WATCH: 13-Year-Old Pelaez Becomes Youngest 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier


  • February 6th-8th, 2020
  • LCM (50m) pool
  • Plantation, Florida
  • Results on Meet Mobile “2020 Senior Long Course Sectional Qualifier”

Eagle Aquatics’ 13-year-old Erika Pelaez competed at the 2020 Sectionals Qualifier in Plantation, Florida this past weekend, becoming the youngest American swimmer to have qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials. Pelaez made multiple cuts, qualifying in both the 100 meter free and 100 meter back. You can watch a video of her races below, courtesy of Eugenia Pelaez on YouTube.



Palaez dropped over a second in the 100 free, hitting a 56.03 to swim 2 tenths below the Olympic Trials Cut (56.29). In the 100 back, she also swam a best time by over a second. Her 1:02.65 was a few hundredths faster than the Olympic Trials Cut (1:02.69). While there are 2 other swimmers who made Trials cuts at age 13, Katie Grimes and Jillian Cox, Palaez is the youngest. Grimes and Cox have since turned 14, while Palaez will still be 13 years old when Olympic Trials rolls around.

As far as we can tell, this is the fastest 100 free ever swum by a 13 year old. The fastest 100 free on record for a 13 year old prior to Palaez’s swim was a 56.14 done by Olympic Champion Missy Johnson (formerly Missy Franklin) at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Johnson still holds the 13-14 National Age Group Record, which stands at a 54.03 from 2009.

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Daniel Smith
8 months ago

Good for her! From the sound of her parents voices maybe a trip to Omaha is not out of the question? She will get a great experience, swim hard, meet all the current and former Olympians and return faster and inspired in four years! I do not see a downside here. SWIMSWAM should chat with her too, with her parents permission.

8 months ago

Yikes, thats super early. Hope she can continue to experience progress for the next 5 years until she graduates.

Reply to  Brad
8 months ago


The Underminer
Reply to  Brad
8 months ago

Dude… She’s 13. It’s not like she’s peaked or anything lol

Reply to  Brad
8 months ago

There are former olympians that made their trials cuts at 12 years old (Dana Vollmer) I think this bodes well for Erika

Awsi Dooger
8 months ago

Superior camerawork and commentary than the ISL

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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