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!


  • 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,


  • 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!


  • 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! 

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