Only 2 (or Maybe 3) Swimmers Used LCM Conversions to Qualify for 2024 NCAAs

After all was said-and-done, only three swimmers relied upon long course meter conversions for NCAA qualifying this season.

The NCAA historically has oscillated between allowing and disallowing long course conversion times for NCAA Championship qualifying, with long course times most-frequently being allowed in Olympic years.

Only collegiate meets swum in long course (we saw a lot of split-course racing at mid-season invites) or certain approved non-collegiate meets were allowed for NCAA Championship qualifying. This year, the allowed non-collegiate meets were the 2023 Pan American Games, the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships, the 2023 US Open, and the 2024 World Championships.

Three swimmers, all men born abroad, had their NCAA qualification impacted by these long course meters conversions.

While there were a handful of other swimmers who wound up using long course meter converted times to enter the meet, in all of those other cases, they would have been eligible to swim those races even without the long course conversion. Those other swims did improve their seeding, though, including American Charlie Clark, who is the #2 seed in the 1650 free with a converted 14:35.00 from his 14:57.44 in the 1500 long course meter free at the World Championships.

Mario Molla Yanes, a Spanish national swimming for Spanish coach Sergio Lopez at Virginia Tech, swam 51.48 in the 100 meter fly, which converts to a 45.20 in yards by the NCAA’s conversions. While he’s been 45.28 in yards, this season his best was 45.58 at ACCs, which wouldn’t have been invited. That’s his only event on the right side of the cut-line, expected to be announced tomorrow.

He’s the 25th seed in the 100 fly.

Vaggellis Makrygiannias, a Greek swimmer racing for USC, swam 53.38 for 4th place in the World Championship final. That converts to a 45.11 in yards. His best actual yards time in the NCAA season is 46.33, which wouldn’t have been invited. He is only entered in the 100 back and the 200 back at NCAAs, and would not have been invited in the 200 back.

His USC teammate Michael Chmielewski is sort of an asterisk on this list. His 1:54.88 in long course from the December 2023 US Open converts to a 1:40.63, which easily puts him into the NCAA Championships as the 9th seed. His actual best yards time is 1:42.17, done at the mid-season Texas Invite, which would have ranked him 31st. That might have gotten an invite, depending on what NC State decides to do with its roster (they’re over the invite cap), but regardless, his long course conversion erases doubt.

He has no other swims under the projected invite line.

The long course conversions were considered tough all season long, which demonstrates just how much better the three swimmers above were in long course than short course this season.

2024 NCAA Championships – Swimmers Entered with LCM conversion times

Men

  • Michal Chmielewski, USC – 200 fly – 1:40.63 (US Open) – 1:54.88 LCM*****
  • Vaggellis Makrygiannis, USC – 100 back – 45.11 (Worlds) – 53.38 LCM*****
  • Mario Molla Yanes, Virginia Tech – 100 fly – 45.20 (Worlds) – 51.48 LCM*****
  • Bjorn Seeliger, Cal – 50 free – 18.85 (Worlds) – 21.67 LCM
  • Charlie Clark, Ohio State – 1650 free – 14:35.00 (Worlds) – 14:57.44 LCM
  • Matt Fallon, Penn – 100 breast – 51.89 (US Open) – 59.92 LCM
  • Jake Foster, Texas – 200 breast – 1:51.78 (Worlds) – 2:08.78 LCM
  • Martin Espernberger, Tennessee – 200 fly – 1:40.47 (US Open) – 1:54.69 LCM
  • Mason Laur, Florida – 200 fly – 1:42.00 (Pan Ams) – 1:56.44 LCM

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Seth
2 months ago

What ages are allowed to swim at the 2023 Junior world championships? From what I’m aware junior is 18 and under, which would only have a tiny fraction of college swimmers be 18 to swim at the meet and swim for a college.

Pescatarian
2 months ago

Some of these conversions are terrible.

Entgegen
Reply to  Pescatarian
2 months ago

1:56 LCM and 1:42.00 SCY is absurd

Fast and Furious
2 months ago

Some of those conversions are terrible and it’s totally evident that the formula doesn’t account for outliers. Someone teach them about median filtering please, maybe hire Nic Fink for a workshop?

Last edited 2 months ago by Fast and Furious
Scoobsnak
2 months ago

Between this and last chance meets we are really blurring the lines on qualifications for NCAAs here.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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