SwimSwam Pulse: 56.5% Think 1-2 U.S. World Junior Swimmers Will Make Olympic Team

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers how many swimmers who raced at the 2023 World Juniors will make the U.S. Olympic team next year:

Question: How many members of the U.S. team at the 2023 World Juniors will make the 2024 Olympic team?


  • 1-2 – 56.5%
  • 3-5 – 35.4%
  • Zero – 4.4%
  • 6+ – 3.7%

The United States fielded a very strong roster at the 2023 World Junior Championships last week in Netanya, with the team walking away with 15 gold and 33 total medals to lead all nations by a wide margin.

The team was selected based on performances at U.S. Nationals, with many of the roster members having made the ‘A’ final at that meet and come within striking distance of making the World Championship team.

Given that we’ve seen major international rosters trend younger in recent years—the 2023 World Championship team had an average of 22.19—there’s certainly a good chance we see some of the World Junior competitors on the U.S. Olympic team next summer.

The clear number one candidate is Leah Hayes, who won bronze at the World Championships last summer in the 200 IM and thus wasn’t even eligible to race at the Junior Pan Pacs. She fell short of making the Worlds roster this year, with a stacked 200 IM in the U.S. headlined by world champion Kate Douglass and silver medalist Alex Walsh, but Hayes will still be in the mix for a spot in 2024.

Hayes also set a new PB of 4:36.84 in the 400 IM at Juniors, having swept the medley events, and has started putting an increased focus on the 200 free with designs on making the 800 free relay in Paris.

That 400 IM time ranks Hayes 4th in the U.S. this year behind only Katie Grimes, Walsh and Katie Ledecky, who more than likely won’t race the event at the Olympic Trials.

The obvious male candidate is Maximus Williamson, who despite having just turned 17, ranked 3rd in the U.S. in the 200 IM (1:57.29), 10th in the 100 free (48.38) and 16th in the 200 free (1:47.11) in the 2023 calendar year after his swims at World Juniors.

His improvement curve indicates he’ll be a contender for a spot on both free relays, with individual 100 free qualification certainly not out of the question, and he’s clearly in the running to make the team individually in the 200 IM.

More than half of readers, 56.5 percent, believe 1-2 members of the World Junior team will make the 2024 Olympic squad, with Hayes and Williamson the likely swimmers that came to mind.

We should also mention the fact that some swimmers qualified for the World Championship team this year who were eligible for World Juniors (and thus didn’t race in Netanya), including 16-year-olds Thomas HeilmanClaire Weinstein and Alex Shackell.

More than a third of voters picked the 3-5 option, with some other names in the running for an Olympic roster spot being Daniel DiehlLeah ShackleyTeagan O’DellErika PelaezAddison Sauickie, and maybe even up-and-coming freestylers Jason ZhaoMadi Mintenko and Annam Olasewere.

A lot can happen in nine months, and when the nerves of the most pressure-packed meet in the world come into play, nothing is off the table at the Olympic Trials.

Recent history tells us it’s a little too early for World Junior team members to make the Olympics the following year. No one on the 2015 World Junior team qualified in 2016, while in 2019, with an extra year due to the pandemic postponement, only Claire CurzanTorri Huske and Jake Mitchell qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after racing at the 2019 World Juniors.

Some others who broke through after Tokyo on the senior international stage include Carson FosterLuca UrlandoMatt FallonJack AlexyDare Rose and Gretchen Walsh.

A handful of voters think none of the members of the 2023 World Junior squad will make the Olympic team, while a similar amount think there will be six or more.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which of these teams will finish higher (and crack the top three) at the Women’s NCAA Championships this season:

Which team will finish highest at the 2024 Women's NCAA Championships?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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