Tennessee, Louisville Earn New NCAA Qualifiers at TN Last Chance

Tennessee Last Chance Meet

In between sessions of the major club-oriented Southern Premier Meet this week at the Alan Jones Aquatic Center, the University of Tennessee hosted a Last chance meet.

The event was essentially a three-legged dual between Tennessee, Louisville, and Division II Carson-Newman University.

The host Volunteers posted 7 times that rank in the top 10 in school history. That includes a 14:52.25 in the men’s mile from senior Sam Rice that ranks him 2nd in school history.

The time also vaults him up to 23rd in the nation so far this season (as of results uploaded at posting time). With just the MAC and Pac-12 men left to swim their conference meets, in addition to other last chance events, he’s very much on the bubble for NCAA’s. 4 swimmers from the Pac-12 are already faster than him, so he’ll be counting the number beyond that who beat him at their conference meet, with 28-29 expected to be chosen in each event.

Sam Rice has been a model of what it means to be a Tennessee Volunteer for four years,” associate head coach Lance Asti said. “He has been relentless in his pursuit of our team mission and patient as he worked through the ups and downs of his career. Coach Rich Murphy put together a tremendous plan for Sam and Sam trusted in him and the plan from the beginning. His mile has to be one of the greatest highlights from our 2018-19 season.”

Other Tennessee Times of Notes:

  • Matthew Garcia swam a 1:40.61 in the 200 back, which improved his personal best of 1:41.57 by almost a second. He now ranks 3rd in school history, and ranks 17th in the country – which should have him locked up for an NCAA Invite.
  • Tennessee’s first-semester freshman Michael Houlie swam a 52.20 in the 100 breaststroke. That cuts 4 tenths of a second, and about 14 spots in the national rankings, from his previous season best of 52.60. He now ranks 17th in the country in his first semester of collegiate swimming, and 3rd in Tennessee school history. Houlie is the 2018 Youth Olympic Champion in the 50 breaststroke.
  • Verhage Braga swam a 46.10 in the 100 fly and Kyle Decoursey swam a 46.15. That moves Braga up to 37th in the country in the event this season and Decoursey up to 39th – neither of which will earn an invite. Decoursey now ranks 4th in program history in the event – his previous best was just 47.59. For Decoursey, he’s already fast enough to earn an invite with his 18.95 in the 50 free, though, so all he needed in the 100 fly was a “B” cut, which he got easily.
  • Alex Gebel swam a 1:00.15 in the women’s 100 breaststroke, which ranks her 8th in school history and improves her lifetime best by 2 seconds. That time ranks her 41st nationally this season: it’s almost-definitely going to take under 1 minute to qualify for this year’s NCAA Championship meet.
  • Trude Rothrock swam a best time in the 100 fly of 52.67. That jumps her to 10th in school history, though it’s probably not fast enough for an NCAA Invite.
  • Marc Hinawi swam a 1:43.40 in the 200 fly, which improves his standing as the 3rd-best performer in school history. He now ranks 42nd nationally, which won’t earn an NCAA invite.

The Louisville Cardinals also had a time that could earn NCAA Championship invites:

  • Junior Lainey Visscher swam a 22.15 in the women’s 50 free. That’s her best time of the season by .08 seconds, though she was a 22.06 at NCAAs last year. She now ranks 30th nationally, which with only last chance meets remaining (and a handful of swimmers ahead of her unlikely to enter the race at NCAAs), she’s in good position to return to NCAAs this season.
  • Senior Alina Kendzior swam a 52.60 in the 100 back. She swam a 52.35 at the season-opening SMU Classic, which remains her season-best and ranks her 38th nationally. While she’s already probably going to NCAAs as a relay swimmer for Louisville, her fate as far as an individual qualification is now left up to where the cut-line falls and who decides to swim the race or skip it at nationals.

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1 year ago

“The event was essentially a three-legged dual,” so you mean like a tri-meet?

Hint of Lime
1 year ago

Yes Gebel!!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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