After Three Last Chance Swims, Max Wilson’s 45.24 in the 100 Back Means Likely NCAA Bid

2024 James E Martin Invitational (Auburn Last Chance Meet)

The last chance at a Last Chance meet, a group of swimmers re-swam their Friday events on Saturday in Auburn and may have just nudged themselves into the NCAA Championship field by shaving a couple of tenths, or even hundredths, off their season-best times.

On Friday, day 1 of the meet, Auburn sophomore Sohib Khaled took two stabs at improving his season-best time in the 100 fly. First, swimming for a split in the 200 fly, he touched in 45.30, which took .08 seconds off his previous season-best.

He was a bit slower in a Friday Time Trial (45.45), but then in prelims of the Saturday event he dropped another tenth to land at 45.20. In one more shot, the event final, he swam 45.48, but in total across four swims he knocked .18 seconds off his bid time. That climbed him from 31st in the NCAA to 24th, which means from the wrong side of the bubble to the right side with one week of conference championships and a handful of last chance meets remaining.

His Auburn teammate Kalle Makinen also took one last stab at NCAA qualifying, and managed to inch himself forward. Makinen, a freshman from Finland, swam 19.36 at SECs, which definitely would not have gotten an invite. At this week’s James E Martin Invitational, with splits and relay leadoffs, he swam the event five times, including 19.47, 19.18, 19.25, 19.16, and 19.22.

That 19.16 then will be his marker and lands him at 28th in D1 this season so far. That gives him a chance, with between 30-32 usually taken per men’s event, but he’ll have to wait and see how Pac-12s shake out next week and what events swimmers ahead of him choose.

Either way, he should go to NCAAs as a member of Auburn’s relays, so his individual future is the question.

It took Florida State’s Max Wilson only three tries to improve his standing in the 100 back. He swam 45.46 in a time trial on Friday, then 45.24 in the event prelims on Saturday and 45.40 in the event final. He is now tied-for-21st in the NCAA with BYU’s Jordan Tiffany, who may not even swim this race at NCAAs. At this point, while not a lock, 21st is a good bet for an NCAA invite.

Relative to his 45.32 at the Georgia Fall Invite, his previous lifetime and season best, Wilson jumped four spots – which might just be the difference-maker.

If it holds up, that would be Wilson’s first NCAA qualification.

Other New Qualifiers

  • After coming up short on Friday in his bid for a 400 IM invite, Florida’s Eric Brown was successful in his last shot, in the 1650, on Saturday. While the Canadian sophomore was 14:44 last year as a freshman, his best time this season was a 14:53.88 from the Georgia Invite, which was on-the-fence to get a spot at NCAAs. He knocked 3.3 seconds off that on Saturday, though, going 14:50.57. That jumps him up about four spots, moving him to 18th in the NCAA this season, which is about a lock at this point.
  • Florida State may have picked up another NCAA qualifier from this meet on Saturday when Tommaso Baravelli swam 1:53.18 in the event final. After just-missing out on his bid in the 100 breast on Friday (he swam 52.31 twice), he posted a 1:53.18 in the 200 breast on Saturday. That would not have earned an invite last season, but this year it ranks him 22nd in the NCAA – which gives him a chance.



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2 months ago

Crazy how a 45 low could make an A final a few years ago but now it barely qualifies for NCAAs

Reply to  Facts
2 months ago

UW kicking is why

2 months ago

Maybe this is the place to put this due to the headline (and I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be taking away from these swimmers’ accomplishments in this specific article)…

I really think we as a college swimming community (I’m thinking of this in terms of NCAA Divisions I, II, and III) need to have major discussions about how exactly we’re having our student-athletes qualify for NCAA Championships that involve specific finite numbers of a cap.

Time Trials and Last Chance meets are great for getting up to race and all. I wouldn’t be about doing away with them from that aspect. But I think we should really reconsider allowing those situations be circumstances that allow for qualifying into… Read more »

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
2 months ago

I’ve never thought about it like that before but I think I agree with you. It doesn’t feel fair to the athlete who hit a presumably qualifying time at their conference meet, then gets bumped by an unknown number of Last Chance competitors. I think I’d put out an exception for individuals or relays who got disqualified – it sucks to miss out on nationals because of a single flinch or excessive celebration.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
2 months ago

Does this mean athletes shouldn’t be able to qualify at midseason? There are a lot of midseason meets that are much lower pressure, should those also not count?

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
2 months ago

The big kicker with altitude adjustments is that athletes that live and train at altitude get the same adjustment as athletes that live and train at sea level and just go up for the meet. I think this impacts D2 qualifying significantly more than DI, as at least 1 conference meet is held at altitude.

Bing chilling
2 months ago

Peter Bretzmann as well in 2 breast

Michigan Fan
2 months ago

How do the invitations work? Is it just based on time alone among all the B-cut people? Are would they invite a mid-major conference (for example) B cut person over a swimmer with the identical time from a power-5 team where several other swimmers are faster on that same team?

Reply to  Michigan Fan
2 months ago

They take the top X people in a given event. If two kids have identical times and that time would merit an invitation, they are both invited. (It’s a bit more complex but that’s the broad strokes idea.)

What CAN happen is that a Power 5 program may have more qualifiers than they can bring (18 is the max), so they leave someone home where a mid major with ONE qualifier doesn’t have to leave anyone behind. So you can end up with people at the meet who are slower than people who get left home.

But that’s a coaching choice on roster, not from NCAA based on where someone attends school.

Michigan Fan
Reply to  Thirteenthwind
2 months ago

Thank you!

2 months ago

Caleb Maldari also improved his 200 back time and ranking by a bit.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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