Missouri junior Dani Barbiea has become the second swimmer to automatically qualify for the 2013 Division I NCAA Championships after posting a 51.13 in the 100 yard fly in prelims at the Missouri Invitational.
Early in the weekend’s impressive lineup of invites, home-cooking has taken the cake in prelims, including Barbiea’s swim.
The junior, who transferred from Louisville after her freshman season, had a good 2012-2013 season as she finished 15th in the 100 fly at NCAA’s, but this mid-season explosion is truly impressive. Her previous lifetime best was a 52.5 at that NCAA Championship meet last year.
Needless to say, Barbiea now leads the country in that event. Her swim would have won last year’s NCAA title by half-a-second, in fact, which shows just how good of a swim it is. Her challenge will now be to repeat it at year’s end – remember that Greg Rhodenbaugh comes from the Frank Busch era in Arizona, which was always known for impressive mid-season swims.
Barbiea joins Minnesota sophomore Kierra Smith, who was a 2:06.43 at the Minneapolis Grand Prix, as the NCAA’s only automatic qualifiers so far, though that probably won’t hold up through the weekend (or even through Thursday night). The NCAA auto cut in the 100 fly for women is a 51.90.