Selection Criteria for U.S. National Junior Team

By Reach for the Wall staff.

Have you ever wondered what the criteria are for qualifying for the U.S. National Junior Team?  Well, you’re in luck – USA Swimming just released its procedures for selecting the 2017-18 U.S. National Junior Team.

This team consists of a minimum of 26 men and 26 women and a maximum of 40 men and 40 women.  The criteria for selecting the team includes both performance and non-performance criteria, as described below.

General Criteria

All members of the team must be:

  • 18 or under on September 1, 2017;
  • Eligible to represent the U.S. in International Competition as of September 1, 2017; and
  • Registered USA Swimming members at the time of they swam the qualifying time (i.e., you can’t be swimming for, say the Korea Swimming Federation when you threw down that monster time in 50 free).

Athletes will be considered regardless of year in high school or college as long as all other requirements are met. Athletes are ineligible for the team if they swam in an individual Olympic event at the Olympic Games (e.g., Katie Ledecky in 2012), Pan Pacific Games, or World Championships.

Performance Criteria

In addition to the general criteria above, USA Swimming also selects the National Junior Team based on the following performance criteria:

  • Priority 1.  The first swimmers selected for the National Junior Team are the top 2 athletes in each individual Olympic event.
  • Priority 2.  The next round of swimmers selected for the team are the 3rd and 4th ranked swimmers in the 100 and 200 meter long course freestyle.
  • Priority 3.  If the team has not exceeded the 40 men / 40 women maximum limit, the following are invited to join the team:
    • Additional female swimmers who are ranked in the world top 75 in an Olympic event, and
    • Additional male swimmers who are ranked in the world top 100 in an Olympic event.

USA Swimming will consider all long course times from all USA Swimming and FINA approved competitions between January 1 – August 31, 2017 (except times from relay lead-offs, time trials, swim-offs and intermediate splits will NOT be considered).  The roster will be selected according to the FINA database as of September 6, 2017 at 8am Mountain Time.

If the team size is below 26 men or 26 women after applying all of the selection criteria above, additional athletes will be included based on their highest world ranking in an individual Olympic event until 26 men or 26 women are selected to the team.  In meeting the minimum team size requirements, once an event has been filled with four swimmers, no additional swimmers will be added in that event.

Conversely, if more than 40 men or 40 women meet the performance criteria above, those with the highest world rankings will be selected.  If there is a tie (either within in individual Olympic event or among a world ranking in two separate individual Olympic events), then the athlete’s next highest world ranking in an individual Olympic event will be used to break the tie.

Here is the current 2016-2017 U.S. National Junior Team Women’s Roster and Men’s RosterSam Pomajevich (Manassas, VA; Stonewall Jackson High School; NCAP; future University of Texas Longhorn) currently is a member of this team in 200 fly.

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