In a year where there were already going to be a lot of finals spots open in the 100 breaststroke at NCAA’s, one more just came free as Purdue’s Emily Fogle has been shut down for the season with a hip injury, school officials confirmed this week.
The junior’s last meet was at the Purdue Invitational in November and in the process broke the School Record in the 100 with a 59.34 – ranking her 5th in the country this season. She only swam prelims there, and then also had a great medley relay split, perhaps knowing it was going to be her last swims for the season. Purdue feels confident that she has not surpassed the threshold to burn a year of eligibility and expect that when applied for she will be granted a medical redshirt and a 5th season of eligibility.
Fogle was 12th at last year’s NCAA Championships in the 100 breast (59.8) and 9th in the 200 (2:08.28), both races where she would have probably been in the top 8 this season. That’s especially true of the shorter distance, where there were 6 scorers from NCAA’s last season who graduated. That opens up a lot of spots this season, though there are plenty of non-scorers last year who are ready to fill them in.
That includes some relatively-big names like Arizona’s Chelsey Salli and Ellyn Baumgardner, USC transfer Andrea Kropp, and Minnesota’s Haley Spencer (though it sounds like she’s been battling some minor health issues this year as well). The freshman class isn’t expected to have many big scorers in it in the 100 breaststroke, though with names like Sarah Hasse, Kierra Smith, and Annie Zhu, among others, it’s certainly a deep breaststroking class. They’ll be a bigger factor in the 200 most likely, though.
The biggest shot, though, might be to the Purdue medley relays. Their 200 swam a 1:39.28 at Fogle’s last meet, putting them 14th in the country, and had a shot at NCAA qualifying. Those relay spots will now likely fall to senior Emily McIlrath (1:03.4 this year) or junior Missy Robinson (1:03.6). British sophomore Francesca Marr is a sleeper, as she’s been a solid 1:11.3 in long course.