The City of Sports Cheers on Indiana Swimmers: A Brief Case Study


Thank you to Barry Revzin for running the numbers.

The crowd response at the Lucas Oil Stadium has been huge for Indiana-trained swimmers, and they’ve responded in kind. So far, seven athletes have earned Olympic berths, with one more in position to be named as a relay-only swimmer.

  • Chris Guiliano (University of Notre Dame) – 100 free (1st), 200 free (2nd) *50 free final still to swim
  • Lilly King (Indiana Swim Club) – 100 breast (1st), 200 breast (2nd)
  • Aaron Shackell (Carmel Swim Club) – 400 free (1st) *100 fly still to swim
  • Alex Shackell (Carmel Swim Club) – 200 fly (2nd), 200 free (6th) *50 free still to swim
  • Josh Matheny (Indiana Swim Club) – 200 breast (2nd)
  • Luke Whitlock (Fishers Area Swimming Tigers) – 800 free (2nd) *1500 free still to swim
  • Anna Peplowski (Indiana Swim Club) – 200 free (5th)
  • Blake Pieroni (Indiana Swim Club) – 200 free (6th)

A couple days ago, SwimSwam reported some stats on the results thus far at U.S. Trials. We’ve been tracking time improvement by percentage dropped from seed time. Here’s an updated table with stats through session 11.


Group Total Athletes Improved Improved % Made Cut Made Cut % Biggest Drop (by %)
All 1428 402 28.15% 867 60.71% Liam Bell (1:01.66 –> 59.40), 100 Breast
Men 828 259 31.28% 521 62.92% Liam Bell (1:01.66 –> 59.40), 100 Fly
Women 600 143 23.83% 346 57.67% Lucy Bell (1:00.14 –> 58.85), 100 Fly
Indiana 107 31 28.97% 62 57.94% Chris Guiliano (1:48.75 –> 1:45.38), 200 Free

Note: The ‘Indiana’ category counts athletes who are currently representing the Indiana LSC.

After a few more sessions, the numbers don’t entirely back up the claim that the crowd is powering up Indiana-trained swimmers to the swims of their lives. The percentage of swimmers who improved from seed time is less than a percent above average.

Now, let’s debut a new metric: a sum of percentage delta from seed time to best swim. To calculate this, only the fastest swim done throughout the meet counts. If a swimmer dropped time in prelims but regressed in the semis, only the prelims swim is taken into consideration. A negative percentage means a swimmer has improved from seed time, while a positive percentage means they added.

We’ve filtered it to only swimmers repping Indiana as an LSC for the purposes of this article:

Name Team Sum Improvement % Number of Swims
Chris Guiliano University Of Notre Dame -4.20% 3
Will Modglin Zionsville Swim Club -2.28% 3
Luke Whitlock Fishers Area Swimming Tigers -2.24% 2
Owen McDonald Indiana Swim Club -2.20% 4
Alex Shackell Carmel Swim Club -1.28% 3
Josh Bey Highland Hurricanes Swim Club -1.27% 2
Blake Pieroni Indiana Swim Club -1.22% 2
Tommy Janton University Of Notre Dame -1.11% 2
Coleman Modglin Purdue University -0.90% 1
Tanner Filion Unattached -0.69% 1
Isaac Fleig Fishers Area Swimming Tigers -0.67% 1
Kristina Paegle Indiana Swim Club -0.38% 1
Anna Peplowski Indiana Swim Club -0.30% 3
Gregg Enoch Carmel Swim Club -0.28% 4
Anna Freed Indiana Swim Club -0.09% 1
Harry Herrera Indiana Swim Club -0.08% 1
Mariah Denigan Indiana Swim Club 0.33% 1
Josh Matheny Indiana Swim Club 0.42% 2
Marcus Reyes-Gentry Unattached 0.44% 2
Michael Eastman Indiana Swim Club 0.46% 1
Mya Dewitt Indiana Swim Club 0.47% 2
Andrew Shackell Carmel Swim Club 0.50% 1
Kacey Mckenna Indiana Swim Club 0.52% 1
Josh Fleagle Unattached 0.55% 1
Mason Carlton Indiana Swim Club 0.65% 2
Ella Ristic Indiana Swim Club 0.70% 1
Brayden Cole U Indy 0.78% 1
Tristan Dewitt Indiana Swim Club 0.95% 1
Brady Samuels Purdue University 1.00% 2
Maddie Moreth Valparaiso Swim Club 1.25% 2
Reese Tiltmann Indiana Swim Club 1.31% 1
Brendan Burns Indiana Swim Club 1.38% 2
Elyse Heiser Indiana Swim Club 1.40% 1
Lily Christianson Irish Aquatics 1.48% 2
Logan Kelly Jaguar Aquatics 1.56% 2
Kabria Chapman Indiana Swim Club 1.64% 1
Max Reich Indiana Swim Club 1.64% 2
Lucas Piunti Indiana Swim Club 1.69% 1
Julie Mishler Fishers Area Swimming Tigers 1.80% 2
Masy Folcik Purdue University 1.93% 1
Lilly King Indiana Swim Club 2.11% 2
Matthew Klinge Boilermaker Aquatics 2.12% 1
Jassen Yep Indiana Swim Club 2.13% 3
Drew Reiter Indiana Swim Club 2.24% 3
Maggie Graves Unattached 2.24% 1
Luke Barr Unattached 2.69% 2
Emily Wolf Fishers Area Swimming Tigers 3.17% 2
Toby Barnett Indiana Swim Club 3.23% 2
Gavin Wight Indiana Swim Club 3.61% 3
Kate Mouser Purdue University 3.87% 1
Lynsey Bowen Carmel Swim Club 3.96% 3
Aaron Shackell Carmel Swim Club 4.24% 3
Kayla Han Carmel Swim Club 4.28% 3
Mary Elizabeth Cespedes Valparaiso Swim Club 4.73% 2
Ellie Clarke Carmel Swim Club 4.87% 2
Molly Sweeney Carmel Swim Club 8.43% 2
Sean Faikish University Of Notre Dame 10.32% 3

Chris Guiliano – Here Come the Irish

Unsurprisingly, Chris Guiliano leads this list. After breaking onto the international scene at 2023 U.S. Nationals, the ND-trained swimmer has been on a meteoric rise. Night 5 of these Trials was his crowning achievement (so far), when he won the top spot in the 100 freestyle.

Guiliano has dropped time nearly every time he’s hit the water, something few athletes can say. The data here doesn’t include the semifinal of the 50 free, but rest assured he went another best time there as well.

Chris Guiliano’s Time Improvements Through Session 11: 

200 Free 100 Free 50 Free
Entry Time 1:48.75 47.49 21.96
Prelims 1:47.05 47.65 21.83
Semis 1:46.83 47.25 21.59
Finals 1:45.38 47.38 still to swim

Owen McDonald – A Warm Welcome

While it’s easy to focus on the swimmers who’ve earned Olympic berths, some of the best improvement we’ve seen at this meet has come from Owen McDonald, who across four events has put together the 4th best performance by this metric.

McDonald spent his first two years of college at Arizona State, but announced his transfer to Indiana University after Bob Bowman was named the Director of Swimming & Diving and head coach of the men’s team at the University of Texas.

He’s already repping Indiana Swim Club at this meet, and has shown strong improvement so far. In his first race of the meet, the 200 free, he dropped almost two seconds from seed (1:49.91 to 1:48.05), good for 23rd overall.

McDonald’s next race was the 100 free, where he earned another 23rd place finish. He swam another PB in the process (49.15).

He didn’t quite hit a PB in the 200 back, but bounced back in the 200 IM to earn his first finals swim of the meet. He shaved over half a second off his entry time in prelims (1:59.13) and then almost another second in semis (1:58.21) to sit at 5th heading into finals.

While it’d be a surprise if McDonald made the team, he’s had a strong showing in front of his new home crowd.

Aaron Shackell & Luke Whitlock – Young Guns in Contrast

Aaron Shackell and Luke Whitlock, hailing from Carmel and Noblesville, Indiana respectively, both had big swims to book their tickets to Paris. Shackell won the 400 free, lowering his best time by just over a second and a half, while Whitlock placed second in the 800, shedding just over five seconds.

It might be surprising to see Shackell ranked so low on this table, but that percentage is mostly inflated by the 200 fly. Shackell added over five seconds in prelims, failing to advance to semis despite being ranked in the top seven. In his other event, the 200 free, he wasn’t quite able to get down to his entry time of 1:46.35.

On the other hand Whitlock, with only two events, is in the negatives. In his first outing at this meet, the 400 free, he placed 5th after coming in as the top seed. But he didn’t let an early loss shake him, as he was back with a vengeance in the 800 free. After claiming the top seed again, he actually closed faster than defending Olympic champion Bobby Finke, touching 2nd and getting on the Paris team.

Comparing these two swimmers only goes to show how difficult it is to perform at this meet. Both will represent the stars and stripes in Paris, but both have had very different meets.

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