200 Medley Relay Moved To Day 1 At NCAAs, Timed Final Relays Remain

Relays at the Division I NCAA Championships will remain timed finals in 2022, and the 200 medley relay has been moved up to the opening night of competition.

The news was announced by the CSCAA in its weekly newsletter on Monday, noting the changes are specifically related to Division I.

Timed final relays came into effect last season in light of the pandemic in an effort to mitigate the number of swimmers crowded behind the blocks for each race. 2021 NCAA relays also featured one empty lane between each team—it hasn’t been announced whether or not that will be back this season.

In a poll after the championships, 48.9 percent of SwimSwam readers said they actually preferred timed final relays (compared to 40 percent saying they were worse and 10 percent saying it was the same).

As for the schedule change, the 200 medley relay moves to Wednesday night, along with the 800 free relay (like it is at most conference championship meets), which clears up the schedule a little bit during the rest of the meet and allows there to be just one relay per day for the remaining three days.


Wednesday Night

  • 200 medley relay
  • 800 free relay


  • 200 free relay


  • 400 medley relay


  • 400 free relay

The 200 medley relay has taken place at the end of the third day of competition (Friday) at NCAAs for the last six seasons, and before that it was at the start of Day 3 and the 800 free relay was at the end. The 800 free relay was moved to Wednesday night prior to the 2015-16 campaign.

The schedule move also allows the 400 medley relay to move from Thursday to Friday, meaning the 200 free relay will likely be held at the end of Day 2 finals as opposed to the beginning (because the 400 medley relay used to be at the end). That has not been confirmed, however.

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tea rex
1 year ago


1 year ago

My biggest issue with this is that we might not see all the fastest teams in the same heat. Some teams really drop off of conference times and others are much faster. I want to see the 8 best teams in the final heat.

It’ll be interesting to see how much this benefits some of the teams that aren’t as deep and couldn’t afford to swap swimmers from prelims to finals. NC State women’s medleys come to mind as a place where it could really help. Texas and Cal men might be less happy with the change.

Casual Swim Fan
1 year ago

DI should just go with the DII and DIII combined meet with a full four days of racing…including the 1000 free for the distance guys and girls. It would be electrifying!!!

Reply to  Casual Swim Fan
1 year ago

as a distance swimmer pls no 1000 :((((( (kidding, kinda)

1 year ago

I wish Division I adopted the SEC format where the meet is over 5 days. Makes it a lot easier for people who specialize in 100 fly and 100 back especially to have them on separate days.

Reply to  jdsmitty1
1 year ago

But yeah having relays be prelim and final is garbage and I’m glad they’re finally addressing that.

Reply to  jdsmitty1
1 year ago

The SEC did this to accommodate a combined Men’s and Women’s meet adding two new schools (A&M and Missouri). The only way this happens at the NCAA meet is if it also becomes a combined meet and while some would support that there are many who would not.

Reply to  jdsmitty1
1 year ago

two words… travel costs.

1 year ago

In 2018 Caeleb Dressel’s number of swims per day was:
Wednesday- 0
Thursday- 6
Friday- 4
Saturday- 4

Under this format he would have:
Wednesday- 1
Thursday- 3
Friday- 3
Saturday- 3

His 100 free record would be 37.99 and I think it’s only right that we change the record books to reflect this.

Reply to  Willswim
1 year ago

i think you are jumping the gun (or should I say swim start) on this one. Dropping a second in a 100 is like going from eating only up to a quarter of a cake after dinner to half of it.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 year ago

Dropping two seconds in a 100 actually. Remember he didn’t go 38 but he broke 40.


I love swimswam comment sections so much lmao


Worst line In casting history

Grant Drukker
1 year ago


1 year ago

I love this!

Could the Alabama men and women both earn an NCAA relay title on opening night?

The Bama men have won it twice in recent history. And both Matt Menke and Rhyan White could be out in front early on, giving clean water to breaststrokers Avery Wiseman and Derek Maas 👍

Reply to  RTR
1 year ago

It’s certainly within the realm of reason. The men’s 200 medley is wide open this season. Coming into the year, I would’ve said the women were one leg short, but Avery Wiseman’s results so far indicate differently. NC State and Virginia 200 medley relays are incredible on the women’s side, though, so that will be the tougher challenge.

Reply to  RTR
1 year ago

It’s funny, but the 200 medley relay has recently been won by a team other than the main team contenders with the exception of 2017.

2016 – Alabama
2017 – Texas***
2018 – USC
2019 – Alabama
2020 – Covid
2021 – Louisville

1 year ago

Good move! The quality of relays will be much better now!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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