A pair of notable California Golden Bears will find themselves right on the edge of NCAA qualification after improving their bids at the Pac-12 Last Chance meet.
Held the day after the Pac-12 Women’s Championships concluded in Federal Way, Washington, the meet saw only a couple swimmers make improvements on their current NCAA qualifying status. Among them were Cal’s Rachael Acker and Kristen Vredeveld.
Acker is a junior freestyler who scored in two individual events and swam on multiple relays for Cal at last year’s NCAAs, including the NCAA champion 800 free relay. But she struggled at Pac-12s, missing her season-bests in both the 50 and 100 free and only barely getting under her season-best in the 200.
She went after all three freestyle events multiple times on Sunday, with her best finish coming in the 100 free. Her best time of 48.79 will rank 40th in the NCAA. 39 swimmers were invited in each event last year, but there is a chance some swimmers ranked ahead of Acker – for example, her teammate Missy Franklin – could choose to enter other events besides the 100, moving her up a spot or two.
Acker is still probably a candidate for one of Cal’s 3 “relay-only” swimmers, but unless the coaching staff has reason to believe she’ll be much better at NCAAs, she probably wouldn’t make any of the Cal relays.
Meanwhile Vredeveld, a sophomore, swam her season-best in the 50 free at 22.38. That’s better than the 22.60 she swam at the Pac-12 meet, and moves her to 38th nationally. Vredeveld was one of the more highly-touted sprinters in her class coming out of high school, but hasn’t yet been able to improve on her high school best times.
Also notable at the meet: USC’s Chelsea Chenault threw down a pretty good 200 fly of 1:55.62. That’s her lifetime-best, and though she’s already into NCAAs in her main events, it’s still a solid sign for Chenault’s all-around improvement.
Full results of the meet are available on Meet Mobile under “2015 Women’s Pac-12 Swimming Invite.”