The U.S. Worlds Team Got Younger, But Not By as Much as We Thought

The United States’ team for the 2017 World Championships has gotten younger – but perhaps not by as much as you’d expect.

The average member of the U.S. team at the Olympic Games was 23.3 years old. This year’s team is younger, but maybe not by as much as you’d think – the average member of the 2017 team is 22 years, 204 days old. That’s a drop of about .7 years (about 9 months) per swimmer on average.

It feels like that gap should be bigger. There were 5 members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team who were at least 30 years old, and none of the 5 (Phelps, Lochte, Weir, Ervin, Plummer) are on this year’s World Championships team. Other veterans from Rio like Tom Shields, Dana Vollmer, Allison Schmitt, Jimmy Feigen, and Connor Jaeger are also not on this year’s team.

There are also far more teenagers on this year’s team, including 15-year old Regan Smith and 17-year olds Robert Finke and Dakota Luther.

What seems to have happen, in spite of the extremes on both ends getting younger, is that the ‘middle class’ of swimmers have been rewarded for prolonging their careers beyond college. Swimmers like Zane Grothe and Katie Meili and Melanie Margalis have brought up the average age. The median age of the team is 22 years and 100 days, which is fairly close to the mean age. The median age, which is one way to control for the effects of outliers (like the 15-year old Smith), being so close to the mean age indicates that it’s this group in the middle that has the biggest impact on the average age of the team, and that median lands where one would expect – right around the age of someone recently graduated from college. This year’s team is dense with swimmers in that category.

Also true is that in spite of a lot of turnover, there’s a large core of the team that remains the same from Rio, and that core is one year older than they were at the Olympics. If one compared the average age of this year’s Worlds team on August 5th, 2016 to the age of the Olympic Team on August 5th, 2016, that gap would be more like a year and 9 months, which is more what the perception of the shift is.

Happy Birthday….

  • …to Kelsi Worrell, who celebrated her 23rd birthday on Saturday, July 15th, at training camp in Ostia
  • …to Nic Fink, who will celebrate his 25th birthday in Budapest on the day after the conclusion of swimming, July 31st
  • …to Ryan Murphy (July 2nd) and Hali Flickinger (July 3rd), who got to celebrate their birthdays before leaving for camp


  • …the youngest male member of the team is Robert Finke, who will be 17 years, 264 days old when the meet starts.
  • …the youngest female member of the team is Regan Smith, who will be 15 years, 168 days old when the meet starts.
  • …the oldest male member of the team is Matt Grevers, who will be 32 years, 127 days old when the meet starts.
  • …the oldest female member of the team is Katie Meili, who will be 26 years, 105 days old when the meet starts.

Other Stuff

  • The men’s team is on average older than the women’s team, as is usually the case. The average male swimmer is 23 years, 103 days old, while the average female swimmer is 21 years, 267 days old.
  • Both the male and female teams have dropped in age about evenly since Rio – the men’s team has gotten .7 years younger on average, while the women’s team has gotten about .9 years younger, on average.
  • There will be 6 teenagers swimming for Team USA in Budapest. That’s the same number as were in Rio, with the difference that in Rio – all 6 of them were 19.
  • Two of the three high school swimmers on the team, Robert Finke and Dakota Luther, were born 1 day apart.
  • The entire team combined has been on earth for just over 1,015 years. This is still a useless stat, but we still think it’s fun.

Each swimmer’s birthday and age

Men’s Team Birthdate Age Zodiac Sign
Chase Kalisz 3/7/1994 23 years, 144 days Pisces
Kevin Cordes 8/13/1993 23 years, 350 days Leo
Ryan Murphy 7/2/1995 22 years, 27 days Cancer
Townley Haas 12/13/1996 20 years, 227 days Sagittarius
Conor Dwyer 1/10/1989 28 years, 201 days Capricorn
Jack Conger 9/26/1994 22 years, 306 days Libran
Clark Smith 4/17/1995 22 years, 103 days Aries
Nathan Adrian 12/7/1988 28 years, 235 days Sagittarius
Caeleb Dressel 8/16/1996 20 years, 346 days Leo
Cody Miller 1/9/1992 25 years, 202 days Capricorn
Blake Pieroni 11/15/1995 21 years, 256 days Scorpio
Jay Litherland 8/24/1995 21 years, 339 days Virgo
Jacob Pebley 9/17/1993 23 years, 315 days Virgo
Matt Grevers 3/26/1985 32 years, 127 days Aries
Zach Apple 4/23/1997 20 years, 96 days Taurus
Abrahm DeVine 9/3/1996 20 years, 328 days Virgo
Nic Fink 7/3/1993 24 years, 26 days Cancer
Tim Phillips 11/30/1990 26 years, 242 days Sagittarius
Pace Clark 6/24/1994 23 years, 35 days Cancer
Michael Chadwick 4/15/1995 22 years, 105 days Aries
Zane Grothe 4/22/1992 25 years, 98 days Taurus
True Sweetser 10/14/1997 19 years, 287 days Libran
Robert Finke 11/6/1999 17 years, 264 days Scorpio
Justin Ress 8/3/1997 19 years, 359 days Leo
Women’s Team
Katie Ledecky 3/17/1997 20 years, 133 days Pisces
Kelsi Worrell 7/15/1994 23 years, 14 days Cancer
Lilly King 2/10/1997 20 years, 168 days Aquarius
Olivia Smoliga 10/12/1994 22 years, 290 days Libran
Leah Smith 4/19/1995 22 years, 101 days Aries
Elizabeth Beisel 8/18/1992 24 years, 345 days Leo
Kathleen Baker 2/28/1997 20 years, 150 days Pisces
Katie Meili 4/16/1991 26 years, 105 days Aries
Simone Manuel 8/2/1996 20 years, 360 days Leo
Lia Neal 2/13/1995 22 years, 166 days Aquarius
Abbey Weitzeil 12/3/1996 20 years, 237 days Sagittarius
Hali Flickinger 7/7/1994 23 years, 22 days Cancer
Melanie Margalis 12/30/1991 25 years, 212 days Capricorn
Madisyn Cox 5/30/1995 22 years, 60 days Gemini
Bethany Galat 8/10/1995 21 years, 353 days Leo
Mallory Comerford 9/6/1997 19 years, 325 days Virgo
Hannah Stevens 5/9/1995 22 years, 81 days Taurus
Regan Smith 2/9/2002 15 years, 168 days Aquarius
Sarah Gibson 4/20/1995 22 years, 100 days Taurus
Dakota Luther 11/7/1999 17 years, 263 days Scorpio
Cierra Runge 3/7/1996 21 years, 143 days Pisces


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3 years ago

I love how the section of outer space in which the earth was facing when someone was born is somehow relevant.

Reply to  Markster
3 years ago


Reply to  Markster
3 years ago

When you get older like 26 you recover slower than younger swimmers, and you need longer tapers, maybe too long at times.

Reply to  Swimmer?
3 years ago

This is in reference to zodiac signs

3 years ago

What was the total age of the Rio team? Useless? Yes. But I’m still intrigued.

3 years ago

Luther and Finke being one day away from twinning <3.
Team Taurus consisting solely of baller surprise qualifiers. <3
Every member of Team Leo <3.
Madisyn Cox being the ONLY Gemini <33.
And one of the chillest Team USA members sharing a birthday with 75M FREE. <333

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

Taurus will surprise you.Zane Grothe born on 4/22 same date as me. There are few elite swimmers born on 3/22

cynthia curran
Reply to  cynthiacurran
3 years ago

I mean 4/22.

Reply to  cynthia curran
3 years ago

Why do people dislike him correcting himself? Kids.

Reply to  75M FREE
3 years ago

not many Scorpios at all : i counted Pieroni and Luther only .

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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