With Wave I of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials set to kick off on Friday, there has been increasing interest in the new two-meet wrinkles, especially around those athletes who qualify forward to the Wave II meet.
The Olympic selection meet was split to allow for smaller athlete fields amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Wave I will feature athletes who made the original Olympic Trials qualifying times, with the top 2 finishers in each event moving on to the Wave II meet the following week. Athletes who hit a new set of tougher qualifying times are locked into the Wave II meet already.
Below, we’ve tried to aggregate many of the questions that people have been asking about these qualifiers. If you have more, leave them in the comments, and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
Q1: Can the top 2 finishers from the Wave I meet stay in Omaha between meets?
A1: Yes, they and their coaches can stay or go home, whatever they like. In either scenario, their travel or lodging arrangements and costs are their own responsibility, be that through personal funding, team funding, or in some cases possible LSC funding
Q2: Will USA Swimming support the cost of these swimmers to stay and compete again?
Q2: USA Swimming won’t charge those athletes who finish top 2 in the Wave I meet an entry fee for the Wave II meet. That means the $40 per event fee will be waived.
In terms of hotels or travel to attend the Wave II meet, athletes and coaches are fully responsible for those costs and arrangements. As of right now, there does still appear to be some hotel rooms available in Omaha and surrounding areas for most of the meet, even with the allotted 100% capacity for the College World Series that overlaps the last weekend of the meet. You’ll pay up if you want to stay in the hotels right by the CHI Health Center, but you should be able to get a reasonable hotel rate elsewhere in town, for now.
Q3: Are the Top 2 finishers from Wave I required to race in Wave II?
There doesn’t appear to be any obligation to do so. But…
Q4: If a top 2 finisher from Wave I declines to race in Wave II, can the 3rd place finisher from Wave I take their spot?
Q5: Can the top 2 finishers from Wave I only race the event where they were top 2 in Wave II?
No, once they qualify for Wave II, swimmers can race any events there where they have the “original” cuts (aka the Wave I cut). So, if a swimmer were to finish top 2 in an event on Friday evening of Wave I and wanted to skip the rest of the meet and save their energy for Wave II, they could do that.
Q6: Are there A and B finals at the Wave I meet?
Yes, there is an A final (top 8 finishers from prelims) and B final (9-16 finishers from prelims) at the Wave I meet, but the top 2 finishers from the A final only will be eligible to advance – no matter how fast the B final winners go.
Q7: Will Awards be given for Wave I of the meet?
No, awards will be given for top 8 at the Wave II meet, but no awards will be given at the Wave I meet.
Q8: Can a swimmer who is qualified for Wave II also race at Wave I?
No. The rule to account for this and many similar questions is this: any swimmer qualified for Wave II has only one choice, which is to swim at the Wave II meet. At the Wave II meet, they can swim any events in which they have at least the Wave I qualifying standard.
Q9: Is it too late to enter the Wave I meet?
Yes, the entry deadline was 11:00AM Central Time on May 31, 2021. The Wave II entry deadline is June 8th at 11AM Central Time. Around 225 qualified Wave I swimmers chose not to enter the meet.
Q10: What if I swim a Wave II cut at the Wave I meet?
This won’t qualify you for the Wave II meet, unless you also finished top 2. Finishing top 2 is the only way to advance from the Wave I meet to the Wave II meet.