Analysis: NCAA “B” Cuts Drop Drastically for 2018-2019

Earlier today, we reported on the NCAA’s new “A” and “B” cuts for the 2018-2019 college swim season. Comparing those times to their 2017-2018 counterparts shows a dramatic drop in “B” cut times in particular.

B cuts dropped anywhere from a half-second to a full-second in 100-yard events, highlighted by 1.1-second drops in the men’s 100 breast and women’s 100 back. 200 yard events fell as little as .3 seconds (women’s 200 fly) but as much as two full seconds (women’s 200 breast, women’s 200 back) or even 2.3 seconds (men’s 200 IM).

The only events with unchanged cuts appear to be the women’s mile (both cuts unchanged) and women’s 500 free (no change in “A” cut) along with the men’s 200 breast (no change in “A” cut). The former two could have something to do with Katie Ledecky inflating the NCAA finish times in those events with her absurdly-outlying times. Ledecky has turned pro and won’t be back in the NCAA next season. She won the mile by about 29 seconds a year ago, and won the 500 by more than 8.

Here’s a full chart of the changes in time for all men’s and women’s “A” and “B” cuts for the upcoming season:

MEN WOMEN
Men’s “A” Men’s “B” Event Women’s “A” Women’s “B”
-0.05 -0.23 50 free -.06 -.23
-0.23 -0.49 100 free -.18 -.48
-0.41 -1.67 200 free -.13 -.87
-0.27 -1.65 500 free -.59
-1.19 -4.20 1650 free
-0.25 -.86 100 fly -.16 -.73
-0.42 -1.30 200 fly -.32 -.36
-0.13 -.72 100 back -.17 -1.15
-0.28 -1.35 200 back -.49 -2.08
-0.01 -1.17 100 breast -.06 -.65
-1.36 200 breast -.24 -2.02
-0.54 -2.32 200 IM -.69 -1.65
-0.58 -3.03 400 IM -.54 -2.09
Qualifying Provisional Qualifying Provisional
-.21 -.24 200 free relay -.10 -.21
-.71 -.51 400 free relay -.46 -.11
-1.59 -.98 800 free relay -1.34 -.67
-.26 -.29 200 medley relay -.24 -.12
-.68 -.62 400 medley relay -.47 -.13

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.

Here are the full new A and B cuts for men and women:

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
2018-2019 Men’s Auto 2018-2019 Men’s Provisional Relays 2018-2019 Women’s Auto 2018-2019 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

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That guy

Remember that in 2015, 1:32.03 won the 200 free, now that’ll barely slide as an A cut. Townley broke the 200

Swim Dawg

God help us all if the Men’s 50 Free A Cut drops under 19… only 6 years ago a 19.0 WON the men’s 50 free… WOW!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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