USA Swimming has given a sneak-peak of the 2014 National Championships time standards via Twitter, and the most surprising revelation is that they’ll be once again allowing yards qualifying times for the big summer championship meet: something they’d gone away from in recent years to cut down on the number of both the total qualifiers and specifically the number of swimmers who push had through short course season, get their cuts, and then coast into a long course championship meet.
There were no short course standards for either the 2013 World Championship Trials or the 2012 Olympic Trials.
This is not to say that the meet will be any easier to qualify for than last year’s World Championship Trials, though. The number of swimmers under the meters cuts are surprisingly similar to the number under the yards cuts. For example, in the 2013 season, 66 Americans were 23.19 or better in the 50 meter free, and by our count, 66 Americans were 19.99 or better in the 50 yard free. 68 women were under the 200 meter back time standard, and 68 were under the 200 yard back time standard (it’s almost like they planned it that way).
The qualification period has also gotten significantly shorter. It began on June 25th, 2013, which means as of the first day of the 2013 World Championship Trials for the Americans. That means that they will have had one short course and one-and-a-half long course seasons to hit qualifying times.
Generally speaking, these standards are a hair faster (about two-tenths) than the World Championship Trials, which already had fairly paltry attendance numbers.
The 2014 National Championships will serve as a selection meet for several events, including the 2014 Short Course World Championships, the 2015 World University Games, and the 2015 World Championships. With no U.S. Open next year, expect full participation either at Nationals from August 6th-10th in Irvine and/or at Junior Nationals from July 30th-August 3rd, also in Irvine.
|3:53.69||400 free relay||3:29.29|
|8:22.19||800 free relay||7:42.79|
|4:18.29||400 medley relay||3:50.09|
|*500, 1000, and 1650 yard freestyle qualifying times substitute for meters equivalents|