Making Assumptions and Projecting the Cutline for the 2020 Men’s NCAA Champs

The official preselection sheets for the 2020 Men’s NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships are expected to drop, publicly, on Tuesday. At that point, we’ll be able to formally calculate the cutlines ahead of Wednesday’s official drop of the invite list. Given impatience as it is, though, we don’t necessarily have to wait that long to make some assumptions and get at least a ballpark of an idea as to who is going to swim what at the NCAA Championships.

Big red flag warning: this calculation is done based on several assumptions and cuts that we don’t necessarily know to be true,  so don’t book your plane tickets until at least Tuesday, when we run calculations off the pre-selection sheets, which doesn’t require assumptions, just math.

Tait Pinnow has run a mock draft selection process to project the field for the NCAA Championship meet.

The first step was to make assumptions for those swimmers with more than 3 individual times listed and/or 2 or more times listed per day of the meet.

This led to 32 potential “conflicts” to solve for, most of which are pretty easy calls, but there are a couple of leaps who weren’t quite as obvious, including:

  • Albiero (5 times), Casas (8 times), Quah (5 times), and Rooney (5 times)

The assumptions Tait made for those swimmers were:

  • Albiero – 100 Fly, 100 Back & 200 Fly
  • Casas – 200 IM, 100 Back & 200 Back
  • Quah – 200 IM, 100 Fly & 200 Fly
  • Rooney – 50 Free, 100 Fly & 100 Free

After scratching the list to 235 swimmers, there’s still one more glaring gorilla in the room: this leaves the Texas men with 24 qualifiers.

Texas’ 24 Qualifiers:

Swimmer Team Post-Assumption Rank Event
Krueger, Daniel TEX 1 100 Freestyle SCY Male
Rooney, Maxime TEX 1 100 Butterfly SCY Male
Katz, Austin TEX 2 200 Backstroke SCY Male
Kibler, Drew TEX 2 200 Freestyle SCY Male
Pomajevich, Sam TEX 3 200 Butterfly SCY Male
Willenbring, Matt TEX 3 200 Individual Medley SCY Male
Vines, Braden TEX 4 400 Individual Medley SCY Male
Harty, Ryan TEX 4 200 Individual Medley SCY Male
Jiang, Alvin TEX 5 100 Butterfly SCY Male
Corbeau, Caspar TEX 7 200 Breaststroke SCY Male
Foster, Jake TEX 8 400 Individual Medley SCY Male
Collins, Jack TEX 9 1650 Freestyle SCY Male
Staka, Chris TEX 12 100 Backstroke SCY Male
Artmann, Josh TEX 12 200 Backstroke SCY Male
Yeager, Chris TEX 14 1650 Freestyle SCY Male
Zettle, Alex TEX 15 500 Freestyle SCY Male
Larson, Johnthomas TEX 19 500 Freestyle SCY Male
Park, Jason TEX 19 100 Backstroke SCY Male
Scheinfeld, Charlie TEX 20 100 Breaststroke SCY Male
Larson, Peter TEX 21 200 Freestyle SCY Male
Varozza, Preston TEX 21 100 Backstroke SCY Male
Koustik, Andrew TEX 24 200 Butterfly SCY Male
Harder, Ethan TEX 24 200 Backstroke SCY Male
Neri, Parker TEX 25 1650 Freestyle SCY Male

The really tricky part here is that each team can only take 18 roster spots to the NCAA Championships. That means, for Tuesday, we’ll expect Texas to have to cut 6 of these guys, before probably dropping 1 or 2 more later in the process after Texas’ divers are confirmed (each diver counts as 1/2 of a spot).

This was the biggest and fuzziest assumption we had to make, because we don’t know what Texas head coach Eddie Reese knows about training, injuries, and taper schedules.

The first guess we’re making is that Charlie Scheinfeld, in spite of not having as good of a season this year as last year, will be on the roster. We could be very wrong, but it’s the assumption we’re making.

After that, we’ve simply gone through and made the cut of the 6 lowest-ranked swimmers on Texas’ roster: Jason Park, Peter Larson, Preston Varozza, Andrew Koustik, Ethan Harder, and Parker Neri.

That gives us the grand total of most event cut-lines falling at 29, with one event jumping into 30.

Final Prognostication:

Event Last Invite Time Last Swimmer in Team
50 Freestyle SCY Male 27 * 19.32 Dillon Downing, Thomas Hallock, Albert Gwo
Georgia, Virginia Tech, Columbia
100 Freestyle SCY Male 29* 42.57 John Mitchell, Andrej Barna
Kentucky, Louisville
200 Freestyle SCY Male 29 1:34.07 Jack Dahlgren Missouri
500 Freestyle SCY Male 30 4:16.50 Will Roberts Michigan
1650 Freestyle SCY Male 29 14:56.39 Nico Hernandez-Tome Alabama
100 Backstroke SCY Male 29 46.21 Matthew Menke Alabama
200 Backstroke SCY Male 29 1:41.50 Benjamin ho Stanford
100 Breaststroke SCY Male 29 52.46 Zachary Nelson Air Force
200 Breaststroke SCY Male 29 1:53.88 Caio Pumputis Georgia Tech
100 Butterfly SCY Male 29* 45.97 Eric Fraiser, Max McCusker
Florida, Florida State
200 Butterfly SCY Male 29 1:43.10 Van Mathias Indiana
200 Individual Medley SCY Male 29 1:43.79 Etay Gurevich Arizona
400 Individual Medley SCY Male 29 3:44.36 Andrew Abruzzo Georgia

* – indicates a tie for the last spot in this event

Note that the swimmers listed on the table aren’t necessarily ‘on the bubble,’ because they may have another higher rank in a different event. The names are listed simply to help make it easier for those looking to see if a certain athlete got in to identify their swimmer’s spot in the adjusted rankings.

Consider this one more piece of information to fret about, or to calm your nerves, depending on the situation of the athletes on your favorite team, for the next 24 hours, until the picture becomes more clear.


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Old Retired Guy
2 years ago


2 years ago

While you are at it, could you give a quick reminder/primer on the rules related to “relay only” swimmers coming to the meet? Are they required to perform?

2 years ago

I should know, but I don’t, and am sure SwimSwam does: do members of relays that make “A” cuts get to swim individual events in which they have only a “B” cut, without some other individual invited swim?

2 years ago

Repeal the cap, let the swimmers who qualify compete, I don’t care if there ends up being 6 Texas guys in one heat

Damn autocorrect
2 years ago

Just allow Texas to split their team and go for a 1-2 finish! Then at least the top 235 NCAA swimmers will be at the meet.

Damn Autocorrect
Reply to  Damn autocorrect
2 years ago

Orange/White part II

2 years ago

This is why swimswam is so great. Great job!

fan of swimming
2 years ago

what decides who from the 30th line gets in?

2 years ago

Geez Texas. Where does this rank regarding the greatest number of swimmers to have qualified for NCAA’s from a single team? Maybe it isn’t remarkable, I’ve only been following for a few years.

Reply to  JeahBrah
2 years ago

It’s as ridiculous as it seems

Reply to  JeahBrah
2 years ago

I know they usually have to leave 2-3 guys home… I don’t recall them having to leave 6 before, though.

Reply to  sven
2 years ago

Does anyone else think is strange that Texas with 9.9 scholarships qualifies 24 swimmers? I mean magic and amazing coaching only does so much!

Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
2 years ago

To be on a national champ team or make an olympic team, guys will take a lot less. And don’t forget the 9.9 includes whatever is allotted to their stable of stud divers outside of the 24 swimmers!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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