COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 3. IN a release posted yesterday, USA Swimming announced plenty of news regarding its 2014-15 USA Swimming Developmental Teams and Camps, including some changes regarding how to qualify for these programs.
These teams are a huge part of USA Swimming’s developmental program, with swimmers earning fully-funded opportunities for Zone and National Select Camps, the National Junior Team and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships Team.
One of the most talked about new changes is the inclusion of “championship-level ‘approved’ meets” such as the YMCA Long Course Nationals as a location for a swimmer to earn a berth onto the National Junior Team. That means that you don’t have to post your times at USA Swimming-specific times anymore, as long as the meet a junior swimmer posts a qualifying time in has been cleared at the discretion of the National Team Director.
The clock on long course times to make the National Junior Team began on Jan. 1 and will end on Sept. 1 with the team being named on Sept. 8. That team will then be part of a Junior Team camp in April 2015.
The National Junior Team includes the top six athletes in Olympic Events from the combined results of all USA Swimming or FINA sanctioned events, as well as the inclusion of other meets such as the YMCA Nationals. Relay leadoffs, time trials, swimoffs and splits are not included as qualifying times.
This opens the door for not only YMCA Nationals to be approved, but also for meets such as the NCSA Junior Nationals that are broadcast each year live on SwimmingWorld.TV to be an opportunity for junior-level talent to make the team.
USA Swimming also released some initial information regarding the selection of the Junior Pan Pacific Championships, that will take place in August in Hawaii. Only times from summer nationals will be used to determine the 40 swimmers headed to Maui for the meet.
For a full look at all the qualifying criteria, check out USA Swimming’s primer on the teams and camps.