USA Swimming Announces 2021 SC Worlds Roster; Dressel Among Notable Absences

USA Swimming announced a roster of 28 swimmers that will compete at the 2021 FINA Short Course World Championships on Tuesday, with the meet scheduled for December 16-21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The roster features 15 swimmers that were on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, including individual gold medalist Lydia Jacoby and relay gold medal winners Zach Apple, Michael Andrew and Hunter Armstrong. The team also includes seven swimmers aged 19 and under—all on the women’s side.

There is an even split of 14 women and 14 men on the roster. In 2018, there were 17 women and 18 men on the American roster.


Women’s Team

Swimmer Event(s)
Katharine Berkoff 100 BK
Claire Curzan 50 FR; 50/100 FLY
Kate Douglass 200 IM
Emily Escobedo 100/200 BR
Katie Grimes 800 FR
Charlotte Hook 200 FLY
Torri Huske 100/200 FR; 50/100 FLY
Lydia Jacoby 50/100 BR
Paige Madden 200/400 FR
Melanie Margalis 100/200/400 IM; 200 BR
Isabelle Stadden 200 BK
Abbey Weitzeil 50/100 FR ; 100 IM
Emma Weyant 400IM; 400/800 FR
Rhyan White 50/100/200 BK

Men’s Team

Swimmer Event (s)
Michael Andrew 50 FR; 50/100 BR; 50/100 FLY; 100 IM
Zach Apple 100 FR
Hunter Armstrong 100 BK
Michael Brinegar 1500 FR
Shaine Casas 50/100/200 BK
Nic Fink 50/100/200 BR; 100 IM
Carson Foster 200/400 IM
Zach Harting 200 FLY
Ryan Held 50/100 FR
Trenton Julian 200 FLY
Will Licon 200 BR
Tom Shields 50/100 FLY
Kieran Smith 200/400 FR; 200/400 IM
Hunter Tapp 200 BK

Relays will be chosen by the coaching staff

The team notably does not include any relay-only swimmers. Michael Andrew leads the way with six individual entries, followed by Kieran SmithNic Fink, Melanie Margalis and Torri Huske who all have four.

Smith and Huske represent two of the 12 swimmers on the roster currently competing in the NCAA, while there are four junior swimmers on the women’s side that are still in high school.

Margalis, who is tied with Tom Shields as the oldest member of the team at 30, is coming off a disappointing U.S. Olympic Trials in the summer and isn’t competing in the International Swimming League this season, so her presence here feels significant in signifying she’s back into full training.

There are numerous glaring absences from the U.S. roster, none bigger than Caeleb Dressel, the SCM world record holder in three events and reigning SC world champion in the men’s 100 freestyle.

Other big names missing from the team include fellow SCM world record holder Coleman Stewart (men’s 100 back) and SCM American Record holders such as Lilly KingRyan Murphy and Olivia Smoliga.

Stewart had an explosive performance at the beginning of the International Swimming League (ISL) regular season in late August, breaking the world record in the men’s 100 backstroke in a time of 48.33.

Smoliga exploded for a record eight-gold medal performance at the 2018 SC Worlds in Hangzhou, China, including individual wins in the women’s 50 back and 100 back, while both King and Murphy have been among the top performers in the ISL over the past few years, largely dominating the women’s breaststroke and men’s backstroke events.

USA Swimming also announced eight swimmers that will be competing at the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series, also taking place in Abu Dhabi on December 15-16, directly before the beginning of the pool competition.

Below are the U.S. athletes competing in the open water event:

  •  Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University)
  •  David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores)
  •  Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./University of Florida)
  •  Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada)
  •  Joshua Brown (Winter Park, Fla./Highlander Aquatic Club)
  •  Katie Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada)
  •  Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State University)
  •  Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University)

The meet was initially scheduled to run in December 2020 but was postponed for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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tea rex
9 months ago

I count only one entry in men’s 200, 400, 1500 free and 50 back, and women’s 50 back, 50 breast, and 200 fly. Great job, selection criteria!

Plus scratches. On day 4, MA is scheduled to swim the first 4 events: 4×50 Fr, 100 IM, 50 fly, 50 fr. Nic Fink has 200 Br, 100 IM (??) back to back.

Last edited 9 months ago by tea rex
tea rex
9 months ago

She’s not literally a shark. I mean, humans don’t die when they stop swimming (immediately).

9 months ago

THE FACT THAT COLEMAN STEWART UIS NOT ON THIS TEAM IS A BUNCH OF BS!!!!!!! He is literally the freakin world record holder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How is that not enough to put you on the US national team!? Why are they using long course times for short course!!!!!!!! SO Stupid!!

9 months ago,the%20emirate%20of%20your%20residence.

That’s the current guidelines.

Basically, regardless of whatever special guidelines are put in place for athletes, Americans, if they test negative, don’t have to quarantine or do anything special. Vaccinated or not. And I’m sure FINA will uphold a testing standard.

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
Reply to  Braden Keith
9 months ago

Yes but the U.S. government is requiring all international travelers over 18 to show proof of vaccination after November 8th? I can’t see how the athletes will avoid being vaccinated.

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
9 months ago

I have seen a lot of these mis-descriptions of the new US government rules on social media, and have spent a lot of time correcting them (because, the answers are all there, for anyone who reads).

Ways in which your statement is inaccurate:

-It’s not all international travelers, just flyers
-If you are a US citizen or green card holder, and all members of the SC Worlds team are citizens, if you are unvaccinated, you just need a negative test within 24 hours of return travel.

9 months ago

I wonder if some of the absences are due to UAE’s protocols? As of now, there’s still a required 14-day quarantine upon arrival, regardless of vax status and any sort of negative testing. I know that’s caused a few non-athletes to not go. I have no idea if there’s some sort of exception for athletes (and/or if there’s a place for them to specifically “quarantine train” during that window), though.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
9 months ago

Not quite true.,the%20emirate%20of%20your%20residence.

UAE currently has no quarantines for vaccinated travelers, no quarantine for unvaccinated travelers from “green countries” with a negative test. The US is on the “green list.”

I also expect that there are exceptions for hosting a meet of this caliber. Even if that means an elevated testing level (like, you must be tested daily), I would suspect that they would be required to waive a quarantine retirement to be able to host.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
9 months ago

I’m from a winter sport that’s currently having its main pre-Olympic competition season, different country each weekend for a few months. Every country except one has exceptions to their Covid international traveler protocols for high level athletes entering for major sporting events, including athletes who aren’t vaccinated/aren’t vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine. (The biggest problem has been that Russia’s vaccine isn’t approved for entry into most countries because they won’t share efficacy data with other regulatory bureaus, and Russia’s vaccine isn’t approved for people under 18, so that’s a double whammy.) The winter sports don’t compete in UAE, but in general – exceptions are being made for athletes entering for these major sporting events in the winter sports doing major… Read more »

9 months ago

So disappointed Caeleb isn’t going. He holds WRs in 3 of the 5 SC individual events he swims. Oh, well, he can set the other two at ISL or elsewhere.

Reply to  Tony
9 months ago

Damn I really wanted to see his battle with Kyle or Kristof etc. Not a fan of ISL.

Reply to  Tony
9 months ago

He’s pretty smart not to go. Typically, swimmers have a year to decompress after the Olympics, but we’re just around the corner to 2022 and just two years to Paris. With long course Worlds next year and again in 2023, energy management is the name of the game. Also, I’m pretty sure meet timing had something to do with it. I doubt he wanted to be that far away from home that close to Christmas.

9 months ago

Usaswimming and fina are big dummies!!!

"I was watching Squid Game"
9 months ago

Can’t wait to take the piss out of MA when he doesn’t replicate what he did at 17

Last edited 9 months ago by "I was watching Squid Game"

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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