2014 DIII NCAA Championship Time Standards Released

The 2013-2014 season of collegiate swimming will prove to be exciting in all divisions of NCAA competition. We saw some impressive time drops with Division I swimming, promising to be one of the faster and more exciting meets to watch.

DI is not the only division gaining attention, though. At the 2012-2013 DIII NCAA Championship, we watched Kenyon’s Men’s team take on its 32nd national title, keeping the lead throughout the meet, resulting in yet another victory. On the women’s side, we watched Emory bring home a 4th consecutive title.

Recently released were the 2013-2014 Division III NCAA Championship time standards, and it seems as if ALMOST every single time have been dropped, some more significantly than the others.

While these time drops highlight the talent and drive of the competitors, it also shows just how much swimming has evolved in just one year. We’ve had a year of firsts already, and the sport can only continue to amaze us all.

This year’s ‘A’ standards are calculated by averaging the winners’ times from the past 3 years in each event. This definitely plays a factor in why the times are so much lower. Fast swimmers, faster times.

One major difference this year, though, is that there are no ‘A’ cuts offered for relays.

These changes and cuts can ensure a smooth running of the meet, keeping the number of swimmers in each event at a more balanced number.

What’s really notable about the large change in the times is that (maybe for the first time?), a majority of the Division III “A” time standards are faster than the Division I “B” time standards: a huge step forward mentally for Division III.

The drastic changes, as SwimSwam contributor Matt Salzberg points out, is because certain events in previous years had huge numbers of swimmers under the A time. Because of the qualifying procedure, this meant that certain events would have drastically more NCAA qualifiers than others. As an example, the men’s 100 fly in 2013 had 30 “A” standards by season’s end. The new “A” standards will balance the events out and ensure roughly the same number of qualifiers in each.

Below are the qualification times for each event, while in parentheses are the time drops from last year’s DIII Championship meet.




Men ‘A’

Men ‘B’

2013 Men Invite

Women ‘A’

Women ‘B’

2013 Women Invite

50 free 19.81 (-.58) 20.88 (-.05) 20.38 22.91 (-.44) 23.89 (-.06) 23.61
100 free 43.66
45.89 (-.15) 45.35 49.89 (-.83) 52.14 (-.14) 51.52
200 free 1:37.34
1:41.40 (-.35) 1:40.13 1:47.86
500 free 4:23.23
4:37.33) 4:31.94 4:45.33
1650 free 15:06.98
16:16.65 15:51.96 16:34.49
17:39.80 17:11.00
100 back 48.46 51.45 (-.32) 1:49.59 54.66 (-.56) 57.85 (-.52) 56.13
200 back 1:45.96
1:53.27 1:49.59 1:58.26
100 breast 54.53
57.81 56.53 1:01.80
1:06.08 1:04.51
200 breast 1:58.55(-4.00) 2:06.71 2:03.01 2:14.96
2:24.39 2:19.68
100 fly 47.75
50.26 (-.33) 49.33 53.23
57.73 55.94
200 fly 1:46.31
1:53.87 1:50.33 1:56.90
2:08.59 2:05.88
200 IM 1:47.97
1:53.77 (-.56) 1:51.84 2:00.57
400 IM 3:51.81
4:07.81 4:00.15 4:13.77
4:36.69 4:28.47
200 FR. —- 1:23.30
1:22.57 —- 1:36.36
400 FR. —- 3:05.16 (-.04) 3:03.14 —- 3:31.50
800 FR. —- 6:52.42 (-.60) 6:48.18 —- 7:42.29
200 MR. —- 1:32.91 (-.33) 1:31.64 —- 1:46.60
400 MR. —- 3:24.80
3:22.38 —- 3:53.49


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8 years ago

If I am not mistaken, the Women’s 500 Freestyle A cut has been dropped by 8.11, not just .11! Thanks for bringing some attention to the D3 cuts. These are some pretty impressive time drops.

8 years ago

While this article is very much appreciated, well thought out, and well written, please tell me this wasn’t written just because someone was complaining about the lower divisions not getting as much “cred” when the DI times came out. As a current DIII swimmer, we know that (besides Mom thinking getting a PR is comparable to Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman) no one really cares about us. And we’re ok with that. You think IUPUI was empty for Trials? Come back next March 19th. We don’t do it for the acknowledgement, or the hopes of one day transcending to the national spotlight (unless your name is Zack Turk). We swim because we love to swim. Again, thank you for the… Read more »

Reply to  John
8 years ago

John – no, it was written because it was news, and is especially notable because of how drastic the changes are. You will see that we posted Division II standards 6 weeks ago, before the complaints you’re referring to.

Anyone who’s read SwimSwam long enough knows that we rarely indulge complaints of a lack of attention…it’s not how we roll. We respond very well to positive suggestions, though! #itsallaboutpresentation

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 years ago

Just seeing DIII in the title of this post made me think of that prior complaint. Knew you guys posted it because this is the type of thing you’d post anyway, but amusing nonetheless.

Matt Salzberg
8 years ago

Just a bit more about these drops: the reason that the A cut time has dropped so drastically was a result of so many swimmers in certain events swimming A cuts individually to throw the meet extremely out of balance. Based on the current invitational standards, the invite order is 1) A cuts, 2) Relays to 16th place, 3) fill out the rest of events line by line until the cap is hit.

However, for each of the past 2 years we have seen events (W 100 Back 2012 and M 100 Fly 2013) have an absurd number of A cut swims. This year alone, the men’s 100 fly had something like 25+ A-cuts before nationals. What resulted was that… Read more »

Matt Salzberg
Reply to  Kelsey Zimcosky
8 years ago

The meet really is fun to watch. There aren’t those crazy times like sub 18 splits of course, but the races are always heated, and there’s a ton of long standing rivalries that come to play (Denison vs Kenyon, Amherst vs Williams, etc..). And since it’s a combined meet, the place is PACKED. I wasn’t there, but my friends on deck told me the loudest pool they were ever at was when Denison knocked off Kenyon two years ago.

Reply to  Matt Salzberg
8 years ago

Thanks for the further explanation! Without A cuts for relays and the ability to add more swimmers to individual events, how many more swimmers could there potentially be? Many events at least on the women’s side only had 13 swimmers this year. Would this just put it back up to 17 or 18 like in 2012 or could it be more than that? Or is there just no way to even have any idea?

Matt Salzberg
Reply to  JustKeepSwimming
8 years ago

To be honest it’s really hard to predict. The only swimmers that can swim individual events are those that are actually selected to swim those events. Relay swimmers don’t have additional swims. So relays are not a reliable way to “pull” someone into the meet. But there are hard and fast caps. What it really depends on is how many relays from different schools get into the meet without their swimmers having individual swims. If somehow multiple schools can get relays invited without having a single individual swimmer invited, then the number of individual swims will go down. This, by the way, was all done so that a) relays couldn’t pull people in, and b) so that the meet didn’t… Read more »

Reply to  Matt Salzberg
8 years ago

Point of order, but relay-only swimmers are allowed to enter whatever individual events they have B cuts in. Part of the reason the line only went to 13 on the womens’ side last year is that there were so many relay-only swimmers, and as you mentioned earlier, these swimmers are selected before swimmers in the individual events without A cuts. More relay-only swimmers in their B-cut events leads to fewer B-cut only swimmers making the meet.

8 years ago

In the second to last sentence, I think you meant “Division III “A” time standards are faster than the Division I “B” time standards “. Which is indeed a mental step. I also think it might help future recruits (especially men with fewer D1 opportunities) become attracted to the growing speed and competitiveness of D3 swimming.

Matt Salzberg
Reply to  Michael
8 years ago

Absolutely. And this has already happened. The 2 time defending 200 IM national champion was a 1:49.9 IMer in High School. Chose to swim D3. I know of a swimmer going D3 this year that is now a 1:51/3:56 IM, 56/2:00 BR. There are two sub-1:40 200 freestylers. Another is 50/1:49 backstroker.

I know these aren’t times that get the big D1 powerhouses excited (especially after it practically takes a sub 44 guarantee to be top a 10 guy recruit for next year), but most D1 programs at the upper end, and most every mid-major would probably take these kids.

Reply to  Michael
8 years ago

I agree that this will definitely attract recruits. The problem with D3 swimming as I see it though is the limited training time that the swimmers are allowed. I think it might effectively knock any realistic hopes of going international, or being a competitive one. For this, I think you really need to train minimum 50/52. If this issue were different, I think some D3s would eventually challenge some D1s timewise.

8 years ago

These are fast times! I went to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Didn’t swim… but probably could have walked on despite it being DI. The truth is many swimmers would not even get A cuts in D3, despite competing in the PAC 12, and we have only sent 2-3 swimmers in the past 10 years to the actual NCAA meet.

That’s not to knock the team… there are some very talented guys and girls swimming out there. But the fact is the swimmers swimming D1 championship level are just insanely fast…not to mention those that can actually final at that level.

C Martin
8 years ago

These time drops are HUGE! I can see why some people on the collegeswimming.com forums are complaining many swimmers will fail to make the ‘A’ cut this year. 35.54 seconds in the 1650 alone! That’s 50 yards and then some for most swimmers.

Mike S
8 years ago

Just curious, what time did it take to qualify in the 100 back for men’s at nationals last year? There seems to be a misprint there.

About Kelsey Zimcosky

"Once a swimmer, always a swimmer" is the motto that Kelsey Zimcosky lives by.  Though she could not compete after 10 years in the sport due to a shoulder injury, she has been unable to stay away from the water. While it is strange watching the sport from the deck, …

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