The 2020 U.S. Open will look a little different than prior years. Because of ongoing restrictions to travel and gathering size around the country amid an increase in coronavirus cases, the event will be split into 9 meets in 9 different locations.
Each location will follow the same format, with one session on Thursday evening, one Friday morning, one Friday evening, and one Saturday morning. All will be timed finals.
|Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center
|Des Moines, Iowa
|Wellmark YMCA-The YMCA of Greater Des Moines
|Greensboro Aquatic Center
|Huntsville Aquatics Center
|Indiana University Natatorium *
|William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center
|San Antonio, Texas
|North East ISD Blossom Athletic Complex
|Selby Aquatic Center
That’s going to be a lot to keep track of, so among our more site-specific coverage, over the next week we’ll also work to assemble some high-level summary coverage that will help you pick out the key points from across the events.
As part of that summary coverage, below is a table of which US National Team members will be at which locations.
In total, 49 members of the US National Team are expected to compete. In total, there are 115 swimmers on the US National Team for the 2020-2021 season. Because of the cancellation of most long course taper meets, the roster was rolled over from last year for the most part, with Molly Hannis and Sam Stewart being added after breakout swims in the year prior.
Most of the remaining swimmers are in Budapest, Hungary racing as part of the ‘bubble’ for the International Swimming League, which has the first round of its semi-finals beginning on the same day as the US Open meets wrap up.
Among those National Teamers who are still in the US, the most notable absences from the list below are from the Stanford women’s post-grad group.
Nobody from that group is participating in this year’s ISL season, preferring to stay home and train. They’ve also opted not to make the 6 hour drive south to the nearest site in Irvine, California, either.
This means that Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel won’t swim in the U.S. Open, nor will National Team swimmers Brooke Forde, Katie Drabot, or Ella Eastin.
Among future Cardinal, the decision was split. Torri Huske, who graduates high school in the spring, will race in Richmond; Regan Smith, who deferred her enrollment at Stanford until next fall, will race in Des Moines; but Lillie Nordmann, who also deferred her enrollment until next fall and is at home training in Houston, has opted not to participate.
Most of the big names absent are either in college or linked to college teams. Between testing requirements, travel restrictions, and other complications brought on by COVID, many of these teams have opted to not participate in the US Open. There will be a round of college invites both that weekend and the one after, however.
Other (pool) National Team names absent from preliminary psych sheets, in spite of not being in the ISL:
- Isabella Stadden (freshman at Cal)
- Elise Haan (retired)
- Amanda Kendall
- Dakota Luther (senior at Georgia)
- Maxine Parker (freshman at Georgia)
- Andrew Abruzzo (junior at Georgia)
- Shaine Casas (junior at Texas A&M)
- Sean Grieshop (senior at Cal)
- Trenton Julian (senior at Cal)
- Bryce Mefford (senior at Cal)
- Nick Norman (Cal post-grad)
- Luca Urlando (freshman at Georgia)
- Nathan Adrian (Cal post-grad)
Many will race at sites close to home, though others, like Phoebe Bacon, will travel further away. She’s headed to Des Moines where she’ll get head-to-head backstroke battles with Regan Smith. The two are expected to both contend for backstroke spots on next year’s Olympic Team, with Smith being the World Record holder in long course over both 100 and 200 meters.
The highest concentrations of National Team athletes will be in Indianapolis and Greensboro, with each expecting 13 members. Each site aside from the one in Beaverton, Oregon will have at least one National Team member attending, and special focus will be on Sarasota, Florida, which is rich with story lines related to the Florida Gators. That includes more data points on the comeback progression of Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, and more long course results from last year’s NCAA Record breakers Bobby Finke and Kieran Smith.
In addition to the aforementioned swimmers, other big names participating:
- Dean Farris, the fastest 200 yard freestyler in history who sat out last collegiate season to prepare for Tokyo, will race in Greensboro. That site will also play host to the defending Olympic silver medalist in the 400 IM Chase Kalisz.
- The prior World Record holder in the 100 back and two-time Olympic medalist Kathleen Baker will compete in Indianapolis rather than Irvine, which is closest to her San Diego training location.
- Cody Miller, who is expecting his first child with wife Allie this month, is competing close to home in Indianapolis. So too is Mallory Comerford, a 14-time World Champion and former American Record holder in the 100 free.