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Lady Flames to Hold Inaugural Liberty Last Chance Meet

February 22, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames to Hold Inaugural Liberty Last Chance Meet

Meet Information

Athletes from around the region will compete in the Liberty Last Chance Meet, held Saturday and Sunday at the Liberty Natatorium.

This weekend's meet will give swimmers and divers a chance to improve on their national seeding in advance of next week's selections to the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships.

All events will be offered, both men's and women's swimming & diving, beginning with the women's 200 freestyle relay on Saturday at 10 a.m. Saturday's evening finals will start at 5 p.m. On Sunday, action in the pool will begin with the women's 800 freestyle relay at 10 a.m., with finals taking place at 4 p.m.

Liberty had a plethora of NCAA B cut times at the 2018 CCSA Championships last weekend in Athens, Ga., as the Lady Flames finished as runner-up. The Lady Flames set a program record for most podium finishes (20), most B cuts (16), most points (1,501.5) and most wins (9) at a CCSA Championship.

Selections for the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will be announced at 5 p.m. next Wednesday. The top 38 or 39 individuals in each event will be selected to compete in the national meet, which will take place March 14-17 in Columbus, Ohio

Note – the last invited times listed here refer to the 2017 NCAA Championships. Actual last invited times for this year will be determined next week

Alicia Finnigan's CCSA meet-record 1:56.34 has her in 34th position in the national standings for the 200 fly. She is the only Lady Flame currently inside the top 38 nationally, although several of her teammates are close. Lindsey Cohee is 65th in the 200 fly in 1:57.85, while the last invited time last year was 1:56.60.

Payton Keiner ranks 42nd in the 200 backstroke with a program-record 1:54.14, as it took 1:54.00 to be invited in 2017.

Staying with the backstroke, Brittany Weiss' program-record 100 back is ranked 49th at 52.81, while the 2017 last invited time was 52.65. Keiner has also swum a B cut in the 100 back, 53.58.

Hannah Baker's team-record 1:46.55 in the 200 fly is just over one second off of what it took to make the NCAA meet last year, 1:45.44. Baker also swam a B cut in the 50 free (22.77), joined by Colleen Donlin (22.86), while 22.23 earned the last invitation last season.

Keiner (49.73) and Baker (49.99) will likely need to take over one second off of their 100 freestyle times to make it in that event, as 48.62 was the 2017 last invited time.

Finnigan (53.53) and Cohee (54.23) both have B cuts in the 100 fly, and will chase 52.52 or lower to solidify chances for selection.

Prudence Rooker, like Hannah Baker, has three B cuts. Rooker's 100 breaststroke of 1:01.77 will need to come down, as 1:00.34 made it last year. She went a program-record 2:00.12 in the 200 IM, with 1:57.66 as the cutline last year. Rooker swam 2:14.80 in the 200 breaststroke this year, and 2017's last invited time was 2:10.55.     

Kiah Francis set a program record by swimming 4:18.70 in the 400 IM. Last year's final invitation in the event was 4:10.86.

Any swimmer who gets invited in an event will also be able to swim any other events in which they attained a B cut.

Liberty's relays will also challenge for qualification, with A standards necessary to make it into the field.

Below are Liberty's top relay times this season, for a look at how they compare to the A cuts.

Relay               Liberty's 2018 Best                 A Standard
200 FR            1:29.91                                    1:28.71
400 FR            3:17.83                                    3:15.43
800 FR            7:10.73                                    7:03.86
200 MR           1:38.34                                    1:36.89
400 MR           3:36.75                                    3:32.67

Liberty has had athletes invited to the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships four times (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017), twice scoring points. In 2012, Liberty's Brye Ravettine finished 13th in the 50 free to become the team's first All-American. Then in 2014, Liberty became the first CCSA team to send a relay to nationals, as its 200 medley relay competed. Also that year, Jess Reinhardt took 10th in the 100 fly and Liberty tied for 43rd in the final team standings. Last year saw Liberty return to the championships, as Alicia Finnigan contested the 100 fly and 200 fly.