NCAA “A” Cut Update: 59 individuals qualified after December invites

All times are based on USA Swimming’s Event Rank database for NCAA Division I.

With the brunt of mid-season invitationals now wrapped up in the NCAA’s Division I, it’s time to take a look at how many swimmers have already punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships.

As of December 15th, 59 different swimmers have qualified individually – 32 women and 27 men.*

That’s just a tick behind the 65 athletes who had qualified by this time last year.

To qualify at this point, athletes must hit an NCAA “A” standard in at least one event. Any athlete who hits an “A” standard can swim that event at the national championships, plus any other events where they get to a “B” standard. You can find this year’s “A” and “B” cuts here.

Late this winter, after conference meet season, the official NCAA selections will be made. Any athlete who gets an “A” cut is automatically in, and then the NCAA invites the next fastest “B” cuts in each event until they hit their athlete cap – only 270 men are allowed in and 322 women.

That’s a bird’s eye view of what’s a somewhat complex invite process. To get a more in-depth look, you can read our refresher from last season here.

*Note: USC’s Cristian Quintero is officially listed with an “A” cut in the 200 free, based on a conversion of his short course meters time from Short Course Worlds. However, Quintero is not competing with USC until next semester, and any qualifying time he swims shouldn’t count until he officially becomes eligible. We’ve left him off our list unless we get confirmation that his qualifying time does indeed count.


At this point, we can only speculate as to what kinds of “B” cut times will ultimately get invited, but we can tell who is for sure into the meet by tallying up “A” cuts. So far this year, we’ve got 32 women and 27 men under the cut in at least one event. You can check out the full list at the bottom of this post.

The California and Georgia women lead all programs with 5 individuals already qualified. Virginia sits at 3. On the men’s side, Texas and Georgia have each qualified 4, while Cal has 3 men in.


The relay process is similar. The NCAA has “Qualifying Standards” (essentially “A” cuts for relays) and “Provisional Standards” (somewhat like “B” cuts).

Any team that hits a qualifying standard in any of the 5 relay events is eligible to enter all 5 relays at NCAAs. The catch is that the team must qualify at least one individual for the meet as well.

Once a team has at least one relay “A” cut and one individual qualified, the team can bring up to 3 “relay-only” swimmers along to NCAAs to fill out the relay races.

So far, 15 women’s programs and 9 men’s programs have hit at least one qualifying standard. Each of these schools are very likely to get an individual into the NCAA Championships, but 2 women’s teams and 2 men’s teams have yet to have an individual make an A cut.

Here are the schools that have hit qualifying standards in a relay. We’ve italicized the programs that have to officially qualify an individual before they can swim at NCAAs:


Stanford: 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
California: 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
Texas: 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
Virginia: 200 free, 800 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
Georgia: 200 free, 400 free, 400 medley
Florida: 200 free, 400 free
Missouri: 200 free, 400 medley
Auburn: 200 free, 200 medley
Texas A&M: 400 free, 400 medley
Southern Cal: 200 medley, 400 medley
Wisconsin: 200 free
Kentucky: 800 free
Indiana: 800 free
Florida State: 200 medley
Michigan: 400 medley


Georgia: 400 free, 800 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
Texas: 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley 400 medley
Louisville: 400 free, 800 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
California: 200 free, 200 medley, 400 medley
Auburn: 200 free, 400 free
Arizona: 200 free
Ohio State: 400 free
Missouri: 200 free
Stanford: 400 free

And, of course, here are the individuals who have already hit NCAA “A” cuts, plus the events they’ve qualified in. Swimmers don’t neccessarily have to enter all of these events at NCAAs, and swimmers qualified in more than three races will have to choose three individuals to swim at NCAAs.

Note: Events that have been converted from short course meters (as is allowable under NCAA rules) are marked with an asterisk.


Name School Events
Missy Franklin California 100 free, 200 free, 200 back, 200 IM
Elizabeth Pelton California 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM
Cierra Runge California 500 free
Rachel Bootsma California 100 back
Celina Li California 400 IM
Amber McDermott Georgia 500 free, 400 IM
Brittany MacLean Georgia 500 free, 1650 free
Chantal van Landeghem Georgia 50 free
Kylie Stewart Georgia 200 back
Hali Flickinger Georgia 400 IM
Courtney Bartholomew Virginia 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM
Leah Smith Virginia 500 free, 1650 free
Laura Simon Virginia 200 breast
Simone Manuel Stanford 50 free, 100 free, 200 free
Lia Neal Stanford 100 free
Brooklynn Snodgrass Indiana 100 back, 200 back
Kennedy Goss Indiana 200 back
Bonnie Brandon Arizona 1650 free
Tjasa Oder Arizona 1650 free
Gillian Ryan Michigan 1650 free
Clara Smiddy Michigan 200 back
Tina Bechtel Kentucky 100 fly, 200 fly
Molly Hannis Tennessee 100 breast, 200 breast
Kelsi Worrell Louisville 100 fly, 200 fly
Kierra Smith Minnesota 200 breast
Dani Barbeia Missouri 100 fly
Emma Reaney Notre Dame 100 breast
Gretchen Jaques Texas 100 breast
Sarah Henry Texas A&M 400 IM
Ivy Martin Wisconsin 50 free
Jessica Thiemann Florida 1650 free
Chelsea Britt Florida State 200 fly


Name School Events
Chase Kalisz Georgia 200 fly, 400 IM
Mathias Koski Georgia 500 free
Nic Fink Georgia 200 breast
Gunnar Bentz Georgia 400 IM
Jay Litherland Georgia 400 IM
Joseph Schooling Texas 100 fly, 200 fly
Clark Smith Texas 500 free, 200 fly
Jack Conger Texas 200 back, 100 fly
Will Licon Texas 200 breast
Ryan Murphy California 100 back, 200 back
Chuck Katis California 100 breast
Josh Prenot California 400 IM
Kevin Cordes Arizona 100 breast, 200 breast
Brad Tandy Arizona 50 free
Mitch D’Arrigo Florida 200 free*, 500 free*
Dan Wallace Florida 500 free
Sam Tierney Missouri 100 breast, 200 breast
Kristian Gkolomeev Alabama 50 free
Joe Patching Auburn 200 back
Jake Taylor BYU 200 back
Peter Kropp Duke 100 breast
Grant Betulius Iowa 100 back
Grigory Tarasevich Louisville 200 back
Dylan Bosch Michigan 200 fly
Chris Swanson Penn 1650 free
Evan Pinion Tennessee 1650 free
Drew teDuits Wisconsin 200 back

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So, if a team makes a qualifying standard in a single relay, and they have a single individual A-cut qualifier, they can enter all five relays, but they have to use the same four swimmers in all the relays?

Another question: if a swimmer has a single A-cut and several B-cuts, can they choose to swim only events in which they have a B-cut? In other words, can they use the A-cut to get qualified into the meet, but not actually swim that event, while still exercising their B-cut rights in other events?


No Caleb Dressel in the 50??

GTswim – no, Caeleb doesn’t have an “A” cut in the 50. He hit last year’s “A” cut, but not this year’s “A” cut.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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