PDA

View Full Version : Are spring national qualifying times really fast?



suphillips
February 14th, 2014, 11:00 PM
When I was registering for spring nationals, I didn't have any recent short course times to draw from, so I used my summer long course national times and the USA Swimming conversion tool for my entries. I was really surprised to see that times that were in the top ten at Mission Viejo, even a fourth place in the 1500, barely made the qualifying time for Santa Clara. Another time that was top 10 last summer didn't even make the NQT for spring. I've never done spring nats......is it a much faster meet? It seems like it's a much smaller meet, so how can I place well in a bigger meet and not even qualify for the smaller? Maybe it's the conversion tool, but every other time I used it, it was spot on.

I don't mean to sound whiny, I can still go swim Santa Clara so all is good. However I am intensely curious.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk

Fresnoid
February 14th, 2014, 11:36 PM
I've only gone to one Nationals since starting in Masters, but I usually look at the results and short course seems way more competitive than long course.

knelson
February 15th, 2014, 12:37 AM
I've never done spring nats......is it a much faster meet? It seems like it's a much smaller meet, so how can I place well in a bigger meet and not even qualify for the smaller?

Not true. SC Nationals is historically a significantly larger meet. Last year 1,633 swimmers were at Indy and 1,404 at Mission Viejo, but usually the difference is greater. SC Nats can approach 2,000 swimmers. LC Nats attendance is all over the place, but there have been plenty of recent meets where less than 1,000 swimmers attended.

secondheart
February 16th, 2014, 10:49 AM
I was really surprised to see that times that were in the top ten at Mission Viejo, even a fourth place in the 1500, barely made the qualifying time for Santa Clara. Another time that was top 10 last summer didn't even make the NQT for spring.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using TapatalkThe qualifying times for the 1650 vs 1500 (Santa Clara vs Maryland) for the 60- 64 age group are almost equivalent (22:45 vs 23:25). An excellent calculator on the Virginia site
http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi

orca1946
February 17th, 2014, 02:20 PM
Just a thought - maybe the conversion from Long to S C makes it seem faster??

jroddin
February 18th, 2014, 01:15 PM
Kirk is correct. Historically SC Nationals is much larger than LC Nationals (~1700 swimmers for SC vs ~1000 for LC). While NQTs are based on a three year rolling average of Top Ten times, typically Nationals has a huge impact on Top Ten because the bigger meets usually mean more competitive times that get submitted for Top Ten. Therefore SC usually has quicker NQTs because attendance is higher at those meets.

Very recent history shows a huge upward tick in attendance at LC Nationals, though. 2012 (Omaha, 1257 swimmers) was the second largest LC meet at the time and now 2013 (MV, 1393) is the largest. Of note, 2000 (Baltimore, 1380 swimmers) was the previous biggest LC Nationals. However, 2011 (Auburn, 688) was one of the smallest LC Nationals in the past 20 years. This year the NQTs for Maryland will include those two large meets, which likely means the NQTs are quicker for most events. And next year when Auburn drops out and is replaced with Maryland, I have a feeling we will have three very large LC National meets in a row. Again, the size of the meet doesn't necessarily mean times will be faster but it usually is the case.

FWIW, here is a FAQ about NQTs:
http://www.usms.org/comp/NQT-FAQ.pdf

Jeff Roddin
USMS Championship Committee

orca1946
February 18th, 2014, 07:15 PM
Jeff - thanks for the detailed explanation. That makes sense.

amhansen317
April 14th, 2014, 12:02 PM
Has anyone noticed how much faster you need to be to have a qualifying time this year? Maybe it is just me, but for my age group the 50 free time went from a 33 to a 29 qualifying time. Just when I was getting close, even if I age up the times seem completely out of reach now.

jroddin
April 15th, 2014, 03:28 PM
Has anyone noticed how much faster you need to be to have a qualifying time this year? Maybe it is just me, but for my age group the 50 free time went from a 33 to a 29 qualifying time. Just when I was getting close, even if I age up the times seem completely out of reach now.

Qualifying Times are based strictly on past performance data (as opposed to somebody arbitrarily setting them each year). They are described in detail here:
http://www.usms.org/comp/NQT-FAQ.pdf

If you can tell us your specific inquiry we can speculate some more (i.e. which course, gender and age group).

Jeff

orca1946
April 26th, 2014, 05:03 PM
And yes the honor system works most of the time from what I have seen at Nationals.