Comparing The 2016 NCAA Division I Time Standards

In the Division I NCAA qualifying system, there are “A” standards, which earn an automatic invite to the NCAA Championship meet, and there are “B” standards, which both allow the next X number of swimmers to be invited to the meet, and additionally allows invited swimmers to swim bonus events in which they weren’t invited.

Though nobody is a sure-fire invite until they get an A-cut or until the invite list comes out, every college coach in the country has some idea of the times that might safely earn an invite, even without officially being automatic. For example, a 4:38-high in the women’s 500 free isn’t automatically invited, but it’s pretty close to a ‘sure thing’.

Below, we’ve laid out the slowest time that was invited in each race (which doesn’t include optional entries from swimmers invited in other races), this year’s automatic qualifying standard, and the number of seniors invited to last year’s meet. That number of seniors should give an idea in each event how many invitees have moved on. Of course, that doesn’t include swimmers who went pro early, or swimmers who are missing this season for injury, transfer, or an Olympic redshirt, but all-in-all, those things are mostly balanced out by swimmers returning from redshirts or transfers who sat out last season.

Any cutoff time that was slower in 2015 than it was in 2014 is highlighted in red. Only four event cut offs were slower in 2014 than they were in 2015. Also, none of the NCAA Automatic standard got slower, although the women’s 200 and 400 IM time standards remained the same as they were last year. Those are both highlighted in green.

If you want to do your own investigations, here’s the psych sheets from last year with invite lines drawn in:

The time standards got much quicker this year, with 94.4% of the “A” standards faster than there were in 2015. All of the individual “B” standards remained the same, but all of the provisional relay standards are now faster.

MEN 2013-2014 Invited time 2014-2015 Invited time 2015-2016 NCAA Auto Standards Number Invited (2015) Number Of Seniors Invited (2015)
500 Free 4:18.31 4:17.15 4:13.60 30 3
200 IM 1:44.71 1:44.58 1:42.51 30 12
50 Free 19.47 19.52 19.18 30 8
400 IM 3:45.64 3:45.34 3:41.15 29 7
100 Fly 46.58 46.38 45.85 30 10
200 Free 1:34.71 1:34.54 1:33.34 31 8
100 Breast 53.23 52.97 52.08 29 14
100 Back 46.57 46.46 45.44 30 7
1650 Free 15:03.42 14:59.20 14:46.04 30 4
200 Back 1:42.41 1:42.04 1:40.33 30 11
100 Free 42.98 42.94 42.37 29 9
200 Breast 1:55.64 1:55.04 1:53.07 29 15
200 Fly 1:43.81 1:43.74 1:42.43 30 12
Women 2013-2014 Invited Time 2014-2015 Invited Time 2015-2016 NCAA Auto Standards Number Invited (2015) Number of Seniors Invited (2015)
500 Free 4:42.79 4:43.01 4:36.30 38 10
200 IM 1:58.13 1:58.13 1:55.35 39 8
50 Free 22.4 22.4 21.86 40 16
400 IM 4:12.63 4:12.31 4:05.37 39 11
100 Fly 52.92 52.79 51.56 40 14
200 Free 1:46.03 1:45.95 1:43.82 40 11
100 Breast 1:00.78 1:00.74 59.04 39 9
100 Back 53.2 52.97 51.51 39 5
1650 Free 16:20.32 16:17.36 15:53.50 37 6
200 Back 1:55.19 1:54.66 1:51.95 39 5
100 Free 48.82 48.89 47.79 41 14
200 Breast 2:11.22 2:11.23 2:07.42 39 12
200 Fly 1:56.79 1:56.97 1:54.22 40 12

2015-2016 NCAA D1 Qualifying Standards

Men’s A Men’s B Events Women’s A Women’s B
19.18 20.19 50 Freestyle 21.86 22.99
42.37 44.29 100 Freestyle 47.79 49.99
1:33.34 1:37.99 200 Freestyle 1:43.82 1:47.99
4:13.60 4:24.99 500 Freestye 4:36.30 4:47.79
14:46.04 15:30.39 1650 Freestyle 15:53.50 16:30.59
45.44 48.49 100 Backstroke 51.51 55.09
1:40.33 1:46.39 200 Backstroke 1:51.95 1:59.19
52.08 55.39 100 Breaststroke 59.04 1:02.49
1:53.07 1:59.79 200 Breaststroke 2:07.42 2:15.99
45.85 48.29 100 Butterfly 51.56 54.49
1:42.43 1:47.99 200 Buterfly 1:54.22 1:59.59
1:42.51 1:49.09 200 IM 1:55.35 2:01.59
3:41.15 3:54.49 400 IM 4:05.37 4:19.39
1:17.85 1:18.49 200 Free Relay 1:29.16 1:29.90
2:52.82 2:54.20 400 Free Relay 3:16.15 3:17.59
6:21.54 6:25.06 800 Free Relay 7:06.77 7:09.96
1:25.30 1:26.13 200 Medley Relay 1:37.46 1:37.96
3:08.33 3:10.16 400 Medley Relay 3:33.89 3:35.31

How Much Faster Are 2016 Standards Compared to 2015 Standards?

Men’s A Men’s B Events Women’s A Women’s B
-0.07 0 50 Freestyle -0.04 0
-0.14 0 100 Freestyle -0.06 0
-0.28 0 200 Freestyle -0.08 0
-0.99 0 500 Freestye -0.15 0
-0.22 0 1650 Freestyle -2.68 0
-0.18 0 100 Backstroke -0.12 0
-0.55 0 200 Backstroke -0.57 0
-0.21 0 100 Breaststroke -0.08 0
-0.61 0 200 Breaststroke -0.28 0
-0.06 0 100 Butterfly -0.14 0
-0.42 0 200 Buterfly -0.23 0
-0.25 0 200 IM 0 0
-1.25 0 400 IM 0 0
-0.17 -0.13 200 Free Relay -0.33 -0.27
-0.29 -0.26 400 Free Relay -0.26 -0.52
-1.27 -0.43 800 Free Relay -0.43 -1.32
-0.33 -0.38 200 Medley Relay -0.38 -0.49
-1.07 -0.87 400 Medley Relay -0.36 -0.36

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nemofish

Are they doing the NCAA Championship SCM, because it’s an Olympic Year??? It was so cool seeing Ian Crocker take down world records in 2004 and I think the athletes would appreciate it.

nemofish

It looks like on average, besides the 200 Breast, 7-11 more women were invited to the 2015 Champs than men in every event. What gives? Maybe more made the A cut than men?

dmswim

The number of athletes allowed per NCAA championship depends on the number of teams that sponsor the sport/total athletes in the sport across the NCAA. There are more women’s teams/athletes so there are more women’s spots at the NCAA championships.

Reid

I’m thinking that’s a typo.

It was a typo. Corrected.

PHELPS SWIMS 200 BREAST RIO

19.1 ?!

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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