When To Watch Dressel, Ledecky, and Other Team USA Stars at Olympic Trials

2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

Look, we get it. As much as you’d love to stay glued to your screen for every last minute of USA Swimming’s Olympic Trials, sometimes life gets in the way, and you have to pick and choose where you can focus your attention.

So, if you, or perhaps your more casual swimming fan friends, are limited on time, and want to make sure you can watch some of the biggest names in USA Swimming swim their races at Trials, we’ve compiled a handy-dandy list of the days and (very approximate) times that some stars are scheduled to be racing.

A couple quick caveats, though. First, there’s no guarantee that all of these swimmers will race every event in which they’re entered. That’s especially true for a few of the men, and we’ll discuss specific schedules below. Second, we don’t have prelim heats sheets, or an official timeline for finals yet, so these times are rough ranges or guesses. That’s especially true for finals, where the schedule is slightly different than it was in 2016. So, make sure you check out SwimSwam each evening to take a look at the finals heats sheets before tuning in.

Caeleb Dressel

There’s little doubt Dressel will race the 50 free, 100 free, and the 100 fly, events in which he’s the American and World (100 fly) record holder. Expect him to at least swim the 200 free prelims, but the 200 fly and 200 IM seem less likely. The 100 free is aways a great race to watch, and while Dressel comes in as the clear favorite, there won’t be much room for error with arguably the strongest USA men’s field ever in the event swimming alongside him.

Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13
Monday, 6/14 200 free: 10:24-10:29am
200 free semis: 7:11pm
Tuesday, 6/15 200 fly: 10:27-10:50am
200 free final: 7:03pm
200 fly semis: 7:46pm
Wednesday, 6/16 100 free: 10:00-10:19am 100 free semis: 6:51pm
200 fly final: 7:13pm
Thursday, 6/17 200 IM: 11:16-11:42am
100 free final: 7:53pm
200 IM semis: 8:17pm
Friday, 6/18 100 fly: 11:01-11:12am
200 IM final: 8:17pm
100 fly semis: 9:11pm
Saturday, 6/19 50 free: 10:00-10:15am 100 fly final: 8:00pm
50 free semis: 8:50pm
Sunday, 6/20
50 free final: 7:15pm

Katie Ledecky

The only real question on the freestyle star’s schedule is whether or not she’ll swim the 100 free. It comes toward the end of the week, with only the 800 free afterward, so it seems like there’s a good chance she will. World records are in danger almost any time she’s in the pool, and given the schedule, the 1500 prelim she’ll swim on Tuesday morning may represent the best chance for a world record to fall during a morning session next week.

Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13
Monday, 6/14 400 free: 11:31am-12:10pm
400 free final: 7:47pm
Tuesday, 6/15 200 free: 10:00-10:27am
200 free semis: 6:49pm
1500 free: 11:23am-12:55pm
Wednesday, 6/16
200 free final: 7:02pm
1500 free final: 8:05pm
Thursday, 6/17 100 free: 10:00-10:22am
100 free semis: 7:13pm
Friday, 6/18 800 free: 10:00-11:01am
100 free final: 8:55pm
Saturday, 6/19
800 free final: 8:20pm
Sunday, 6/20

Simone Manuel

Manuel is known primarily for her 50 and 100 freestyles — she won gold in the 100 free in Rio — but she’s steadily improved her 200 free over the last five years, too. Somewhat oddly, she hasn’t raced that event at all this season, but it’d still be a bit of a surprise if she didn’t swim it this week. Like Dressel, she’s the favorite in the sprint freestyles, but again, there are several women in each event who could challenge her.

Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13
Monday, 6/14
Tuesday, 6/15 200 free: 10:00-10:27am
200 free semis: 6:49pm
Wednesday, 6/16
200 free final: 7:02pm
Thursday, 6/17 100 fre: 10:00-10:22am
100 free semis: 7:13pm
Friday, 6/18
100 free final: 8:55pm
Saturday, 6/19 50 free: 10:15-10:28am
50 free semis: 9:00pm
Sunday, 6/20
50 free final: 7:30pm

Ryan Murphy

The reigning Olympic champion in both backstrokes is also entered in the 100 fly, where he’s seeded 14th. He’ll be essentially done with both backstrokes by the 100 fly, so he could very well swim that just to see what happens.

Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13
Monday, 6/14 100 back: 11:07-11:31am
100 back semis: 8:00pm
Tuesday, 6/15
100 back final: 7:23pm
Wednesday, 6/16
Thursday, 6/17 200 back: 10:22-10:48am
200 back semis: 7:24pm
Friday, 6/18
200 back finals: 8:14pm
100 fly semis: 9:11pm
Saturday, 6/19 100 fly final: 8:00pm
Sunday, 6/20

Michael Andrew

Andrew is entered in six events, including at least one event of each stroke. He’s a lock to swim the 100 breast, 200 IM, and 50 free, and from some recent social media posts, it sounds like he’s still planning on the other events, but that’d be a pretty hefty schedule, so he may end up paring it down as the meet goes on. He just set the U.S. Open Record (fastest time on U.S. soil, regardless of nationality) in the 100 breast last month, so the American Record (fastest time by a US swimmer, regardless of location) could go down Monday night.

Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13 100 breast: 12:09-12:26pm
100 breast semis: 8:06pm
Monday, 6/14 100 back: 11:07-11:31am
100 breast final: 7:38pm
100 back semis: 8:00pm
Tuesday, 6/15
100 back final: 7:23pm
Wednesday, 6/16 100 free: 10:00-10:10am
100 free semis: 6:51pm
Thursday, 6/17 200 IM: 11:16-11:43am
100 free final: 7:53pm
200 IM semis: 8:17pm
Friday, 6/18 100 fly: 11:01-11:21am
200 IM final: 8:43pm
100 fly semis: 9:11pm
Saturday, 6/19 50 free: 10:00-10:15am
100 fly final: 8:00pm
50 free semis: 8:50pm
Sunday, 6/20
50 free finals: 7:15pm

Lilly King

The 100 breast world record holder will be focusing solely on her primary discipline. Tune in Monday and Tuesday evenings to see if she can rattle her own world record.

King Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13
Monday, 6/14 100 breast: 10:49-11:07am
100 breast semis: 7:25pm
Tuesday, 6/15
100 breast final: 7:33pm
Wednesday, 6/16
Thursday, 6/17 200 breast: 10:48-11:16am
200 breast semis: 8:00pm
Friday, 6/18
200 breast final: 8:00pm
Saturday, 6/19
Sunday, 6/20

Ryan Lochte

The 36 year-old has been swimming crazy Olympic Trial event schedules longer than some of the swimmers he’ll be competing against have been alive. He’s back training under former University of Florida head coach Gregg Troy, and the Gators have a reputation for over-entering events, and then scratching. Like Andrew, Lochte has been pretty vocal about competing in most of these events, but realistically we’d expect to see him pare back that schedule. His best bets for Olympic berth probably come in the 200 free, where he could be in the running for a spot on the 4×200 free relay, and the 200 IM, where he’s held the world record for the last ten years.

L Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13 400 IM: 10:00-10:35am
400 IM final: 7:41pm
Monday, 6/14 200 free: 10:24-10:49am
200 free semis: 7:11pm
100 back: 11:07-11:31am
100 back semis: 8:00pm
Tuesday, 6/15
200 free final: 7:00pm
100 back final: 7:23pm
Wednesday, 6/16
Thursday, 6/17 200 back: 10:22-10:48am
200 back semis: 7:24pm
200 IM: 11:16-11:43am
200 IM semis: 8:17pm
Friday, 6/18 100 fly: 11:01-11:21am
200 back finals: 8:15pm
200 IM finals: 8:43pm
100 fly semis: 9:11pm
Saturday, 6/19
100 fly final: 8:00pm
Sunday, 6/20

Regan Smith

The 19 year-old is almost as versatile as Andrew and Lochte, but she’s sticking to just the fly and backstroke events. She’s the current world record holder in both backstrokes, and especially with an incredibly strong field in the 100 back, she could go after the world record either Monday or Tuesday evenings.

Regan Smith Prelims Finals
Sunday, 6/13 100 fly: 10:00-10:35am
100 fly semis: 7:16pm
Monday, 6/14 100 back: 10:00-10:24am
100 fly final: 7:00pm
100 back semis: 8:14pm
Tuesday, 6/15
100 back final: 7:14pm
Wednesday, 6/16 200 fly: 10:19-10:38am
200 fly semis: 7:23pm
Thursday, 6/17
200 fly final: 7:43pm
Friday, 6/18 200 back: 11:21-11:49am
200 back semis: 8:25pm
Saturday, 6/19
200 back finals: 8:15pm
Sunday, 6/20

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sepgup
1 month ago

So only finals on Olympic Channel? No prelims there?

ClubCoach
Reply to  sepgup
1 month ago

If I read the broadcast schedule correctly – Finals (live) are on NBC every night except for Thursday, June 17th, when they will be shown live on NBCSN and delayed on NBC. Prelims (delayed – not live) will be on NBCSN every day except Sunday, June 20th, when there are no prelims. Times vary.

Khachaturian
1 month ago

Ryan is gonna swim half of the events he is entered in. Unless he just uses those other events as a warm up or something.

Aquajosh
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

He isn’t swimming everything he’s entered in. Troy said in a press conference last night that he isn’t swimming anywhere close to his typical Trials program.

tnp101
1 month ago

Would love to get the schedule of Curzan and Huske as well please.

Joel Lin
1 month ago

it’s swammer nerd XMas Eve.

harambe
1 month ago

Can’t watch every last minute of olympic trials coverage? Challenge accepted

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

Katie Ledecky will be one busy women:

6300 meters

Gator
1 month ago

*Fast

Bayliss
1 month ago

Is Michael Andrew the best overall swimmer in history if you take the total time of the 4 x 100’s of strokes?

Phelps-
49.82
53.01
1:02.57
47.51

3:32.91

Andrew
50.80
53.40
58.67
49.46

3:32.35

Swimpop
Reply to  Bayliss
1 month ago

No.