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”|
|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