In the Division I NCAA qualifying system, there are “A” standards, which earn an automatic invite to the NCAA Championship meet, and there are “B” standards, which both allow the next X number of swimmers to be invited to the meet, and additionally allows invited swimmers to swim bonus events in which they weren’t invited.
Though nobody is a sure-fire invite until they get an A-cut or until the invite list comes out, every college coach in the country has some idea of the times that might safely earn an invite, even without officially being automatic. For example, a 4:38-high in the women’s 500 free isn’t automatically invited, but it’s pretty close to a ‘sure thing’.
We have yet to see our first A standard time this season from the men or women, but swimmers are inching closer every weekend. With the start of mid-season invites less than a month away, it will not be long until we have our first automatic NCAA qualifiers. With the speed and depth we have seen at the NCAA Championships over the past few years, we can expect the meet to continue to get faster. 85% of the NCAA invite cutoff times were faster in 2014 than they were in 2013, and we can assume the NCAA expects this trend to continue, as 92% of the individual Automatic NCAA Standards also got faster.
Below, we’ve laid out the slowest time that was invited in each race (which doesn’t include optional entries from swimmers invited in other races), this year’s automatic qualifying standard, and the number of seniors invited to last year’s meet. That number of seniors should give an idea in each event how many invitees have moved on. Of course, that doesn’t include swimmers who went pro early, or swimmers who are missing this season for injury or transfer, but all-in-all, those things are mostly balanced out by swimmers returning from redshirts or transfers who sat out last season.
Any cutoff time that was slower in 2014 than it was in 2013 is highlighted in red. Also, any NCAA Automatic standard that did not get faster is highlighted in red. Last year we included the names of the last invitee, so we opted to do the same this year. We’ll give an update as the year goes along as to how the cut lines look this year.
If you want to do your own investigations, here’s the psych sheets from last year with invite lines drawn in:
|Men||2012-2013 Invited Time||2013-2014 Invited Time||2014-2015 NCAA Auto Standards||Number Invited
|Number of Seniors Invited
|500 Free||4:18.70||4:18.31||4:14.59||30||8||Christopher Swanson|
|200 IM||1:45.08||1:44.71||1:42.76||29||11||Brandon Fiala|
|50 Free||19.67||19.47||19.25||30||13||Eric Bruck|
|400 IM||3:46.72||3:45.64||3:42.40||30||7||Samuel Rowan|
|100 Fly||46.74||46.58||45.91||29||15||Predro Coutinho|
|200 Free||1:35.34||1:34.71||1:33.62||29||9||Hassaan Abdel Khalik|
|100 Breast||53.37||53.23||52.29||31||9||Pavel Romanov & Imri Ganiel|
|100 Back||46.95||46.57||45.62||31||11||Aaron Gustafson & Connor McDonald|
|1650 Free||15:03.07||15:03.42||14:46.26||30||8||Brandon Flynn|
|200 Back||1:43.03||1:42.41||1:40.88||30||6||Kristian Kron|
|100 Free||43.14||42.98||42.51||30||10||John Murray|
|200 Breast||1:55.97||1:55.64||1:53.68||29||7||Sean Murphy|
|200 Fly||1:44.74||1:43.81||1:42.85||29||6||Tom Kremer|
|Women||2012-2013 Invited Time||2013-2014 Invited Time||2014-2015 NCAA Auto Standards||Number Invited
|Number of Seniors Invited
|500 Free||4:42.90||4:42.79||4:36.45||38||12||Emma Nunn|
|200 IM||1:58.51||1:58.13||1:55.35||39||12||Haley Durmer|
|50 Free||22.45||22.40||21.90||39||12||Kelsi Worrell & Kaitlyn Flederbach|
|400 IM||4:11.92||4:12.63||4:05.37||39||14||Jordan Smith & Chelsea Weedman|
|100 Fly||52.99||52.92||51.70||39||14||Amber Carter|
|200 Free||1:46.10||1:46.03||1:43.90||39||11||Ruiannon Sheets|
|100 Breast||1:00.72||1:00.78||59.12||39||14||Tara-Lynn Nicholas|
|100 Back||53.21||53.20||51.63||39||14||Hailey Campbell|
|1650 Free||16:19.32||16:20.32||15:56.18||38||9||Stephanie Nasson|
|200 Back||1:54.79||1:55.19||1:52.52||39||6||Nicole Vernon|
|100 Free||49.00||48.82||47.85||39||16||Alana Pazevic|
|200 Breast||2:11.44||2:11.22||2:07.70||39||9||Abigail Fisher|
|200 Fly||1:57.49||1:56.79||1:54.45||39||11||Jessica Reinhardt|