19 Men’s Teams Will Swim All 5 Relays at 2018 NCAA Championships

As part of our preparations for the upcoming NCAA Championship meets, we’re breaking down the qualifiers a number of different ways to give a complete picture of program quality and potential heading over the 2017-2018 season. One of these ways includes the number of relays qualified for the NCAA Championships, and how those relays were qualified.

This year’s men’s meet has a unique circumstance, in that the Georgia men qualified 9 individuals but didn’t have a single relay under the Qualifying Standard. Still, with 4-or-more swimmers in the meet, they’re eligible to swim all relays in which they have met the slower Provisional Standard (“B” standard), meaning that they’ll still be eligible to swim 4 relays.

The rest of this post mirrors the women’s post, which you can see here. If you’ve already ready that post, then you can skip straight to the table.

There are many ways to measure the strength of a college swimming and diving program. The most obvious involve looking at points scored, or place earned, at an NCAA Championship or conference championship meet.

Another way to tier the top programs in the country is by the number of NCAA Championship invites they earn in relays. Under the new relay qualification systems, only the best-of-the-best programs are able to take relays to the meet. To take a relay, a team is not only required to have an individual swimmer or diver invited, but they also must hit the “Qualifying Standard” (aka “A” cut) in at least one relay. Once those two criteria are met, teams are able to take as many relays as they want, provided they all have “Provisional Standards,” aka “B” cuts.

Alternatively, a team that earned invites for 4 individual swimmers (not divers) can swim any relays in which they had a provisional standard. 1 men’s team accomplished that this year: Georgia, who has 9 individual swimmers entered.

While these relay qualifications will tie heavily to scoring, they themselves serve as a separate metric for which schools have true depth. Schools with 5 relays have the depth that, in most cases, they’ve been able to hit at least a provisional standard without one of their best swimmers on at least one of those relays.

There are 3 non-power 5 teams who have earned relay slots this year. The big success story is Grand Canyon, who is in their first year of NCAA Division I Championship eligibility after making the 4-year transition from Division II. Denver (2 relays) and Harvard (5 relays) also join them from outside of the ‘Power 5’ conferences – the women’s meet had no non-Power 5 teams to qualify.

The big heartbreak here is Pacific, who, as far as we can recall, became the first team under the new qualifying system to earn an NCAA Qualifying Standard but not have the requisite individual invitee to swim relays at NCAAs.

Below, see a table sorted by number of relays eligible to compete, and then number of “A” cuts by those relays:

 

 School # of “A” Cuts
NC State 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Florida 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Texas 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Cal 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Indiana 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
USC 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Michigan 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Tennessee 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Stanford 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Louisville 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Arizona 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 5
Auburn 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 4
Ohio State 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 4
Alabama 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 4
Harvard 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 4
Missouri 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 3
Minnesota 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 3
Notre Dame 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 2
Arizona State 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 2
Virginia 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 800 free relay 4
Florida State 400 free relay 200 medley relay 200 free relay 800 free relay 2
Georgia 400 free relay 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 800 free relay 0
Iowa 400 free relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 2
Texas A&M 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 2
Grand Canyon 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 1
Utah 200 medley relay 400 medley relay 200 free relay 1
Denver 400 free relay 200 free relay 1
South Carolina 800 free relay 1

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Dean Semler

how do you watch NCAAs? are they streamed?

Swimsquare

Women’s meet is being streamed by Ohio State. I believe it’s called Buckeye Vision. Probably no sound or commentary but at least you can see the Heats. Not sure about the men’s meet.
Then I believe the Friday night and Saturday night finals will be on some version of ESPN.

Tomek

i think its on watch espn

Royale w/Cheese

It is truly a shame for Pacific and this rule should be changed. An “A” cut in a relay is a fantastic achievement and those swimmers should be rewarded with the opportunity to swim in this meet. Any idea why they have this foolish rule? It can’t possibly add that many swimmers to the meet each year. Smaller D1 schools should have more opportunity to swim at this meet in my opinion.

Devo

Similarly, and I wonder how many others this has happened to also; Mizzou won’t field it’s best 2 and 4 free relays, and 2-Med relay because they maxed out their relay-only slots and are forced to leave home the 2 swimmers that normally filled those relays. Relay-only swimmers shouldn’t count against the total invited numbers. Come on NCAA, fix this!

JP input too short

It’s part of when they rejiggered the qualification to get more individual qualifiers and less relay guys that often were afterthoughts in their individual events. Seems to make the meet faster overall.

It worked a lot better for D2, before that change D2 was only qualifying like 9 or 10 guys per event and the rest were second and third events or relay qualifiers, so in events like the 400 IM or 200 fly you could almost make a second swim without even a B cut.
Now they’re around 22-23 and the finals are all fast.

Eddie Rowe

So wouldn’t it make sense to change the rule that the relay only swimmers don’t count as “invited” swimmers as individuals?

Dcrabbe6

It’s pathetic that Georgia has 0 relays with the qualifying standard. I really wish they would’ve shown more at secs

JP input too short

They just aren’t effective at recruiting sprinters. Their last good pure sprinter wasn’t even somebody they found out of high school – Mike Trice was a transfer from Queens.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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