USA Swimming has revised the B-standards for the Minneapolis Grand Prix and opened up registration to swimmers with those B-standards beginning today, October 11th, at noon Central Time.
See here for the new standards.
These new times are drastically slower than the original standards (those can be seen here in the standards that still apply to all of the other Grand Prixs). Times dropped as much as 5-6 seconds in 100 and 200 yard events, up to 24 seconds in the 400 IM and almost a minute in the 1650 freestyle.
This would seem to speak to the fact that with severely juiced-up “A” standards under the new qualifying system, USA Swimming didn’t get many inquiries from swimmers who had hit the mandatory times for early registration. Under the new qualifying procedure, with the meet a month away (November 9th-11th at the University of Minnesota) entries are now available to swimmers with “B” standards until the 600 swimmer cap is hit.
With this Grand Prix being the only one in the fall, and being held in yards in the middle of the college season, it tends to be more lightly-attended from the pro ranks anyway. We haven’t noticed many NCAA teams with this meet on their schedules thus far either, which is where the bulk of the country’s swimmers who have hit the standards compete. This would make sense, because it’s harder for a college coach to commit to these meets when there is uncertainty about qualifying standards or whether they will register early enough to fit under the 600 swimmer cap.
The new standards only apply to the Minneapolis Grand Prix, for now, and the B-standards remain at the tougher level for all of the other Grand Prixs.