USA Swimming Outlines 2018-2020 Domestic OW Qualifying Criteria

USA Swimming has released a document outlining how athletes can qualify for their annual Open Water National Championships through 2020, as swimmers can either qualify through performance at the previous years nationals or by achieving a specific time standard.

Athletes have obviously already qualified for the 2018 Nationals, as they are coming up this weekend in Tempe, but outlining the criteria for both 2019 and 2020 is critical because: (1) the two are different and (2) performances this weekend could ensure an athlete’s spot at next year’s competition.

The format of Open Water Nationals will alternate between two formats for the next few years, with a 16-17 age-group 7.5K event being included in the years when the FINA Open Water World Juniors are taking place (2018, 2020), and the 5K junior event being for 15 & unders only. In off-years, like last year and 2019, the only junior event will be a 5K for 16 & under athletes. Additionally, the years when World Juniors are occurring the age-groups will be determined by an athletes age as of December 31st of that year, while in the off-years an athlete only has to be 16 & under on the day of the event.

In order to automatically qualify for the 2019 Nationals, swimmers must meet the following criteria:

2019 Open Water Nationals / Junior Nationals

10K Qualification

  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2018 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships

5K Qualification

  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2018 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 5 at the 2018 USA Swimming 5K or 7.5K Junior National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 3 at a 2018-2019 USA Swimming Open Water Zone Championship (5K or greater), or;
  • Finished in the top 5 at the 2018 CSCAA 5K National Championships

Junior National 5K Qualification (16 & Under)

  • Finished in the top 15 at the 2018 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2018 USA Swimming 5K or 7.5K Junior National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 5 at the 2018-2019 USA Swimming Open Water Zone Championship (5K or greater) amongst athletes in their respective age division. (The race director of each Zone Championship will be responsible for submitting the names of the athletes who qualify).
  • Age will be defined by the athlete’s age as of day of the competition (competition date TBD)

For 2020, these are the criteria required to be met in order to qualify:

2020 Open Water Nationals / Junior Nationals

10K Qualification

  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2019 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships

5K Qualification

  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2019 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 5 at the 2019 USA Swimming 5K Junior National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 3 at a 2019-2020 USA Swimming Open Water Zone Championship (5K or greater), or;
  • Finished in the top 5 at the 2019 CSCAA 5K National Championships

7.5K Qualification (16-17 Age Group)

  • Finished in the top 15 at the 2019 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2019 USA Swimming 5K Junior National Championships, or;
  • Finished in top 5 at a 2019-2020 USA Swimming Open Water Zone Championship (5K or greater) amongst athletes in their respective age division. (The race director of each Zone Championship will be responsible for submitting the names of the athletes who qualify).
  • Age will be defined by the athlete’s age as of December 31, 2020

5K Qualification (14-15 Age Group)

  • Finished in the top 15 at the 2019 USA Swimming 10K or 5K National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 10 at the 2019 USA Swimming 5K Junior National Championships, or;
  • Finished in the top 5 at the 2019-2020 USA Swimming Open Water Zone Championship (5K or greater) amongst athletes in their respective age division. (The race director of each Zone Championship will be responsible for submitting the names of the athletes who qualify).
  • Age will be defined by the athlete’s age as of December 31, 2020

Time Standards (2018-2020)

Additionally, athletes can qualify under these time standards for either nationals or junior nationals through 2020.

Full qualifying criteria can be found here.

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BBB

Will Olympic Trials for the 10K be held at 2019 or 2020 Nationals?

Bo Swims

There won’t be a stand alone OW trials like pool swimming. FINA controls the OW qualification process and it starts at Worlds in 2019.

Here is a bit from the last cycle
https://swimswam.com/mens-10k-olympic-qualifier-breakdown-25-swimmers-set-to-compete/

Swammer from Wakanda

It depends. Personally I don’t think the Olympics allocate enough open water slots in general (25/26 total). Qualifying all spots are pretty complicated but in short, if even one of our 10k guys in 2019 are in the top 10 at worlds, then yes to 2019. If neither are top 10, then 2020 nationals happen and they go to a race (usually in Portugal) where the remaining slots are filled, however, only 1 guy can make it if it goes to 2020 whereas both can make it in 2019. I know, it’s weird.

BBB

Wakanda forever.

BGNole97

Looks like the 2019 Southern Zone Qualifier event will be held at Miromar Lakes…probably the same weekend as the Open Water Festival they’ve hosted for several years.

Anyone have some info about where the 2020 Southern Zone qualifier event will be held?

kevinm

will be bid on and announced in September at Convention. Zones typically schedule meets 2 years out (at least in our zone)

Bon Jovi

i have a pond in my back yard

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 (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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