Florida St’s Edith Jernstedt Swims a 1:54 200 Fly to Lock Up 3rd-Straight NCAA Appearance

2024 James E Martin Invitational (Auburn Last Chance Meet)

  • March 1-2, 2024
  • James E. Martin Aquatic Center, Auburn, Alabama
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards)
  • Day 1 Results (PDF)

Auburn’s Kalle Makinen snuck under his own personal best to lead a handful of new qualifiers and close-to-qualifiers on Friday at the Auburn Last Chance meet.

The event, one of several around the country designed to give college swimmers a last-chance effort to post NCAA Championship qualifying swims after their conference meets, will run for two days and has attracted teams from across the southeast.

That includes, of course, the hosts from Auburn.

Makinen has a best time of 19.20, but so far this season could only muster a 19.36 on a flat-start, done in prelims at the SEC Championships. On Friday, though, he swam a 19.18 split leading off an Auburn 200 free relay.

That relay, which seems to have existed only for the purpose of Makinen getting a leadoff split, swam 1:41.26, including a 26-second split, with officials apparently waiving the “honest effort” rule that popped up again at conference meets last week.

Makinen’s time dips under the 19.21 that it took to earn an NCAA invite in the 50 free last season. This season, it ranks him tied-for-28th and squarely-on-the-bubble with a couple of conference meets and qualifying meets yet to go.

A handful of swimmers are in better position after Friday’s swims. That includes Polina Nevmovenko from Auburn, who swam 48.15 in the 100 free. That’s two-tenths faster than her lifetime best, done at the mid-season Georgia Fall Invitational. Last year, it took a 48.37 in the 100 free to earn an NCAA invite.

Her 1:44.80 from SECs on a relay leadoff in the 200 free probably had her in anyway, but she now ranks 28th in the NCAA in the event. With the 200 free cut looking faster than last year (she ranks 44th in that event nationally, though a few ahead of her won’t swim it), this 100 free puts her in a way stronger position.

In the women’s 200 fly prelims, Florida State’s Edith Jernstedt swam 1:54.79. That’s over a second faster than the 1:55.92 that earned an invite last season. While this event’s cut line is projected to get much faster this season, a 1:54.79 puts her 22nd in the NCAA. With women’s qualifying wrapping up this weekend, that’s a very good position to be in and is close to a lock.

Other Best Times and Close Misses:

  • Eric Brown of Florida swam 4:14.31. That’s not quite a best time, but it’s much faster than the 4:14.98 that he swam at the SEC Championships last week. Last year, it took 4:14.36 to earn an NCAA invite. He ranks 22nd in the NCAA this season after Big Tens and Big 12s, so that’s right on the bubble.
  • Sohib Khaled of Auburn swam 45.45 in the 100 fly and Max Wilson of Florida State swam 45.46 in the 100 back. Both times would have been invited last year, but both swimmers have been faster this season.
  • Khaled did swim 45.30 on the opening 100 of a 200 fly prelims swim, which marginally improves his SEC swim. He’s probably okay for NCAAs, but it’s not a lock.
  • Florida Gator Caleb Maldari swam 1:40.76 in the 200 back, which is a best time by .74 seconds. He wasn’t on the Gators’ SEC Championship roster, but swam his last best time of 1:41.50 the week before. It took 1:40.62 to earn an NCAA Invite last season.
  • Another Florida swimmer, Peter Bretzmann, clobbered his personal best. He was 1:54.45 at SECs, but went 1:53.05 on Friday. It took 1:52.94 to earn an NCAA invite last season, but Bretzmann’s time ties him for 17th in the NCAA this season. That’s not a lock, but it implies that there is a chance that this cut gets slower this season.
  • Georgia Tech’s McKenzie Campbell swam 4:11.39 in the 400 IM. That’s her best time in more than two years, and is almost two seconds faster than she was at ACCs. Last season, it took 4:11.36 to qualify for NCAAs, so she’s excruciatingly close. She ranks 42nd in the NCAA so far this season.

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1 month ago

Sohib Khaled did a 2:03.78 200 fly in the prelims, with a 45.3 first 100 split, marginally improving his mark from SEC championships.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Is this for NCAA only?

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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