Breaking Down 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Trials: Who to Watch

USA Swimming Olympic Trials

As the 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Trials approach, the excitement within the swimming community is palpable. With 1007 swimmers having qualified to compete for a chance to represent the USA at the Olympics, the competition promises to be intense and thrilling. The recent release of the updated psych sheets gives us a glimpse into who the top contenders might be. This post will analyze some of the rising stars and seasoned athletes to watch during these trials.

The Veterans

1. Katie Ledecky: Ledecky has been a dominant force in women’s swimming for over a decade. Known for her incredible stamina and speed in freestyle events, she will be aiming to add to her impressive tally of Olympic medals. Ledecky’s experience and proven track record at the international level make her one of the top athletes to watch at the trials.

2. Caeleb Dressel: Dressel, known for his explosive speed and versatility, is another seasoned athlete expected to shine. After a stellar performance in the previous Olympics, where he secured multiple gold medals, all eyes will be on Dressel to see if he can continue his dominance in the sprint freestyle and butterfly events.

Rising Stars: USA Swimming Olympic Trials

3. Regan Smith: Smith burst onto the international swimming scene with her backstroke prowess. Since her debut, she has continued to improve her times and expand her repertoire to include butterfly and freestyle events. Her versatility and young age make her a promising athlete to watch at the trials, as she aims to qualify for more than one event.

4. Torri Huske: Huske has shown exceptional talent in butterfly events and has been making waves with her performances at national and international meets. Her recent times place her among the top contenders for the butterfly events, and her progress suggests she could be a major medal prospect in Paris.

Breakout Candidates

5. Carson Foster: Foster, known for his medley races, has been on the cusp of breaking into the top echelons of the sport. With strong performances in both the 200m and 400m individual medley, Foster could very well find himself on the Olympic team if he can deliver under the pressure of the trials.

6. Claire Curzan: Curzan has been another standout, especially in the sprint freestyle and butterfly categories. With youth on her side and times that rival seasoned pros, Curzan is poised to make a significant impact at the trials and potentially secure her first Olympic team spot.

What Makes These Athletes Stand Out?

Experience and Consistency: Veterans like Ledecky and Dressel bring experience and a mental toughness forged through multiple international competitions, including World Championships and Olympic Games. Their ability to perform under pressure is their biggest asset.

Youth and Versatility: Young swimmers like Smith and Huske bring not only raw talent but also a fearless approach to racing against more experienced swimmers. Their recent performances have shown that they can compete at the highest levels, and their versatility across multiple events adds to their value.

Preparation and Peak Performance: Athletes like Foster and Curzan have been meticulously preparing for these trials, often tailoring their training cycles to peak at the right moment. Their coaches play a significant role in planning their seasons so that they perform their best at the trials.

The Role of Psych Sheets in Competitive Swimming

Psych sheets play a crucial role in the world of competitive swimming, especially during significant events like the Olympic Trials. These documents are essential tools for everyone involved—from the swimmers and their coaches to the fans and analysts. They provide a wealth of information that shapes how the competition unfolds.

What Are Psych Sheets?

Psych sheets are lists that rank swimmers before a competition based on their best times submitted for each event. These sheets are published ahead of the meet, giving everyone a clear picture of who will compete in each race and what their seed times are.

Strategic Planning for Coaches and Athletes

For coaches and swimmers, psych sheets are more than just lists of names and times; they are strategic tools. By reviewing these sheets, coaches can gauge the level of competition and plan their athletes’ race strategies accordingly. They can assess who the key competitors are and what times their swimmers need to target. For swimmers, understanding where they stand in the lineup helps them mentally prepare for their races, setting realistic goals based on their seed positions and the strengths of their opponents.

For Spectators and Analysts

Fans and sports analysts also find great value in psych sheets. These sheets provide insights into which races are likely to be the most thrilling and competitive, highlighting potential matchups that could lead to record-breaking performances or surprise upsets. This information adds to the excitement and anticipation as spectators look forward to seeing top-ranked swimmers battle it out in the pool.

Adjustments and Updates

The dynamic nature of competitive swimming means that psych sheets can change leading up to the event. For instance, the 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Trials saw some initial confusion with the entries from The Dolphins Portland Swimming. Swimmers like Kaitlyn Dobler and Daniel Roy were not listed on the preliminary sheets due to what might have been clerical errors or late entries. Updates to the psych sheets showed Dobler and Roy seeded highly in their breaststroke events, which is crucial for their competition strategy and for fans following their progress.

The importance of these updates cannot be overstated. They ensure that all qualified swimmers are correctly listed and seeded according to their latest performances. This is especially critical when athletes return from breaks or when entry deadlines cause discrepancies.

The Bigger Picture

The use of psych sheets and the meticulous attention to detail reflect the competitive and organized nature of swimming at the highest levels. For the 2024 Trials, USA Swimming aimed to have a more streamlined event, setting faster qualifying standards to bring the number of participants closer to 1,000. This approach not only enhances the quality of competition but also makes event management more efficient.

Despite the challenges of organizing such a large-scale event, the detailed planning and continuous updates to psych sheets ensure that the Olympic Trials remain a pinnacle of swimming achievement. These documents help maintain a level playing field, ensuring that every swimmer knows exactly where they stand and what they need to achieve as they dive into the water.


The 2024 USA Swimming Olympic Trials are set to be a showcase of speed, endurance, and heart. From seasoned champions defending their legacies to new talents bursting onto the scene, the trials will have no shortage of drama and excitement. Whether it’s veterans like Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel or rising stars like Regan Smith and Torri Huske, the athletes mentioned here are just a few of the many talented swimmers who will vie for a chance to represent the USA on the world’s biggest sporting stage. Make sure to watch these trials, as they will not only determine the makeup of the Olympic team but also set the stage for the future of American swimming.

Bookmark our blog page for more exciting blog tips on psych sheets and updates on the 2024 USA Swimming Olympics! Stay informed!