USA Swimming will use this week’s U.S. Nationals to select its roster for the 2019 World Junior Championships later this summer.
The U.S. Junior Nationals, taking place next week, will not serve as a selection meet – that means athletes will have to attend senior nationals to be eligible to qualify for World Juniors. That’s the same as the selection process was the last time around in 2017 – USA Swimming used senior Nationals as a selection meet, rather than Junior Nationals the week before.
U.S. Nationals will include a bonus 18&under heat for finals in order to better make selections. The top 24 finishers in heats will make the A, B and C finals as usual, but the D final will be reserved for the next 8 qualifiers who are under 18 years old. That heat won’t necessarily have all 8 swimmers eligible for World Juniors, though, as World Juniors determine age by year of birth, and USA Swimming typically uses age on the date of the event.
Team USA Selection Criteria, 2019 World Junior Championships
- World Juniors are only open to boys ages 15-18 and girls ages 14-17 as of December 31, 2019. That means only boys born in 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004 are eligible, along with girls born in 2002, 2003, 2004 or 2005.
- The roster will be capped at 26 boys and 26 girls.
Priority 1: Highest-placing eligible swimmer in all individual events and four highest-placing eligible swimmers in the 100 and 200 frees.
Priority 2: Second-highest placing eligible swimmer in all individual events except 100/200 frees.
Priority 3: Fifth-highest placing eligible swimmer in 100 free.
If athletes decline their spot, the selection will move down to the next available athlete – so if the top 100 free finisher declines their roster spot, the next four highest-placing eligible swimmers will be selected under priority #1. However, no one lower than the 6th highest-placing swimmer will be selected in most events, and no one lower than the 8th highest-placing eligible swimmer will be selected in the 100 or 200 frees. All that means is that USA Swimming won’t take the 7th-best eligible 100 breaststroker if five of the top six decline the team, and it won’t select the 10th-best eligible 200 freestyler if too many of the top 9 decline positions.
USA Swimming won’t contest the 50s of fly, back and breast at Nationals, but they are contested at World Juniors. The top qualifier in the 100s of fly, back and breast will get the first priority entry in the corresponding 50. The second entry will go to the swimmer already on the World Juniors roster with the fastest time in the 50 of that stroke between January 1, 2018 and July 29 2019.