The deadline to submit entries for the 2020 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships passed at the end of the day Eastern time on Monday, February 24th, with a cold dose of reality for a number of teams that have not met the new minimum standards for national championship participation.
- See the NCAA Division II Preselection Entries Here
- See NCAA Memo on new roster and meet minimums here
Beginning with the 2019-2020 NCAA Division II season, teams are required to have 8 bona fide competitions against four year institutions to be eligible to send swimmers to the NCAA Championships meet, and at each meet a team must enter at least 11 swimmers per gender for that meet to count as a competition for that gender.
While for most of the major players in Division II swimming this was already something being accomplished, many programs carry smaller rosters or compete in fewer competitions than that every year.
Rumors have circulated that over 30 NCAA Division II teams didn’t meet this requirement in the 2019-2020 season.
On Tuesday, the NCAA Division II Preselection sheets were released. These sheets include the names of athletes, who have hit at least the NCAA “B” standard, that have been put forth by their teams for consideration in the selection process.
While not a full-scale definitive look, we’ve identified at least 2 teams that had possible NCAA invitees on the roster, but aren’t on the NCAA preselection sheet. In both cases, the teams in question appear to have not met the Division III minimum competitions requirement.
The Tiffin University men, for example, have 16 swimmers listed on their roster (although only 10 appear in the team photo). While the team has 10 meets listed on their schedule, they didn’t take 11 male swimmers to each of those meets. For example, at the mid-season Calvin Invite, they had only 9 swimmers compete.
While the school was unlikely to have any swimmers invited to the NCAA Championships, their absence from the preselection list was indicative of not meeting the criteria.
The more damning example are the Alaska-Fairbanks women. The team only lists 13 swimmers on its women’s roster, but appear to have had at least 11 swimmers participate in all of their meets this season, but the confusion here is what constitutes a meet.
We were able to identify a few other examples of teams missing from the preselection sheets, but in all of those cases, the teams either seem to have met the criteria, or were unlikely to have swimmers invited (though they were fast enough to be included on the preselection sheets, at least). For example, in 4 of the team’s 5 intercollegiate dual meets this season, the Alaska Fairbanks swam the same team 2 days in a row. Separate recaps were written and separate team scores were posted on their schedule for each day of those 2 day meets. If that duplication is ignored, however, the team only had 7 bona fide meets: San Diego State, Azua Pacific, Seattle, Pepperdine Invite, Pacific Lutheran, Simon Fraser, and the PCSC Championships.
Alaska Fairbanks had a likely NCAA invitee in Norwegian sophomore Oda Bygdnes. Her 54.99 in the 100 fly ties as the 19th-best swim in Division II this season, and after scratches would have been tied for 18th. Last season, around 26 women were invited in each event.
We have reached out to Alaska Fairbanks for more information on their swimmers’ absences, but have not heard back.
Sources tell SwimSwam that a conference call is currently happening with teams seeking waivers. There has also been some issues with teams not uploading results from dual meets, knocking teams below the limits.
Unlike Division I and Division III, swimmers in Division II can enter up to 4 individual races. Division II also sponsors a 1000 free at the NCAA Championships, which Division I and Division III do not.
Key Entries Among Present Swimmers:
- Drury’s Bailee Nunn will enter to repeat her NCAA National Championship title defense in the 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM, and 100 fly. She’s opted against a switch to the 200 IM, where she’s the 3rd-fastest swimmer in the country this season and won the GLVC conference championship.
- West Florida’s Ester Rizzetto, the #2 seed in the 200 IM, is skipping the 200 free to focus on the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM. She would have been the 10th seed in the 200 free.
- UIndy’s Marta Van Jaarsveld, the top seed in the 200 IM and 400 IM, will also swim the 100 free and the 200 fly. Her decision was essentially down to the 100 free (10th in the country) or the 200 back (14th in the country). Even though she swam the 200 back at the GLVC Championships, for load management, this was probably a wise decision.
- Queens’ Francesca Bains is swimming the longest-possible individual schedule, with entries in the 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, and 400 IM. That includes a 6th seed in the 1650 and 5th seed in the 400 IM. She had a viable choice to swim the 200 fly as well as the 19th best swimmer in the country instead of the 500 free as the 13th best.
- Simon Fraser’s Collyn Gagne will swim the 500 free, 200 back, 200 IM, and 400 IM at the meet, skipping the 1000 free where he’s the 9th-best swimmer in Division II this season. That’s a higher seed than he is in the 200 IM (11th), and a similar seed to the 500 free and 200 back (8th). He’s the #2 seed in the 400 IM.