USA Swimming recently announced their selection criteria for the 2021-2022 Open Water National Team and National Junior Team.
The document detailing the selection process features two different sets of criteria: one for the 2021 Open Water National Team and one for the 2021-2022 Open Water National Team. The 2021 National Team roster is set to remain active from May 1st, 2021 until October 31st, 2021. Following the end of the 2021 roster period, the 2021-2022 roster will be active from November 1st, 2021 through May 1st, 2022.
Athletes who have previously been selected (Haley Anderson, Ashley Twichell, and Jordan Wilimovsky) to compete in the 10k during the 2021 Olympic Games will secure a spot on both rosters automatically. Athletes may also qualify for either team through placing in the top five in the 10k at a specific qualifying meet.
The top five men and women in the 10k at the 2021 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships held in April will earn a spot on the 2021 team. Similarly, the top five placing men and women at the 10k Open Water Invitational held in Las Vegas will land a spot on the 2021-2022 National Team Roster.
A set of general criteria must be met by all athletes in addition to the swimming qualifications, including eligibility to represent the U.S. in international competition, capacity to pass a criminal backgrounding screening within five days of qualifying for the team, and maintaining good standing as a USA Swimming member at the time of qualification and selection.
Athletes who qualify for the Open Water National Team and meet all of the criteria will be eligible for the direct athlete support offered by USA Swimming. This support includes a monthly stipend, and those who receive the stipend will also receive health insurance courtesy of USA Swimming.
The 2021 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships is set to kick off on April 16th, 2021 in Fort Myers, Florida. The 2021 Fina Open Water World Juniors team will also be selected at this meet, as well as the 2021-2021 Open Water National Junior Team. The meet will span over the course of three days, finishing out on April 18th. Both the men’s and the women’s 10k events will take place on the first day of the meet, which will determine the next 10 members of the 2021 Open Water National Team.
Swimmers looking to qualify for the 2021- 2022 National Team will attend the 10k Open Water Invitational, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada beginning on September 18th, 2021. Last October, all three athletes currently qualified for the Olympic team competed in the West Coast Open Water Championships. The meet took place in Las Vegas and marked the first major domestic open water competition since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Several swimmers showed promise of making the 2021-2022 National Team and the majority are set to compete again in Fort Myers.