Are the ‘B’ Cuts Too Fast?? – Part II

Part I

Josh: Do you agree, Jake?

Jake: Oh my good friend and former roommate, Coach Hamstra… I’ve got a few things to say.

First things first, yes, the finances are limited.  But the faster ‘B’ cuts don’t have ANYTHING to do with the number of athletes actually invited to the meet.  The per diem doesn’t increase for the athletes traveling.  It really doesn’t cost the NCAA any more money to have the ‘B’ cuts slightly slower unless they’re paying their officials by the hour, which I doubt anyway.  A faster ‘B’ cut doesn’t do anything to the cap, it might speed the prelim session up by 10 or 15 minutes but is that worth it?

NO.

It’s not worth it at the expense of possibly watering down the quality of swim, at night, at the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS.  Look, we’ve got the opportunity to put the best athletes in the pool at the same time at the biggest stage.  Every year there are a few athletes that fall into the following categories…

A)  Rest at midseason enough to put themselves in a position to get a cut but come up just short (but still qualify on a relay), thus having to rerest in February and jeopardize their NCAA Meet even more.  This year because of the faster ‘B’ cuts, this group stands to be larger than years past.

B)  Put their heart and soul into the conference championships and find a way just to sneak into the NCAA Championships but have a difficult time repeating their previous performances for any number of reasons.

C)  Have an athlete qualify and miss a taper (or training season) and add time at Nationals.

D)  See an athlete that may not fit the norms of who is supposed to be fantastic in March find a way to pop at the right place at the right time.  If this is a relay only swimmer that missed out on individual ‘B’ cuts because they’re faster this year, what a waste.

This March there will be several combinations of athletes that fit into the categories above and in each instance we’ll be compromising the quality of the night swims at the National Championships.  And this will be taking place when the NCAA is already paying for athletes that could have enhanced those heats at night to be at the meet and sitting on the sidelines.  And for what?  To speed up prelims by a few minutes?

Josh: Your move, Chris.

Chris Hamstra is the head coach of Alma College and Jake Taber is the head coach ofOlivet College, both coming from the MIAA. Their arguments will be a regular segment of D3Swimming.com and we look forward to their submissions. If you have any suggestions for future topics, or comments on this topic, please comment below.

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