When the NCAA released its time standards for the 2016 Division I men’s and women’s NCAA Championship meet last August, the announcement noted how long course meter times would also be accepted as a qualifying course. This was a change from the 2014/2015 NCAA season, whereby then only short course meter-converted times from the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championships were accepted.
You can review the parameters concerning long course meters to short course yards conversion here, within our original post of the Championship cuts, but, bottom line, the caveat comes into play during the college season of an Olympic year.
With that being said, has swimming long course meters events helped anyone in their quest for an NCAA Championships bid? Looking at the current top NCAA women’s times compared to where each event’s invitation cut-off was last year, signs point to ‘yes,’ with a caveat. Most of the swimmers who are in position to qualify based on long course meters converted times probably would have qualified anyway in yards, however the new rule allows for more flexibility in racing long course meters for swimmers with serious international aspirations.
Below is each event with last year’s slowest time having been invited to the NCAA Championships. We’ve then listed those women who have achieved at least that time via a long course meters swim once converted to SCY, using the NCAA standard methodology.
Women such as Cal’s Farida Osman and Amy Bilquist reaped dividends competing at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin, each having clocked B cuts in their respective events while competing in the long course meet. The same holds true for others who attended the U.S. Winter Nationals, where Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell earned her A cut in the women’s 100 butterfly and Indiana Lilly King nabbed solid marks in her breaststroke events.
Additional athletes took advantage of meets taking on a unique format due to the Olympic-qualifying year, including the Art Adamson Invitational, which features LCM in prelims and the Navy Invite, which also featured long course competition.
Note: All times are listed via their conversions below.
Women’s 50m Free
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 22.39
- Farida Osman, Cal – 21.98 (PSS Austin)
- Amy Bilquist, Cal – 22.31 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 100m Free
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 48.88
- Lia Neal, Stanford – 47.74 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 200 Free
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 1:45.94
- Siobhan Haughey, Michigan – 1:44.73 (Winter Nats)
- Gillian Ryan, Michigan – 1:44.75 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 500 Free
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 4:42.73
- Gillian Ryan, Michigan – 4:39.88 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 100 Back
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 52.97
- Kathleen Baker, Cal – 51.81 (PSS Austin)
- Ali Deloof, Michigan – 51.86
Women’s 200 Back
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 1:54.63
- Kathleen Baker, Cal – 1:52.15 (PSS Austin)
- Clara Smiddy, Michigan – 1:53.70 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 100 Breast
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 1:00.68
- Lilly King, Indiana – 58.45 (Winter Nats)
- Miranda Tucker, Indiana – 59.79 (Winter Nats)
- Marina Garcia Urzainqui, Cal – 1:00.25 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 200 Breast
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 2:11.23
- Lilly King, Indiana – 2:08.28 (Winter Nats)
- Miranda Tucker, Indiana – 2:09.71 (Winter Nats)
- Marina Garcia Urzainqui, Cal – 2:10.76 (PSS Minneapolis)
- Emily Escobedo, UMBC – 2:10.98 (Navy LC Invite)
Women’s 100 Fly
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 52.79
- Kelsi Worrell, Louisville – 51.36 (PSS Minneapolis)
- Noemie Thomas, Cal – 61.65 (PSS Minneapolis)
- Farida Osman, Cal – 52.44 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 200 Fly
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 1:56.92
Women’s 200 IM
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 1:58.13
- Kathleen Baker, Cal – 1:55.87 (Winter Nats)
- Siobhan Haughey, Michigan – 1:56.81 (Winter Nats)
- Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M – 1:57.00 (Art Adamson Invitational)
- Celina Li, Cal – 1:57.46 (Winter Nats)
Women’s 400 IM
Last Year’s Slowest Invited Time: 4:12.11
- Brooke Zeiger, Minnesota (PSS Minneapolis)