Rising Stars: Assessing the State of 18 & Under U.S. Talent (Women’s Edition)

With much of the summer already over, USA Swimming has already sent swimmers out to a bevy of international meets and championships. We’re already under the one-year countdown to Tokyo, so we’re taking a look at the top 15 swimmers in every event to see where 18 & under swimmers are at. There has been plenty of speculation and analysis of who ranks where in terms of the 2019-2020 U.S. National Team, and the focus on the top six has had us all honed in on who feels like a lock for the Olympic Team next summer and which swimmers are jockeying in the top three or four contenders for more open events.

A look at the 18 and unders here gives us special insight into the younger Americans who have put themselves on the map this summer, and with younger swimmers often comes sharp improvement curves. A widely discussed topic this summer has been the two-year qualification process, much like in 2015, which really just speaks to the year-to-year turnover in talent and times. A 14-year-old sitting at 15th in an event this year could have something huge coming next year to sneak into the semifinals or even a final at the Olympic Trials, which is why we’re digging into this now to put our initial radar up for those fast movers.

This post focuses on women’s events. The men’s edition will be coming out soon.

We pulled data straight from USA Swimming to obtain the top fifteen swimmers in each event from the 2019 season, which goes from September 1, 2018, to August 13, 2019, when the data was culled. We had to filter out the non-American swimmers as well as anyone over the age of 18 to get this subset. There may be swimmers who were 18 at the time of their season-best, and they’ve since aged up. Some of the work was done manually, and there also may be errors in USA Swimming’s rankings that we have no control over. Please let us know if there is something we have missed.

INTERESTING STATS

  • The youngest swimmer on this list is Fox Valley Park District Riptide’s Leah Hayes. The 13-year-old delivered several eye-popping results at the 2019 Speedo Junior National Championships, including a 2:13.06 in the 200 IM, which ranks #2 in the 13-14 age group historical rankings.
  • Performances from juniors in the top 15 in each stroke:
    • Freestyle – 20 (50/100 – 6, 200/400 – 5, 800/1500 – 9)
    • Backstroke – 15
    • Butterfly – 10
    • Breaststroke – 7
    • IM – 5
  • In the 400 IM, there is only 1 junior in the top 15. That’s Sarasota YMCA’s Emma Weyant, who is the top American overall this season. She won the national title in the event with a lifetime best 4:35.47.
  • There are 8 juniors in the top 15 of the 200 back, and 7 in the 100 back, the two events with the highest concentration of juniors. We’ve been used to this kind of youthful uprising the last half decade in the backstrokes on the women’s side, with World Record-holder Regan Smith hitting her stride at #1 in both. In addition to the other older teens who we’re used to seeing pushing the envelope in the backstrokes, 14-year-old Rye Ulett has entered the chat with her #2 time in 13-14 history in the 200 back at U.S. Nationals. She’s the only 13-14 American woman to be under 2:10 ever, besides NAG record-holder Missy Franklin.
  • Regan Smith and Emma Weyant are tied with four events, each, in the top 15. For Smith, it’s both back events and both fly events. For Weyant, it’s the 400/800/1500 free and the 400 IM.
  • If the Olympic team was chosen right now based on regular selection procedures, Smith (100/200 back), Weyant (400 IM), and Gretchen Walsh (4×100 free relay) would make the team (with Walsh’s qualification depending on there being enough double-ups to warrant a spot for the sixth-place 100 freestyler for the relay). There are quite a few juniors in 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th positions right now, too.
  • There is at least one junior swimmer ranked in the top eight (AKA, solid bet to make the final at OTs) in every event except for the 200 free.
  • The back and fly events are the most concentrated with top-eight talent. There are four junior women in the top eight of both backstrokes, and three in both butterflies.

JUNIORS IN U.S. 2018-19 TOP 15 – BY EVENT

Rank Name Event Age Time Cut Location Date Club LSC
6 Walsh, Gretchen 50 FR LCM 16 24.85 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/4/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
13 Cooper, Grace 50 FR LCM 16 25.16 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 MN UOFM Speedo Sectional 7/21/2019 Delta Aquatics IL
14 Parker, Maxine 50 FR LCM 17 25.21 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/4/2019 Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club CT
15 Douglass, Kate 50 FR LCM 17 25.23 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 GA Atlanta Classic Swim Meet 5/18/2019 Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club CT
6 Walsh, Gretchen 100 FR LCM 16 54.13 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
15 Tang, Amy 100 FR LCM 16 54.71 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PN PNS Senior LC Championship 7/27/2019 Unattached PN
13 Tuggle, Claire 200 FR LCM 15 1:58.21 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Clovis Swim Club CC
15 Weyant, Emma 200 FR LCM 17 1:58.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
9 Tuggle, Claire 400 FR LCM 15 4:07.85 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Clovis Swim Club CC
13 Sullivan, Erica 400 FR LCM 18 4:08.70 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Jinan World Cup 8/8/2019 Unattached CA
15 Weyant, Emma 400 FR LCM 17 4:09.07 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
4 Sullivan, Erica 800 FR LCM 18 8:26.13 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Jinan World Cup 8/10/2019 Unattached CA
9 Weyant, Emma 800 FR LCM 17 8:29.31 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
13 Travis, Chase 800 FR LCM 17 8:32.46 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
15 Denigan, Mariah 800 FR LCM 16 8:34.18 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/8/2019 Northern KY Clippers Swimming OH
3 Sullivan, Erica 1500 FR LCM 18 15:55.25 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #5 Clovis 6/15/2019 Sandpipers Of Nevada CA
8 Donohoe, Madelyn 1500 FR LCM 17 16:19.46 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Mare Nostrum – Barcelona 6/15/2019 The Fish PV
12 Travis, Chase 1500 FR LCM 16 16:25.51 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PV LC Open Championships 7/14/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
13 McKenna, Paige 1500 FR LCM 16 16:26.49 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/4/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
14 Denigan, Mariah 1500 FR LCM 16 16:27.50 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/10/2019 Northern KY Clippers Swimming OH
1 Smith, Regan 100 BK LCM 17 57.57r 2020 Olympic Trials 18th FINA World Championships 2019 7/28/2019 Unattached MN
3 Bacon, Phoebe 100 BK LCM 16 59.02r 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/10/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
5 Berkoff, Katharine 100 BK LCM 18 59.29 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 World University Games 7/7/2019 Unattached MT
8 Stadden, Isabelle 100 BK LCM 17 59.69r 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/8/2019 Aquajets Swim Team MN
11 Walsh, Gretchen 100 BK LCM 16 1:00.26 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
13 Walsh, Alex 100 BK LCM 17 1:00.32 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #1 – Knoxville 1/11/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
15 Curzan, Claire 100 BK LCM 15 1:00.39 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 TAC Titans NC
1 Smith, Regan 200 BK LCM 17 2:03.35 2020 Olympic Trials 18th FINA World Championships 2019 7/26/2019 Unattached MN
4 Walsh, Alex 200 BK LCM 18 2:08.30 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/7/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
6 Stadden, Isabelle 200 BK LCM 17 2:08.39 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/7/2019 Aquajets Swim Team MN
8 Bacon, Phoebe 200 BK LCM 16 2:09.11 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PV LC Open Championships 7/14/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
9 Ulett, Rye 200 BK LCM 14 2:09.70 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Dynamo Swim Club GA
10 Curzan, Claire 200 BK LCM 15 2:10.16 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 TAC Titans NC
11 Atkinson, Emma 200 BK LCM 17 2:10.33 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 MA JW Summer Solstice 6/23/2019 Germantown Academy Aquatic Club MA
13 Berkoff, Katharine 200 BK LCM 18 2:10.56 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 OR Speedo Sectionals – Mt Ho 7/20/2019 Missoula Aquatic Club MT
6 Dobler, Kaitlyn 100 BR LCM 17 1:07.23 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 The Dolphins Portland Swimming OR
10 Hartman, Zoie 100 BR LCM 18 1:07.37 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks PC
13 Weiss, Emily 100 BR LCM 18 1:07.56 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Indiana University IN
8 Arens, Abby 200 BR LCM 17 2:25.80 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Marlins of Raleigh NC
10 Davey, Gillian 200 BR LCM 17 2:26.80 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Central Iowa Aquatics IA
11 Keating, Anna 200 BR LCM 16 2:26.90 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Machine Aquatics PV
13 Weiss, Emily 200 BR LCM 18 2:27.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Indiana University IN
6 Huske, Torri 100 FL LCM 16 57.8 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Arlington Aquatic Club PV
7 Curzan, Claire 100 FL LCM 15 57.87 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 TAC Titans NC
8 Nordmann, Lillie 100 FL LCM 16 57.96 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Magnolia Aquatic Club GU
9 Bray, Olivia 100 FL LCM 17 58.38 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 FL TYR ISCA Jr Champions 3/29/2019 Virginia Gators VA
10 Smith, Regan 100 FL LCM 17 58.38 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Riptide MN
3 Smith, Regan 200 FL LCM 17 2:07.26 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Riptide MN
4 Nordmann, Lillie 200 FL LCM 16 2:07.43 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Magnolia Aquatic Club GU
6 Hook, Charlotte 200 FL LCM 15 2:07.87 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 TAC Titans NC
11 Bray, Olivia 200 FL LCM 17 2:09.60 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 FL TYR ISCA Summer Senior Ch 8/3/2019 Virginia Gators VA
13 Kozan, Justina 200 FL LCM 15 2:09.68 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Speedo Junior National Ch 8/6/2019 Brea Aquatics CA
5 Walsh, Alex 200 IM LCM 18 2:11.24 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/10/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
11 Kozan, Justina 200 IM LCM 15 2:12.74 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Speedo Junior National Ch 8/10/2019 Brea Aquatics CA
13 Hayes, Leah 200 IM LCM 13 2:13.06 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Speedo Junior National Ch 8/10/2019 Fox Valley Park District Riptides IL
14 Huske, Torri 200 IM LCM 16 2:13.22 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 NCSA Summer Swimming Cham 8/10/2019 Arlington Aquatic Club PV
1 Weyant, Emma 400 IM LCM 17 4:35.47 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL

JUNIORS IN U.S. 2018-19 TOP 15 – BY RANK

Rank Name Event Age Time Cut Location Date Club LSC
1 Smith, Regan 100 BK LCM 17 57.57r 2020 Olympic Trials 18th FINA World Championships 2019 7/28/2019 Unattached MN
1 Smith, Regan 200 BK LCM 17 2:03.35 2020 Olympic Trials 18th FINA World Championships 2019 7/26/2019 Unattached MN
1 Weyant, Emma 400 IM LCM 17 4:35.47 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
3 Sullivan, Erica 1500 FR LCM 18 15:55.25 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #5 Clovis 6/15/2019 Sandpipers Of Nevada CA
3 Bacon, Phoebe 100 BK LCM 16 59.02r 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/10/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
3 Smith, Regan 200 FL LCM 17 2:07.26 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Riptide MN
4 Sullivan, Erica 800 FR LCM 18 8:26.13 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Jinan World Cup 8/10/2019 Unattached CA
4 Walsh, Alex 200 BK LCM 18 2:08.30 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/7/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
4 Nordmann, Lillie 200 FL LCM 16 2:07.43 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Magnolia Aquatic Club GU
5 Berkoff, Katharine 100 BK LCM 18 59.29 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 World University Games 7/7/2019 Unattached MT
5 Walsh, Alex 200 IM LCM 18 2:11.24 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/10/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
6 Walsh, Gretchen 50 FR LCM 16 24.85 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/4/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
6 Walsh, Gretchen 100 FR LCM 16 54.13 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
6 Stadden, Isabelle 200 BK LCM 17 2:08.39 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/7/2019 Aquajets Swim Team MN
6 Dobler, Kaitlyn 100 BR LCM 17 1:07.23 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 The Dolphins Portland Swimming OR
6 Huske, Torri 100 FL LCM 16 57.8 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Arlington Aquatic Club PV
6 Hook, Charlotte 200 FL LCM 15 2:07.87 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 TAC Titans NC
7 Curzan, Claire 100 FL LCM 15 57.87 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 TAC Titans NC
8 Donohoe, Madelyn 1500 FR LCM 17 16:19.46 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Mare Nostrum – Barcelona 6/15/2019 The Fish PV
8 Stadden, Isabelle 100 BK LCM 17 59.69r 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/8/2019 Aquajets Swim Team MN
8 Bacon, Phoebe 200 BK LCM 16 2:09.11 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PV LC Open Championships 7/14/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
8 Arens, Abby 200 BR LCM 17 2:25.80 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Marlins of Raleigh NC
8 Nordmann, Lillie 100 FL LCM 16 57.96 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Magnolia Aquatic Club GU
9 Tuggle, Claire 400 FR LCM 15 4:07.85 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Clovis Swim Club CC
9 Weyant, Emma 800 FR LCM 17 8:29.31 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
9 Ulett, Rye 200 BK LCM 14 2:09.70 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Dynamo Swim Club GA
9 Bray, Olivia 100 FL LCM 17 58.38 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 FL TYR ISCA Jr Champions 3/29/2019 Virginia Gators VA
10 Curzan, Claire 200 BK LCM 15 2:10.16 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 TAC Titans NC
10 Hartman, Zoie 100 BR LCM 18 1:07.37 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks PC
10 Davey, Gillian 200 BR LCM 17 2:26.80 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Central Iowa Aquatics IA
10 Smith, Regan 100 FL LCM 17 58.38 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/2/2019 Riptide MN
11 Walsh, Gretchen 100 BK LCM 16 1:00.26 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
11 Atkinson, Emma 200 BK LCM 17 2:10.33 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 MA JW Summer Solstice 6/23/2019 Germantown Academy Aquatic Club MA
11 Keating, Anna 200 BR LCM 16 2:26.90 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Machine Aquatics PV
11 Bray, Olivia 200 FL LCM 17 2:09.60 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 FL TYR ISCA Summer Senior Ch 8/3/2019 Virginia Gators VA
11 Kozan, Justina 200 IM LCM 15 2:12.74 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Speedo Junior National Ch 8/10/2019 Brea Aquatics CA
12 Travis, Chase 1500 FR LCM 16 16:25.51 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PV LC Open Championships 7/14/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
13 Cooper, Grace 50 FR LCM 16 25.16 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 MN UOFM Speedo Sectional 7/21/2019 Delta Aquatics IL
13 Tuggle, Claire 200 FR LCM 15 1:58.21 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Clovis Swim Club CC
13 Sullivan, Erica 400 FR LCM 18 4:08.70 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Jinan World Cup 8/8/2019 Unattached CA
13 Travis, Chase 800 FR LCM 17 8:32.46 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 7/31/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
13 McKenna, Paige 1500 FR LCM 16 16:26.49 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/4/2019 Nation’s Capital Swim Club PV
13 Walsh, Alex 100 BK LCM 17 1:00.32 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #1 – Knoxville 1/11/2019 Nashville Aquatic Club SE
13 Berkoff, Katharine 200 BK LCM 18 2:10.56 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 OR Speedo Sectionals – Mt Ho 7/20/2019 Missoula Aquatic Club MT
13 Weiss, Emily 100 BR LCM 18 1:07.56 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Indiana University IN
13 Weiss, Emily 200 BR LCM 18 2:27.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Indiana University IN
13 Kozan, Justina 200 FL LCM 15 2:09.68 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Speedo Junior National Ch 8/6/2019 Brea Aquatics CA
13 Hayes, Leah 200 IM LCM 13 2:13.06 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Speedo Junior National Ch 8/10/2019 Fox Valley Park District Riptides IL
14 Parker, Maxine 50 FR LCM 17 25.21 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/4/2019 Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club CT
14 Denigan, Mariah 1500 FR LCM 16 16:27.50 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/10/2019 Northern KY Clippers Swimming OH
14 Huske, Torri 200 IM LCM 16 2:13.22 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 NCSA Summer Swimming Cham 8/10/2019 Arlington Aquatic Club PV
15 Douglass, Kate 50 FR LCM 17 25.23 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 GA Atlanta Classic Swim Meet 5/18/2019 Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club CT
15 Tang, Amy 100 FR LCM 16 54.71 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PN PNS Senior LC Championship 7/27/2019 Unattached PN
15 Weyant, Emma 200 FR LCM 17 1:58.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/1/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
15 Weyant, Emma 400 FR LCM 17 4:09.07 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 Sarasota Sharks FL
15 Denigan, Mariah 800 FR LCM 16 8:34.18 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 PAN AM Games 8/8/2019 Northern KY Clippers Swimming OH
15 Curzan, Claire 100 BK LCM 15 1:00.39 2020 Olympic Trials 2019 Phillips 66 National Cham 8/3/2019 TAC Titans NC

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Jimbo
2 years ago

“Rising stars” Regan Smith has 2 world records. Chief what

The Unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Jimbo
2 years ago

Yeah safe to say she’s officially risen.

Nswim
2 years ago

Honestly surprised that NBC hasn’t pulled Smith to do an interview like Dressel did

Danjohnrob
2 years ago

I always worry about the swimmers starting college the year of OT. That involves a lot of changes both in and out of the pool at a critical time; changes that could either help of hurt their chances. Regan Smith, Erica Sullivan and Katherine Berkoff are listed as “unattached” above; does that mean they are transitioning to college teams? I thought Regan was starting her senior year in high school? Do we know if any of these top ladies are going to defer starting college until after OT?

Thezwimmer
Reply to  Danjohnrob
2 years ago

Any of the swimmers who swam their times at international meets representing Team USA are listed as “unattached”

Well
Reply to  Danjohnrob
2 years ago

Maybe they are just single….

Elmo
Reply to  Danjohnrob
2 years ago

Smith – entering Sr year hs. In good hands

Sullivan – sitting out a year staying home. In good hands

Berkoff – entering NC State as far as we know.

Chimken nunget
2 years ago

I’d say we’re in good hands for the future

Honest Observer
2 years ago

This is just an incredible Golden Age of age group swimming for girls in this country. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, before Title IX, it was common for most of the top female swimmers to be in high school, simply because of the limited options after that. But since then, though the exceptional talents were clearly visible in high school, for the most part, college swimmers have dominated. But now…..there’s just this mind-boggling tidal wave of talent. Not all of the girls listed above will live up to their early promise, that’s just the nature of the sport. But enough will to more or less assure US dominance through 2024 and even 2028. Occasionally some commenter here will say… Read more »

2 Cents
Reply to  Honest Observer
2 years ago

There have always been more females in high school (even middle school) at the elite level than compared to men. This is true even more recently than the 60s and 70s. I am thinking about Jillian Sirocky (sp?), Amanda Beard, Katie Hoff, Missy Franklin, and Katie Ledeckey just to name a few who were all Olympians or top in the world all before entering college, or turning college age. Phelps and Michael Andrew are the only males I can think of who were at that elite level before turning 18. If we look at internationally, there are even more females than males at that level. Yes, part of it is because more females are getting more opportunities because of Title… Read more »

Walter
Reply to  2 Cents
2 years ago

Aaron Peirsol, Ian Crocker…

PJP
Reply to  Walter
2 years ago

Like Peirsol another Newport Harbor High School Alum John Moffett made the Olympic team in the 200 Breast as a sophomore in High School in 1980. Absolutely a beast in practice…

cynthia curran
Reply to  2 Cents
2 years ago

Breaststroke is a timing issue. A growth spurt can sometimes through the timing off.

Woke Stasi
2 years ago

I’d love to see R Smith go pro before the 2020 Olympics, shine brightly in Tokyo as the “female face of US Swimming,” and then take a “gap year” during 2020-21 leading up to the 2021 World Championships. This two year span (2019-2021) could very likely be the sweet spot of her career, and it would be great if she were financially well-rewarded!

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

The two dependable trends among commenters here are to undervalue college, and predict times that are too low.

I hope Regan Smith goes to college and stays there. She’ll be much better off in the long run. Nobody ever says that professional swimming are the happiest years of your life.

The females, in particular, are really throwing something away in bypassing college. They are more apt to make the most of it. I’m not surprised at male dolts like Michael Andrew who wouldn’t know or care what they gave up.

LasagnaLoverJon
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 years ago

I’m sorry, but that comment is pretty sexist. Comparing all male swimmers to the decision that one (two if you count Phelps) swimmer made is an extremely toxic way of thinking. The perception that male swimmers “aren’t as smart” can be destructive to their well-being. Imagine being Urlando, coming onto an article supporting females in swimming, and being attacked for being “a male dolt”. I’m not saying that it doesn’t go both ways, and there are a lot of problems that need to be fixed in this society, but deciding to stereotype “male dolts” isn’t going to help either side.

Wonkabar23
Reply to  LasagnaLoverJon
2 years ago

Awsi, you’re a moron for your comment. Michael Andrew has probably made 100s of thousands of dollars swimming, traveled the world, and gotten to do what he loved. But because it’s not what you would do, he is a dolt.

OG Prodigy
2 years ago

Smith, Dobler, Curzan, Walsh…..sheesh things are looking bright for the U.S. Future!

D2 American
2 years ago

Just wait for Ashley Turak at IU… Big things coming

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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