What Will it Take to Qualify for the 2021 Division I NCAA Championships?

by Robert Gibbs 13

December 02nd, 2020 College, News

While there is still a lot of uncertainty about what the next few months will look like, the 2020-2021 NCAA Division I season is well underway, and with some teams and swimmers having thrown down some big swims already, we figured it’s time to look at it what it should take to make the 2021 NCAA Division I Championships.

As a refresher — the invite system is somewhat complicated, but, essentially, achieving an ‘A’ (automatic) qualifying time gets you in. After that, the next-fastest swimmers in each event get added until the total participant number (270 for men, 322 for women) is met. You can read a full breakdown of how that works here.

The cut line to get invited to NCAAs falls roughly around the same time each year, normally getting slightly faster each season – all 29th-ranked men made it in last season (with some 30s) and all 37th-ranked women made it (with some 38s). While invite times generally get faster each year, last season was a bit of an outlier in that the invite in several events had actually gotten slower two years in a row. Under a normal season, we might expect some of those times to take a big leap and get faster than they had been in 2018. However, this is not a normal season, and with one whole team sitting out (Arizona State), Olympic redshirts or deferrals. and international stars who may or may not arrive second semester, it’s possible that invite times could end up slower across the board this year.

Here’s a quick look at what it took to get an invite in each event over the last three seasons:

MEN WOMEN
2018 Invite Time 2019 Invite Time 2020 Invite Time Event 2018 Invite Time 2019 Invite Time 2020 Invite Time
19.36 19.35 19.32 50 free 22.30 22.23 22.21
42.71 42.53 42.57 100 free 48.53 48.56 48.51
1:34.44 1:34.21 1:34.07 200 free 1:44.90 1:45.12 1:45.23
4:16.08 4:16.04 4:16.49 500 free 4:40.50 4:40.96 4:41.20
14:53.34 14:54.05 14:57.07 1650 free 16:12.53 16:14.21 16:17.45
46.14 46.06 46.22 100 back 52.54 52.46 52.73
1:41.18 1:41.31 1:41.49 200 back 1:53.64 1:54.01 1:53.99
52.75 52.52 52.46 100 breast 1:00.11 59.93 59.98
1:54.49 1:54.04 1:54.03 200 breast 2:10.14 2:09.77 2:10.12
45.89 45.90 45.97 100 fly 52.41 52.34 52.34
1:42.52 1:42.35 1:43.18 200 fly 1:55.99 1:56.18 1:56.06
1:44.03 1:43.82 1:43.79 200 IM 1:56.76 1:56.76 1:57.31
3:43.89 3:43.42 3:44.36 400 IM 4:09.75 4:10.00 4:10.39

The NCAA elected to keep the individual A and B standards, as well as the relay qualifying and provisional standards, the same as last year. You can read more about that here. All relays with the Qualifying Standard can swim at the NCAA Championships, provided they have 1 individual (swimmer or diver) invited to the meet as well. Once a team has a relay invited, they can swim any relay in which they have a provisional standard as well. Relays are qualified “to the team,” not to the individual swimmers, so teams can take whichever swimmers they want to participate in relays.

Men’s A Cut Men’s B Cut INDIVIDUALS Women’s A Cut Women’s B Cut
18.96 19.96 50 free 21.66 22.76
41.71 43.80 100 free 47.18 49.51
1:32.05 1:36.32 200 free 1:42.98 1:47.12
4:11.82 4:23.34 500 free 4:35.76 4:47.20
14:37.31 15:26.19 1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
45.05 47.43 100 fly 50.92 53.76
1:40.76 1:46.69 200 fly 1:53.20 1:59.23
44.95 47.77 100 back 50.93 53.94
1:39.16 1:45.04 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.11
51.67 54.27 100 breast 58.60 1:01.84
1:52.61 1:58.43 200 breast 2:06.84 2:13.97
1:41.34 1:46.77 200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.94
3:39.16 3:51.46 400 IM 4:03.62 4:17.30
Men’s Qualifying Men’s Provisional RELAYS Women’s Qualifying
Women’s Provisional
1:17.17 1:17.86 200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
2:51.11 2:52.46 400 free relay 3:14.61 3:16.35
6:17.18 6:21.85 800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
1:24.30 1:24.97 200 medley relay 1:36.40 1:37.05
3:05.95 3:07.74 400 medley relay 3:31.66 3:33.78

At no additional charge, here’s a quick list of all the swimmers who have secured NCAA ‘A’ cuts, based on USA Swimming’s database. So far, Virginia sophomore Kate Douglass leads the women with ‘A’ cuts in four evens, and Texas A&M junior Shaine Casas leads the men with ‘A’ cuts in five events. Once a swimmer has secured an ‘A’ cut (or an invite), they are eligible to swim any other event in which they have a ‘B’ cut, with a limit of three individual events at NCAAs.

Swimmer Team Event Time
Kate Douglass Virginia 50 Free 21.42
Kate Douglass Virginia 100 Free 46.86
Paige Madden Virginia 200 Free 1:42.39
Paige Madden Virginia 500 Free 4:33.09
Rhyan White Alabama 100 Back 50.45
Rhyan White Alabama 200 Back 1:49.30
Isabelle Stadden California 200 Back 1:49.77
Mona McSharry Tennessee 100 Breast 58.28
Zoie Hartman Georgia 100 Breast 58.34
Zoie Hartman Georgia 200 Breast 2:06.34
Alex Walsh Virginia 200 Breast 2:06.72
Danielle Dellatorre Georgia 200 Breast 2:06.81
Kate Douglass Virginia 100 Fly 49.73
Kate Douglass Virginia 200 IM 1:50.92
Brooke Forde Stanford 400 IM 4:02.90
Drew Kibler Texas 200 Free 1:31.10
Drew Kibler Texas 500 Free 4:08.26
Jake Magahey Georgia 500 Free 4:10.48
Mark Theall Texas A&M 500 Free 4:10.67
Kieran Smith Florida 500 Free 4:11.08
Jake Magahey Georgia 1650 Free 14:33.78
Bobby Finke Florida 1650 Free 14:34.27
Shaine Casas Texas A&M 100 Back 43.87
Shaine Casas Texas A&M 200 Back 1:36.54
Tanner Olson Texas A&M 100 Breast 51.39
Reece Whitley California 100 Breast 51.54
Evgenii Somov Louisville 100 Breast 51.63
Reece Whitley California 200 Breast 1:48.53
Daniel Roy Stanford 200 Breast 1:51.64
Evgenii Somov Louisville 200 Breast 1:52.22
Camden Murphy Georgia 100 Fly 44.89
Shaine Casas Texas A&M 200 Fly 1:39.23
Trenton Julian California 200 Fly 1:39.93
Luca Urlando Georgia 200 Fly 1:40.67
Shaine Casas Texas A&M 200 IM 1:38.95
Carson Foster Texas 400 IM 3:35.27
Shaine Casas Texas A&M 400 IM 3:38.22

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Dan
1 month ago

Answer: negative Covid test

Here Comes Lezak
1 month ago

A COVID vaccine

Hswimmer
Reply to  Here Comes Lezak
1 month ago

Yes, but it won’t stop the virus like they think it will. Hopefully it works!!

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Right, all you really need is a paperclip, a fork and some floss.

DLswim
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Great opinion. I’m sure it’s well thought out and scientifically grounded.

Scoobysnak
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Stop the delivery folks, Hswimmer says it won’t work

VFL
1 month ago

Moooooooona! 💪🏼