At least one swimmer age 15 or younger has made each of the last five U.S. Olympic teams.
That would mean that Cassidy Bayer, the youngest U.S. national team member at age 16, should not be counted out for the Rio Games. Even though she’s dealing with exercise-induced asthma and missing a muscle in her right shoulder, the latter sidelining her for most of 2014, according to NBC News.
Bayer broke out at the U.S. Championships in August by finishing second in the 200m butterfly with a time that ranks her fourth among all Americans in the event in 2015.
She clocked 2:08:03. In 2014, Bayer’s best time in the event was 2:09.08. In 2013, it was 2:11.44.
She’ll likely need to lower her personal best by at least another second to make the Olympic team by finishing in the top two at the trials June 30.
That’s because the top two U.S. women this year — Cammile Adams and Katie McLaughlin — both broke 2:07.
The U.S. has not earned a medal in the women’s 200m butterfly since Misty Hyman‘s upset gold at Sydney 2000, its longest podium drought in any Olympic swimming event.
Bayer is from Northern Virginia and part of the Nation’s Capital Swim Club, the same club as Katie Ledecky, who made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team at 15 as the youngest athlete across all sports.