The University of Georgia swimming and diving team looks to add to its long roster of Olympic competitors as Wave II of the United States Olympic Swimming Team Trials opens today at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
25 current, former, and future Bulldogs will compete at the meet, which runs daily through Sunday, June 20. Prelims start at 11 a.m. EDT on NBCOlympics.com, followed by primetime finals, which will all be aired on NBC, with the exception of Thursday’s final on NBCSN.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic Trials were split into two separate “waves” with Wave I occurring last weekend, followed by Wave II this week. The top two finishers in each event at Wave I advanced to Wave II.
In each event, the top two finishers will qualify for the Tokyo Games, while the top six in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle championship finals will qualify for the Olympic relays. Georgia has placed a team member on the United States at each Olympic Games since Seoul in 1988.
Five Bulldogs enter Trials with the top seeds in their events, including both genders in the 200-meter butterfly (Luca Urlando, Hali Flickinger) and 400-meter IM (Jay Litherland, Melanie Margalis), along with Chase Kalisz in the 200-meter IM. Olympic gold medalist Olivia Smoliga enters as a top contender in the loaded 100-meter backstroke field, while fellow gold medalist Allison Schmitt seeks to reach her fourth Games. Additionally, Andrew Wilson, who trains in Athens, holds the top qualifying mark in the 100-meter breaststroke, joining former Bulldog Nic Fink as favorites in both breaststroke events.
In addition to Urlando, fellow rising sophomores Jake Magahey and Maxine Parker will look to make strong Trials debuts. Rising senior Dakota Luther is seeded fifth in the 200-meter butterfly, while rising junior Zoie Hartman is a dark horse in the breaststroke events. Rising senior Andrew Abruzzo will also swim a busy program, carrying top-eight seeds in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle. Overall, 14 members from the 2020-21 Georgia roster will represent the program in Omaha.