What’s At Stake At 2018 U.S. Nationals? All Selection Procedures Here

2018 U.S. National Championships

2018 is the odd year of the Olympic cycle for USA Swimming in which one event qualifies national travel teams for every major meet for the next two years. We’ve broken down each meet’s selection procedures in greater detail, but we’ll run down the simplified versions of all of them in one place here. Bookmark this page for easy access during the meet to keep track of who’s in and who’s out.

Here’s a quick look at the national teams at stake at this summer’s National Championships:

  • 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  • 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
  • 2019 World Championships
  • 2019 World University Games
  • 2019 Pan American Games

Bird’s Eye View

The simplest overview suggests that the top 12 finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyles should be in line for a travel squad spot someplace, while the top 6 in other Olympic events should also be in the mix. Of course, this is complicated by athletes who double up – a swimmer who makes Worlds in the 100 free and World University Games in the 200 free can only swim Worlds, and the WUGs 200 free spot would go to the next available swimmer.

Relay-only swimmers can swim individual events at a lower-priority meet, though. So the 6th 100 freestyler would make Worlds as a relay-only swimmer, but would also be able to make the WUGs roster individually. Another wrinkle are swimmers who aren’t eligible for World University Games – they would be bumped to the Pan American Games team and their spot given to the next eligible swimmer.

Speaking in the biggest of generalities, here’s an event-by-event look at how many swimmers will make each travel team. The selection priority for 2019 is on World Champs first, World University Games second and Pan Ams third. The selection priority for 2018 is on Pan Pacs first and Junior Pan Pacs second.

Simplified Selection Criteria – 100/200 frees

  • Top 4 to 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  • Top 2-6 juniors to 2018 Junior Pan Pacs
  • Top 4-6 to 2019 World Championships**
  • 4-6 more to 2019 World University Games
  • 2+ more to 2019 Pan American Games

Simplified Selection Criteria – All Other Olympic Events

  • Top 1-4 to 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  • Top 2-6 juniors to 2018 Junior Pan Pacs
  • Top 1-2 to 2019 World Championships**
  • 1-2 more to 2019 World University Games
  • 1-2 more to 2019 Pan American Games

Simplified Selection Criteria – Non-Olympic Events

  • Top 1 to 2019 World Championships

**World Championships rosters are selected based on combined results of 2018 Nationals and 2018 Pan Pacs

By Meet

2018 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • August 9-12, 2018 – Tokyo, Japan

Full procedures here

  • Priority 1: Top 4 in 100/200 freestyles and top 1 in each Olympic event added to team
  • Priority 2: 2nd place swimmer in each Olympic event added
  • Priority 3: 3rd place swimmer in each Olympic event added
  • Priority 4: 4th place swimmer in each Olympic event added
  • Roster cap: 26 men, 26 women

2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships

  • August 23-27, 2018 – Suva, Fiji

To be eligible for Junior Pan Pacs, a swimmer must be between 13-18 years old as of December 31, 2018. That means the meet is open only to athletes born between 2000 and 2005.

Full procedures here

  • Priority #1. Top eligible swimmer in every Olympic event and top 2 eligible swimmers in 100/200 frees added.
  • Priority #2. Second eligible swimmer in all other Olympic events added
  • Priority #3. Third eligible swimmer in all other Olympic events. Fourth, fifth and sixth eligible swimmers added if roster space allows.
  • Roster cap: 20 boys, 20 girls

2019 World Championships

  • July 21-28, 2019 – Gwangju, South Korea

Full procedures here

  • **Selection for this meet is based on combined results of 2018 U.S. Nationals and 2018 Pan Pacs
  • Priority 1: Top 4 athletes in 100 and 200 free, top 1 athlete in each Olympic event added to team
  • Priority 2: 2nd athlete in each Olympic event added to the team
  • Priority 3: Top 1 athlete in each non-Olympic event (50 back/breast/fly) added
  • Priority 4: 5th athlete in 100 and 200 free added
  • Priority 5: 6th athlete in 100 and 200 free added
  • Roster cap: 26 men, 26 women

2019 World University Games

  • July 3-14, 2019 – Naples, Italy

To be eligible for World University Games, athletes must be between 17 and 23 as of July 3, 2019 and must be actively registered with a university as of WUGs or have just have completed their degree during the 2018-2019 season.

Full procedures here

  • Priority 1: Top 4 eligible athletes in 100/200 frees, top eligible athlete in all other Olympic events
  • Priority 2: Second eligible athlete in all other Olympic events
  • Priority 3: Fifth eligible athlete in 100/200 free
  • Priority 4: Sixth eligible athlete in 100/200 free
  • Roster cap: 26 men, 26 women

2019 Pan American Games

  • August 6-10, 2019 – Lima, Peru

Full procedures here

  • Priority 1: Top 2 eligible athletes in 100/200 frees
  • Priority 2: Top eligible athlete in all other Olympic events
  • Priority 3: Second eligible athlete in all other Olympic events
  • Priority 4: Next-best available in 100/200 frees
  • Roster cap: 18 men, 18 women

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JP input is too short
3 years ago

This meet is a big deal. Perfect chance for next generation of Olympians to start showing their stuff. Looking forward to following along!

swimmer
Reply to  JP input is too short
3 years ago

Yes also a great opportunity to see how well these youngsters can perform under the pressure of the international stage

Philip
3 years ago

July 25th can’t come fast enough!

Scribble
3 years ago

With professionals swimming into their late 20s, we might see some University Games selections in a B-final. How exciting will all the finals be now!

Rachel
Reply to  Scribble
3 years ago

Also, with Jr Pan Pacs on the line I would watch the c final as well!

Floater
3 years ago

Simplified selection process…. as clear as Mississippi mud. Just sayin’

50free
3 years ago

Do they usually have the toaster space for the third and fourth pace finishers for the Pan Pacs?

JP input too short
Reply to  50free
3 years ago

Well, toasters are usually either 2-slice or 4-slice. So it depends on the brand.

Jimmycrackcornandidont
3 years ago

Not a fan of picking only from nats….

Eagleswim
Reply to  Jimmycrackcornandidont
3 years ago

If you’re talking about world championship rosters, I think we just need to accept that USA swimming knows that they’re doing on this front. Their focus is on the Olympics, and they think that having a longer training season in the pre-Olympic year puts athletes in a better position to perform. They might be sacrificing the 2019 worlds a bit, but quad after quad we see that USA swimming is preparing their swimmers for the Olympics, and it seems to work pretty well. USA swimming has tons of problems, but they seem to have found a pretty good strategy here

Gator
Reply to  Jimmycrackcornandidont
3 years ago

I love it! Gotta not only swim fast but swim fas when it counts, same as trials

ACC
3 years ago

What is the selection criteria for the national and junior national teams?

rsgnsf
3 years ago

So a swimmer who matures/’clicks’/breaks out next year (2019) instead of this year is out of pretty much everything international until 2020 Worlds, unless they qualify at the 2020 US Olympic Trials for Tokyo?

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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