2022 U.S. Swimming World Championship Trials: Preview and schedule

Your one-stop guide to the USA Swimming International Team Trials, including a schedule, preview, and how watch multiple Olympic champions Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Can anybody stop Caeleb Dressel at the 2022 U.S. Swimming World Championships Trials?

Just one year on from winning five gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, all eyes will be on the 25-year-old to see if he can reproduce those heroics.

Katie Ledecky will once again headline the women’s events, but both Florida-based athletes will need to be at their best to hold off the latest crop of exciting youngsters coming through the American system.

The action takes place April 26-30 at North Carolina’s Greensboro Aquatic Center, with the top two finishers in each individual event being selected for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary from June 17-July 3.

Below, we take a look at the key storylines, schedule, and stars to look out for.

Athletes to watch

Katie Ledecky underlined her status as swimming’s distance queen at Tokyo 2020, winning her sixth and seventh Olympic gold medals in the 800m and 1500m freestyle.

She continues to dominate the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 free domestically too, having not lost in any of those events to another American in eight years.

However, there is a swimmer who could win even more events than Ledecky at Trials in Claire Curzan.

The 17-year-old breakout star, who made her Olympic debut in Tokyo, is the fastest athlete in the US this year over the 50 and 100 free, 50 and 100 back, and 100 fly.

As a North Carolina native, she will be in home water at Trials and will be looking to put down a marker before Budapest.

The 100m and 200m breaststrokes will likely be a three-way race between in-form Annie Lazor and Olympic gold medallists Lilly King and Lydia Jacoby.

READ: Lydia Jacoby exclusive: “I’ve swam with whales and sea lions but not in the way people imagine”

Caeleb Dressel is arguably the biggest name in world swimming right now, thanks to his breathtaking performances at Tokyo 2020.

The sprinting sensation has yet to find his best form in 2022, notably finishing behind his compatriots in several events at this year’s Pro Swim Series, but typically saves his best form for the biggest meets. For that reason, he will go into trials as the favourite in both freestyle sprints and the 100m butterfly.

One man Dressel will have his eye on is Shaine Casas. After missing out on Olympic selection, the 22-year-old Texan has taken 2022 by storm and leads the national rankings in the 100 free, 100 fly and 200 IM.

Another versatile talent to watch closely is Michael Andrew. He ranks No. 1 nationally in the 50m freestyle and 100m breaststroke this season with Michael Phelps recently said in an interview that Andrew can break the 200 IM world record with some small training adjustments.

Elsewhere, expect three-time Olympic champion Ryan Murphy to dominate the backstroke, while reigning Olympic champion Chase Kalisz is the favourite in the 400 IM.

US Swimming World Trials Schedule

Heats begin each day at 09:00 EDT (GMT-4) with finals starting at 18:00 EDT

Tuesday 26 April

200 Butterfly W-M

100 Freestyle W-M

Women’s 800 Freestyle

Men’s 1500 Freestyle

Wednesday 27 April

200 Freestyle W-M

200 Breaststroke W-M

200 Backstroke W-M

50 Butterfly W-M

Thursday 28 April

400 Individual Medley W-M

100 Butterfly W-M

50 Breaststroke W-M

50 Backstroke W-M

Friday 29 April

400 Freestyle W-M

100 Breaststroke W-M

100 Backstroke W-M

Saturday 30 April

Women’s 1500 Freestyle

200 Individual Medley W-M

Men’s 800 Freestyle

50 Freestyle W-M

Details on how to buy tickets for the event can be found here.

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