As we continue to preview individual events for this summer’s U.S. National Championships (check out all our picks here), the major question is who will qualify to compete where. The 2018 National Championships will qualify swimmers for five major international meets spanning two years: 2018 Pan Pacs, 2018 Junior Pan Pacs, 2019 Worlds, 2019 World University Games and 2019 Pan American Games. (Check out full selection procedures here)
While frontrunning qualifiers for the four senior-level meets are fairly straightforward from our event-by-event previews (check them out here), it’ll be more complicated to find the frontrunners for the junior meet in the mix: this summer’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji.
To give us a baseline of who appears in line for spots as things stand now, we’re compiling the top 6 swims in each event by athletes who are eligible for Junior Pan Pacs.
First, some disclaimers:
In order to be eligible for Junior Pan Pacs, a swimmer must be between 13 and 18 as of December 31, 2018. That means swimmers born between the years 2000 and 2005. Specific birthdays aren’t always readily available for junior swimmers, so we’ve done our best to determine ages as of USA Swimming’s SWIMS database. If a swimmer on this list is not eligible, let us know in the comments and we’ll dig further.
We’ve used the top times from the U.S. Nationals qualifying period – that means from June 1, 2017 until now. Naturally, that will filter out athletes who had a rough summer of 2017 for whatever reason. That’s not an intentional slight to those athletes, just a time frame that makes sense and limits our research field to a manageable size.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but this list is not a set-in-stone prediction of who will qualify and who won’t. Young swimmers improve (and regress) all the time. Don’t take offense that your favorite swimmer isn’t listed, or is listed too low. This is merely a list of times within the time frame.
For obvious reasons, we can’t include relay splits – there is no good database of relay splits to pull from. If your favorite swimmer has shown greater potential on relays, feel free to make note of that in the comments section.
This story should also serve as a great opportunity to make your own predictions of who will make this summer’s Junior Pan Pacs Team.
The Jr Pan Pacs team will be selected based on the finish order of the 2018 U.S. National Championships. That means current national rankings mean nothing. If one swimmer makes the B final and another the C, the B final swimmer (if he or she finishes his or her finals race without DQing) will be the higher-placing athlete even if the C final swimmer puts up a better time in the final. Obviously, swimmers who don’t compete at Nationals are not eligible.
From a birds-eye view of the complex selection procedures, the top 2 in each event should make the team. If there’s still space on the 20-boy, 20-girl roster, third, fourth, fifth and sixth place candidates could also make the team. Unlike many other meets, the top 6 in the 100 and 200 frees are not selected with higher priority. After second place, the roster will be filled out with the next-best swimmer from any event based on world rankings among juniors.
The final wrinkle is that juniors who make the senior Pan Pacs team will not be able to swim Junior Pan Pacs.
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 …