SwimSwam Pulse: 64% Suspect Wave I Qualifiers Will Not Swim Wave II Trials

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, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers if any Wave I standouts would choose not to swim in Wave II of the U.S. Olympic Trials:


Question: Will any top-2 finishers at Wave I Trials choose not to swim Wave II?

  • Yes – 63.8%
  • No – 36.2%

Almost two-thirds of voters expected at least one top-2 finisher from Wave I of U.S. Olympic Trials to pass on the chance to swim in Wave II.

The biggest factor might be cost: athletes who competed in Wave I already had to pay for four or more nights in a hotel in Omaha, plus meals out, and other expenses like car rentals. With six extra nights in a hotel between the end of Wave I and the start of Wave II, the cost could skyrocket for a swimmer who had to make emergency lodging plans at the last minute.

On the other side, the biggest complaint about splitting Olympic Trials into two waves was that the Wave I meet would be ‘watered down’ because young Olympic Trials qualifiers wouldn’t get to compete at the same time as established stars like Katie Ledecky or Caeleb Dressel. For a Wave I swimmer who finished in the top 2 to forgo the opportunity to move on and swim with those stars would perhaps undercut that argument against the split Trials format.

We may not know until meet day whether any Wave I wild card winners aren’t moving on – we’ll likely see them scratch off of Wave II start lists, or perhaps leave the token empty lane in the pool for prelims.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to pick the winning time of the Olympic women’s 200 breaststroke:

What time will win Olympic gold in the women's 200 breast?

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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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Angello Malefakis
1 year ago

The problem here should NOT be an expense factor for the athletes to deal with. But an expense factor for the fat cats at USA swimming or the organizers! You charge an outrageous ticket price to see the competition and you are asking for the athletes to pay? Are you kidding me??? What idiots!

Reply to  Angello Malefakis
1 year ago


Bob Hopkins
1 year ago

I did not see the two men 800 qualifiers from Navy (McGovern & Johnson) on the psych sheet for Wave ll

Cousin Eddie
1 year ago

Kyle Ponsler (400 IM/200Back) is roaming Omaha. He will be there. I am sure others will too.

1 year ago

Wow, what a surprise

1 year ago

So how many are skipping it?

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Navy guys in the 800 are for sure not on the psych sheet, I believe the Arkansas girl is not listed either

Reply to  hookem91
1 year ago

Does that mean they are not swimming for sure?

Reply to  hookem91
1 year ago

The Arkansas girl is on the psych sheet!

Reply to  Jen
1 year ago

wait maybe I was thinking William and Mary… one of them wasn’t on the psych

Reply to  hookem91
1 year ago

MIssy Cundiff, the William and Mary swimmer from Wave 1 is not on the pre-scratch psych sheet. As are a handful of others — if a swimmer isn’t on this psych sheet, does that mean that 100% aren’t swimming the Wave 2 meet?

Cousin Eddie
Reply to  hookem91
1 year ago

Navy guys couldn’t get leave again was their issue I believe.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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