See The New 2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials Qualifying Standards

USA Swimming on Tuesday announced a new set of qualifying standards for the 2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials.

As explained in full here, the meet will be split into two events, with a “Wave I” consisting of lower-ranked qualifiers and a “Wave II” consisting of the top 50-60 qualifiers in each event.

The Wave II Cuts are set based on the 41st qualifier for the Olympic Trials as it stands today. Anybody who has already hit a Wave II cut, or who hits a Wave II Cut going forward, will be able to swim at the Wave II event. In other words, there is a time cut for the Wave II meet, not a hard placement cut.

The top 2 finishers from the Wave I meet will advance to the Wave II meet.

Swimmers who have at least one Wave II cut can swim “Bonus” races in any event where they have a Wave I cut.

All meets will be held at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

  • Wave I Dates: June 4-7, 2021
  • Wave II Dates: June 13-20, 2021
  • Qualifying Period for Wave I: November 28, 2018 – May 30, 2021
  • Qualifying Period for Wave II: November 28, 2018 – May 30, 2021

2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials Time Standards

Wave II Cut Original Cut Time (Wave I Cut) Event Original Cut Time (Wave I Cut) Wave II Cut
22.71 23.19 50 Free 25.99 25.65
49.74 50.49 100 Free 56.29 55.56
1:49.65 1:50.79 200 Free 2:01.69 2:00.24
3:54.21 3:57.29 400 Free 4:16.89 4:13.28
8:08.95 8:12.99 800 Free 8:48.09 8:44.01
15:35.76 15:44.89 1500 Free 16:49.19 16:44.60
55.51 56.59 100 Back 1:02.69 1:01.49
2:00.81 2:02.99 200 Back 2:14.69 2:12.94
1:01.97 1:03.29 100 Breast 1:10.99 1:09.55
2:15.28 2:17.89 200 Breast 2:33.29 2:30.49
53.37 54.19 100 Fly 1:00.69 59.59
1:59.63 2:01.19 200 Fly 2:14.59 2:12.56
2:03.02 2:04.09 200 IM 2:17.39 2:15.26
4:23.24 4:25.99 400 IM 4:51.79 4:47.72

Wave I Event Schedule

Prelims begin each morning at 10 a.m. CDT, while finals begin at 7 p.m. CDT.

 Women’s Event #  Event Order  Men’s Event #
 Friday, June 4
1 100m Freestyle 2
3 100m Backstroke 4
5 200m Butterfly 6
 7 800m Freestyle* 8
 Saturday, June 5
 9 200m Freestyle 10
 11 100m Breaststroke 12
 13 400m Individual Medley 14
 Sunday, June 6
 15 400m Freestyle 16
 17 100m Butterfly 18
 19 200m Backstroke 20
 Monday, June 7
 21 200m Individual Medley 22
 23 50m Freestyle 24
 25 200m Breaststroke 26
 27 1500m Freestyle* 28

* The 800m and 1500m freestyle events will be conducted as timed finals, with the fastest seeded heat in each of these events swimming in the Finals sessions.  All other heats of the 800m and 1500m freestyle events will swim fastest to slowest, alternating women and men following the conclusion of that  morning’s preliminary session.

Wave II Event Schedule

Session begins at 10 a.m. CT Session begins at 6:45 p.m. CT (actual start time 6:51 – 7:03 p.m. due to TV)
Preliminaries Semifinals & Finals
Sunday, June 13 Sunday, June 13
Men’s 400 Individual Medley Men’s 400 Individual Medley – FINAL
Women’s 100 Butterfly Women’s 100 Butterfly – Semifinal
Men’s 400 Freestyle Men’s 400 Freestyle – FINAL
Women’s 400 Individual Medley Women’s 400 Individual Medley – FINAL
Men’s 100 Breaststroke Men’s 100 Breaststroke – Semifinal
Monday, June 14 Monday, June 14
Women’s 100 Backstroke Women’s 100 Butterfly – FINAL
Men’s 200 Freestyle Men’s 200 Freestyle – Semifinal
Women’s 100 Breaststroke Women’s 100 Breaststroke – Semifinal
Men’s 100 Backstroke Men’s 100 Breaststroke – FINAL
Women’s 400 Freestyle Women’s 400 Freestyle – FINAL
Men’s 100 Backstroke – Semifinal
Women’s 100 Backstroke – Semifinal
Tuesday, June 15 Tuesday, June 15
Women’s 200 Freestyle Women’s 200 Freestyle – Semifinal
Men’s 200 Butterfly Men’s 200 Freestyle – FINAL
Women’s 200 Individual Medley Women’s 100 Backstroke – FINAL
Women’s 1500 Freestyle Men’s 100 Backstroke – FINAL
Women’s 100 Breaststroke – FINAL
Men’s 200 Butterfly – Semifinal
Women’s 200 Individual Medley – Semifinal
Wednesday, June 16 Wednesday, June 16
Men’s 100 Freestyle Men’s 100 Freestyle – Semifinal
Women’s 200 Butterfly Women’s 200 Freestyle – FINAL
Men’s 200 Breaststroke Men’s 200 Butterfly – FINAL
Men’s 800 Freestyle Women’s 200 Butterfly – Semifinal
Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Semifinal
Women’s 200 Individual Medley – FINAL
Women’s 1500 Freestyle – FINAL
Thursday, June 17 Thursday, June 17
Women’s 100 Freestyle Men’s 800 Freestyle – FINAL
Men’s 200 Backstroke Men’s 200 Breaststroke – FINAL
Women’s 200 Breaststroke Women’s 100 Freestyle – Semifinal
Men’s 200 Individual Medley Men’s 200 Backstroke – Semifinal
Women’s 200 Butterfly – FINAL
Men’s 100 Freestyle – FINAL
Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Semifinal
Men’s 200 Individual Medley – Semifinal
Friday, June 18 Friday, June 18
Women’s 800 Freestyle Women’s 200 Breaststroke – FINAL
Men’s 100 Butterfly Men’s 200 Backstroke – FINAL
Women’s 200 Backstroke Women’s 200 Backstroke – Semifinal
Men’s 200 Individual Medley – FINAL
Women’s 100 Freestyle – FINAL
Men’s 100 Butterfly – Semifinal
Saturday, June 19 Saturday, June 19
Men’s 50 Freestyle Men’s 100 Butterfly – FINAL
Women’s 50 Freestyle Women’s 200 Backstroke – FINAL
Men’s 1500 Freestyle Women’s 800 Freestyle – FINAL
Men’s 50 Freestyle – Semifinal
Women’s 50 Freestyle – Semifinal
Sunday, June 20 Sunday, June 20
No Preliminaries Men’s 50 Freestyle – FINAL
Women’s 50 Freestyle – FINAL
Men’s 1500 Freestyle – FINAL

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1 year ago

Well, there’s always next year for me I guess.

Pacific Whirl
1 year ago

Has anyone gain more than ten cuts? Last year, Hali Flickinger owns the most trial cuts.

Speed Racer
1 year ago

At the last Olympic Trials at what number did Flight A end and Flight B begin? Was it or 4 heats in? Seems USAS is simply removing the B flights from Wave 2 and making them Wave 1.

So confused
1 year ago

Totally understand USA swimming had to do something. My issue is my kid has had zero opportunities to swim a meet since 3/20 and is 0.30 from wave 2. He is currently a freshman in college in California and not swimming meets at all. He has grown 1” put on 12lbs muscle and on race day he can make the wave 2 times in two different events. This stinks for him and kids like him. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy (and interested in swimming) and the next OT will be more like the “typical” trials.

Last edited 1 year ago by So confused
Reply to  So confused
1 year ago

I’m 1000% sure he can swim a meet before to try to qualify.

Reply to  So confused
1 year ago

Sorry to hear that your kid will likely miss out on wave 2. My question to you is, do you legitimately think that your son has a chance to make the Olympic team? If he doesn’t have the cut by now, the statistics show that it would be an enormous anomaly for your son to make a final, let alone qualify.

1 year ago

I understand being frustrated after everything these kids have already sacrificed! I struggle everyday to remind them that their commitment to continue training hard through these uncertain times is commendable.

With that being said let’s take a look at a realistic picture of a combined trials with limited to NO fans. You have already taken away the family component but have added risk by overloading the deck and the support staff. Now if you are frustrated because your kid won’t be at the same meet as their heroes. I get it, but let’s be realistic everyone will be locked away in a hotel room 90% of the time. No matter what decision they made the would lose. They made… Read more »

1st class lineman
1 year ago

Is the number 41 qualifier on the bubble ? Or the wave 2 cuts set in stone as listed.

1 year ago

Why not just have an outdoor meet? Just tear the roof off the damn place and go as normal. If you don’t want Covid, don’t go!

NC Fan
1 year ago

Funding idea. How about USA swimming spring for the $60K and fund the Wave I winners and runners-up $1K each to support their Wave II participation. That’s a lot of money and times are tight, but if you really want to show you’re focused on getting the best swimmers there and able to participate, it would be a great PR move. I get the counter argument that you could use $60K a lot of other ways, but this would show that it really is essentially one OT meet.

So confused
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Did not even think about having to pay for two meets weeks apart….that would be terrible.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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