Liberty senior Alicia Finnigan earned an Olympic Trials cut in the 200 fly while picking up a fifth-place finish in the 200 meter butterfly at the 2018 USA Swimming Winter National Championships, Saturday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Finnigan was one of a program-record four Lady Flames entered in the meet, as she was joined by sophomores Lindsey Cohee (200 fly) and Payton Keiner (200 back) and freshman Gianni Pitto (200 breaststroke).
Liberty Competitors • Sr. Alicia Finnigan – 200 butterfly (5th place in 2:13.37) (qualified third overall in 2:12.97)
• So. Payton Keiner – 200 backstroke (41st place in 2:22.14)
• Fr. Gianni Pitto – 200 breaststroke (40th place in 2:41.33)
• So. Lindsey Cohee – 200 butterfly (disqualified)
Notable • Finnigan's fifth-place finish is the highest placing among any Liberty swimmer in a USA Swimming national meet, and is the first time that Liberty has made an A Final at such a meet.
• Finnigan qualified with the third-fastest time (2:12.97) in prelims, trailing only Hali Flickinger (2:08.04) and Olivia Bray (2:12.54). Flickinger won the A Final in a time of 2:07.22, followed by Bray (2:11.38) and Charlotte Hook (2:11.93). Finnigan placed fifth in 2:13.37.
• Finnigan has qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which will be held June 21-28, 2020 in Omaha, Neb.
• The last time that Liberty entered a swimmer in Winter Nationals was 2011, when Brye Ravettine placed 17th in the 50 free, earning Liberty's first scoring performance at a USA Swimming national meet while also posting a qualifying time for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Liberty has now qualified at least one athlete for three straight Olympic Trials (2012, 2016, 2020).
• Liberty has now scored points five times at USA Swimming national meets, with Finnigan earning three of those scoring performances.
• Keiner, the first Liberty backstroker to compete at USA Swimming Winter Nationals, competed in the second of three seeded heats of the 200 backstroke.
• Pitto, the first Lady Flame to compete in the breaststroke at USA Swimming Winter Nationals, swam in the eighth and final heats of the 200 breaststroke.
Up Next The Lady Flames will next compete in the FGCU Duals, taking on CCSA rival FGCU, along with MAC teams Buffalo and Bowling Green at 10 a.m. on Jan. 5 at the FGCU Aquatics Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.