Predicting Tokyo: SwimSwam 2020 US Olympians Draft

The following is a lightly edited transcript of a Slack chat that took place over the last three weeks. This is part 1 of 2. The last 4 rounds will be published in part 2. People’s opinions expressed below are their own. I’m certain some of you will disagree with some of them. Feel free to comment why our picks were so unwise (or wise). 

andrew Hello and welcome to the second annual SwimSwam mid cycle US Olympic draft. 8 SwimSwam contributors will attempt to defeat each other by drafting the best possible 2020 Olympic rosters. The goal is to determine where people’s expectations are about a year before trials. Which swimmers do we expect to dominate in Tokyo? How do we value up and coming swimmer’s chances? Do we expect aging stars to make one more team?

I’m very curious to see how our opinions have changed since a year ago. Who will be the highest drafted swimmer from last to not get picked this go round? Who are the biggest risers?

Here are the links to last year’s draft for reference:
Rounds 1-4
Rounds 5-8

Points system (same as last time):

Individual events: Gold: 12, Silver: 8, Bronze: 4

Relay Events Finals Swimmer: Gold: 6, Silver: 4, Bronze: 2

Relay Events Prelims only swimmer: Gold 3, Silver: 2, Bronze: 1

6 points for each individual event a swimmer qualifies

Only US Swimmers competing for the US at the Olympics. Open water events not included.

Participating in the draft are myself (Andrew Mering), Braden Keith, Nick Pecoraro,  Lauren Neidigh, Karl Ortegon, Reid Carlson, Robert Gibbs, and Morgan Priestley. There will be 8 rounds for a total of 64 swimmers drafted.

The draft will be conducted in a snake format (the draft order will be reversed every round).

By random draw the order of the first round will be:


Good luck to everyone. I’ll try not to defeat you all too badly.

Nick of course I’m last the first round…

andrew Think of it as being first in the second round

Morgan P Absolutely brutal being stuck outside the top few picks haha

Nick thanks Morgan

Morgan P You just hate to see that

karl 🙂 I pick Caeleb Dressel

Morgan P Shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

andrew No one saw that one coming.

Prepare your selves for another surprise. I pick Katie Ledecky.

Lauren Simone Manuel
Glad I’m not last this time lol

Robert Gibbs Regan Smith

andrew Over the last 18 months she has one top 3 time in the world. That’s a big bet on potential only a year out with world record holders in their prime sitting there.

Nick There’s so many amazing US women backstrokers, shame only top 2 in each event go to Tokyo

Braden Keith I’ll take Lilly King. There’s others on the board with more upside in terms of event quantity (Comerford, Baker) but I like the “safety” bet in the first round.
But if Regan hits…she could make the team in 4 individual events and all 3 relays. That’s a lot of points just for being there.

Robert Gibbs Reid took Smith 1st last year

andrew 2nd.

Robert Gibbs Oh right

Reid Because I believe what Braden just said is true.

Morgan P Well played, Reid

Braden Keith To me Katie and Caeleb are no doubt 1-2. Regan is worth a risk anywhere after that.
1-2 in some order*

Nick I mean Katie has 3 automatic golds in the 400/800/1500, no questions asked

Robert Gibbs I didn’t think Smith would fall to 4. I was planning on Manuel, or the person I assume will go next.

Braden Keith I think a question was asked at Aussie trials…

andrew King is so dominant, it’s hard for me to put an upside swimmer ahead of her.

Braden Keith @andrew that was my feeling too. Though there’s some risk there that she’ll miss the team in the 200 with Lazor and Sumrall swimming so well.

andrew With the new relay, she can win 3 medals just for swimming the 100 breast

Nick one more than Rio so that’s a plus

Morgan P Alrighty, let’s go with Ryan Murphy

Braden Keith Good choice. What do we think are his free relay chances? He’s made overtures…

Nick that would be great to see

Morgan P Ehh. No idea.
100 free is the only one he’d realistically go for, and it’s a moderately tough double with the 200 back at Trials

karl I don’t see him going for that
too many potential 48-low or betters

Morgan P (2 back semis, then 1 women’s event, then the 1 free final)
But, hey, he’s been under 49, could see him in the mix if he really wants it

Braden Keith I’d say 200 is better bet for him. Always seems to be someone sneak onto that relay that’s not a primary freestyler.

karl no way is ryan murphy going to legitimately contest for the 800 free relay at trials

Morgan P ^that’s the type of strong opinion we want out here at SwimSwam
But Karl’s right, it’s the same day as the 100 back at Trials
With only one women’s event in between on the night of finals
(Assuming same order as 2016)

Nick Ryan would have to drop 2 seconds off his lifetime best in the 200 to get at least 6th, which was a 1:47

Morgan P I mean, to be fair…

andrew If it was the opposite order maybe he’d go for it, but with the 100 back 2nd, no way

Morgan P USA Swimming’s 200 freestyle depth has… left much to be desired in some recent years
To put it mildly

andrew If he wants a spot on that relay he needs to pull a Phelps: put up a fast time in prelims, then scratch the later rounds. Then use the fast time to convince the coaches to put him on the relay at the Olympics

karl with Seliskar, Haas, and Pieroni likely 1:45, Dressel now gunning for it, plus Grothe/Levant/Conger/House have all been 1:46 in the last two years, you have Urlando on a huge uptick and he went 1:47 in season and broke the NAG…
Drew Kibler, Kieran Smith, Patrick Callan, Trey Freeman all with 1:46 potential, plus of course Dean Farris
Obviously swimmers want more medals.. but I think we are expecting too much of people to just jump on free relays for the sake of swimming prelims to add to a medal count

Nick @andrew it’d be a great argument. he can always pull the hot swimmer card.

Reid Suppose I’m going to go with Kathleen Baker. Individual medal potential plus relay potential is pretty solid. Having that mixed 4 x 100 medley helps too.

Nick well I’m truly shocked no one picked him but I’m going with Michael Andrew. He has a great shot of medalling in the 50 free and even sneaking in the 100 breast top 2. Not to mention, another #2 contender for FL/BK/2 IM.

Morgan P Solid call. He’s a 0 medal or 4 medal guy in my book

Reid I really thought I’d get him next round. Dang.
Well, Nick, you get two in a row!

–End of Round 1–

Round 1 Summary

Karl Caeleb Dressel
Andrew Katie Ledecky
Lauren Simone Manuel
Robert Regan Smith
Braden Lily King
Morgan Ryan Murphy
Reid Kathleen Baker
Nick Michael Andrew


–Start of Round 2–

Nick wonderful, in that case I’m gonna take Luca Urlando
another swimmer who has a shot at multiple events. 200 fly for sure, but he is a big time contender for the 100 fly. My question is what other events will he swim?

karl guessing he will do 200 IM and 200 free, and maybe 100/200 back, too.
depends on what conflicts with the fly

Nick would he be an 8 FR-R contender?

Morgan P Gah, solid call
Reid, I’m debating between two people, do me a favor and pick one of them so I don’t have to make another decision today

karl yeah I mentioned him earlier, I think if he’s going 1:47 in-season I would definitely not count him out

Reid Morgan, I’m the same… decision coming in a second.

Morgan P My man!

Reid Okay, my decision is: Mallory Comerford.

Morgan P Hmmmmmmmm alright. That was neither of my picks haha
I’ll go Kalisz

Reid That was my other pick: Kalisz.

Morgan P Had my eye on a different sprinter (who will almost certainly go before I get to pick again), but Kalisz seems like a safer bet, particularly for individual medals

Reid Two individual medals for sure. Zero relay medals. Mallory, potential for 4 relay medals. I don’t remember scoring, relay versus individual medal points, but tbh, Larkin’s 1:55 a couple weeks ago got me a little anxious about the 200 IM.
And I feel like Desplanche from Switzerland has something big in store come next summer. I still see Kalisz on the podium in both races, and probably champ in the 400 IM, but versus Comerford’s relay potential… it was a tough choice.
So, Morgan, was your other pick Leah Smith?

andrew “a different sprinter” “Leah Smith”
Or he could be misdirecting.

Reid Ah. Missed that message.
But I mean, all racing is sprinting. Some sprints just take longer to finish than others.

andrew Ha. Now you sound like my high school coach

Reid Some coaches subscribe to the “sprint,” “middle-distance,” and “distance” training groups. Others view it as “short-sprint,” “mid-sprint,” and “long-sprint.”

Nick long sprint is a non-sense name

Braden Keith I’m down to 2: Ella Eastin and Leah Smith. Leah Smith has been swimming so well; Eastin has so much potential and keeps getting hit by bad luck at the wrong moment.
I went safe in round 1, so I’m going to gamble in round 2 and take Eastin. She’ll have a full pro cycle to train and I think she’s going to bust through.

Robert Gibbs Just catching up here…Urlando went round 1, wow.

Nick I started off round 2 with Urlando

Robert Gibbs I’m going to go with Townley Haas. The USA men have a few guys who could end up on both free relays, and of that group, I think he’s got the best shot at an individual medal.

Lauren I’m thinking

Lauren I’m going Andrew Seliskar

Robert Gibbs Have to think he’ll make the 4×200 again. It’ll be interesting to see if he can add another event (200 fly or IM), or if he’s now strictly a freestyler on the international level.

Nick after his NCAA performance, I would say he has a great chance with the 2 IM. can he do the 2 BR? It’s very competitive (as any other event is), but can he pull it off?

Robert Gibbs 2:12 PR from 4 years ago.

Reid He could even be a contender in the 100 fly after that 51.4 last week.

Nick I totally agree on that one

Reid Dressel is the clear favorite, and Conger’s PR at 51.00 is fast for sure, but Seliskar, Urlando, and Andrew will all be in the mix. If Seliskar decides to go for it.

Nick 2020 is gonna be crazy!

karl i think out of the #2 guys in the 100 fly, I would look to Andrew/Conger/Seliskar more than Urlando. I don’t know if he has quite the front-end speed yet. Conger I have no idea what to think about lately. Andrew I don’t know if I can see finishing as hard as he will need to against people who are also great 200 butterfliers.

Reid It’ll be interesting to see how Seliskar and Devine match up in the 200 IM. I think Kalisz wins it, but who knows about 2nd at OTs next summer.

karl what Seliskar will go after at Trials is an interesting thought, too. He could feasibly go for 100 free, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 breast, 100/200 fly. Maybe even 100 breast? Probably not the 100 breast, but he certainly could
yeah and I think Andrew will have somethin to say in the 200 IM, too.

Nick for Urlando, if not the 100 FL definitely the 200 FL

karl Urlando i feel very confident about making the 200 fly, and then with an outside shot at the 4×2. That’s as far as I see for him next summer, but could be proved wrong. This year he’s had insane upswing

andrew I’m going to double down on women’s distance. I pick Leah Smith. 2 events qualified for floor, I think she could get as many as 4. She may not be as strong of a medal contender as last Olympic cycle (her events have improved), but she’s got a shot.

karl shoooooooooooooooooooot

Robert Gibbs I was debating picking her, but like you said, a lot more competition for those medals next year.

karl i thought i was going to get away with getting her
Smith is a great pick
I was going to pick Mallory but she has already been chosen… I feel very good about the men’s sprints, so I’ll go with Blake Pieroni
IU is having fantastic results, and I could see him on at least the 4×1 and 4×2. And I think he could be an outside medal shot in the 1 or the 2.
more so going for some relay medal security though

–End of Round 2–

Round 2 Summary

Nick Luca Urlando
Reid Mallory Comerford
Morgan Chase Kalisz
Braden Ella Eastin
Robert Townley Haas
Lauren Andrew Seliskar
Andrew Leah Smith
Karl Blake Pieroni

–Start of Round 3–

karl Anyways, I will take Kelsi Dahlia

andrew I’m going to stay in the distance realm. Zane Grothe.

Robert Gibbs He feels very similar to Smith individually, although probably not as likely to end up on the 4×200.

andrew I think Grothe is more likely to qualify 3 individuals than Smith, but I agree, they are very comparable

Robert Gibbs Which event(s) do you think Smith could be challenged?

Nick I can only picture the 200 free and 4 IM, if she does it

andrew I think Smith’s 400 and 800 are safe bets. The 400 IM, 200 free and 1500 are marginal

Robert Gibbs Makes sense. And I’d say Grothe is the clear front-runner for all three distance events right now.

Nick what about Wilimovsky?

andrew Not the 1500

Robert Gibbs Fair. I always forget about Wilimovsky in the pool.
And Finke could come on strong.

Jared I know it was my fault planning my honeymoon over draft day, but I’m a still a little disappointed you guys didn’t save Dressel for me again
On a serious note, this is where it starts to get interesting to me. Most of the blue chippers are off the board, and we’re going to start to get into the picks with more projection to them

karl hi @Lauren

Nick hurry up Lauren wake up and smell the drafting

Jared I heard Lauren is strongly considering Missy Franklin again

Robert Gibbs Phelps 2020

Nick smh

karl hahahah
i mean.. there is someone who gets off his ban in a month who could feasibly make the team in at least a relay..

Robert Gibbs Part of me would love to see Lochte make the team in the 200 IM and the 4×200.

Reid He did go a 1:58 200 IM at Mel Zajac last summer before he got suspended.

Nick I really think he will have a great comeback
what about Coughlin??? I mean backstroke might be a longshot, but that 100 free spot is so doable for her

karl i don’t doubt her ability, but I doubt her interest in making the time with her daughter and with ISL stuff and life in general
“No, not at all. I don’t want to say ‘never,’ but [going to the Olympics] is not in my mind at all,” Coughlin said. “I know what I need to do to be successful at the Olympic stage and Olympic Trials, and right now I just don’t have the time – or frankly the desire – to do it.” from Torrey’s piece in SI

Nick anything can happen in 12 months

Lauren Sorry guys at work for a couple more hours then I’ll go. Still haven’t decided
Omg no what am I saying
Dean Farris
Why did I have to think about that

Braden Keith Lauren I’m starting to think that the reason you lose these drafts isn’t because you pick last lol

Jared Ahahaha a Braden-burn

Jared OK, I get that you can’t overstate how good Farris was at NCAAs. But I think by-and-large, people are too high on him in long course for the moment. I’m just not sold that a great 200-yard freestyle should automatically cross over into an equivalent 200-meter free. They’re very, very different races. He’s dropping very fast, but his lifetime-bests (48.5/1:47.9) still need really good drops to make the team. And the competition is pretty thick.
On the flip side, I get it as an scoring pick. All Dean has to do is be 6th in one or the other and he’s probably bringing home gold. But I think he’ll be hard-pressed to get the 6 points for an individual Olympic qualification, and that alone is worth as much as two prelims relay golds

(editor’s note: this exchange was before the start of WUGs where Farris split a 47.0 on a 400 free relay)

Robert Gibbs Don’t doubt The Dean, Jared. 🙂

Lauren I’m taking a risk because I want to see how things play out with the redshirt and training at Texas

Robert Gibbs I’m going to with the swimmer with the most Olympic Trials cuts as of a few days ago – Hali Flickinger.

karl She was one of the first people to come to mind when I thought about this draft in terms of range. Incredibly versatile. It feels like she’s 2:04 capable in the 200 fly, and she recently broke 1:58 in the 200 free for the first time. Can’t count her out of the 4×2, and she could certainly go after a 4IM or something

Robert Gibbs I was contemplating going with a couple swimmers who could end up on multiple relays, but I think she’s almost certainly a lock for 1 individual event, has a good chance at getting another 1 or 2, and also increasingly likely to end up on the 4×200.

Jared Yeah, tbh I think this format really favors individual standouts over the borderline relay types. Which is nice, because it feels like 100/200 freestylers usually get overvalued in any other analysis we do

Braden Keith I’ll take Katie McLaughlin. Seems like she’s all the way back, should get a spot on the 800 free relay, individual in the 200 fly, and has a chance at individuals in 100 fly and 200 free as well.

Robert Gibbs I was seriously considering her for my pick.

Braden Keith I will trade her to you for Regan Smith

Robert Gibbs Just decided Flickinger had a little more upside on the individual events.
Yeah, no trade there.

Braden Keith I’ll throw in Lauren’s 4th round pick

Robert Gibbs Unlike the Mets, I try to avoid bad trades.

karl Nooooo
Thought she’d fly under the radar
*fly* under the radar 😉

just as in past trials, there’s so many first-time swimmers who are more than likely to shut out the veterans. McLaughlin is certainly one of them.

Morgan P I’m up, yeah? Gimme Abbey Weitzeil. I feel like I must have missed news that’s she’s done swimming or something, feels crazy that she’s still in the board. Feel like we would have seen a special 100 at NCAA’s if she wasn’t hurt.

Robert Gibbs Briefly thought about Weitzeil for my pick too. She should make the team at least in the 4×100, but I felt Flickinger’s upside is higher in individual events.

karl Weitzeil and Flickinger are right about equal in my mind, but Flickinger has a tiny edge. I think Flickinger feels like a lock in 200 fly, and a maybe for the 4×2, while Weitzeil feels like a solid 50 free 2nd spot choice, and probably on the 4×1. If we’re going off of medals, though, I don’t see the US getting anything but silver (maybe gold with a Megan Romano-like anchor situation from 2013) in the 4×1, while Flickinger I think isn’t quite as much of a lock for a medal individually. so it’s very close

Reid Alright, I’m going with Jordan Wilimovsky.

Nick I will happily take Annie Lazor, she is a major threat in the 2 breast. The PecoRADAR is issuing a world record watch for the next year in the 2 breast

Robert Gibbs ^^^^ ditto

–End of Round 3–

Round 3 Summary

Karl Kelsi Dahlia
Andrew Zane Grothe
Lauren Dean Farris
Robert Hali Flickinger
Braden Katie McLaughlin
Morgan Abbey Weitzeil
Reid Jordan Wilimovsky
Nick Annie Lazor

–Start of Round 4–

Nick okay me again. I will take Nathan Adrian. I do not doubt his abilities whatsoever. I think by the time June 2020 comes he will be the great relay asset he is. Individually, not sure. But I got hope.

Robert Gibbs Tough to figure out where to peg Adrian right now. He looks like he’s doing great after cancer, but he’s facing a lot of stiff competition from the younger guys.

Agreed that he should be at least a lock for the 4×100 relay, but there’s one more sprinter left who not only could get an individual spot in the 100 free, but could also make the 4×200.

Nick @Robert Gibbs do you really think Adrian will bump up to the 200 FR?

Robert Gibbs No.
I was making a somewhat oblique reference to a swimmer I would probably take before Adrian.
“but there’s one more swimmer left”

Nick oh I see now. you think Adrian will be the 2012 Lezak of Tokyo and just snag a spot for 6th?

Robert Gibbs Hard to say right now.

Jared Adrian is so rock solid. I could see him swimming into his late-30s if he wanted to

karl Would not be surprised to see Adrian make individual 100 free in Tokyo. I’m leaning Andrew for 2nd spot in the 50, but Adrian could be in a mixed relay and a 4×1 free.

Nick I think it might be a repeat of London and Adrian might get edged in the 50 but utilize that 100 free individually and in relays

Reid I’m going with whom I *think* is the other sprinter Robert has referenced: Zach Apple.

karl there’s a good pick

Braden Keith I think that’s a great pick

karl really strong potential in the 50/100/200 honestly

Braden Keith *pending results of training transition*

karl i’d think he makes both free relays

Nick individuals?

karl Apple i could see for #2 spot in the 100 free

Reid I think the 2nd spot in the 100 is going to be between him and Pieroni, but I could see Dean dropping into that 47-high or 48-low range as well. He should be a lock for 2-3 relays as well.

karl 2nd spot could be a plethora of people
pieroni, apple, held, chadwick, tate jackson, adrian. dean maybe

Nick with dressel in the mix, all but one will definitely go to Tokyo

Reid I’m curious to see what Chadwick does over the next 12 months.

Robert Gibbs I was referencing Apple.

Braden Keith Do we think MA even tries the 100 free at Trials? I ascribe to the theory that his 100 free issues being “breathing” not “training,” given that his 100 back, 100 fly, and 100 breast are progressing well. And 200 IM.

Robert Gibbs No.

Nick since he’s gotta ditch the 50s stroke after Worlds, I think he might dabble with the thought

Robert Gibbs Actually, he might swim it in prelims.

Braden Keith @Nick very good point. Have to assume at this point that the 100 breast, 50 free, and 100 fly are locks for his schedule. SHOULD he swim more than that? It’s a matter of debate. WILL he? I think, based on the way they view his schedules as “fearlessness,” he almost certainly will.

Nick yeah there’s no way the schedule will scare off Andrew
it won’t hurt him to try at the very least

Robert Gibbs He has nothing else the day of 100 Free prelims.

Reid I bet Andrew also goes for the 100 back.

Robert Gibbs 200 IM prelims and semis the day of 100 Free finals.
Big gap between Murphers and everyone else in the 100 back.
(Murphers = Murphy and Grevers)

Nick LOL
I can see MA in the 50/100 FR, 100 BR, 100 BK, 100 FL, and 200 IM. he will definitely keep the 50 FR, 100 BR, and 100 FL to finals. Backstroke he’ll definitely try, IM I’m like 60% he will. Pending how he does going into semis for the 100 free, it might not be worth the energy with the IM prelims/semis the same day as finals.

Jared I agree with the general consensus – if Andrew makes a mistake with his Trials lineup, it’ll be taking on too many events rather than skipping an event he had a shot in
Although if I’m him, I don’t mess with 100 back. It’s not his best 100, and the odds of getting in are just way too low, even with as well as he’s done in back this year

Nick that’s a valid point, IM>BK for him at trials

Jared Go after 100 BR/FL/FR and 50 FR. Maybe 2IM as a wild card entry. That’d be plenty of swims

Nick the number of swims won’t affect MA, it’s a matter of the usefulness of the swim. He can certainly top 8 in all his individuals, but it wouldn’t be worth the swim if he knows he’s not gonna make the team.
so from that, he might choose a more conservative event line-up

Morgan P K, running it back with the old guy. I’ll take one Matt Grevers, please
Could get shut out, but he has one focus, and has been the model for consistency in the 100 back.

andrew There are so many extremely talented young US women have in the 100 back, but there isn’t a clear “next Ryan Murphy” who looks poised to emerge and knock Grevers out. I think that 100 back spot is his to lose right now.

Morgan P Agreed.
Plus, he only has one event/focus, has a tonnnn of experience, and is clearly the second fastest guy right now behind Murphy. All of these things matter in a Trials setting where nerves and schedules really come into play

andrew Now let’s see if @Braden Keith decides to diversify outside of the senior-women-from-last-year’s-NCAA-championships market. However, with McHugh and Bilquist still out there, maybe he’ll stay in his lane.

Nick @Morgan P what do you think of Ress’ chances? Obvi he’s better at the 50, but would he be likely to sneak top 2?

Morgan P Still favor Grevers over Ress
But, I will say, Ress obviously now has nothing to focus on other than LC going forward, which is a good spot to be in

Nick I feel like for Grevers he’s gonna at least swim the 100 free as well. it wouldn’t hurt him honestly, but then again his chances might be way lower than the 100 back

Robert Gibbs Sure he’ll give it a shot.
15th In 2016.

andrew Prelims for that event are after the finals of the 100 back. No risk for him to give it a shot

Jared Who will keep competing to an older age: Matt Grevers (currently 34) or Nathan Adrian (turns 31 in December)?

Robert Gibbs Gotta think this will be it for Grevers. But I can totally see Adrian going after a relay spot in 2024. So guess that would mean Adrian, right?

Jared That’s kind of my thought, too. The expanded opportunities in a 100 free could keep Adrian in the mix longer

Nick I mean Grevers has been doing very well this year, I can see him trying to go on to the next quad

Braden Keith As for my pick – there’s a lot of fringe medalists floating around. Hard to split the hairs among them. Take the swimmer with a more proven track record? The swimmer with more upside? Swimmer with more possible events? I’m going to grab Jay Litherland. The likelihood that he makes the 800 free relay provides some scoring upside.

Robert Gibbs And he still may be the favorite for the 2nd spot in the 400 IM.
Over 2 seconds faster than anyone besides Kalisz the last few seasons.

Braden Keith I hope he’s still the favorite…if he isn’t I made a bad pick.

Nick The next closest contender would probably be Carson Foster

Robert Gibbs Grieshop?

Braden Keith Looking ahead: do we think it’s more likely that both Fosters or both Walshes get taken in this draft?

Robert Gibbs Walshes

Jared Agree. Both Walshes. I don’t see Jake Foster cutting through that deep crowd of breaststrokers. And teenage boys have a much tougher road to make an Olympic team than teenage girls

Robert Gibbs Let’s stick with UGA IMers. I’m going with Melanie Margalis.

Braden Keith She’s one of the ones I was hemming and hawing over. I think she could make the team in 3 individuals + a relay

Nick 2 IM/2 FR yes, are you thinking 4 IM or like another stroke event

Braden Keith 4IM seems most likely. *Could* sneak in to a breaststroke.

Nick I feel like the women’s 4 IM is such a wild card event. Like you have Eastin but then there’s McHugh/Forde/Smith who are distance FRers and then versatile beasts like Margalis and Flickinger

Braden Keith And…what if Ledecky wants it?

Nick oh yeet
that would be truly amazing if she did.

Robert Gibbs I keeping forgetting that the 400 free/IM is not a double for the women, just the men.

Nick IM is so tricky sometimes because you have the actual IMers and then people who can really pull out a great race from their other strokes.

Lauren Been kinda thinking about Molly Hannis, Gretchen Walsh or Erika Brown. But with Annie swimming the way she is, I worry a little bit about picking a breaststroker other than her or Lilly. Brown hadn’t done anything all that spectacular in long course yet compared to her short course swims. But then she went that 54-low in May that makes me think she’s worth betting on.

Walsh has been doing great and also went 54-low last summer. I just see Brown and Walsh both with potential to make the 4×100 relay. But with Brown there’s an outside shot that she has a big drop in the 100 fly… she’s only been 58.9 though. I’m gonna go with Erika Brown.

andrew There aren’t many people left on the board who don’t need anything crazy to happen for them to end up in 4 events, so I’m going to take one of them: Jack Conger. A very plausible scenario for him is 100/200 FL, 400 MR, 800 FR.

Robert Gibbs Okay, so, I was under the impression he’d already been taken, or I probably would’ve grabbed him in in the 3rd round.

Braden Keith That’s a good value pick this late in the draft.

Robert Gibbs drat
How’d he slip this late?

Jared I’ll be the one to say that Conger didn’t go too late. There’s significant risk there. The future of the 200 fly is Urlando, and that event got deep for the second spot (Wright, Levant, Harting, Kalisz). He’s a prelims medal at best in the medley, and even that is far from a guarantee. I’m not super bullish on Conger going forward

andrew Jared, I totally agree on Conger. I picked him for the upside potential, which is significant, but there’s a real chance he’s off the team completely.

karl Wow, this is getting harder. But first, I’ll take Cody Miller. Only MA has been chosen out of the group of U.S. breaststrokers, and Miller is looking very sharp right now at 59.2/2:08.9 this season (PR in the latter). He, Cordes, Wilson, Fink could feasibly make the team in both breaststrokes, though. But I’m going with Miller.

–End of Round 4–

Round 4 Summary

Nick Nathan Adrian
Reid Zach Apple
Morgan Matt Grevers
Braden Jay Litherland
Robert Melanie Margalis
Lauren Erika Brown
Andrew Jack Conger
Karl Cody Miller

The teams after 4 rounds

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Karl Caeleb Dressel Blake Pieroni Kelsi Dahlia Cody Miller
Andrew Katie Ledecky Leah Smith Zane Grothe Jack Conger
Lauren Simone Manuel Andrew Seliskar Dean Farris Erika Brown
Robert Regan Smith Townley Haas Hali Flickinger Melanie Margalis
Braden Lily King Ella Eastin Katie McLaughlin Jay Litherland
Morgan Ryan Murphy Chase Kalisz Abbey Weitzeil Matt Grevers
Reid Kathleen Baker Mallory Comerford Jordan Wilimovsky Zach Apple
Nick Michael Andrew Luca Urlando Annie Lazor Nathan Adrian

Rounds 5-8 will be published tomorrow

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Apple in the 4th round looks brilliant after the last week and not enough respect for Chase in my book.


Please tell me you are also doing an international draft again.




While he’s definitely an omission here, he’s an interesting case. He’s one of at least half a dozen swimmers who could plausibly win gold in the 200 breast. Yet due to the competitiveness of US trials, and his occasional inconsistency I’d say it’s just as likely he misses the team altogether. Rooting for him though

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