Buffalo’s Toni Naccarella Adds 50 Free “B” Cut to Close Akron Last Chance


There were no new probable qualifiers on the 3rd and final day of the Akron-hosted Last Chance qualifier meet.

The event featured MAC programs from Akron, Buffalo, and Ohio University racing for, among other things, NCAA qualification times. The conference pushed its championship meet back to April, meaning that those programs with national championship hopes have had to look for other avenues to qualify: namely, this meet.

The two swimmers who qualified on Saturday, Akron’s Sarah Watson and Buffalo’s Toni Naccarella, were both back to racing on Sunday, though neither changed their qualifying status much.

Watson swam a 1:46.12 in the 200 free, which was just-off her season and career best of 1:45.93. She followed that with a 48.97 flat-start leadoff in the 100 free, which was just off her season and career best of 48.84, also from December’s mid-season invite.

She all-but-ensured her spot at the NCAA Championships on Saturday via a 52.07 in the 100 fly, which currently ranks her 25th in the country.

Naccarella, meanwhile, added a season-best of 22.56 in the 50 free to her resume, just missing her lifetime best of 22.48 set at last year’s MAC Championship. While she’s already qualified via her lifetime best in the 100 free from Saturday, that 50 free gives her a first B cut of the season in the event, allowing her an extra individual entry at nationals.

While those two emerged as the only qualifiers from this meet, there were other swimmers who performed well. Chief among that group is Akron freshman Maddy Gatrall, who swam a new career best in the 200 backstroke. Her 1:56.77 improves upon the 1:58.90 that she swam mid-season.

Gatrall, a Canadian, is in her first season swimming yards, and that time moves her to 5th place in the all-time school rankings.

Akron’s Madelyn Gatrall, 1:56.77 in the 200 back, 53.80 in the 100 back. She also swam a 53.80 in the 100 back this weekend; her personal best of 53.64 from December ranks her 4th in school history.

Gatrall did not make Swimming Canada’s “short list” of swimmers eligible to compete at its dramatically-reduced Olympic Trials in May, which helps wipe out any concerns of a conflict about whether to focus on that meet or the later-than-normal conference championship event.

Other Noteworthy Swims from Sunday:

  • Akron junior Andrea Fischer swam 2:10.57 in the 200 breaststroke, which undercut her previous personal best from last season of 2:11.68. That swim ranks her 45th in the country this season, which is likely just outside of what it will take to qualify.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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