USA Swimming To Select SC Worlds Team From 18-19 National Team

USA Swimming has released its selection criteria for the 2018 Short Course World Championships, selecting the team from the current National Team roster as established by the results of this summer’s long course championship meets.

Team USA will select its Short Course Worlds participants from the 111 athletes named to the 2018-2019 National Team earlier this week. Those swimmers were selected based off of the top 6 times from combined results of prelims and finals at the U.S. National Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships. You can check out the full National Team roster here.

USA Swimming’s selection criteria defines “Individual Olympic event” and “Individual Non-Olympic event” as individual races held in long course meters only, which are held at the 2018 Short Course World Championships. Olympic events are those held at the Olympics, non-Olympic events those not included in the Olympic program (namely, 50s of fly, back and breast and the 100 IM). That would imply that the selection priorities calling for the fastest times in each event are specifically asking for the fastest time in long course meters, not short course meters.

You can see the full USA Swimming selection criteria here. We’ll break things down as simply as possible below.

The U.S. team for Short Course Worlds is notoriously hard to predict, as many athletes will decline their roster spots. Swimmers still in school and competing at either the college or high school level are particularly likely to decline the invite to the event, which takes place from December 11-16 in Hangzhou, China.

Simplified Selection Procedures

Roster capped at 26 men and 26 women

Roster selected only from 2018-2019 U.S. National Team members

  • Priority #1: Swimmers with top 4 times in 100 free, top 3 times in 50 free and 200 free, top 1 time in other individual Olympic events
  • Priority #2: Swimmers with second-fastest time in individual Olympic events besides 50/100/200 free
  • Priority #3: Top-placing swimmer from Nationals in the non-Olympic events (stroke 50s & the 100 IM)
  • Priority #4: Swimmers with fifth-fastest time in 100 free, fourth-fastest times in 50 free and 200 free
  • Priority #5: Swimmers with sixth-fastest time in 100 free, fifth-fastest times in 50 free and 200 free
  • Priority #6: More swimmers at the discretion of USA Swimming’s staff

It’s worth noting that most priorities call for the fastest times in Olympic events – that would appear to mean the fastest long course meter times. Priority 3 is the only priority which calls for the highest-placing athlete from Nationals, rather than the fastest time.

There are further restrictions based on FINA rules – a nation can only enter up to two athletes per event and can only enter two if both have hit FINA A cuts in either long course or short course. That’s typically not an issue for USA Swimming, but is included in the selection criteria and could be relevant if enough swimmers in a specific event decline the invite.

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Dressel, conger , murphy …
Time to see how good those underwater are and have some fun breaking some world records.
Conger definitely got the harder road of them three.


Whilst I agree partly, because Murphy’s more in form, he’s also got a tougher test because virtually all world class backstrokers have superb underwaters these days (unless they’re British it seems, Lord knows why) so the NCAA advantage will probably show through less.


Murphy went 1.48.9 at world short course in 2012 before he even went to Cal. Considering how much size he has put on and his improvements in yards and LCM 1.45.5 200bk is do able. I don’t believe for one minute Mitch Larkin is A) a better backstroke B) faster underwater British underwater …. I’d say no focus is on short course , the mentality is no one cares and the way the year is set up everhtjing based around the ‘window’ March to May to qualify for nationals , all long course. Short course meets are level 3 from January to August meaning development meets. That short course focus on NCAA when athletes are 18-22 have proven that huge… Read more »


I ageee on 200, I think Murphy has some of the best underwaters in the world of any swimmer. I was just saying that elite backstrokers generally have very good underwaters, so Murphy gets less advantage against the world on his walls. By contrast, Dressel’s underwaters are way ahead of any non-American 100 freestyler. On Britain, I agree partly on the culture in terms of taper, but I think it’s also the training culture. Virtually all local pools are 25m, so all kids start training SCM, but there is a view that if you’re good you have to go to a club which trains long course. Also an infrastructure issue, the big training centres (Loughborough the exception) don’t have booms,… Read more »


Murphy/Andrew/Conger/Dressel relay….filthy. With so many of these guys finally free of college, they will have a loaded team if they elect to go for it. They really could obliterate world records.

Old Man Chalmers

sub 20 in the medley relay for dressel?


would be surprised if not. it has been done fairly many times I believe.


agreed – no country right now can put such a relay in short course …..


No one can beat the US in LCM relays either. When is the last time a men’s USA MDR lost in a major international meet other than because of a DQ?


Last time it happened was at 1998 Worlds, after Neil Walker only managed 53.41 on his fly leg, losing 1.6 s to Michael Klim and subsequently giving Australia’s Chris Fydler a 0.92 s lead.over Gary Hall Jr on the final exchange, which Hall was unable to close on his freestyle leg. AUS 3:37.98 / Matt Welsh (55.56) – Phil Rogers (1:01.38) – Michael Klim (51.80) – Chris Fydler (49.24) USA 3:38.56 / Lenny Krayzelburg (55.30) – Kurt Grote (1:00.96) – Neil Walker (53.41) – Gary Hall, Jr. (48.89) The american men are undefeated at the Olympics, 14 for 14, since 1960, not counting the 1980 boycott games. Though, it’s been a close call for the US medley team at Worlds,… Read more »


4×50 IM
Russia and Brazil give it a good go.
Guido – 22.6 (recently)
Generally have a brs swimmer going 25
Santos – 21
Cesar – 20

Kolisnikov – 22.8
Krill – 25
Numerous 22 low
Morozov – 20

Whilst I agree USA should win, for me andrew is the weak link and don’t see murphy having any advantage on bk.




I don’t think Ledecky has swum Scm much, if at all. Lots of wr bonuses in play for her (not that she knows it)


I’d love to see her 400 IM again.


She swam the 2013 duel in the pool. It was the last time she lost a freestyle event over 200m


She was sick at this meet.


Well, she did as a kid (summer league – MCSL). And yeah, she was really fast then too!


With no blocks either!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

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 …

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