Youngest, Oldest, and Twins! On Team USA for 2023 World Championships

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 ShackellHenry McFaddenClaire Weinstein, Bella SimsKatie 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

Happy Birthday…

  • 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.

Other Stuff…

  • 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
Aries 1
Taurus 1
Gemini 6
Cancer 6
Leo 5
Virgo 0
Libra 4
Scorpius 6
Sagittarius 4
Capricorn 4
Aquarius 7
Pisces 4

By Birth Month

Month # of Births
January 7
February 3
March 4
April 1
May 2
June 6
July 5
August 4
September 1
October 5
November 4
December 6

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


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2 months ago

When will 2025 recruit rankings be out?

2 months ago

We make it seem like Katie Ledecky is so old because she’s done so much, but she’s only 26 (a young 26 by worlds). And, she’s younger than Lilly King, Abbey Weitzeil, Leah Smith and Olivia Smoliga. Of the 22 or so women on the team, she’s around 18th youngest! (or, i guess, 5th oldest!).

Anyway, that 800 free relay is going to be pretty crazy…it could be –

  1. Claire Weinstein (16.4 yrs old)
  2. Katie Ledecky (26.4 yrs old)
  3. Bella Sims (18.2 yrs old)
  4. Erin Gemmell (18.6 yrs old)

Average age: 19.9 yrs old…under 20!!

2 months ago

Interesting to compare ages to grades: Kate Douglass being younger than Walsh, Looney, Lasco, Foster, and Johnston but being a year ahead of them in school. Also Baylor Nelson being two days away from being “triplets” with Guiliano and Hobson but being a year behind them. That all depends on the school districts they grew up in, whether they went to public or private schools, whether they may have skipped or repeated a grade, etc. Where I grew up, the “cutoff date” for school was August 31. So, for example, as long as you turned 17 before 8/31, you would be entering your senior year of HS. Some districts had end of September cutoff, some were December. All dependent upon… Read more »

2 months ago

So there are only 7 swimmers on the
2023 world champs team who were also on the 2016 Olympic team: Ledecky, King, Murphey, Smoliga, Kalisz, L Smith, and Weitzel

Reply to  zeegrapes
2 months ago

*8. I forgot about held

gone swimmin’
2 months ago

and alex shackell has an actual twin

Reply to  gone swimmin’
2 months ago

aaron is 2 years older

Steve Nolan
2 months ago

The entry list also told me Heilman and Ilya Kharun have the same birthday, just two years apart. (Because they are seeded right next to one another in the 2 fly.)

We really gotta start getting them US-based Canadians back.

2 months ago

Never would have guessed Foster & Douglass to be Scorpios. 😉

Reply to  KeithM
2 months ago

bobby being a november scorpio makes so much sense

Reply to  KeithM
2 months ago

You mean “Scorpius”? lol

2 months ago

I love the zodiac chart. Best part of the article.

First, pls change Scorpius to Scorpio, you don’t wanna mess with 6 of them..
And Jacoby is Aquarius, Capricorn is Dec 22-Jan 19

17 Air Signs!! (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra)
16 Water Signs!! (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio)
10 Fire Signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
5 Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

Alex Walsh is fo sho a Leo
Kieran Smith is a good Taurus.
I’ve coached Capricorns that are stubborn with how they swim, but seeing how valiant Grimes, Casas, & Alexy were on their finishes, they’re showing Capricorn’s true potential.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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