2018 FLORIDA LAST CHANCE MEET
- Friday, February 23 – Sunday, February 25th
- Gainesville, Florida
- Invite Format
- Short Course Yards
- NCAA Qualifying
The Florida Gators held their last chance meet last weekend for swimmers to try and improve their odds of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. One of the big swims of the meet came in the men’s 200 back, where freshman backstroke standout Michael Taylor likely secured a spot at NCAAs. Heading into the meet, Taylor’s season best was a 1:41.52 from the SEC Championships. He was over a second faster than that, taking 8 tenths off his lifetime best as he swam a 1:40.28. Taylor and teammate Brennan Balogh were neck-and-neck halfway, but Taylor used his back-half speed to break away from Balogh (1:41.49).
Taylor is now ranked 13th in the nation, and the Pac-12 is the only major conference meet remaining. He should be a lock for NCAAs. Balogh was slightly faster in a time trial, putting up a 1:41.19 which ranks him 26th. Though that’s over half a second faster than the 2017 invite time (1:41.74), it puts Balogh on the bubble. Another Florida man, freshman Clark Beach, sits on the bubble as well. He’s ranked 23rd with his personal best 1:41.13, which he also did in a time trial.
Additional Notable Swims:
- Grant Sanders dropped a second and a half from his 400 IM. His 3:42.81 should have him safely qualified for NCAAs. He’s now ranked 17th.
- Alex Lebed hit a season-best 1:43.95 in the 200 IM, taking almost a second off his time from SECs. He’s now ranked #27, but with Pac-12s still to swim, that may not make the cut this season.
- Amelia Maughan, the 2015 SEC 200 free champ, swam a lifetime best 1:44.49 to secure an NCAA spot.
- Taylor Delk dropped 10 seconds in the mile. His 14:55.01 is nearly 2 seconds faster than what it took to qualify last season, but he’s ranked #33 as of now, which is outside the usual cut line.
- A couple of NCAA qualifiers swam events that aren’t typically on their schedule. Jan Switkowski tied his personal best with a 47.51 in the 100 back. Freestyler Khader Baqlah put up a lifetime best 3:44.70 in the 400 IM.