What Will It Take to Qualify for the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships?

by Matthew Harder 4

August 24th, 2021 ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, College, News, Pac-12, SEC

The 2021 NCAA Season brought a return to the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division 1 Swimming & Diving Championships. This year, both meets were held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C. The University of Virginia Cavaliers won their first ever NCAA Team Title, while the University of Texas won their 15th NCAA Team Title.

The NCAA allows 235 spots (men) and 281 spots (women) for individual events at the NCAA Division 1 Swimming & Diving Championships. These numbers don’t include relay-only athletes. In addition to this rule, each team’s roster is capped at 18 athletes, which includes both swimmers and divers. If a team qualifies more than 18 athletes, they will have to cut athletes in order to meet that rule.

In individual races, all swimmers that achieve an NCAA “A” Cut will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Once all athletes with “A” times have been entered, the NCAA can invite swimmers who have an NCAA “B” Cut, which is used for consideration. These athletes are chosen until the meet fills.

Below, are the NCAA “A” and “B” Cuts for the 2022 NCAA Championships.

B STANDARD A STANDARD Event A STANDARD B STANDARD
19.96 18.96 50 free 21.66 22.76
43.80 41.71 100 free 47.18 49.51
1:36.32 1:32.05 200 free 1:42.98 1:47.12
4:23.34 4:11.62 500 free 4:35.76 4:47.20
15:26.19 14:37.31 1650 free 15:52.41 16:30.59
47.43 44.96 100 fly 50.92 53.76
1:46.69 1:40.44 200 fly 1:53.20 1:59.23
47.77 44.94 100 back 50.93 53.94
1:45.04 1:39.13 200 back 1:50.50 1:57.11
54.27 51.59 100 breast 58.46 1:01.84
1:58.43 1:52.28 200 breast 2:06.58 2:13.97
1:46.77 1:41.34 200 IM 1:53.66 1:59.94
3:51.46 3:39.16 400 IM 4;03.62 4:17.30
PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING RELAYS QUALIFYING PROVISIONAL
1:17.80 1:17.07 200 free relay 1:28.43 1:29.21
2:52.46 2:51.11 400 free relay 3:14.50 3:16.35
6:21.32 6:16.80 800 free relay 7:00.86 7:05.88
1:24.83 1:24.22 200 medley relay 1:36.40 1:37.05
3:07.53 3:05.47
400 medley relay
3:31.66 3:33.78
ZONE QUALIFYING DIVING ZONES
ZONE QUALIFYING
300 1-meter 265
320 3-meter 280
300 Platform 225

This season, the men all events had 32 athletes invited and a few events had space to allow the 33rd-ranked athlete in. For the women,  all events had 41 athletes invited and a few events had space to allow 42nd-ranked athlete in. Again, in individual races, all swimmers that achieve an NCAA “A” Cut will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Once all athletes with “A” times have been entered, the NCAA can invite swimmers who have an NCAA “B” Cut, which is used for consideration. The “B” Cut athletes are chosen event-by-event by the NCAA and are lined up to an equal number across all events until the meet is filled.

Below are the times that were needed to receive an invite to the NCAA Championships over the past three seasons. For 2021, these times were where the “cut” was made and what the 32nd or 33rd-ranked male athlete (or 41st or 42nd-ranked female athlete) achieved during the season to receive an invite.

MEN                                                                                                                       WOMEN

2019 Invite Time 2020 Invite Time 2021 Invite Time Event (SCY) 2019 Invite Time 2020 Invite Time 2o21 Invite Time
19.35 19.32 19.46 50 free 22.23 22.21 22.32
42.53 42.57 42.88 100 free 48.56 48.51 48.76
1:34.21 1:34.07 1:34.04 200 free 1:45.12 1:45.23 1:46.25
4:16.04 4:16.49 4:16.75 500 free 4:40.96 4:41.20 4:44.77
14:54.05 14:57.07 15:01.33 1650 free 16:14.21 16:17.45 16:25.47
45.90 45.97 46.29 100 fly 52.34 52.34 52.70
1:42.35 1:43.18 1:43.47 200 fly 1:56.18 1:56.06 1:57.42
46.06 46.22 46.37 100 back 52.46 52.73 53.01
1:41.31 1:41.49 1:41.81 200 back 1:54.01 1:53.99 1:55.05
52.52 52.46 52.40 100 breast 59.93 59.98 1:00.12
1:54.04 1:54.03 1:54.28 200 breast 2:09.77 2:10.12 2:10.37
1:43.82 1:43.79 1:44.15 200 IM 1:56.76 1:57.31 1:57.62
3:43.42 3:44.36 3:45.67 400 IM 4:10.00 4:10.39 4:13.19

 

Of note, several of the events got “slower” invite times than previous seasons, which is very unusual. One reason for this could be due to the COVID-19 restrictions that made it challenging for athletes to train. There were also several athletes that took a redshirt or deferred their enrollment to their universities for the Olympics.

We expect to see athletes return from major universities that redshirted the 2020-2021 NCAA Season. The Ivy League and Arizona State University didn’t compete in any NCAA meets during the season due to COVID-19 concerns. We expect that the NCAA Championship Division 1 invite times will lower next season as these athletes return, not to mention that there are at least 20 NCAA-qualifying caliber athletes from each gender that are expected to take advantage of their 5th year of NCAA eligibility.

On the men’s side, there were 41 NCAA teams that sent 235 individual swimmers to the NCAA Championships. On the women’s side, there were 51 NCAA teams that sent 281 individual swimmers to the NCAA Championships.

Below are the Top 10 Teams with the most individual swimmers qualified for the 2021 NCAA Division 1 Swimming & Diving Championships.

WOMEN   

University of Florida 16 Individual Swimmers
University of Tennessee 15 Individual Swimmers
University of Kentucky 14 Individual Swimmers
University of Virginia 14 Individual Swimmers
University of Georgia 13 Individual Swimmers
 NC State 13 Individual Swimmers
University of California, Berkeley 12 Individual Swimmers
University of Louisville 12 Individual Swimmers
University of Michigan 12 Individual Swimmers
Ohio State University 12 Individual Swimmers

MEN

University of Texas 18 Individual Swimmers
University of California, Berkeley 15 Individual Swimmers
NC State 14 Individual Swimmers
University of Georgia 13 Individual Swimmers
University of Florida 12 Individual Swimmers
University of Louisville 12 Individual Swimmers
University of Michigan 12 Individual Swimmers
Stanford 10 Individual Swimmers
University of Virginia 10 Individual Swimmers
Virginia Tech 10 Individual Swimmers

*Not all qualified athletes competed at the NCAA Championships due to the 18-athlete roster rule that applies to individual swimmers, divers, and relay athletes.

The NCAA has released their 2021-2022 Division 1 National Championship Time Standards for the upcoming 2022 NCAA Division 1 Swimming & Diving Championships.

 

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bobthebuilderrocks
5 months ago

With the incoming freshmen class and all the fifth years, this year’s season will be nuts!

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
5 months ago

Dont forget we will probably see some mid-year international additions who can have impact! Oh yea it will be epic

retired coach
5 months ago

Provisional 400 free relay time for men is incorrect.

DJTrockstoYMCA
5 months ago

Great overview – getting pumped already for the MEN’S NCAA GREATEST SWIMMING MEET in the world! People ask “When will the swimmers be unable to swim any faster?” Answer: We will find ways to continue to drop records for as long as we swim! The human spirit triumphs!