Skating By: How Did 2018 Last Chance Qualifiers Fare at NCAAs?

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 2

August 15th, 2018 News

Disclaimer: there is no one-stop-shop for Last Chance meet results. We combed through NCAA event rankings via the USA Swimming Database, limiting our search to last chance qualifying periods between the end of conference meets and the end of the NCAA championship qualifying period. If we missed any qualifiers, please let us know in the comments so we can add them in.

Last chance meets are pretty self-explanatory– they’re the last chance for a swimmer who hasn’t yet qualified for the NCAA Championships to do so. These meets are typically are tacked on at the end of conference championships, as NCAA hopefuls try to hang on to their taper and shoot for a time that is more likely to qualify for the NCAA Champs. Swimmers don’t have much to lose, as these meets are simply offering them another shot to make the meet if they don’t have a favorable spot in the event rankings for that season.

Looking at how last chance qualifiers did this year, swimmers added time at Nationals for the most part. Juggling a conference taper with an impromptu last-chance swim as well as another championship meet can be incredibly difficult, as it’s physically and emotionally taxing (especially for a longer race). However, sometimes a last chance qualifier can surprise. A few swimmers managed to hit season bests, and a select few found their way to individual scoring at Nationals.

Below, check out who qualified for NCAAs off of last-chance meets, and then see how they fared at NCAAs.

Editor’s Note: there’s no last chance depository, per se, so we’ve done our best to comb results for qualifiers out of last chance meets. If we’ve missed one, please let us know in the comments! Additionally, some swimmers may have already been fast enough to qualify for NCAAs, but were on the bubble, so they swam last chance swims anyways and bettered their chances. 


SWIMMER School/Year Event Last Chance Time (rank qualified pre-scratches)
NCAA Time (finish)
Lane Stone Virginia Tech freshman 500 free 4:14.73 (16th) 4:17.55 (29th)
Walker Higgins Georgia sophomore 500 free 4:14.69 (14th)
4:16.33/4:14.98p (15th)
Youssef Said Georgia freshman 100 back 46.13 (26th) 46.45 (27th)
Bailey Main Florida junior 100 back 46.01 (20th) 46.96 (33rd)
Billy Mullis UCSB senior 200 back 1:41.05 (23rd) 1:40.97 (22nd)
Michael Taylor Florida freshman 200 back 1:40.28 (14th) 1:43.10 (34th)
Tommy Brewer Auburn junior 100 breast 52.58 (21st) 52.94 (25th)
Olli Kokko Hawaii sophomore 100 breast 52.61 (23rd) 52.89 (T-21st)
Tanner Olson Texas A&M freshman 200 breast 1:53.87 (18th) 1:57.01 (38th)
Luis Martinez Auburn senior 100 fly 45.72 (20th) 46.21 (28th)
Henrique Painhas Ohio State sophomore 200 fly 1:42.47 (26th) 1:42.79 (20th)
Gunnar Bentz Georgia senior 200 fly 1:40.97 (8th)
1:41.45/1:40.72p (8th)
Sam Stewart Texas junior 400 IM 3:41.68 (13th) 3:47.08 (36th)

*In the chart above, those with bolded names scored at NCAAs and/or improved upon their last chance swims.

14 men were able to qualify for NCAAs based on their last chance swims, with three men capitalizing on their opportunities to score individually.

Two of these men were Georgia swimmers: Walker Higgins and Gunnar Bentz. Higgins added a bit of time in prelims but was fast enough to squeeze into the 500 free B final, and though he added even more in finals, he still finished in 15th to secure 2 points. Bentz dropped a bit of time from his last chance swim to qualify into the 200 fly A final, and settled for 8th there.

UCSB’s Billy Mullis was the only other swimmer on the men’s side to improve upon his time at nationals, with a 1:40.97 in the 200 back.


SWIMMER School/Year Event Last Chance Time (rank qualified pre-scratches)
NCAA Time (finish)
Avery Braunecker Louisville sophomore 50 free 22.22 (31st) 22.49 (33rd)
Megan Clark Northeastern sophomore 50 free 22.29 (35th) 22.50 (34th)
Megan Clark Northeastern sophomore 100 free 48.47 (34th) 48.78 (30th)
Amelia Maughan Florida senior 200 free 1:44.49 (25th) 1:48.73 (53rd)
Haley Yelle Texas A&M freshman 500 free 4:38.52 (21st) 4:42.26 (33rd)
Stephanie Peters Georgia senior 500 free 4:40.24 (33rd) 4:41.84 (31st)
Caitlynn Moon Texas A&M senior 500 free 4:40.57 (37th) 4:44.41 (44th)
Verity Abel Duke senior 1650 free 16:04.66 (21st) 16:12.53 (25th)
Alina Kendzior Louisville junior 100 back 52.16 (22nd)
52.16/51.76p (15th)
Maddie Hess Duke junior 100 back 52.38 (30th) 52.67 (T-24th)
Ashlyn Schoof Louisville freshman 100 back 52.47 (33rd) 53.14 (33rd)
Payton Keiner Liberty freshman 200 back 1:53.29 (30th) 1:54.79 (34th)
Alexa Kutch Drexel sophomore 200 back 1:53.46 (34th) 1:55.54 (39th)
Chloe Hicks Virginia Tech sophomore 200 back 1:53.64 (37th) 1:55.33 (38th)
Victoria Roubique Texas A&M sophomore 100 breast 1:00.04 (32nd) 1:01.07 (42nd)
Tjasa Pintar Tennessee freshman 100 breast 1:00.00 (31st) 1:00.51 (31st)
Breanna Roman Auburn senior 100 breast 59.77 (26th)
59.92/59.50p (15th)
Joelle Vereb Virginia Tech freshman 100 breast 59.58 (19th) 1:00.14 (22nd)
Morgan Friesen Louisville freshman 100 breast 1:00.11 (38th) 1:00.90 (38th)
Morgan Friesen Louisville freshman 200 breast 2:09.93 (33rd) 2:09.22 (18th)
Carly Cummings Auburn freshman 200 breast 2:10.00 (36th) 2:12.59 (T-44th)
Megan Kingsley Georgia senior 100 fly 51.56 (14th)
52.01/51.91p (14th)
Kylie Jordan Duke sophomore 100 fly 52.03 (25th) 52.98 (T-31st)
Alicia Finnigan Liberty junior 200 fly 1:55.33 (26th) 1:55.58 (20th)
Lauren Edelman Kentucky freshman 200 fly 1:55.99 (37th) 1:58.93 (38th)

*In the chart above, those with bolded names scored at NCAAs and/or improved upon their last chance swims.

Two Louisville women were able to improve and/or score at NCAAs after their last chance qualifications. Alina Kendzior hit a lifetime best 51.76 in the 100 back prelims, and she went on to finish 15th in finals, while Morgan Friesen swam a PR of 2:09.22 in the 200 breast after regressing in the 100 breast the day before.

Auburn’s Breanna Roman and Georgia’s Megan Kingsley also scored, with Roman improving upon her last chance swim in the 100 breast and Kingsley adding a bit but still going fast enough to make the 100 fly B final.

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4 years ago

Get rid of the Last Chance meets and go to class to get educated…too much chlorine on the brain aint good

Reply to  Dude36
4 years ago

Trolls B Trolls, hope you reach the – # you are looking for, keep training for it!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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