Hello Everyone,

I am fairly new here to USMS. I have been swimming since July 2023 at age 66. I fell in love with the sport as I got better and began to compete against the other swimmers at the 24HR Gym Pool. I now use most of the to pace myself and those that are faster and better than me I try to catch them and pace myself. I have a goal in 2024, to qualify for USMS nationals. does anyone have any advice on how to attain a qualified time and what they are? This has become a big deal for me. I am trying to do this on my own and training the gym and pool 7 days a week.

Thank you,


  • Welcome to USMS, John!  I see you like the same font I do. Wink

    National Qualifying Times for 2024 Spring Nationals have been posted.  Rather than give you the link, I will tell you how to get there, so you will know for the future how to navigate the site.  At, click on "Events" at the top of the page, "National Championships," "Pool Championships," "2024 Event Information," "USMS Spring Nationals," and then "National Qualifying Times," known here as "NQT's."

    NQT's are on the honor system, so you could have somebody time you at a pool.  Better yet, participate in meets with touch pad timing and get accurate times.

    I see by your profile that you live in El Cajon.  We lived in San Diego & La Mesa for most of our lives.  There are a lot of swim meets in San Diego County, so you shouldn't have a problem. Check the "Calendar of Events" under the "Events" tab to find meets near you.

    Good luck!


  • Hi John, we're glad to have you as a member of USMS! That is a great goal to start the new year. 

    Here are the NQTs for 2024 USMS Spring Nationals, which will be held June 20-24 in at IU Natatorium in Indy (later than usual to overlap with Olympic Trials nearby at Lucas Oil Stadium).

    Or were you referring to 2024 USMS Summer Nationals? That will be August 21-25 just up the road from you in Mission Viejo, CA. We'll be posting details for the event soon (NQTs, order of events, etc).

    I'm glad you're using this as motivation, but just FYI you can swim up to three events at USMS Spring or Summer Nationals without meeting the qualifying times. So if you achieve one of the NQTs, you could swim up to 4 events. Here are FAQs for the NQTs. You can use times from a workout if you have sometime time you, but local meets are fun so hope you get a chance to swim in a few. 

    Hope to see you on deck soon. Keep up the great work!

  • I was surprised to see the wild swing in NQT's for 200 Breaststroke in the different age groups:

    55-59:  3:24.07

    60-64:  4:23.23

    65-69:  3:38.65

    Is this an error in the 60-64 age group or a lucky break for us breaststrokers?

  • The 2024 NQTs include an average the 10th place time from USMS Top Ten for 2021, 2022, and 2023, plus  the conversion factor (15% for 50s and 100s; 10% for 200+). In most events, there were enough results from 2021 that the NQTs balanced out, but there are some outliers such as the 200 breast for the 60-64 age group. 

  • Hello Elaine

    Thank you for the information. I was able to find what I needed, and Jay Ekert replied and gave even more information. I have some real work ahead of me to meet these times and attend nationals as a competitor. I have actually looked into joining a Master's team. they train at night rather than in the mornings. The morning workouts were at 5:15 am, as a retired person I do not want to get up that early anymore. 

    I hope to see you one day at a meet somewhere and stay in touch here. 

    Thank you,


  • Well, then, I have those 2021 outliers to thank for making it easy to make that NQT!  I don't plan on attending Nationals, though, but it's nice to know I can qualify easily in that event!  Thanks for the info!

  • You have no idea how much crap I used to take on the old forums from fellow Forumites who HATED this font!  We would both drive them crazy, except they (thankfully!) no longer around...

    Anyway, good luck in your journey!  When I first joined USMS in 2010, I didn't make NQT's as a newbie, but I still attended Spring Nationals, because it was in Atlanta, a 45-minute drive away.  I made NQT's soon after.  My best year was 2013 when I made NQT's in 3 long course events, which qualified me to swim 6 events at Mission Viejo.  Unfortunately, they dropped the 6th event for everybody, because so many people entered the meet, and it would have run too long.  Bummer!  It sure was a fun meet, though!

    Nationals are a lot of fun!  You may also want to check out the next National Senior Games, in 2025.  Those are easier to qualify for, and they are also a lot of fun!


  • Are you sure you can’t make short course national this year? I’m not really happy with the late time, although being at the same time as the Olympic trials is a good idea. Anyway, Sealgirl and I should be there and would enjoy seeing you if you were

  • Hi John, if you haven't come across it yet, here is our Club Finder tool:

    You can use it to search clubs by zip code and there are a few filters you can use to narrow your search. 

    Also, we just launched this new freestyle guide yesterday. Hope it helps! 

  • It would be great to see both of you; however, we return from Switzerland and Italy on the 21st.  Between jet lag and too much time out of the pool,  !