There was drama surrounding the final roster spots for Team USA before to the final swims at the Olympic Trials.
As the top two finishers in each of the 50-meter freestyle races and the men’s 1,500 freestyle came to be known, the drama turned into a celebration.
All of the second-place finishers from the 28 individual events (14 men, 14 women) made the team, as well as the top six finishers from the 100 and 200 freestyle races to be freestyle relay alternates.
This group that will head to Tokyo to begin competing July 24 has a balance of veterans and newcomers.
Katie Ledecky will lead the women’s team in pursuit of five gold medals, including one as part of the 800-freestyle relay team. Ledecky won four individual events — the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle races.
Lilly King, Annie Lazor and Lydia Jacoby make a formidable breaststroke trio, with the veteran and defending 100 breast champion King leading the way by qualifying in both.
Abbey Weitzeil, Simone Manuel and Erika Brown form the American sprint corps with high hopes of bringing home four medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle races. The same goes for backstroke specialists Regan Smith, Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon.
Alabama’s White will be in both races while Smith will compete in the 100 backstroke and 200 butterfly. Torri Huske and Claire Curzan hold America’s hopes in the 100 butterfly, while 200 fly champion Hali Flickinger joins White in that event.
Flickinger and Emma Weyant are the two U.S. representatives in the 400 individual medley, while Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass will do the same in the 200 IM.
Meanwhile, Caeleb Dressel has established himself as the leader of the men’s team following his third victory in the final six days of the meet. Dressel’s meet didn’t begin until Wednesday with prelim and semifinal swims in the 100 freestyle.
After winning that race Thursday, Dressel won the 100 butterfly Friday before tying his own American record Sunday night in the 50 freestyle final. Michael Andrew also will be in three events after finishing second in the 50 freestyle. Earlier in the week he won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
Chase Kalisz will swim in both individual medley races after finishing second to Andrew in the 200 IM and winning the 400 individual medley.