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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Cousin Eddie
3 months ago

What about order of events for wave 1? This is a 3 day meet for this wave? Is a distance swimmer supposed to swim a mile, 400IM, 200 Back, etc in a 3 day meet? Certain events were focused on based on the order of events at trials. Making the team wasn’t the goal for some of these kids but a chance to not embarrass themselves would be nice. The more I think about this the less I like it. Glad they get to swim but it’s not a fair thing to do to the athletes looking for the experience or their families. Can we get an order of events to know where to focus for what time is left?

Cousin Eddie
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

thank you

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Hi Braden, I have been trying to click on the numbers for agreeing to comments or not agreeing to comment and it’s not excepting my clicking. Can you tell me why? Also if you happen to know how they’re going to handle kids who have qualifying cuts in both waves ??? Are they supposed to swim in both waves or do they just swim all their events in one wave? Here again is a reason why they need to split this male and female.

NC Fan
Reply to  Cousin Eddie
3 months ago

Four day meet (June 4-7) is as long or longer than 99% of meets and only one day shorter than Summer Nationals. Isn’t it better than not being invited at all….ala Canada.

Reply to  NC Fan
3 months ago

They have not been invited, they have been disinvited. They created a new BS meet to make more money that means nothing but still requires the same financial commitment from swimmers and families without the experience of swimming in fast meet on the biggest stage. It is an insult and hope no one attends Wave 1 meet. Disgraceful

Reply to  Pissed
3 months ago

Might be time to step away from your desk and get some fresh air. Give yourself some time to process before emotionally flooding all over the internet.

Keep working, keep racing, maybe you’ll drop that last second or two you need to make the Wave 2 cut.

NC Fan
Reply to  Pissed
3 months ago

a meet made up only of a few hundred swimmers with OT cuts doesn’t count as a ‘fast meet’? Standards are the fastest of any meet held in the country up to that point, period. Yes, Katie and Caleb won’t be there, but they aren’t at Nationals during a World Champs year anyway and that doesn’t invalidate that meet. And here there is actually a shot to get a second swim and play the ‘what if’ wild card game of shocking the world. I get it. I’d rather get to say I swam at a meet with Caleb Dressel as well, but when I’m swimming 6 heats before him am I there to actually compete or just name drop if… Read more »

Reply to  NC Fan
3 months ago

Wrong, Juniors, Nationals, TYR, NCAA’s were all faster and all these kids have swam in these meets and many have finaled and competed against the worlds fastest and been on ABC sports doing so. This meet does not compare to any of those as those all possess the fastest competitors.

Reply to  Pissed
3 months ago


Reply to  Pissed
3 months ago

Agree 100%slap in the face. So here again another disappointment for kids who have experienced so much disappointment. Are you kidding me – less chance of covid with how many people? Ridiculous. Vaccine is out in case you haven’t heard! CA and other states open again… we have 4 months. lots can happen in 4 months. Who would blame the kids who just give up swimming. At this rate They just keep getting slapped in the face with effort at practice day in and day out Then comes the big reward – The Pinnacle moment for all that you’ve given up in hard work and dedication for the last 10 years, you get there and then they say at the… Read more »

Reply to  tiredofkidsbeingdisappointed.
3 months ago

Wow! I see you’re upset but there needs to be some perspective here. Some others in the US are a little more “disappointed” than you and some swimmers during this pandemic.

Reply to  MarkB
3 months ago

What does that have to do with this decision? People are pissed because they changed the rules last minute and now 100’s of athletes are scrambling to figure out a path to requalify. Some athletes have postponed their lives after college to train and swim at trials and that has been taken away from them. Many different scenerios of people who did what was necessary to make and compete at trials and that has been taken from them. Let’s not pretend like this meet could not have taken place being we just finished NCAA football with very limited interruptions without a vaccine. I am guessing you have no skin in the game which is why you are here commenting on… Read more »

3 months ago

Will the events be Live Streamed / televised ?

3 months ago

People are going to rise to this challenge. I guarantee they will have over 60 people meet the harder qualifying times in multiple events.

Sally S
Reply to  N P
3 months ago

But then USA Swimming will just change the rules again. Mark my words.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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