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Four Liberty Swimmers to Compete in National Meet

July 27, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Sophomore Bethany Wakeley, along with Brye Ravettine, Sarah McCorkle and Emily Mudd, will be competing in the women's 400-meter relay at the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships Aug. 3 in Palo Alto, Calif.

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Four members of the Liberty swimming team are set to compete in the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships, held Aug. 2-6 on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

Rising sophomore Brye Ravettine will compete in the women's 50-meter freestyle Aug. 4, while the team of Ravettine and fellow rising sophomores Sarah McCorkle, Emily Mudd and Bethany Wakeley will contest the women's 400-meter freestyle relay on Aug. 3.

The meet will take place at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center, with several U.S. Olympians and gold medalists headlining the field. 

"It's a very fast meet. The best of the best will be there," second-year head coach Jake Shellenberger said. "A lot of the pro athletes will be there. So, it's really exciting for us to be out there, walking on deck wearing Liberty gear, being on the same pool deck as Natalie Coughlin or Michael Phelps. It's a big deal for us."

This event will determine the USA Swimming National Champions, and the top finishers will qualify for the 2011 Pan American Games, which will take place Oct. 15-22 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In addition to their scoring competitions, McCorkle, Mudd, Ravettine and Wakeley will all contest time trials in hopes of hitting qualifying marks for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The quartet will compete in the 400-meter freestyle relay during the evening, Wednesday, Aug. 3. The relay team earned a qualifying time by swimming 3:27.11 at the CCSA Championships Feb. 19.

In the 50-meter freestyle prelims on Thursday, Aug. 4, Ravettine will compete for a spot in the evening finals, where 30 swimmers will swim in one of three finals. The top 20 finishers score points for their teams. Additionally, she will be attempting to obtain a time of 26.39 or better in order to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

The meet will have a live internet broadcast available. Additionally, select events from the meet will be aired on Universal Sports and NBC. Live timing will be available for all of the events.

Ravettine capped a successful redshirt freshman campaign by being named Co-Freshman of the Meet at the CCSA Championships, and also was tabbed Mid-Major All-America Honorable Mention by CollegeSwimming.com. She qualified for the US national meet with a school-record time of 22.70 in the final of the 50-yard freestyle at the CCSA Championships. Ravettine holds school records in four individual events (50 and 100 free, 50 and 100 back), and was also a part of four record-setting relay teams as well.

Wakeley enters the meet as the holder of Liberty records in seven individual events, and also was part of four relay record teams. She holds the record in each freestyle event from the 200 through the 1,650, along with the 100 and 200 fly and 400 IM top times.

McCorkle was a stalwart on Liberty's relays this past season, earning second place with the 400 free relay at the CCSA Championships, one of four Liberty-best relays on which she swam. She also qualified for the A final of the 50 free at the conference meet.

Mudd enters the meet having competed on the 800-yard freestyle relay that set the Liberty record at the CCSA Championships, and was one of the Lady Flames top performers, competing in the freestyle and backstroke events.

"We're excited, in our first year, to be having a national qualifier in Brye, and to take four kids out there, and for the University to support us," Shellenberger said. "That's what it takes to build a great program. You have to have a year-round emphasis."