It won’t be any easier to qualify for the last three stops of USA Swimming’s Grand Prix Circuit but it will be easier to understand the qualifying. According to a source close to SwimSwam, the big change is that there will no longer be A and B standards at the Charlotte, Mesa, and Santa Clara meets. It will take the same qualifying times as Junior Nationals to make the meets and all three will be capped at 600 swimmers. As we reported yesterday the Orlando stop has already adjusted their B standards.
In a letter to coaches, National Team Director Frank Busch said that his hope was to “clean up the mess that he helped make in regards to the Grand Prix Meets entry procedure.”
Busch then cited two goals for the Grand Prix: to give athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level and to control the size of the meet to ensure a high quality event.
The schedule for entries to open for the remaining Grand Prixs will be Mesa entries opening on February 4th at noon Eastern Standard Time; Charlotte Entries opening on February 18th at noon; and Santa Clara opening March 4th at noon. The hope is to allow coaches to create a more reliable season plan.
The meets will still be capped at “approximately 600″ swimmers, plus those who fall under the top 50 in the world caveats.
The note from coach Busch was actually quite refreshing. Rather than making the excuses that we’ve sometimes seen in the past out of Colorado Springs, he accepted responsibility, acknowledged that the decisions made did not have the intended results, and corrected them as best he was able.