As often happens after the initial release of NCAA psych sheets, there have been 5 new invites to the 2012 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships sent out. The big winners are Cal, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, who have all pushed new swimmers into the meet.
The Cal women have scratched Melissa Bates from the meet (she qualified as the breaststroker on Cal’s “A” 200 medley relay), which implies that they will substitute in Caitlin Leverenz as the breaststroker on that relay. As that was Bates’ only entry, she then was forced to be dropped from the meet.
Her drop, however, allowed for the NCAA to continue down the list of alternates, which earned freshman Yvette Kong an invite in the 100 breaststroke. She will swim both that race, as well as the 200 breaststroke. Out of the 5 new entries, she probably has the best shot at scoring points in that 100.
The Wisconsin women have jumped from 10 entries to 11, as senior Brittany Kimmitt has been added to the 200 breaststroke lineup as another alternate. She’ll cap her career with a first-ever NCAA qualification.
North Carolina’s Kelsey Cummings picked up an invite in the women’s mile. Like Cal, the Tar Heels were ultimately partially responsible for their own fortune. They scratched two swimmers from their 800 free relay, junior Stephanie Eisenring and sophomore Emily Kelly, leaving them with 5 entries (as compared to 6 before). But with those 5 invites, the Tar Heels can still fill out all 5 relays (and likely make 5 faster relays than with the previous 6).
Cummings has not added any optional entries to her mile swim, which says she’ll be focusing on relays. She actually swam fairly poorly at ACC’s and was 10 seconds off of her best time. I’d guess that she just floats her way through the mile to earn her qualification, and then steps back to focus on relay swims.
The New Mexico State Aggies earned the second NCAA qualification in the program’s history, when Aliena Schmidtke was called up into the 200 free. She’ll also swim the 50 and 100 freestyles.
The 5th was sort of a moot entry, as Virginia’s Allison Haulsee moved from “uninvited” to “invited” in the 500 free. She was already in the meet on the back of her 200 fly, so the move was more of an administrative factor than anything else, and didn’t affect the cap of 281 invited swimmers.
The other move that allowed four new swimmers to be added was USC dropping Kate Shumway from their 200 medley relay. She was the freestyler on that relay mid-season, which ended up being their best time of the year. Christel Simms swam the race at Pac-12’s, and likely will again at NCAA’s (though Lindsay Parrish has also been swimming very well).