New Spring Nationals Automark Qualifier

February 26th, 2018

New to 2018, NIRCA is introducing automatic qualifying marks. The purpose of the automark is to help ensure the goal of "right people, right heat" (or right flight) and optimize competition at Spring Nationals.

If an athlete or relay team achieves this automark standard time/distance (or better) at some point between December 1st, 2017 and the deadline for Spring Nationals registration, then that athlete or relay team will be given top priority for seeding in the fastest heat/flight.

Ultimately, the automark standard is an addition to the existing seeding process and impacts only a few athletes per event - and all other procedures for seeding remain the same as they have been. This process simply involves the additional results submission when someone has a posted result better than the automark.


To best explain how this works, look at the following example:

  • School 1 will be entering a women’s 4x400 relay team that has previously run 4:10.00 this spring.  They enter this time and submit proof of performance (see below).  As long as they are one of the nine fastest teams that has run the automark time already this year – they will be in the fast heat.  If 11 teams have hit the mark already this year, seeds 10 and 11 will be the top seeds in the second fastest heat. 

  • Suppose School 2 is entering a 4x400, and are seeded to run 3:59.00 – the fastest seed time of all entries, but they have not actually run this time yet this year.  They will not be considered for the fast heat until all teams that have valid proof of running a 4:22.54 or faster are seeded. 

  • Suppose School 3 is seeded to run a time slower than 4:22.54.  Nothing changes for them registration or race-wise, and hey will be seeded as they would have in years past.


A few other key points on how this works:

  • In order for the time/distance to count, the results must be verifiable on the internet – though it does not have to come from a NIRCA-related meet. As mentioned above, the mark must have been achieved at some time between 12/1/2017 and when the team registers.

  • All entries, regardless of whether or not they are applying for the automark, must be registered via the NIRCA website.

  • If your athletes have not achieved the automark standard in the above timeframe, then registration is complete upon registering for the events on the NIRCA website.

In order for an automark time to be counted toward seeding, the individual athlete or club officer must submit the Automark using the form located here:

To view the automark standards, review the tentative Spring Nationals schedule: 


Incomplete information at the registration deadline (missing automark results submissions) will be treated as a seed with lowest priority. The athlete(s) will still be able to complete provided they are registered via the NIRCA website before the registration deadline.

Stephanie Bartley, NIRCA

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