Time Standards Softened for Upcoming Des Moines Pro Swim Series

USA Swimming has announced that time standards to qualify for the 2019 Pro Swim Series – Des Moines have changed. After initially posting that cuts were going to be the same for Des Moines and Richmond (the second and third stops of the series, respectively) as they were for Knoxville, qualifying standards for Des Moines are actually going to be slower than they were for Knoxville.

The Knoxville cuts were faster than any standards for any stop of the 2018 PSS.


The cuts are now significantly slower than they were for Knoxville. For example, in the women’s 100 back, the yards cut went from 54.49 for Knoxville to 56.09 for Des Moines, while in the men’s 200 fly, the long course cut went up from 2:05.09 to 2:08.19. The increase is, as expected, bigger for longer distance races as compared to shorter ones. The full list of new cuts is available at the bottom of this article, as compared to the old ones.

While USA Swimming doesn’t explicitly say this, they may be trying to make room for more entrants after a very dismal showing at the Knoxville stop. In Knoxville, prelims events had an average of 28.3 swimmers entered, as compared to a 2018 PSS that never dipped below 40 for that metric.

This is the first time USA Swimming has flipped the PSS hosting model to one done through a bidding process, and as a result, many of the stops this year are in areas of lower population and further away from urban centers (and, thus, further away from major airports) than in previous years.



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That was $40k well spent by the YMCA……

Speed Racer

Does Knoxville get a partial refund on the monies spent to host the event? Seems slightly unfair if all the sites bid to host and you are the only sight that had the toughest standards which limited the entrants right out of the gate.

I doubt it. The ‘refund’ will come next season, when the bids for the events come in lower…

Speed Racer

They did the same thing 2018 season. Initially it was certain ones were only A/B finals but had the shootout. The alternate ones had A/B/C/D finals. Top 16 vs Top 32 might have played a part in some teams deciding if they would hit Austin or not. Immediately after Austin layout reformatted. Bidder beware at this point or at least be a smart bidder and say any one but the first one of the season!!!


USAS really shot thrmselves in the foot with this new business model. The whole series has become somewhat of a joke. No athletes, not the top facilities and little to no crowds. The format caters to tv (A and B finals run in timeslot around commercial breaks), and the meets drag on site. Somebody out there thought these things were a good idea, I assume as a money grab. My guess is the ideas are top down from Hinchey. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but we need Frank back to drive athlete centered decisions and not some pie in the sky business model. Go read stuff Wayne Goldsmith is putting out about Australian swimming. Keep the marketing guys out of… Read more »

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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