Tons of Swimmers Improve NCAA Qualifying Status in Bulldog Last Chance Prelims

2023 Bulldog NCAA Qualifying Meet

  • February 25-26, 2023
  • Gabrielsen Natatorium, Athens, Georgia
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), Prelims/Finals/Time Trials
  • Live Results

The first session of the Georgia Bulldog-hosted Last Chance Meet on Saturday saw a number of new NCAA qualifiers, including a handful who had already qualified who may have found new races.

That includes South Carolina graduate student Victoria Kwan, a transfer from Michigan, in the women’s 200 IM.

Kwan swam 1:55.78 in the 200 IM in prelims, which is well under the 1:56.85 that it took to get invited last year. It’s also faster than her lifetime best of 1:56.78 that she did at the SEC Championships last week.

She was in good shape with her 37th national ranking, but she now climbs all the way to 20th place, which makes her essentially a lock for an NCAA invite (about 38-42 women get taken per event every season). If that holds up, it will be her 3rd NCAA Championship meet, but first with the Gamecocks.

Several others improved their position on Saturday morning. That includes NC State’s Drew Salls, who swam 19.14 in the men’s 50 free. That’s a boost for the Wolfpack, who look like they’ll be without at least one key piece, Sam Hoover, in March – he missed ACCs and was 1:50 in the 200 yard free on Saturday.

That time now ranks Salls 18th in the country (based on times prior to the start of this week). Although there are a few meets to go in there still, that seems like it’s on the right side of the bubble, though not a lock.

A whole bunch of swimmers improved their standing in the 200 back prelims. Georgia’s Mitchell Norton was 1:40.62, Alabama’s Jake Marcum was 1:40.73, and NC State’s Zachary Cram was 1:40.87. Those are all under the 1:40.92 it took for an invite last year.

Those swims rank Norton, Marcum, and Cram 18th, 20th, and 23rd, respectively in the NCAA, respectively, with still Big 12s, Big Tens, and Pac-12s to go. With between 28-32 swimmers going per men’s event in most years, none of those slots are locks, but they are in better shape.

Other Swims that moved into consideration:

  • Miami already has one swimmer in position to qualify in the women’s 100 breast, transfer Tara Vovk (48.89, 17th), and they may have another after Saturday. Zorry Mason dropped three-tenths to 59.60, which ranks her 36th. That’s on the right side of the bubble, for now, though another tenth would dramatically improve her position.
  • Maybe a bit of a surprise for the Bulldogs – junior Sloane Reinstein shattered her lifetime best from SECs, swimming 1:44.26 in prelims. That’s a 1.8 second drop from her SEC time and moves her to 18th in the NCAA (including behind a coupe of swimmers, like Gretchen Walsh and Torri Huske, who won’t swim the race at NCAAs). That’s a huge breakthrough  for her, and the Georgia 800 free relay, which was 3rd at NCAAs (Reinstein swam the leadoff leg).
  • Alabama’s Kaique Alves moved himself into much better bubble position with a 1:32.93 in the 200 free. That knocked about three-tenths off his season-best. That moves him to 23rd in the NCAA, pending other results from this weekend.
  • Georgia’s Jake Magahey, who is already easily qualified in other events, swam a 3:41.07 in the 400 IM. Unlike other distance swimmers of his caliber, he doesn’t swim much 400 IM – but that result was a four-second improvement on his previous lifetime best from high school. That time would’ve put him into the B Final of the event at last year’s NCAA Championship – and this meet was just a time trial at a non-championship meet. Might be enough for him to consider the event in the future? Auburn’s Jacques Rathle swam a 3:41.74 in that same time trial, which moves him off the bubble and into the show, most likely. That’s his lifetime best by over a second (he peaked at last year’s Bulldog Invitational too, which was enough for an NCAA invite).
  • Georgia’s Andrew Abruzzo, probably into the meet already, now has no doubt after a 1:41.82 in a 200 fly time trial. That moves him into 11th in the NCAA and not only takes him back to NCAAs, but puts him in scoring position, after missing the meet last year.
  • Adam Mahler of Pitt moved on to the bubble with a 1:42.54 in that 200 fly. That ranks him somewhere around 20th in the NCAA with a few meets to go. If he could get down to 1:42.40 or 1:42.30 in finals, that might lock up his invite.

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1 year ago

Before this meet and diving Zones (where UF could get as many as three guys qualified for NCs but likely two – they both scored at NCs last year), it looks like they already have 17-18 guys who should be in, and eight of them have auto cuts. They could possibly get one or two in tomorrow in the mile or 200 breast. The part that’s a bit concerning is that Eric Friese is not at this meet and even though the relay he was on at SECs beat the A standard, he doesn’t have a time in any event that is even close to the bubble of individual qualifying (a 46.2 in the 100 fly isn’t gonna do it… Read more »

1 year ago

Jake Magahey 400 IM or 2 Fr on Friday of NCAAs?

1 year ago

Salls 19.14. Yikes

Reply to  Snarky
1 year ago

With Quintin McCarty out someone stepped up… Big time. Good for him, potentially a replacement for a 4th spot on the relay?

Last edited 1 year ago by Aquagirl
Lisa Schaffer
1 year ago

Way to go Sloane!!!!!!! 🐶

1 year ago

Looks like NC State men will have a pretty big number of guys qualifying for NCAAs. Definitely gonna be some decisions to make! And with diving zones left too. Wonder how their numbers will compare to Texas/Cal and others in the top 5. I think they will be sharp at NCAAs.

1 year ago

What about my bow LeRyan LeWeaver who has dropped 6 SECONDS this year in the 2 back hitting a PB of 1:42.0

Big Dawg
1 year ago

Greta Pelzek from South Carolina also swam a 1:55.77 in the 200 Fly Time Trial which puts her 32nd currently.

Raymond Diator
Reply to  Big Dawg
1 year ago

Why do all these athletes do better at Last Chance Meets, or in Time Trials?

Raymond Diator
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

The reason has to be less pressure.
As a community, swimming puts way too much emphasis on taper, which (in many cases) boils everything down to 1 meet. Taper no taper swim fast. The great ones could do it in a pool of mud.

Raymond Diator
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

For many, “taper” becomes a convenient excuse. How often do competitive swimmers say “I missed my taper” or “the coach did not taper me correctly”?The best way to acknowledge a poor performance is to say “I did not swim well”, or “no one’s fault but my own.”

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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