The 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, primarily a football stadium, meaning the four-quadrun in Omaha is over.
Double Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Shields mused on Twitter that he was there throughout the “Omaha Era” of the US Olympic Trials, meaning he attended all four meetings held at the Qwest Center/CenturyLink Center/CHI Health Center.
Crazy to think that – as an athlete – I attended the entire “Omaha era” of trials. I wonder how much
— Tom Shields (@beefyTshields) March 29, 2022
Luckily we have the greatest statistician of swimming, Barry Revzinto answer only these kinds of questions.
According to Barry’s research, there were 17 swimmers who competed in all four Omaha competitions. Most names are recognizable. Of the 17, 12 swimmers are Olympians.
Of those who aren’t, Grothe is an American record breaker, Stewart is a former world record holder and Madison Kennedy is a three-time world record holder for short courses.
The less recognizable names include: Brandon Fischer, who became a fixture on the U.S. national team in his thirties while splitting his training with his work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California; and Austin Surhoffis a three-time NCAA champion who made the semifinals at the 2008 Trials and currently trains while coaching at Johns Hopkins.
Perhaps the least known of this group, especially among younger swimming fans, is Michael Arnold† He was a good swimmer in Georgia from 2008-2012 and has qualified for the NCAA Championships three times. As a senior, he finished 10th in the 100 flying and 15th in the 50 free at the NCAA. In 2012, he finished 17th in the 50 free in 22.70 – his best finish at four Olympic Trials. In 2021 he swam at the Wave 1 meeting and finished 43rd in 23.24.
The Omaha 18
Amanda Weir is especially notable, having competed in six consecutive Olympic Trials meetings, having raced in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2021.
This was surprisingly long at first: to swim in all four competitions, athletes of the right age had to have been good enough to qualify at a young age, and still good enough 13 years later to stretch their careers into the back of the game. in your twenties or early thirties and still competing. On closer inspection, perhaps it became less surprising: swimmers who are good enough to compete in their late 20s were often very good in their teens.
There were 73 swimmers who took part in the 2012, 2016 and 2021 Olympic Trials: