What Did It Take To Qualify For The 2016 NCAA D1 Championships?

In order to get an invite to the NCAA Championships a swimmer has to qualify via either an ‘A’ qualifying time, which guarantees an athlete a spot at the competition, or a “B’ qualifying time which is conditional based on the number of swimmers who meet the standard. Typically, the NCAA invites roughly 30 swimmers in every men’s event and 40 in every women’s event. With more than 30-40 swimmers of both genders reaching the ‘B’ standard on average, there’s a cutoff point where only a certain  number of swimmers are invited.

In the charts below, we’ve reviewed what the cutoff or ‘invited’ times have been over the last four seasons, along with how many swimmers were invited in each event at both the 2015 and 2016 men’s and women’s NCAA Championships. Along with the provided data is the number of seniors who were invited, showing how many swimmers who got invited last year are no longer in the mix.

Although the ‘cutoff’ or ‘invite’ times aren’t a sure thing, using the data usually gives a decent picture of what it takes to qualify for the meet. Below, you can see that it usually takes roughly a 4:18 or 4:17 in the men’s 500 in order to qualify for NCAAs. That means that a 4:15 or 4:16 is usually a safe bet to assume that athlete will be invited to the meet, although it’s not concrete, it’s something to go on.

Below as well, we’ve analyzed data from this season which includes the number of swimmers as of February 9th, 2017 this season that have swam a time faster than the cutoff time from last season. The most notable event is the women’s 200 freestyle which already has 36 swimmers under the 2016 cutoff, indicating that this year’s cutoff will likely be faster than last years.

MEN 2012-2013 INVITED TIME 2013-2014 INVITED TIME 2014-2015 INVITED TIME 2015-2016 INVITED TIME 2016-2017 NCAA AUTO STANDARDS NUMBER INVITED (2015) NUMBER OF SENIORS INVITED* (2015) NUMBER INVITED (2016) NUMBER OF SENIORS INVITED* (2016) NUMBER OF SWIMMERS UNDER LAST YEAR’S INVITED TIME**
500 Free 4:18.70 4:18.31 4:17.15 4:17.73 4:13.22 30 3 30 8 15
200 IM 1:45.08 1:44.71 1:44.58 1:44.41 1:42.15 30 12 29 9 13
50 Free 19.67 19.47 19.52 19.53 19.09 30 8 29 7 16
400 IM 3:46.72 3:45.64 3:45.34 3:45.61 3:40.76 29 7 30 6 16
100 Fly 46.74 46.58 46.38 46.44 45.73 30 10 28 7 14
200 Free 1:35.34 1:34.71 1:34.54 1:34.67 1:32.97 31 8 30 10 21
100 Breast 53.37 53.23 52.97 52.92 51.93 29 14 29 5 17
100 Back 46.95 46.57 46.46 46.51 45.37 30 7 30 7 20
1650 Free 15:03.07 15:03.42 14:59.20 15:00.11 14:44.43 30 4 30 9 16
200 Back 1:43.03 1:42.41 1:42.04 1:41.92 1:39.87 30 11 29 9 12
100 Free 43.14 42.98 42.94 43.05 42.25 29 9 32 9 19
200 Breast 1:55.97 1:55.64 1:55.04 1:55.31 1:52.99 29 15 29 4 15
200 Fly 1:44.74 1:43.81 1:43.74 1:43.65 1:41.86 30 12 30 7 13
WOMEN 2012-2013 INVITED TIME 2013-2014 INVITED TIME 2014-2015 INVITED TIME 2015-2016 INVITED TIME 2016-2017 NCAA AUTO STANDARDS NUMBER INVITED (2015) Number of Seniors Invited* (2015) NUMBER INVITED (2016) NUMBER OF SENIORS INVITED* (2016) NUMBER OF SWIMMERS UNDER LAST YEAR’S INVITED TIME**
500 Free 4:42.90 4:42.79 4:43.01 4:42.58 4:36.30 38 10 40 11 29
200 IM 1:58.51 1:58.13 1:58.13 1:57.90 1:55.35 39 8 39 9 28
50 Free 22.45 22.4 22.4 22.35 21.8 40 16 40 9 28
400 IM 4:11.92 4:12.63 4:12.31 4:11.05 4:05.36 39 11 39 9 25
100 Fly 52.99 52.92 52.79 52.77 51.49 40 14 39 8 28
200 Free 1:46.10 1:46.03 1:45.95 1:45.84 1:43.63 40 11 39 15 36
100 Breast 1:00.72 1:00.78 1:00.74 1:00.66 59.04 39 9 39 10 30
100 Back 53.21 53.2 52.97 52.93 51.45 39 5 39 8 41
1650 Free 16:19.32 16:20.32 16:17.36 16:17.64 15:53.50 37 6 39 9 31
200 Back 1:54.79 1:55.19 1:54.66 1:54.47 1:51.95 39 5 40 12 27
100 Free 49 48.82 48.89 48.77 47.69 41 14 40 11 32
200 Breast 2:11.44 2:11.22 2:11.23 2:10.89 2:07.33 39 12 40 10 29
200 Fly 1:57.49 1:56.79 1:56.97 1:57.02 1:54.01 40 12 39 8 29

SWIMMERS WHO HAVE ACHIEVED AUTOMATIC QUALIFYING STANDARD AS OF FEBRUARY 9th, 2017

Included here is a list of swimmers who are already automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. These swimmers have all recorded an ‘A’ time this season. Below are also a list of schools that have swimmers qualified to compete at this year’s NCAA Championships along with the number of swims that each school has thus far.

WOMEN

On the women’s side there are three athletes who are automatically qualified in a total of four events, granted they’ll have to reduce their event list to only three individual events. Freshman Louise Hansson of USC, freshman Katie Ledecky of Stanford, and senior Madisyn Cox of Texas all have four events that they’ve qualified for thus far. Olivia Smoliga of Georgia, Kathleen Baker of Cal, Simone Manuel of Stanford, Janet Hu of Stanford, Ella Eastin of Stanford, and Cierra Runge of Wisconsin have all qualified for three events. The upcoming women’s NCAA Championships looks to be filled with multi-event athletes.

  • Georgia (4 swimmers qualified, 6 swims qualified)
  • California (5 swimmers qualified, 10 swims qualified)
  • Ohio St. (1 swimmer qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Stanford (5 swimmers qualified, 14 swims qualified) (-1 swim, Katie Ledecky is qualified in four events)
  • Louisville (2 swimmers qualified, 3 swims qualified)
  • USC (1 swimmer qualified, 4 swims qualified) (-1 swim, Louise Hansson is qualified in four events)
  • Wisconsin (1 swimmer qualified, 3 swims qualified)
  • Cincinnati (1 swimmer qualified, 1 swim qualified)
  • Texas (4 swimmers qualified, 7 swims qualified) (-1 swim, Madisyn Cox is qualified in four events)
  • Virginia (4 swimmers qualified, 7 swims qualified)
  • Michigan (3 swimmers qualified, 4 swims qualified)
  • Minnesota (2 swimmers qualified, 3 swims qualified)
  • Missouri (1 swimmer qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Kentucky (1 swimmer qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Indiana (1 swimmer qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Texas A&M (3 swimmers qualified, 3 swims qualified)
EVENT NAME CLASS TEAM TIME STANDARD
50 Free Olivia Smoliga Senior Georgia 21.58 A
50 Free Abbey Weitzeil Freshman California 21.64 A
50 Free Zhesi Li Junior Ohio St 21.7 A
50 Free Chantal Van Landeghem Senior Georgia 21.76 A
50 Free Simone Manuel Sophomore Stanford 21.78 A
100 Free Olivia Smoliga Senior Georgia 46.95 A
100 Free Abbey Weitzeil Freshman California 47.22 A
100 Free Mallory Comerford Sophomore Louisville 47.36 A
100 Free Simone Manuel Sophomore Stanford 47.37 A
100 Free Louise Hansson Freshman USC 47.47 A
200 Free Simone Manuel Sophomore Stanford 1:41.90 A
200 Free Katie Ledecky Freshman Stanford 1:42.16 A
200 Free Siobhan Haughey Sophomore Michigan 1:42.93 A
200 Free Mallory Comerford Sophomore Louisville 1:43.02 A
200 Free Louise Hansson Freshman USC 1:43.04 A
200 Free Cierra Runge Sophomore Wisconsin 1:43.18 A
200 Free Jackie Keire Senior Cincinnati 1:43.19 A
200 Free Madisyn Cox Senior Texas 1:43.62 A
500 Free Katie Ledecky Freshman Stanford 4:26.46 A
500 Free Leah Smith Senior Virginia 4:32.52 A
500 Free Gillian Ryan Junior Michigan 4:34.28 A
500 Free Rose Bi Sophomore Michigan 4:34.63 A
500 Free Cierra Runge Sophomore Wisconsin 4:35.55 A
1650 Free Katie Ledecky Freshman Stanford 15:03.92 A
1650 Free Brooke Zeiger Junior Minnesota 15:44.00 A
1650 Free Rose Bi Sophomore Michigan 15:51.94 A
1650 Free Cierra Runge Sophomore Wisconsin 15:52.22 A
100 Back Amy Bilquist Sophomore California 50.85 A
100 Back Tasija Karosas Senior Texas 50.86 A
100 Back Ally Howe Junior Stanford 50.91 A
100 Back Janet Hu Junior Stanford 51.01 A
100 Back Hannah Stevens Junior Missouri 51.18 A
100 Back Olivia Smoliga Senior Georgia 51.24 A
100 Back Kathleen Baker Sophomore California 51.25 A
200 Back Kathleen Baker Sophomore California 1:49.83 A
200 Back Amy Bilquist Sophomore California 1:50.06 A
200 Back Janet Hu Junior Stanford 1:50.69 A
200 Back Asia Seidt Freshman Kentucky 1:51.18 A
200 Back Tasija Karosas Senior Texas 1:51.65 A
200 Back Hannah Stevens Junior Missouri 1:51.73 A
100 Breast Lilly King Sophomore Indiana 57.3 A
100 Breast Natalie Pierce Junior Florida St 58.37 A
100 Breast Laura Simon Senior Virginia 58.41 A
100 Breast Andrea Cottrell Senior Louisville 58.85 A
200 Breast Lilly King Sophomore Indiana 2:05.64 A
200 Breast Kierra Smith Freshman Minnesota 2:05.83 A
200 Breast Laura Simon Senior Virginia 2:06.94 A
200 Breast Ashley McGregor Senior Texas A&M 2:07.16 A
200 Breast Madisyn Cox Senior Texas 2:07.21 A
100 Fly Noemie Thomas Junior California 50.67 A
100 Fly Janet Hu Junior Stanford 51.05 A
100 Fly Louise Hansson Freshman USC 51.17 A
100 Fly Farida Osman Senior California 51.2 A
100 Fly Sarah Gibson Senior Texas A&M 51.37 A
100 Fly Zhesi Li Junior Ohio St 52.42 A
200 Fly Ella Eastin Sophomore Stanford 1:52.62 A
200 Fly Kaitlyn Jones Senior Virginia 1:52.93 A
200 Fly Jen Marrkand Junior Virginia 1:53.75 A
200 Fly Noemie Thomas Junior California 1:53.77 A
200 Fly Chealsea Britt Junior Georgia 1:53.93 A
200 Fly Remedy Rule Sophomore Texas 1:53.97 A
200 IM Madisyn Cox Senior Texas 1:52.83 A
200 IM Ella Eastin Sophomore Stanford 1:53.26 A
200 IM Kathleen Baker Sophomore California 1:53.41 A
200 IM Kaitlyn Jones Senior Virginia 1:54.05 A
200 IM Louise Hansson Freshman USC 1:55.00 A
200 IM Jen Marrkand Junior Virginia 1:55.20 A
200 IM Asia Seidt Freshman Kentucky 1:55.33 A
400 IM Ella Eastin Sophomore Stanford 4:00.36 A
400 IM Katie Ledecky Freshman Stanford 4:00.65 A
400 IM Madisyn Cox Senior Texas 4:02.60 A
400 IM Brooke Zeiger Junior Minnesota 4:02.71 A
400 IM Bethany Galat Junior Texas A&M 4:04.36 A
400 IM Emily Cameron Senior Georgia 4:05.09 A

MEN

There are less automatic qualifiers on the men’s side than women’s, and no swimmers who’ve qualified in four or more events. There are, however, three swimmers who have qualified in three events. Caeleb Dressel of Florida, Dylan Carter of USC, and Chase Kalisz of Georgia are all qualified for a sturdy multi-event program at these upcoming NCAA Championships.

  • Florida (1 swimmer qualified, 3 swims qualified)
  • NC State (2 swimmers qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Missouri (3 swimmers qualified, 3 swims qualified)
  • USC (1 swimmer qualified, 3 swims qualified)
  • Texas (3 swimmers qualified, 5 swims qualified)
  • Stanford (3 swimmers qualified, 4 swims qualified)
  • California (2 swimmers qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Alabama (1 swimmer qualified, 1 swim qualified)
  • Indiana (1 swimmer qualified, 2 swims qualified)
  • Georgia (3 swimmers qualified, 5 swims qualified)
EVENT NAME CLASS TEAM TIME STANDARD
50 Free Caeleb Dressel Junior Florida 18.73 A
50 Free Ryan Held Junior NC State 19.09 A
100 Free Caeleb Dressel Junior Florida 41.6 A
100 Free Michael Chadwick Senior Missouri 41.8 A
100 Free Dylan Carter Junior USC 42.14 A
200 Free Dylan Carter Junior USC 1:32.61 A
500 Free Clark Smith Senior Texas 4:11.20 A
500 Free Grant Shoults Freshman Stanford 4:12.03 A
500 Free True Sweetser Freshman Stanford 4:12.97 A
500 Free Liam Egan Junior Stanford 4:12.99 A
1650 Free Clark Smith Senior Texas 14:32.77 A
1650 Free True Sweetser Freshman Stanford 14:35.03 A
1650 Free Anton Ipsen Junior NC State 14:39.63 A
100 Back Ryan Murphy Senior California 44.61 A
100 Back Luke Kaliszak Junior Alabama 45.29 A
200 Back Ryan Murphy Senior California 1:38.65 A
100 Breast Fabian Schwingenschloegl Senior Missouri 51.07 A
200 Breast Will Licon Senior Texas 1:50.76 A
100 Fly Caeleb Dressel Junior Florida 44.86 A
100 Fly Andrew Sansoucie Senior Missouri 44.86 A
100 Fly Jack Conger Senior Texas 44.94 A
100 Fly Dylan Carter Junior USC 45.27 A
100 Fly Vini Lanza Sophomore Indiana 45.56 A
200 Fly Jack Conger Senior Texas 1:40.24 A
200 Fly Chase Kalisz Senior Georgia 1:40.38 A
200 Fly Andrew Seliskar Sophomore California 1:40.74 A
200 Fly Pace Clark Senior Georgia 1:41.18 A
200 Fly Vini Lanza Sophomore Indiana 1:41.34 A
200 IM Chase Kalisz Senior Georgia 1:41.26 A
400 IM Chase Kalisz Senior Georgia 3:36.98 A
400 IM Jay Litherland Junior Georgia 3:38.19 A
400 IM Andrew Seliskar Sophomore California 3:39.54 A

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23 Comments on "What Did It Take To Qualify For The 2016 NCAA D1 Championships?"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

based on the numbers it looks like either the “invited time” standard will be faster or there are very few “invited” spots left right before championship season especially on the womens side.

Another Swim Nerd

Excellent job! Love articles that break down the stats like this. Keep up the great work.

AvidSwimFan

Thanks for putting this together. It’s nice seeing it all together instead of checking up on my numerous incomplete notes.

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About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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