SwimSwam Pulse: 51% Favor Split Winter Juniors Format

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers about USA Swimming’s split East/West Junior Championships format:


Question: Do you like the split Winter Junior Championships format for U.S. Juniors?

  • Yes – 51.4%
  • No – 48.7%

It was a narrow split, with only just over half of voters favoring the new split format. The difference only came to about 20 total votes.

USA Swimming has split its Winter Junior meets since 2015. The main driver was a growing population of high-level junior athletes that were making the Winter Junior National meet too crowded, even as qualifying standards continued to plummet closer and closer to senior national standards. The organization now hosts an East and West meet concurrently, at two sites across the country.

For fans, the split does provide more swimming and more racing, but adds another event to pay attention to. It also breaks up some races that would be outstanding spectator viewing, if top athletes in a given event are from opposite regions.

On the other hand, athletes and parents have been generally in favor, with shorter distances to travel to their respective meet, more pool and seating space, and more opportunity for young swimmers to make the Winter Junior meets, as qualifying times can be slightly softer with two meets to house a larger population of qualifying athletes.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to weigh in on our retrospective of the top overall swimmers of the 2010s decade:

Who was the #1 swimmer of the 2010s as a whole?

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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The Ready Room

Twice the swimming!


This is the way.


As a spectator, I’d love to see the meet joined. But I voted for the split meet because I think it’s nice to keep travel as easy as possible on families with athletes that haven’t quite cracked the senior level yet.


I’d agree with this sentiment here. While it was fun traveling to Junior meets when I was in HS, going from Cali to Florida where the NCSA certainly complicates things. I also feel like this helps to distinguish the Junior level meet from the Senior meet and gives more of a purpose to the Junior meet. If you keep slashing the times down closer and closer to the Senior meet then you end up with this smaller pool of athletes that fits into this Junior level. Might as well just get rid of the meet at that point. Keep travel more local and keep the distinction between Junior focus vs National focus.

I agree with Michael.

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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