What It Takes To Qualify For the Division I NCAA Championships

Division I NCAA Swimming has both “A” and “B” qualifying standards. An “A” cut automatically qualifies you for the NCAA Championship meet, while the “B” standards don’t guarantee your spot. The next X number of swimmers with “B” times get invited, and “B” times also allows swimmers who have only qualified in one or two individual events to have bonus swims.

While no one other than those qualified with “A” times are for sure until the official psych sheets are released, the time that gets invited and the number of swimmers invited in each event stay relatively similar year by year so swimmers have a pretty good idea of whether or not they’ll be invited.

Below are the slowest times by event that were invited in each race (not including those that chose that event as a bonus swim) from the past two seasons, the number of swimmers invited in each race last year, the number of seniors invited in each race last year, and the “A” standards for this upcoming season. The number of seniors invited gives an idea of how much opportunity there is for freshman to do some damage relative to the other events, and how many of last years invitees won’t be present this year.

All of the cutoff times that were slower this past year than they were in 2015 are highlighted in red. On the women’s side there were only two events that got slower, while the men’s side had a whopping eight of thirteen events have a slower invited time in 2016 than in 2015. Mind you the time drops aren’t very significant, but nonetheless it is a significant number as the men only had one event get slower from 2014 to 2015.

If you want to do some looking around yourself, here are the psych sheets from last season:

86% of the “A” qualifying times got faster this year, including all the men’s, while five of the women’s times are the same. All of the “B” standards remained the same, but the “Provisional” times for relays (essentially “B” times) all got quicker.

Click here to find the full list of “A” and “B” qualifying times for the upcoming 2o16-17 season, including a look at how much faster the qualifying times have gotten in each event.

Men

2014-2015 Invited Time

2015-2016 Invited Time

2016-2017 NCAA AUTO STANDARDS

NUMBER INVITED (2016)

NUMBER OF SENIORS INVITED (2016)

500 Free

4:17.15

4:17.73

4:13.22

30

8

200 IM

1:44.58

1:44.41

1:42.15

29

9

50 Free

19.52

19.53

19.09

29

7

400 IM

3:45.34

3:45.33

3:40.76

29

6

100 Fly

46.38

46.46

45.73

29

7

200 Free

1:34.54

1:34.67

1:32.97

30

10

100 Breast

52.97

52.92

51.93

29

5

100 Back

46.46

46.51

45.37

30

8

1650 Free

14:59.20

15:00.11

14:44.43

30

9

200 Back

1:42.04

1:41.92

1:39.87

29

9

100 Free

42.94

43.05

42.25

32

9

200 Breast

1:55.04

1:55.31

1:52.99

29

4

200 Fly

1:43.74

1:43.65

1:41.86

30

6

 

Women

2014-2015 Invited Time

2015-2016 Invited Time

2016-2017 NCAA Auto Standards

Number Invited (2016)

Number of Seniors Invited (2016)

500 Free

4:43.01

4:42.58

4:36.30

40

11

200 IM

1:58.13

1:57.90

1:55.35

39

9

50 Free

22.40

22.35

21.80

40

10

400 IM

4:12.31

4:11.05

4:05.36

39

8

100 Fly

52.79

52.77

51.49

39

8

200 Free

1:45.95

1:45.84

1:43.63

39

15

100 Breast

1:00.74

1:00.66

59.04

39

10

100 Back

52.97

52.93

51.45

39

8

1650 Free

16:17.36

16:17.64

15:53.50

39

9

200 Back

1:54.66

1:54.47

1:51.95

40

12

100 Free

48.89

48.77

47.69

40

11

200 Breast

2:11.23

2:10.89

2:07.33

40

10

200 Fly

1:56.97

1:57.02

1:54.01

39

8

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times (SCM): 50 FR - 24.70 100 FR - 53.88 200 FR - 1:56.12 1500 FR - 16:45.97 100 BK - …

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