If they had taken 16 relays this year...

What do you predict for nationals? Who is going to shine, who is not?

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openwater
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If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by openwater » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:55 pm

So I was curious about what would have happened if 16 relays had been taken this year across the board.
For the men, 29 more relays would have been taken resulting in an additional 39 swimmers being invited (about an 18% increase in the airfare/housing/food cost to the NCAA).
For the women, 19 additional relays would have been invited bringing 30 more athletes (about a 12% increase).

The following schools would have had at least 2 more relays invited:
Depauw would have been the big beneficiary of this change getting an additional 2 men's relays/3 swimmers and 2 women's relays/5 swimmers to the meet: I use the following shorthand below [2/3;2/5].
JHU [4/5;--]
Carthage [2/5;2/1]
Emory [3/4;--]
Hope [2/3;--]
Amherst [1/1;2/3]
St. Thomas [1/0;2/2]
Mary Washington [--;2/1]
Redlands [1/1;1/1]
Williams [1/1;1/1]
TCNJ [2/0;--]

The following men's teams would have had one new relay invite and multiple new swimmers:
Keene State 1/3
Wabash 1/3
CMU 1/2
UC Santa Cruz 1/2
Conn. College 1/2
while:
Middlebury, Stevens, Wash U, and CMS would have had one more swimmer along with their one more relay invite.
UW LaCrosse would have an additional relay invite but no more swimmers.

The following women's teams would have had one new relay invite with multiple additional swimmers:
Springfield 1/4
Carleton 1/3
Westminster 1/3
Calvin 1/2
Centre 1/2
Chicago 1/2
while UW Stevens Point would have had one additional relay invite but no new swimmers.

All the teams listed above already had athletes invited so no new schools would have gotten into the meet with this change if it had happened this year.
However many of these schools had no relays at all this year and admitting one relay allows the team to swim either 4 or 5 relays (depending on how they use their athletes). So this expansion will add either one or two heats of relays to prelims for each event (male and female) and certainly push the 800 relay count to 4 heats which would have the effect of causing the slower 3(+) heats to be swum in the afternoon, leaving only the fastest heat at night.

I haven't tried to see how many B-cuts these 69 swimmers bring to the meet but it is safe to say that it is likely a number close to 100. I f these are spread across the 26 individual events this might mean only 2-3 additional heats of the individual events spread over the 4 days.

Comments?
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DonCheadle
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by DonCheadle » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:08 am

The BIG change that this relay cap will induce is that there will be less double tapers. Look at St Thomas (MN) as an example: because their relays were border line to make it, Mullee had to do a full taper for conference. I don't know how he swims on just a few days rest, but I feel fairly confident that St Thomas would have made the meet if Mullee was only a 20.7 49.5 at confernece.

The more I htink about this, wow, this is going to change the strategy for the season. December taper meets will have even more importance because it will be so much easier to Q a relay. Snag a few B cuts, put together a 3:04.5 in the 400 free relay and you are in.
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by Just Ducky » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:19 am

Don, the Williams women had all five realys at the meet; you must have picked up a B relay time somewhere (they were that deep). Regardless of errors, it is an interesting analysis. The discussion of adding more relays seems targeted at TWO goals: increasing the number of participants AND inspiring more of a team competition. By increasing participation in this way, we still do not resolve the issue of swimmers at the meet being entitled, merely by virtue of relay participation and a B cut, to swim an event where a much better B cut swimmer is denied an invitation because he or she isn't on a relay. The dismissive "swim faster" defense to this argument doesn't work: the point is the B-cutter DID swim faster than the relay participant.

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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by DonCheadle » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:29 am

Just Ducky wrote: The discussion of adding more relays seems targeted at TWO goals: increasing the number of participants AND inspiring more of a team competition. By increasing participation in this way, we still do not resolve the issue of swimmers at the meet being entitled, merely by virtue of relay participation and a B cut, to swim an event where a much better B cut swimmer is denied an invitation because he or she isn't on a relay. The dismissive "swim faster" defense to this argument doesn't work: the point is the B-cutter DID swim faster than the relay participant.
The swim fast argument is not really the argument. It is the solution to the unintended consequence of emphasizing the team competition.
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openwater
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by openwater » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:42 am

Just Ducky wrote:Don, the Williams women had all five realys at the meet; you must have picked up a B relay time somewhere (they were that deep).
I don't understand this comment - yes Williams had 5 relays at the meet but their 2 Free Relay was not invited (16th on the uncut psyche sheet, 14th on the official psyche sheet after Centre and Calvin were not invited and thus could not field a team in this event).
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by N Dynamite » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:43 am

I'm not sure I understand what your arguing against Ducky - are you saying there shouldn't be any relay only swimmers or that they shouldn't get to swim their individual B cuts? A lot of the top relay teams at NCAAs wouldn't be there (or be as fast) without the relay only swimmers - isn't that an important part of the competition? Are you suggesting that a 5th place relay should not be at NCAAs so the 23rd fastest 200 flyer can be there? Or that the person on that 5th place relay shouldn't swim their individual event because they weren't as fast as someone who got left at home?
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Just Ducky
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by Just Ducky » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:46 am

Sorry openwater, you're right re: Williams women relays.

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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by sagehen1 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:24 pm

Just for reference - what the cutoff times would have been if they took 16 relays this year:

200 FR - 1:23.44
200 MR - 1:33.15
400 FR - 3:04.35
400 MR - 3:25.79
800 FR - 6:51.21

openwater
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by openwater » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:34 pm

sagehen1 wrote:Just for reference - what the cutoff times would have been if they took 16 relays this year:

200 FR - 1:23.44
200 MR - 1:33.15
400 FR - 3:04.35
400 MR - 3:25.79
800 FR - 6:51.21
The above of course are the men's times, the corresponding times for women this year would have been:
1:36.55
1:47.01
3:31.81
3:55.43
7:44.02
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openwater
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by openwater » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:37 pm

And just because the numbers are right in the above post, here are the percentages by which the men's 16th place cutoff times are faster than the women's (in the same order) for this completely random time snapshot at the end of the 09-10 swim season:
13.58, 12.95, 12.96, 12.59, 11.38

This progression made me wonder how the national relay records compare, especially after KC rewrote the book on 4 of these - here are the corresponding percentages by which the men's records are faster than the women's:
13.88, 13.27, 13.08, 12.51, 11.10

The percentage difference decreases with distance and complexity (multiple strokes) - I believe that this is a well known physiological fact in the running world.

One way to look at this is that the guys are focussed on instant gratification in the splash-n-dash while the ladies are proportionally better over the long haul.
Any amateur psychologists want to jump in here?
Last edited by openwater on Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If they had taken 16 relays this year...

Post by Colbybr » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:37 pm

I guess you could say I am an amateur psychologist. I think its physiological: males primary advantage is in raw power. It takes extremely long distances (ultra-marathons) to make the power advantage disappear.
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