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UPDATE: NCAA Committee Returns to 48-Qualifier Format For Regional Championships

UPDATE (4/30/21) (11:13am EST):

After approving a January proposal to cut the number of individual qualifiers for the NCAA East and West Regional Championships from 48 athletes per event to 32 athletes per event, the NCAA Competition Oversight Committee has since reversed their decision.

The original proposal to cut down field sizes was a move centered around concerns of spreading the Coronavirus. However, following a reevaluation period and significant opposition from athletes and fans around the NCAA, the Competition Oversight Committee opted to return to the 48-qualifier format.

The NCAA East & West Regional Championships will now take place over a four-day period.

Had the 32-qualifier format been retained and had the qualifying period ended today, these would have been the last automatic qualifying times in each distance event, not including scratches (based on TFRRS data from 4/30/21).

East Region (Men)

800 (1:49.57)

1500 (3:43.06)

5k (13:52.05)

10k (29:28.58)

3k Steeple (8:58.46)

East Region (Women)

800 (2:06.67)

1500 (4:18.95)

5k (16:09.56)

10k (35:03.59)

3k Steeple (10:22.28)

West Region (Men)

800 (1:49.74)

1500 (3:43.05)

5k (13:47.03)

10k (29:05.93)

3k Steeple (8:59.03)

West Region (Women)

800 (2:06.87)

1500 (4:18.61)

5k (16:14.09)

10k (34:46.54)

3k Steeple (10:26.59)

Now that the regional meets will return to a 48-qualifier format, here is what the final cut-off times would like if the season ended today, not including scratches (based on TFRRS data from 4/30/21)...

East Region (Men)

800 (1:50.33)

1500 (3:44.28)

5k (13:57.94)

10k (29:49.34)

3k Steeple (9:06.26)

East Region (Women)

800 (2:07.65)

1500 (4:20.99)

5k (16:17.37)

10k (35:48.66)

3k Steeple (10:34.55)

West Region (Men)

800 (1:50.33)

1500 (3:44.07)

5k (13:54.23)

10k (29:35.00)

3k Steeple (9:04.37)

West Region (Women)

800 (2:07.64)

1500 (4:20.70)

5k (16:27.41)

10k (35:27.47)

3k Steeple (10:40.34)



According to the January proceedings report from the NCAA's Division One Men's and Women's Track & Field and Cross Country Committee, a "recommendation" has been brought forth proposing that the number of regional qualifiers in individual events for the East and West Regional Championships be reduced from 48 qualifiers to 32 qualifiers only for the 2021 outdoor track season.

The reduction in field sizes aims to address ongoing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, "while also being more fiscally responsible both to the NCAA and participating institutions" according to the report.

For perspective, here were the athletes who were ranked at #32 in their respective regions for each distance event during the 2019 outdoor track season...

NOTE: The below marks do not consider scratches. Conversions are taken into consideration and denoted next to the time if applicable. These marks are not necessarily automatic qualifying times, but simply reference points as to how fast the 32nd ranked individuals in each distance event were in their respective regions. The recommendation applies to all events, not just distance events.

2019 East Region #32 (Men)

800: Miles Owens (1:49.48)

1500: Aaron Wier (3:44.91)

5000: Martin Barr (14:01.63)

10,000: Bradley Wattleworth (29:26.32)

3k Steeplechase: Brian Cook (8:56.66)

2019 East Region #32 (Women)

800: Maudie Skyring (2:06.27)

1500: Nicole Gardner (4:20.25)

5000: Erin Finn (16:09.94)

10,000: Maggie Schneider (34:20.08)

3k Steeplechase: Hannah Brookover (10:23.63)

2019 West Region #32 (Men)

800: Daniel Garz (1:49.10@)

1500: Nathan Mylenek (3:44.49)

5000: David Too (13:51.08)

10,000: Benjamin Preisner (29:13.38)

3k Steeplechase: Stokton Smith (8:54.99)

2019 West Region #32 (Women)

800: Bianca Tinoco & Oksana Covey (2:06.09)

1500: Ariane Ballner (4:19.40)

5000: Hannah Miller (16:04.82)

10,000: Lindsey Brewis (33:56.32)

3k Steeplechase: Katharina Pesendorfer (10:22.27)

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