University of Florida Last Chance
- March 1-2, 2019
- Gainesville, Florida
- Results on Meet Mobile: “2019 Last Chance Meet” (search “Gainesville” for best results)
The bulk of the events for the 2019 University of Florida-hosted Last Chance meet came on day 1 on Friday. One of many meets that will happen this weekend and next to give athletes one final shot at earning NCAA Championship qualifying times, swimmers at these meets are allowed to swim each event 3 times: once in prelims, once in finals, and once in a time trial.
There was only one new swimmer on Friday who put up a sure-fire NCAA qualifying time, and that was Florida freshman Dillon Hillis. He swam a 52.37 in finals of the 100 breaststroke, which improves upon his previous season best of 54.29. He was ranked 33rd in the SEC coming into the meet, but his new time leap-frogs him all the way to 7th in the conference. This year’s NCAA qualifying time is estimated at 52.62, and Hillis’ time from Friday hits Andrew Mering’s Lower Bound estimate, which historically has meant a swimmer is a safe invitee.
The Gators’ best 100 breaststroker this season is junior Marco Guarente, who swam 52.12 at SECs.
Other Times that were near-misses for probably NCAA Invite marks:
- Florida’s Alex Lebed swam a 1:44.27 in the 200 IM, which is about 4-tenths shy of the estimated invite time (though within the upper bound). He’s already been 1:43.85 this season, though, which right now appears to be a safe time.
- Florida sophomore Gabrielle Hillis swam a 22.71 in the women’s 50 free. That probably won’t earn an invite, but it does climb her 5 spots in the national rankings (based on times before this week’s conference meets) to 30th.
- William & Mary junior Colin Wright and Florida freshman Will Davis were fighting for every hundredth in the men’s 50 free. In the final, Wright swam 19.46 while Davis was 19.49. Then both time trialed the race and swam 19.47s. Andrew Mering estimates that it will take a 19.35 for an NCAA invite. Because the two both already swam a time trial, their only remaining opportunity to improve their times at this meet would be if their teams can assemble 200 free relays (although the event isn’t officially on the event schedule). Their leadoff splits would then count. Davis already has a 19.28 in his bag from a time trial at SECs, while Wright improved his placement from the 19.57 he went at ACCs. That jumps him about 11 spots, but still leaves him just 35th nationally (without Big Tens, ACCs, MACs, or Pac-12s factored in).
- Florida Gulf Coast freshman Petra Halmai swam a 1:00.44 in the 100 breast. Her previous season-best was 1:00.62.
- William & Mary junior Jack Doherty swam a 46.62 in the 100 fly in prelims. That’s a little better than his season best of 46.78, but won’t earn an invite to NCAAs.
- Florida junior Tori Bindi swam a 1:45.70 in the 200 free.
- Florida senior Brennan Balogh swam a 46.34 in the 100 back. His previous season-best was a 46.49. That jumped him up about 5 spots in the national rankings.
- Swimming alone in a 1650 time trial, Florida junior Georgia Darwent swam a 16:15.82. Andrew Mering projects that a 16:12 will earn an invite to NCAAs this year. Darwent’s time moves her up about 4 spots in the national rankings.