Back to the pool: USA Swimming unveils tentative schedule

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2016, file photo, Andrew Wilson, center, competes in the men's 100-meter breaststroke during the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin, Texas. USA Swimming has announced its plans for a return to competition, beginning with a series of regional events in August before the national schedule begins in early November at Richmond, Virginia. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)

USA Swimming is planning a return to the pool.

Though, no one is quite sure how it will all play out during the coronavirus pandemic.

The national governing body unveiled a tentative schedule Monday that begins with a series of regional events in August before a national lineup of meets kicks off in early November — all leading up to next summer’s Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska and the Tokyo Games.

“It gives us a little bit of hope," Hali Flickinger, a 2016 Olympian who trains in Arizona, told The Associated Press. “Everything is kind of stale right now. I have no idea what's going to happen — nobody does — but at least we have something to look forward to in the future.”

Tentative is the key word, for sure.

“I think everything is taken with a grain of salt and maybe even more than one grain of salt,” said Mike Unger, USA Swimming’s chief operating officer. “We’re trying to bring normalcy back when it’s not normal, and we know that. But we have to have a Plan A, a Plan B and even a Plan C.”

Olympic champion Ryan Murphy, who won three gold medals at the Rio Games, welcomed news of a revamped schedule but said he’s not ready to celebrate just yet.

“I’ll be ready to adjust,” Murphy told the AP in a telephone interview from his training base at Cal-Berkeley. “Until we get out of this thing, I’m going to stay in a flexible mindset."