestyle has generally been the event that has had the most qualifiers in past Olympic Trials, and while that doesn’t hold true on the men’s side this year, it is the case for the women.
The 50 free has had 58 qualifiers thus far, with all of the 100-meter events marking the next four highest, all with 51 or more swimmers qualified.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the 1500 free and 200 breaststroke, which both have the least number of qualifiers with 39.
|50 FR LCM||58|
|100 FR LCM||55|
|100 FL LCM||53|
|100 BK LCM||52|
|100 BR LCM||51|
|200 FR LCM||50|
|400 FR LCM||50|
|200 FL LCM||50|
|800 FR LCM||45|
|200 IM LCM||45|
|200 BK LCM||44|
|400 IM LCM||44|
|1500 FR LCM||39|
|200 BR LCM||39|
The 100 back, 50 free and 200 breast were the three events on the women’s side that got faster by more than one percent compared to the 2021 Olympic Trials standards, which certainly factors into the 200 breast being at the bottom of the heap and the 50 free having significantly fewer qualifiers than it did in the previous quad.
NUMBER OF QUALIFIERS VERSUS 2021
In 2021, the women’s 50 free had 130 qualifiers for Omaha, the most of any event, which marked a significant gap compared to the event with the lowest number of qualifiers, which was the 1500 free at 42—a difference of 88.
This year, the difference between the most-qualified-for-event and the least-qualified-for-event is 19.
|Event||Qualified Swimmers In 2021||Qualified Swimmers In 2024*||Difference|
*Through September 28, 2023
So far, 40 out of the 59 LSCs in USA Swimming are represented among the Olympic Trials qualifiers on the female side, with Southeastern Swimming and Indiana Swimming leading the way with 20 swimmers qualified apiece.
Places with big pro groups and elite college teams (where athletes represent their schools, not their home club) do often have an outsized number of swims versus swimmers. Southern California, for example, checks this box. More elite swimmers are more likely to have more qualifying times, so one explanation for these numbers is that “swimmers” shows depth, whereas “swims” represents more elite top-end talent.
Unlike the men’s side where we only saw two swimmers with multiple top times (and both only had two), the women’s top seeds are occupied by just seven swimmers across 14 events, with Katie Ledecky leading the charge with four and Regan Smith owning three.
Kate Douglass (100 free, 200 IM) and Smith (100/200 back, 200 fly) are the only swimmers, male or female, to have the top time across two different disciplines.
|50 Free||Abbey Weitzeil||24.00||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||California Aquatics||PC|
|100 Free||Kate Douglass||52.57||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||New York Athletic Club||MR|
|200 Free||Katie Ledecky||1:54.96||2023 TYR Pro Swim Series Ft. Lauderdale||Gator Swim Club||FL|
|400 Free||Katie Ledecky||3:58.73||2023 World Champs||Gator Swim Club||FL|
|800 Free||Katie Ledecky||8:07.07||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||Gator Swim Club||FL|
|1500 Free||Katie Ledecky||15:26.27||2023 World Champs||Gator Swim Club||FL|
|100 Back||Regan Smith||57.68||2023 World Champs||Sun Devil Swimming||AZ|
|200 Back||Regan Smith||2:03.80||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||Sun Devil Swimming||AZ|
|100 Breast||Lilly King||1:04.75||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||Indiana Swim Club||IN|
|200 Breast||Lilly King||2:20.95||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||Indiana Swim Club||IN|
|100 Fly||Torri Huske||56.18||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||Arlington Aquatic Club||PV|
|200 Fly||Regan Smith||2:03.87||2023 AZ SUN Sun Devil Open||Sun Devil Swimming||AZ|
|200 IM||Kate Douglass||2:07.09||2023 Phillips 66 National Championships||New York Athletic Club||MR|
|400 IM||Katie Grimes||4:31.41||2023 World Champs||Sandpipers Of Nevada||CA|
FULL LIST OF QUALIFIERS
The qualifying window for the Olympic Trials will close on May 30, 2024. The event will then take place from June 15-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.