Dressel Cuts A Dash But No Place For Olympic Champion Ervin As Trials Wrap Up

Caeleb Dressel - cutting his teeth as a world junior champion

Caeleb Dressel won his third title of the week with gold in the 50m free but there will be no trip to Budapest for Olympic champion Anthony Ervin as the US Championships concluded in Indianapolis.

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Caeleb Dressel won his third title of the week with gold in the 50m free but there will be no trip to Budapest for Olympic champion Anthony Ervin as the US Championships concluded in Indianapolis.



My rough summation of how I see US prospects in Budapest

Relays: Clear favourites in all Olympic relays except M4X200 & W4X100 and those I’d weigh them as narrow favourites. Hard to judge just how seriously other major nations will take mixed relays given Olympic announcement came after most nations had concluded selections but US has to be seen as overwhelming favourites in both

Men: Very much in medal picture in both sprint FS and a chance of 1-2 in 100 but suspect Scott may have something to say. Similarly in the mix in both 200 & 400, gold chances better in 200. Realistically needing significant time drops to contend in both 800 & 1500 although Italians aside, standards rather poor this year. US hegemony may be under threat in M back, could still win 2 but no sure bets. In medal pictures in M BRS but most likely playing for minor coin. Gold chances in 50/100fly, minors at 200. Kalisz v much in title hunt in both IMs but stronger chance at 400

Women: Could contend for minor medals at both 50/100free but barring illness/injury SS unlikely to be thrown. 200 -1500 Ledecky show, chance of 1-2 400-800 w Smith. Baker v much in gold hunt 100/200back but both races v fluid re contenders. King v much in the gold picture 50/100BRS but Efimova likely to have something to say. 200 minor rather than gold. Minor medal chances 50/100 fly but same scenario as 50/100free. Probably needing 1 – 1.5sec drop to contend 200fly. Legitimate minor medal chances 200-400IM.


I think the U.S. coaches will be quite happy with how things went. They looked a little weak on butterfly until Dressel’s swim, taking almost a second and a half off his best. He is a serious contender and it gives a boost to the medley relay after Phelp’s retirement.
Leah Smith had a great meet and was a huge surprise in the I.M., with big time improvements suggesting there is more to come later. Whether it’s in time for Budapest is another question, but she could medal. She has qualified in many events though and could maybe do with trimming a bit if she wants to get the best from herself.
The Lochte rule was very busy during the meet with its most unfortunate victim, Ella Eastin, missing a team spot due to a DQ. A stupid rule really.
Across the board, performance levels were quite good with one or two new faces coming out of nowhere. But don’t mention that to Josh Prenot 🙂


Yes, I’ll most certainly agree that US Swimming hierarchy should have good reasons for optimism that they are negotiating this post Olympic transitional year in a much healthier state than most other major swimming nations; some of whom look potentially headed for at least a couple of seasons of lean pickings internationally.

Will be interesting to see how Smith manages her program. Certainly in medal contention country in 400IM but arguably a lesser probability than at least 2 of her FS events.

Dressel looks like he could be a very busy boy in Budapest but now is probably the best time in this current cycle to find one’s limitations as regards one’s race schedule at World level events. The old adage; if you’re going to make mistakes make them quickly and make them early.

In two minds re the whole Lochte Rule business; there most certainly needs to be a full clarification of what will and what will not be accepted as regards turnsm especially in IM events. However, this is not the first time that swimmers have been “sprung” for this rule and I cannot help feeling that swimmers had to be aware that this turn is currently “questionable” and therefore were knowingly taking this risk.


I hope that USAS takes note of how many athletes have made big improvements since the 2016 Olympic Trials and stops the silliness of picking a Worlds team nearly a year out like they did in 14 for 15.


Whilst I agree with you in principle, Mouse, USAS does have a double commitment in these years of having 2 major meets that run near concurrently rather than being able to send the same team to one then onto the other.

Namely that of Pan Am Games (which will be held in Lima late Jul/early Aug) going up against Worlds which starts early Aug.

Essentially they are needing to pick 2 teams (reading between the lines, PA’s get the B team) but if you’re going to hold Trials as per their usual practice of “as close to the meet as possible” you’re probably going past the time limit for being able to hold your taper.

Not quite as open and shut case as first assumed when we are talking about standard USAS “practice” with regards to Trials which is why they’ve chosen this other option ….. both options having their distinct drawbacks

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