D2 NCAA Female Qualifiers Largely More American than International

So where exactly do NCAA qualifiers come from? They come from years of hard work, supportive coaches, friends, and often family, they come from the right mix of technique, drive, passion, and steadfast focus on a goal…

But they also come from places. Literal, physical places.

But which literal, physical places?

We’ve gone through and laid out exactly where the female individual qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA D2 Championships qualifiers listed and collected data on where they come from – broken down both in terms of states and countries. Note that there’s some wrinkles in the data, like international swimmers who wind up at Bolles or the Baylor School for high school, but we’ve tried to stick with an athlete’s listed “hometown” from their collegiate bios as closely as possible.

There are tons of observations that could be made here – we’ve made a list of some of them below.


  • 114 Americans are going to D2 NCAAs for the women compared to 69 internationals. That’s pretty much a complete reversal from the men’s make-up, which saw 101 internationals and 56 Americans.
  • 28 different countries besides the U.S. are to be represented at D2 NCAAs. That’s just under the 30 American states that will be represented.
  • Missouri, which isn’t necessarily known as a swimming powerhouse state, has the 4th highest number of swimmers of the states. Missouri also has more swimmers than any one country in D2 for the women. This is likely thanks to D2 powerhouses Drury University and Truman State, both located in Missouri. Drury has 3 Missouri-born swimmers heading to NCAAs, while Truman State has 5 going.
  • There are no Brazilian women going to D2 NCAAs, which is a flip from the men. 12 Brazilian men are going to D2 NCAAs, which is more than any other country and any other American state.
  • Canada has the most women for internationals, but Canada would only rank 5th when comparing to American staet.
  • California has the highest concentration of D2 female swimmers going to NCAAs, which makes sense. CA consistently has the highest concentration of fast swimmers in the nation.
  • Texas, which is usually right up there behind California, only has four swimmers represented here, having less than Colorado’s five. Florida (six) also has a lower representation than what we’re used to seeing.
  • England (pop. 53 million) has the same amount of qualifiers for the women as Sweden (pop. 9.5 million), despite having more than five times the population. England is generally more of an international powerhouse in terms of elite swimming, although the Swedish women are particularly strong as well.


California 16
Michigan 12
Pennsylvania 11
Missouri 10
Florida 6
Illinois 6
Colorado 5
Alabama 4
Georgia 4
Minnesota 4
Texas 4
Wisconsin 4
North Carolina 3
Tennessee 3
Arizona 2
Kentucky 2
Maryland 2
Massachusetts 2
Ohio 2
Oregon 2
Alaska 1
Idaho 1
Iowa 1
Kansas 1
New Jersey 1
South Carolina 1
South Dakota 1
Vermont 1
Virginia 1
Washington 1


Canada 9
England 8
Sweden 8
Germany 7
Poland 6
Russia 5
Argentina 2
Croatia 2
Netherlands 2
Ukraine 2
Australia 1
Belgium 1
Colombia 1
Cyprus 1
Denmark 1
Fiji 1
France 1
Greece 1
Guatemala 1
Israel 1
Kazakhstan 1
Kyrgyzstan 1
Mexico 1
New Zealand 1
Norway 1
Singapore 1
Slovenia 1
Venezuela 1

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3 years ago

Don’t the state numbers make general sense? In D2, California schools are well-represented (some which are state universities), Michigan and Pennsylvania being similar (D2 schools + state universities). Meanwhile, Florida only has one state university (UWF) among the D2 schools being represented.

3 years ago

Regarding Missouri , Truman state has 5 swimmers going to nationals that are from Missouri, which represents half of the 10 in state. Sisson, Betz, Nicks, Strickler and Spencer.

3 years ago

Correction, Truman state has 5 women that made the meet individually that are homegrown from Missouri. Nicks, Betz, Spencer, Strickler and Sisson.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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