59 Schools, Including Indiana and Ohio State, Entered in 2019 NIC Meet

2019 National Invitational Championship

The 2019 CSCAA National Invitational Championship, a meet hosted by the CSCAA as a next-tier championship meet for swimmers who don’t qualify for NCAAs, similar to the NIT in basketball, will begin on Thursday morning in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the 2nd edition of the meet, after the opening act last season was hosted by the US Naval Academy.

The meet was held for the first time in 2014, and again in 2015, and then went on hiatus in 2 years. It was revived when, in April of 2017 received official exempt status from the NCAA, which allowed the meet to grow unencumbered by season-length limitations for its 2018 return. Over the last 2 seasons, that has happened, with some schools now painting the event as a ‘target meet’ of their seasons, with entries in some women’s events approaching 100 swimmers.

This year, a number of Power 5 schools have jumped into the mix. That includes Indiana University, the Big Ten men’s and women’s champions, who have qualified 23 swimmers for individual events at NCAAs. While the Hoosiers’ top names will be preparing to race in a few weeks in Austin, some of their best non-NCAA qualifiers will be in Cleveland instead. That includes names like Maria Heitmann, who is the top seed in the 200 free (1:45.74) and 500 free (4:42.45) and who last year earned Honorable Mention All-America status as a member of Indiana’s 800 free relay at NCAAs. Spencer LehmanThomas VanderbrookGary KostbadeAbigail KirkpatrickJacob Steele, and Cory Gamardella are also among the near-miss Hoosiers who will carry top seeds into the CSCAA meet.

They’ll be joined by other Power 5 teams like Ohio State, TCU, and South Carolina at the meet. Ohio State’s entries include Nick Hogsed, who like Heitmann earned Honorable Mention All-America status last season as part of an 800 free relay.

This lines them up against swimmers from many of the top mid-major programs in the country which have historically been the focal points of the meet. Denver, Akron, Boise State, Rice, Grand Canyon, Oakland, Army, and the defending champions from Florida International (women) and Navy (men) will all also send teams to the meet, among many others.

In total, 59 schools will participate in the meet, which is a huge jump from last season where 40 teams participated. This will be the largest NIC to date.


Thursday, March 14 Friday, March 15 Saturday, March 16
Prelims (9:30 a.m.) Prelims (9:30 a.m.) Prelims (9:30 a.m.)
50 Butterfly 400 IM 100 IM
50 Breaststroke 100 Butterfly 200 Backstroke
500 Freestyle 200 Freestyle 100 Freestyle
50 Backstroke 100 Breaststroke 200 Breaststroke
200 IM 100 Backstroke 200 Butterfly
50 Freestyle
Prelims Results (PDF) Prelims Results (PDF) Prelims Results (PDF)
Finals (6:00 p.m.) 800 Freestyle Relay (early heats) 1000/1650 Freestyle (early heats)
200 Freestyle Relay
10-minute break Finals (6:00 p.m.) Finals (6:00 p.m.)
50 Butterfly 200 Medley Relay 1000/1650 Freestyle (fastest heat)
50 Breaststroke 10-minute break 100 IM
500 Freestyle 400 IM 200 Backstroke
50 Backstroke 100 Butterfly 100 Freestyle
200 IM 200 Freestyle 200 Breaststroke
50 Freestyle 100 Breaststroke 200 Butterfly
20-minute break 100 Backstroke 20-minute break
400 Medley Relay 20-minute break 400 Freestyle Relay
800 Freestyle Relay (fastest heats)
Finals Results (PDF) Finals Results (PDF) Finals Results (PDF)

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2 years ago

Kudos to Coach Steve Schaffer from GCU for having it all started back in 2014.

Coach Josh
Reply to  John
2 years ago

Not sure why anyone would downvote this. This meet is great for the sport on multiple different levels.

Reply to  John
2 years ago

Yeah he started it because his kids weren’t eligible for NCAAs and he had to have somewhere to send kids he promised would go to NCAAs haha

2 years ago

good idea, something focus to during season if you have down year and no a-cuts….

Coach Cwik
2 years ago

Great idea and meet. Maybe next year have prelims in yards and finals in meters. I’d bet we would see a lot of Trials Cuts. Hope Pittsburgh participates next year.

2 years ago

Maybe meet for guys from Texas like Koustik, Artmann etc?

Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

This is a great initiative! Didn’t know much about it until now thanks to your great article Braden. Thank you.

2 years ago


2 years ago

Host at IUPUI Natatorium and watch the teams flood in…..

Swimming Fan
2 years ago

I believe that the meet began with prelims this morning rather than this evening.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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