The Official 2018 SwimSwam U.S. Nationals Preview Index


Simplified Selection Criteria – 100/200 frees

  • Top 4 to 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  • Top 2-6 juniors to 2018 Junior Pan Pacs
  • Top 4-6 (from Nationals + Pan Pacs) to 2019 World Championships
  • 4-6 more to 2019 World University Games
  • 2+ more to 2019 Pan American Games

Simplified Selection Criteria – Most Olympic Events

  • Top 1-4 to 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  • Top 2-6 juniors to 2018 Junior Pan Pacs
  • Top 1-2 (from Nationals + Pan Pacs) to 2019 World Championships
  • 1-2 more to 2019 World University Games
  • 1-2 more to 2019 Pan American Games

Simplified Selection Criteria – Non-Olympic Events

  • Top 1 to 2019 World Championships

As we count down the remaining month before the U.S. National Championships and the selection of national travel teams for the next two years, we’ll be compiling links and picks from all of our event-by-event previews on this page.

Bookmark this page to stay on top of every race we preview and for a quick look at our top picks in each race.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Day 1 W 200 fly Hali Flickinger Katie Drabot
M 200 fly Jack Conger Chase Kalisz
W 100 free Simone Manuel Mallory Comerford Lia Neal Margo Geer Allison Schmitt Katie Ledecky
M 100 free Caeleb Dressel Nathan Adrian Townley Haas Zach Apple Blake Pieroni Ryan Held
W 800 free Katie Ledecky Leah Smith
M 1500 free Jordan Wilimovsky Zane Grothe
Day 2 W 200 free Katie Ledecky Mallory Comerford Leah Smith Allison Schmitt Melanie Margalis Missy Franklin
M 200 free Townley Haas Jack Conger Blake Pieroni Zane Grothe Caeleb Dressel Conor Dwyer
W 200 breast Lilly King Bethany Galat
M 200 breast Kevin Cordes  Josh Prenot
W 200 back Kathleen Baker Regan Smith
M 200 back Ryan Murphy Jacob Pebley
W 50 fly Kelsi Dahlia
M 50 fly Caeleb Dressel
Day 3 W 400 IM Leah Smith Melanie Margalis
M 400 IM Chase Kalisz Abrahm DeVine
W 100 fly Kelsi Dahlia Mallory Comerford
M 100 fly Caeleb Dressel Jack Conger
W 50 breast Lilly King
M 50 breast Andrew Wilson
W 50 back Olivia Smoliga
M 50 back Justin Ress
Day 4 W 400 free Katie Ledecky Leah Smith
M 400 free Zane Grothe Townley Haas
W 100 breast Lilly King Katie Meili
M 100 breast Kevin Cordes Andrew Wilson
W 100 back Kathleen Baker Olivia Smoliga
M 100 back Ryan Murphy Justin Ress
Day 5 W 1500 free Katie Ledecky Leah Smith
W 200 IM Melanie Margalis Kathleen Baker
M 200 IM Chase Kalisz Josh Prenot
M 800 free Zane Grothe Clark Smith
W 50 free Simone Manuel Margo Geer
M 50 free Caeleb Dressel Michael Andrew

National Team Tracker

Interested in what our projected finish orders would mean for the five major international travel teams being selected this summer? We’ve got you covered, with this updating spreadsheet of national team rosters and selection priorities for all five meets.

Here’s how to read it: The colors refer to selection priorities, helping us re-order the sheet as we go to see which athletes will be selected first. We’ll use our projected finish orders to show who should make which team. Be patient, as this is a complex process that may require some time after previews go live to update our projected roster.

Selection criteria:

  • Blue: Priority #1
  • Red: Priority #2
  • Green: Priority #3
  • Yellow: Priority #4

We’ll update these as soon as we can after each new preview is posted. Remember that 2019 Worlds selections also include the results of 2018 Pan Pacs, which is why we’ll keep those roster spots in bold – they are tentative until Pan Pacs has wrapped, and all 2019 projected rosters are assuming that finish orders stay exactly as our Nationals finish predictions at Pan Pacs. Since our top 8 picks don’t often feature a lot of juniors, the Junior Pan Pacs roster projections will be pretty thin. We’ll be doing some extra coverage on the top Junior Pan Pac contenders next month.

Update: We’ve published a compilation of the top times by Junior Pan Pacs eligible swimmers over the Nationals qualifying period in every event. We’ll continue to add any junior athletes picked inside our top 8 to the Junior Pan Pacs roster below, but we’ll fill out the remainder with swimmers from those rankings to give an even better idea of Junior Pan Pacs roster spot predictions.

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5 years ago

So I’ve asked this before… why doesn’t Chase Kalisz have a sponsor????

5 years ago

Is Conor Dwyer set to swim at nationals? He has actually been faster than Townley this season in the 200 free so if he swims it will be interesting to see what he can do

too impressed
Reply to  CIARLA
5 years ago

Conor is entered in the 100/200 free and the 200 im

5 years ago

50 free: Dressel 21.3, Andrew 21.5
100 free: Dressel 47.6, Adrian 48.0
200 free: Haas 1:45.1, Pieroni 1:45.3
400 free: Grothe 3:43.4, Smith 3:44.9
800 free: Grothe 7:49.1, Smith 7:50.3
1500 free: Grothe 14:52.5, Smith 14:57.8
50 back: Ress 24.2
100 back: Grevers 52.7, Murphy 52.7
200 back: Murphy 1:53.9, Pebley 1:54.7
50 breast: Cordes 26.7
100 breast: Cordes 58.7, Andrew 59.1
200 breast: Cordes 2:07.5, Licon 2:08.2 (This event can really go anywhere, Cordes, Wilson, Licon,
Kalisz, and Roy all have a pretty much equal shot)
50 fly: Dressel 22.8
100 fly: Dressel 50.4, Conger 51.1
200 fly: Conger 1:54.2,… Read more »

Reply to  IM FAN
5 years ago

Agree on almost all of these. Will be interesting to see if Schmitty can regain her 2012-era form and knock Smith out of the #2 spot in the 2Free.

Reply to  IM FAN
5 years ago

You showed Leah Smith making 3 personal bests in 5 events. Isn’t it too much to expect? It is not realistic. Either load or times. Plus Leah will save taper most likely for the Pam Pac.

College Question
5 years ago

Can Runge swim at World University Games if she was not a college swimmer last year?

Reply to  College Question
5 years ago

Yes, because she was a college student. Remember, most of the world’s college students who are athletes aren’t college athletes in the way we think of them – WUGs selection criteria focuses on enrollment, not “NCAA.” In fact, several professional athletes swim at WUGs every year.

5 years ago

Quick question: if an athlete simultaneously qualifies for both Jr. Pan Pacs and WUGs, will they have the option to choose which meet they will elect to participate in?

Reply to  swimmerTX
5 years ago

That’s not immediately clear. I can’t find anything in the selection procedures that precludes them from competing in both. I think USA Swimming probably presumed that there wouldn’t be overlap because of age.

Marshall Guill
5 years ago

I will admit that I am just a lowly high school swim coach but have followed swimming all my life. So please do not shoot the coach here for what I am going to present and ask. I know that Caeleb Dressel does not train for the 200 IM and is focused on three main events. However, he holds the American record in the 200 SCY IM at a 1:38.13 which converts to a 1:52.12 LCM. I wonder why he does not compete in the 200 IM? He certainly can swim that event fast. He is actually a very fast breast stroke r too! Any comments?

Reply to  Marshall Guill
5 years ago

Good question! A lot of people have speculated about Dressel swimming the 200 IM. Remember he already has a fairly crowded schedule, so adding a 200 would be tough.

In addition, the 200 IM LCM is quite different from SCY. SCY it’s all about being explosive off the walls, and it’s basically an all out sprint. LCM you need better control and of course you don’t get the walls.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Dressel tries a 200 IM at a big meet eventually, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

Reply to  Marshall Guill
5 years ago

Adding onto the schedule problem, the big issue is how it’s minutes before the 50 free. He may compete, but let him take his time training and thinking

Becky D
Reply to  Marshall Guill
5 years ago

Maybe he didn’t want to compete against RL. The coast is clear now.

Stands 6’5’’ And Can Absolutely Fly
Reply to  Becky D
5 years ago

He is signed up for the 200IM now. That doesn’t guarantee that he’ll swim it, but he’s at least entered.

5 years ago

Gosh I hope I make it!

5 years ago

I find it amusing that Men’s 800 free is on the spreadsheet but is not up yet as a preview.

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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