How the U.S. Olympic Roster Looks After Night 1 of Trials


Night one of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials is in the books, with three new Trials champions crowned. Here’s how the roster is looking after the first session of finals.


Men’s 400 IM

Men’s 400 free

Women’s 400 IM

Kalisz, Jaeger, and Dirado are guaranteed spots on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team with their strong performances tonight.

The 2nd place finishers aren’t guaranteed a spot on the team yet, because of a cap on team size. Only 26 men and 26 women are allowed on the team, which would be perfect if there were no relay swimmers, since there are 13 events with two individual spots for each. But, there are relay swimmers, so there is potential for there to be too many swimmers for the available spots.

However, it’s extremely unlikely for 26 different men to qualify for each unique spot on the team. Rather, there are instances where someone like Michael Phelps might qualify in two or three events, thus opening up more spots for people who finish second.

In all likelihood, enough swimmers will qualify in more than a single event, so all 2nd-place finishers in Omaha should make the team, too. Their spots just aren’t set in stone quite yet.


Men’s 400 IM

Men’s 400 free

Women’s 400 IM

Of the six probably qualifiers, this would be Dirado’s, Litherland’s, and Kalisz’s first Olympic team. Jaeger and Dwyer made the team in 2012, while Beisel has made it to the last two Games.

The men’s 100 breast and women’s 100 fly semifinals were also swum, with Kevin Cordes and Dana Vollmer qualifying for the top seeds going into finals after tonight.

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4 years ago

Can anyone else please explain why the second place people arent guaranteed? I am still a little confused on the explanation

Reply to  Kaez
4 years ago

Kaez – the short answer is that there’s a roster limit, and if the top 2 in each event are all different (aka, if everyone only qualifies in one event), every 2nd place finisher doesn’t get to go. The reality is that there’s always enough doubles and triples to go. Though, I’d say this year with less Phelps and less Lochte, guys who swim so many events so well, there’s a better-than-normal chance of it happening.

But really, it’s going to eventually happen. It’s just not technically true.

They’ll name the 2nd swimmers officially on later days as the math goes that way.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

2012- 49 swimmers (thus 3 spots unused)
2008- 43 / 9 (Phelps, Lochte and Coughlin swam a lot of events each)
2004- 43 / 9 (Phelps, Lochte and Coughlin again contributed)
2000- 48 / 4

It is worrying a little that with fewer swimmers poised to be in many events (it’s looking like Lochte will only swim 2 or 3, not 6, and Phelps will most likely do 5 or 6, and Franklin probably 1-4), that there is the possibility some people will be left off. Who gets cut first? Probably the 5th and 6th place relay finishers, I would imagine.

Reply to  Kaez
4 years ago

Only a maximum of 52 people (26 girls, 26 boys) are allowed to go to Rio.

Reply to  Kaez
4 years ago

I was reading the selection rules on the usa swimming web site a couple of weeks ago. If I remember correctly the top 4 in 100 and 200 freestyle + the first person in all of the other events are guaranteed. Then they select number 2’s based on world ranking in the event until they reach 26.

Reply to  Kaez
4 years ago

Do any historians know if a second place finisher has ever been left off of the team?

Reply to  Abbott
4 years ago

No, never due to roster limitations at least. The U.S. has always been under the 26 roster limit.

4 years ago

Both Beisel and Dwyer are pretty likely to qualify in other events (Dwyer more so), so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Peter
4 years ago

Almost feel like Jaeger’s more likely to qualify in a 2nd event than Beisel. He looked real good.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
4 years ago

Yup. Jaeger is pretty much a lock for the mile, moreso than Beisel for sure.

4 years ago

Has there ever been a case where second place didnt make olympic team

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Bob
4 years ago

Yes, but not because if this particular max of 52 swimmers roster.
In 2008, Lara Jackson didn’t get to swim Beijing. At the OT she finished 3rd in 50 free behind Torres and Hardy.
Hardy was later in the week removed from the team due to positive doping test. But it was too late (by one or two days I think) past by the deadline for USA swimming to submit a new name to IOC.
This was one of the most obvious downfall having trials so close to the Olympics.

That’s why now you have OT one week earlier than before, to give time to submit a new name in case something like that happens again.

Reply to  Attila the Hunt
4 years ago

Tara Kirk also did not get to swim the 100 breaststroke after a 3rd place finish behind Hardy. I see that circumstance as different than what I think Bob is referring to. Both of those swimmers finished 3rd at trials and were not excluded from the team due to squad size limit.

Just your math
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
4 years ago

Trials is a week earlier because the olympics are a week earlier. Same time between events.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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