# Projecting the Field for the Women’s 2015 NCAA Championships (Cut Line Analysis)

March 03rd, 2015

Update: one of our readers found an error. Stephanie Peters should have been included on the list of “39 line” swimmers. Changes have been made.

Who is patient enough to wait for USA Swimming and the NCAA to crunch the numbers and spit out the list of 281 swimming qualifiers for the 2015 NCAA Women’s Championships?

Certainly not us.

So, below, we’ve taken the pre-selection sheets and run the numbers on who is projected to make the field of swimmers for the NCAA Championships.

The basic qualifying rules are that 281 swimmers go to the meet in individual events (in addition to 41, separately selected, divers). That means that if a swimmer is in the top 10, for example, in multiple events, that opens up more spots closer to the cut line.

All “A” cut swimmers go to the meet automatically, which is almost irrelevant in Division I. Then, the committee starts lining out swimmers, line-by-line, across all of the individual events, until they break the threshold of 281 swimmers.

This year, by our math, going through 38 lines of qualifying came out to 274 swimmers, and going through 39 lines of qualifying came out to 283 swimmers. That means that everyone seeded in the top 38 of an individual event should earn an invite to NCAA’s.

Where things get complicated is on the 39th line with tie breakers. There are 8 swimmers on that line who are not otherwise invited in another event, and so those are the 8 where the focus lies.

Among those 9, the 7 with the swims that are closest, by percentage, to the existing NCAA Championship record will go to the meet. The other two will be the first alternates.

Here’s how the math came out:

 Swimmer Event Entry Time (in secs) Championship Record (in secs) Percent of record Peters, Stephanie 500 free 282.73 272.53 96.39% Hull, Valerie 100 free 48.88 46.82 95.79% Finke, Autumn 1650 free 977.36 927.84 94.93% Paez, Isabella 200 fly 116.92 110.98 94.92% Lincoln, Hannah 100 fly 52.79 50.01 94.73% Ibanez Lopez, Lili 200 free 105.94 100.31 94.69% Gonzalez Medina, Esther 200 breast 131.23 124.06 94.54% Nihipali, Anu 100 back 52.97 49.97 94.34% 1st Alternate Carlson, Maria 100 breast 60.74 57.23 94.22% 2nd Alternate

That means that Valerie Hull, Autumn Finke, Isabella Paez, Hannah Lincoln, Lili Ibanez, and Esther Gonzalez Medina,  will make the field of 281. Wisconsin’s Maria Carlson and Wagner’s Anu Nihipali will sit and await a call. The past few seasons have seen a fair share of late scratches, so their hopes are not totally dashed yet.

This cut line falls exactly in the same spot as it did last year, with all but two swimmers on the 39 line qualifying.

We will stop short of certifying this at 100%, but we were right-on-the-numbers each of the last two years. In interest of transparency, here’s our work so that you can do the math yourself. Please let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with the numbers.:

And, without further ado, here are the 281 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, first sorted by team name and then by athlete last name:

By team name:

By last name:

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Swimfan
7 years ago

Are you doing a men’s projection soon?

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Braden Keith in “machine” mode here.
He really deserves his nickname.
Great work.

YouGotLezakd
7 years ago

Will swimswam be dong another women’s ncaa pick em again?

Jim C
7 years ago

You have your percent of existing record percentages upside down. Swimmers with times slower than the record should have percentages over 100%. Admittedly, it makes no difference as to which swimmers would qualify.

dmswim
7 years ago

If I understand the rules correctly, unless UNLV and Northwestern have divers qualify, their A cut relays will not go to the Championship because they do not have any individual qualifiers. Correct?

backstroke mom
7 years ago

How many spots open up per event because swimmers scratch? When are the deadlines for scratching?

dmswim
7 years ago

Do we know why Jasmine Tosky isn’t in the psych sheet? She would have qualified in the 200 breast with a 2:11.08, the 200 fly with a 1:55.59, and the 400 IM with a 4:11.25.

juswimmin
7 years ago

Jasmine wasn’t entered for NCAAs as she has just announced her retirement from swimming…

7 years ago
CraigH
7 years ago

I forget, do relay-only swimmers get to swim individually if they have the “B” cut in an event?

Schiller