USA Swimming announced the 2013-2014 senior and junior national team’s on Tuesday. All the usual names graced the list save one — Michael Phelps will not be a part of the national team for the first time in 13 years. But if this past summer proved anything to the U.S. national team staff, it was that one man doesn’t make a team.
Fresh off their world championship-winning performances, Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.), Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.), Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.), and Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) will once again headline this year’s list.
Including Ledecky, the Potomac Valley placed three swimmers — four if you include Andrew Gemmell (Nation’s Capital/Wilmington, Del.), who trains during the main part of the year at the University of Georgia — on this year’s senior national team and an additional seven on the junior national team.
Nation’s Capital was the big local winner with the announcement of the two squads. The multi-site, multi-state mega club placed two swimmers — Ledecky and Andrew Seliskar (McLean, Va.) — on the senior national team and five on the junior national team.
Katie Ledecky, who trains with coach Bruce Gemmell at NCAP’s Georgetown Prep site, won four gold medals and set two world records at the 2013 FINA world championships in Barcelona this summer. Ledecky is currently undefeated in international competition with a perfect record of five for five. She won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the women’s 800-meter freestyle, an event in which she set the world record in Barcelona. As a sophomore at Stone Bridge School she won the 2012-2013 All Met Swimmer of the Year after breaking national high school records in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle.
Joining Ledecky from NCAP is Andrew Seliskar, 16, who holds multiple national age group records in the 15-16 age group, including his most recent in the 200 individual medley, set in Dubai, U.A.E. at the junior world championships. However, it was the rising Jefferson junior’s time in the 200 butterfly at U.S. nationals that earned himself a spot on the team behind Tom Luchsinger, Tyler Clary, Bobby Bollier and Tom Shields. Seliskar trains with John Flanagan at NCAP’s Tyson’s YMCA site.
Seliskar also qualified for the junior national team in the 100 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, and 200 individual medley.
Rounding out the Potomac Valley representation is Jack Conger (Rockville, Md.) of Machine Aquatics. Conger made the team in the 200 backstroke by winning gold in the event at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. His time was the third fastest of the year Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary, who won gold and bronze, respectively, in Barcelona. Conger, a three-time All Met boys’ Swimmer of the Year while at Good Counsel High School, has trained with Sue Chen for the past four years — first with Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club and more recently with Machine. This fall he will compete for the University of Texas as a freshman on the men’s swim team.
It should be noted that swimmers are eligible for both the senior and junior teams, which is why Seliskar appears on both lists. However, if a swimmer qualified for the 2013 World Championships or World University Games they are not eligible for the junior team, as in the case of Ledecky, who is still 16. The exception to this rule is if a swimmer made the worlds team in open water, and not the pool events, in which case they are still eligible for the junior team in the pool events, i.e., Becca Mann (Clearwater Aquatic/Homer Glen, Ill.)
Joining Seliskar on the junior national team are junior world championship teammates Carsten Vissering (Nation’s Capital/Bethesda, Md.) and Isabella Rongione (The FISH/McLean, Va.), as well as 2011-2012 All Met Swimmer of the Year Janet Hu (Nation’s Capital/Oakton, Va.), Cassidy Bayer (Nation’s Capital/Alexandria, Va.), Christopher Grimmett-Norris (Nation’s Capital/Chantilly, Va.), and Austin Dickey (Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club/North Potomac, Md.).
Vissering made the team in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, Rongione in the 800 and 1,500 freestyle events, Hu in the 50 freestyle, Bayer in the 100 butterfly, Grimmett-Norris in the 10-kilometer open water event, and Dickey in the 100 breaststroke.
Like Conger, Grimmett-Norris and Dickey have graduated from high school, but the latter two still qualify for the junior team for this season. Grimmett-Norris will swim this year for Kentucky; Dickey will swim for Boston University.
Rongione and Bayer were the two youngest competitors at world trials in June at age 13. They were the two youngest to make the junior national team as well. Both will celebrate birthdays in September as the 2013-2014 season begins.
Qualification criteria as stated by USA Swimming:
Swimmers were selected for the USA Swimming National Team based on their times in Olympic events from the combined results of the 2013 FINA World Championships, the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships, the 2013 U.S. Open and the 2013 World University Games. Swimmers with the top six times in each event made the National Team, however, relay lead-offs and time trials were not included. The complete roster for the 2013-14 USA Swimming National Team can be found online here.
Benefits offered to USA Swimming National Team members include reimbursement for travel to USA Swimming Arena Grand Prix Series meets and training camp opportunities. Select athletes are eligible for monthly assistance and elite athlete health Insurance. A full list of opportunities available to members of the National Team is available online at usaswimming.org.
The 2013-14 National Junior Team is comprised of athletes with the six fastest times, in Olympic events only, from the combined results of all USA Swimming or FINA sanctioned meets from Jan. 1, 2013, to Sept. 2, 2013. Also, all members of the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships team are included on the roster. The complete roster for the 2013-14 USA Swimming National Junior Team can be found online here.
Tags: Andrew Seliskar, Carsten Vissering, Cassidy Bayer, Christopher Grimmett-Norris, FISH, Isabella Rongione, Jack Conger, Janet Hu, Katie Ledecky, Machine Aquatics, Nation's Capital Swim Club, NCAP, RMSC