In the period of American swimming from 2012-2016, dominated by the rise of Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky and the winding down of the career of Michael Phelps, American swimming was getting older.
Ledecky was the youngest swimmer on the US Olympic Team in both 2012 and 2016, and Rio was the first time since the 1900 Olympics when the US roster had no 18 & unders.
There was somewhat of a youth wave after Rio, with a team that was, on average, about 9 months younger at the 2017 World Championships than at the 2016 Olympics – 22 years, 204 days.
After many years of a maturing American roster, a youth wave hit at the 2023 US World Championship Trials, with high schoolers like Alex Shackell, Henry McFadden, Claire Weinstein, Bella Sims, Katie Grimes, Jillian Cox, Erin Gemmell, and Thomas Heilman adorning a roster that saw a lot of turnover.
In fact, there are more high school swimmers than NCAA post-grads (excluding those who swam the college season last year).
The math confirms the perception – the women’s roster has an average age of 21 years, 262 days (21.72 years); the men’s team has an average age of 22 years, 216 days (22.59 years); and the overall team has an average age of 22 years, 70 days (22.19 years).
That makes the 2023 team one of the youngest in recent memory.
- Ages based on the start date of the competition, June 23, 2023
- Two swimmers, Jillian Cox (July 18, 2005) and Matt King (July 9, 2002) will celebrate their birthdays while in training camp in Singapore.
- Another, Alex Walsh (July 31, 2001), will celebrate hers the day after the conclusion of the competition.
- The youngest member of the men’s team is Thomas Heilman, who broke a famous Michael Phelps National Age Group Record at Trials. He will be 16 years, 170 days at the start of the competition. Heilman is the youngest American male to qualify for a World Championship team since Phelps, Nick Zaccardi says he’s the youngest to qualify for a US Worlds or Olympic team in multiple events since Rick DeMont in 1972.
- The youngest member of the women’s team is Claire Weinstein, who will be 16 years, 148 days at the start of the competition. She’s about a month younger than Heilman, and her Sandpipers of Nevada group includes three of the five youngest swimmers on the women’s team (Grimes and Sims).
- The oldest member of the men’s team is the defending 50 breast champion Nic Fink, who will be 30 years and 27 days old as of the start of competition. He’s also the oldest member of the team overall, followed by Chase Kalisz (29 years, 145 days).
- The oldest member of the women’s team is the resurgent Olivia Smoliga, who will be 28 years, 291 days old as of the start of the competition.
- Twins! Sprinter Chris Guiliano and distance swimmer Luke Hobson were born on the same day: June 25, 2003.
- There will be 9 teenagers on the American roster, 7 of whom are on the women’s team.
- There are 1,065+ Years of experience on Team USA. Because the roster is bigger than some in the past, that’s actually more than 2017 by 50 years, though the average age is lower.
- The most common zodiac sign for Team USA is, appropriately, Aquarius: the water bearer (which is not uncommon for American teams, interestingly). Every sign on the traditional zodiac is represented except Virgo (August 23-September 22).
By Zodiac Sign
|Zodiac||# of Births|
By Birth Month
|Month||# of Births|
Team USA, from Youngest to Oldest
|NAME||EVENT(S)||HOMETOWN||CLUB/COLLEGE TEAM||Birthday||Age at Start of World Champs (Days)||Age at Start of World Champs (Years/Days)||Zodiac Sign|
|Claire Weinstein||200 FR||White Plains, N.Y.||Sandpipers of Nevada||3/1/2007||5988||16 years, 148 Days||Pisces|
|Thomas Heilman||100 FL, 200 FL||Crozet, Va.||Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA||2/7/2007||6010||16 years, 170 Days||Aquarius|
|Alex Shackell||4×200 FR||Carmel, Ind.||Carmel Swim Club||11/13/2006||6096||16 years, 256 Days||Scorpius|
|Katie Grimes||400 IM, 1500M, 5K, 10K||Las Vegas, Nev.||Sandpipers of Nevada||1/8/2006||6405||17 years, 200 Days||Capricorn|
|Henry McFadden||4×200 FR||Haddonfield, N.J.||Jersey Wahoos||8/4/2005||6562||17 years, 357 Days||Leo|
|Jillian Cox||800 FR||Cedar Park, Texas||Longhorn Aquatics||7/18/2005||6579||18 years, 9 Days||Cancer|
|Bella Sims||200 FR, 400 FR||Henderson, Nev.||Sandpipers of Nevada||5/25/2005||6633||18 years, 63 Days||Gemini|
|Erin Gemmell||4×200 FR||Potomac, Md.||Nation’s Capital Swim Club||12/2/2004||6807||18 years, 237 Days||Sagittarius|
|Lydia Jacoby||50 BR, 100 BR||Seward, Alaska||Seward Tsunami Swim Club/University of Texas Texas||1/29/2004||7115||19 years, 180 Days||Capricorn|
|Chris Guiliano||100 FR||Douglassville, Pa.||University of Notre Dame||6/25/2003||7333||20 years, 33 Days||Cancer|
|Luke Hobson||200 FR||Reno, Nev.||Lakeridge Swim Team/University of Texas||6/25/2003||7333||20 years, 33 Days||Cancer|
|Baylor Nelson||4×200 FR||Huntersville, N.C.||SwimMAC/Texas A&M||6/23/2003||7335||20 years, 35 Days||Gemini|
|Gretchen Walsh||50 FR, 50 FL, 100 FL, 4×100 FR||Nashville, Tenn.||Nashville Aquatic Club/University of Virginia||1/29/2003||7480||20 years, 180 Days||Aquarius|
|Jack Alexy||50 FR, 100 FR||Mendham, N.J.||California Aquatics||1/19/2003||7490||20 years, 190 Days||Capricorn|
|Torri Huske||50 FL, 100 FL, 4×100 FR||Arlington, Va.||Arlington Aquatic Club||12/7/2002||7533||20 years, 233 Days||Sagittarius|
|Dare Rose||50 FL, 100 FL||Jersey City, N.J.||California Aquatics||11/1/2002||7569||20 years, 269 Days||Scorpius|
|Josh Matheny||100 BR, 200 BR||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Indiana Swim Club/Indiana University||10/16/2002||7585||20 years, 285 Days||Libra|
|Matt Fallon||200 BR||Warren, N.J.||Athens Bulldog Swim Club/University of Pennsylvania||10/3/2002||7598||20 years, 298 Days||Libra|
|Anna Peplowski||4×200 FR||Germantown Hills, Ill.||Indiana University||9/25/2002||7606||20 years, 306 Days||Libra|
|Matt King||4×100 FR||Snohomish, Wash.||Texas Ford Aquatics||7/9/2002||7684||21 years, 19 Days||Gemini|
|Charlie Clark||1500 FR||Sandusky, Ohio||Vacationland Swim Club/Ohio State||6/17/2002||7706||21 years, 41 Days||Gemini|
|Maxine Parker||4×100 FR||Bannockburn, Ill.||Cats Aquatic Club/University of Virginia||6/14/2002||7709||21 years, 44 Days||Gemini|
|Regan Smith||200 FL, 50 BK, 100 BK, 200 BK||Lakeville, Minn.||Sun Devil Swimming||2/9/2002||7834||21 years, 169 Days||Aquarius|
|Jake Mitchell||4×200 FR||Carmel, Ind.||Carmel Swim Club/University of Florida||12/22/2001||7883||21 years, 218 Days||Cancer|
|Kate Douglass||100 FR, 200 BR, 200 IM||Pelham, N.Y.||New York Athletic Club||11/7/2001||7928||21 years, 263 Days||Scorpius|
|David Johnston||400 FR||Dallas, Texas||Rockwall Aquatic Center/University of Texas||10/28/2001||7938||21 years, 273 Days||Scorpius|
|Carson Foster||200 FL, 200 IM, 400 IM||Cincinnati, Ohio||Mason Manta Rays||10/26/2001||7940||21 years, 275 Days||Scorpius|
|Destin Lasco||4×100 FR, 200 BK||Linwood, N.J.||California Aquatics||8/7/2001||8020||21 years, 355 Days||Leo|
|Lindsay Looney||200 FL||Denison, Texas||Metroplex Aquatics/Arizona State||8/2/2001||8025||21 years, 360 Days||Leo|
|Alex Walsh||200 IM, 400 IM||Nashville, Tenn.||Nashville Aquatic Club/University of Virginia||7/31/2001||8027||21 years, 362 Days||Leo|
|Katharine Berkoff||50 BK, 100 BK||Missoula, Mont.||Missoula Aquatic Club/NC State||1/28/2001||8211||22 years, 181 Days||Aquarius|
|Hunter Armstrong||50 BK, 100 BK||Dover, Ohio||New York Athletic Club/California Aquatics||1/24/2001||8215||22 years, 185 Days||Aquarius|
|Ross Dant||800 FR||Hickory, N.C.||Hickory Foundation YMCA/Wolfpack Elite/NC State||12/15/2000||8255||22 years, 225 Days||Sagittarius|
|Kieran Smith||200 FR, 400 FR||Ridgefield, Conn.||Ridgefield Aquatic Club||5/20/2000||8464||23 years, 69 Days||Taurus|
|Drew Kibler||4×200 FR||Carmel, Ind.||Carmel Swim Club||3/9/2000||8536||23 years, 141 Days||Pisces|
|Rhyan White||200 BK||Herriman, Utah||Wasatch Front Fish Market/Wolfpack Elite||1/25/2000||8580||23 years, 185 Days||Aquarius|
|Shaine Casas||50 FL, 200 IM||McAllen, Texas||Longhorn Aquatics||12/25/1999||8611||23 years, 216 Days||Capricorn|
|Bobby Finke||800 FR, 1500 FR||Clearwater, Fla.||St. Petersburg Aquatics/Gator Swim Club||11/6/1999||8660||23 years, 265 Days||Scorpius|
|Justin Ress||50 BK, 4×100 FR||Cary, N.C.||Mission Viejo Nadadores||8/3/1997||9485||25 years, 360 Days||Leo|
|Katie Ledecky||400 FR, 800 FR, 1500 FR||Bethesda, Md.||Gator Swim Club||3/17/1997||9624||26 years, 134 Days||Pisces|
|Lilly King||50 BR, 100 BR, 200 BR||Evansville, Ind.||Indiana Swim Club||2/10/1997||9659||26 years, 169 Days||Aquarius|
|Abbey Weitzeil||50 FR, 100 FR||Santa Clarita, Calif.||California Aquatics||12/3/1996||9728||26 years, 238 Days||Sagittarius|
|Ryan Murphy||100 BK, 200 BK||Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.||California Aquatics||7/2/1995||10248||28 years, 28 Days||Gemini|
|Ryan Held||50 FR, 4×100 FR||Springfield, Ill.||New York Athletic Club||6/27/1995||10253||28 years, 33 Days||Cancer|
|Leah Smith||4×200 FR||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Longhorn Aquatics||4/19/1995||10322||28 years, 102 Days||Aries|
|Olivia Smoliga||4×100 FR||Glenview, Ill.||Sun Devil Swimming||10/12/1994||10511||28 years, 291 Days||Libra|
|Chase Kalisz||400 IM||Baltimore, Md.||Sun Devil Swimming||3/7/1994||10730||29 years, 145 Days||Pisces|
|Nic Fink||50 BR, 100 BR||Morristown, N.J.||Metro Atlantic Aquatic Club||7/3/1993||10977||30 years, 27 Days||Cancer|