2018-2019 NCAA Cut Times Released; 19.00 Is New 50 Free ‘A’ Cut

The NCAA has released its Division I qualifying standards for the 2018-2019 college season, including drastically-lowered B cuts and an A cut in the 50 free that has officially reached the 19-second barrier.

Here’s a brief refresher on how NCAA qualifying works (read the full explanation here):

  • Individual Events: In individual races, all swimmers with “A” standards automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Thereafter, swimmers are chosen event-by-event, lined up to an equal number across all events, until the maximum number of individual swimmers have been selected (235 for men, 281 for women).
  • Relay Events: All relays with the Qualifying Standard can swim at the NCAA Championships, provided they have 1 individual (swimmer or diver) invited to the meet as well. Once a team has a relay invited, they can swim any relay in which they have a provisional standard as well. Relays are qualified “to the team,” not to the individual swimmers, so teams can take whichever swimmers they want to participate in relays.

In even more simplified terms, “A” cuts are automatic NCAA invites, and the rest of the field is filled in with “B” cuts – typically down to about 28-29 total men or 36-37 total women per event, based on this past year’s invite lists.

The cut times – A cuts in particular – have become extraordinarily fast as the NCAA continues to surge forward each year. This time around, the men’s 50 free cut has dropped five one-hundredths to sit at an even 19.00. That comes just 13 years after Fred Bousquet became the first man ever to break 19 seconds in the 50, and only a few months after Caeleb Dressel became the first man ever under 18 seconds.

A handful of other events have dropped below major barriers. The men’s 100 free A cut is now sub-42. The men’s mile A cut dropped below 14:40. The women’s 100 back A cut is now sub-51, and the women’s 200 breast A cut is below 2:07 while the 200 IM A cut dipped below 1:55. We’ll have a more full analysis of the changes in cut times later on today.

You can check out the full cut times below, or see the NCAA’s document here.

2018-2019 Men’s “A” 2018-2019 Men’s “B” Event 2018-2019 Women’s “A” 2018-2019 Women’s “B”
19.00 19.96 50 free 21.74 22.76
41.88 43.80 100 free 47.35 49.51
1:32.13 1:36.32 200 free 1:43.17 1:47.12
4:12.22 4:23.34 500 free 4:36.30 4:47.20
14:39.56 15:26.19 1650 free 15:53.50 16:30.59
45.24 47.43 100 fly 51.03 53.76
1:41.02 1:46.69 200 fly 1:53.48 1:59.23
45.12 47.77 100 back 50.99 53.94
1:39.38 1:45.04 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.11
51.73 54.27 100 breast 58.79 1:01.84
1:52.94 1:58.43 200 breast 2:06.94 2:13.97
1:41.34 1:46.77 200 IM 1:54.31 1:59.94
3:39.37 3:51.46 400 IM 4:04.16 4:17.30
2018 Men’s Auto 2018 Men’s Provisional Relays 2018 Women’s Austo 2018 Women’s Provisional
1:17.41 1:18.11 200 free relay 1:28.61 1:29.36
2:51.39 2:52.72 400 free relay 3:14.97 3:16.82
6:18.46 6:22.60 800 free relay 7:02.52 7:06.19
1:24.56 1:25.33 200 medley relay 1:36.75 1:37.39
3:06.78 3:08.33 400 medly relay 3:32.20 3:34.35
Standard 6-Dive List Diving
Standard 6-Dive List
300 1-meter 265
320 3-meter 280
300 platform 225

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3 years ago

Well that’s great. These times make me feel bad

3 years ago

A cuts for the 100’s are FAAAAAAAST

Swim nerdd
Reply to  gator
3 years ago

Not the B for women. If you have a summer juniors cut you get it?! That’s sad. Needs to be way faster in my opinion

3 years ago

So looks like the majority of the A cuts are more or less in line with last year. Most are right at or a little faster. But the B cut standards have been dropped dramatically across a number of events.

3 years ago

What is the reason for the time drops?
Where the prelims to long?
Finals are and have been Top 16.
It is still a maximum number of swimmers allowed at the meet.
Why the drop at all for the provisional relay times (those relays can only compete if they already has at least 1 automatic cut) so that does not reduce the number of swimmers at the meet?

Coach John
Reply to  Dan
3 years ago
That guy
3 years ago

Good lord the NCAA was like too many B cuts and went nuts

3 years ago

19.00 SHEESH

3 years ago

Caeleb ruined it for everyone.

3 years ago

Honestly these new B cuts are ridiculous from the prospective of a incoming college freshman

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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