UNC’s Megan Bestor leaps into NCAA invite contention at Georgia Last Chance Saturday finals

Finals of the Georgia Last Chance Meet saw a couple more swimmers improve their standing for an NCAA invite, most notably North Carolina’s Megan Bestor.

Bestor, a freshman at UNC, came up with a huge finals swim of 52.70 in the 100 back, vaulting from 51st in the NCAA ranks and well out of NCAA qualifying range to 31st, and well within the expected cut line.

The women’s NCAA Championships invited the top 39 swimmers in most events last year.

That’s still a tenth off Bestor’s lifetime-best, done before her college career. But it’s her second season-best of the day. Bestor was 53.21 at ACCs, then 53.17 this morning before popping the 52.70 tonight.

The 400 IM was the big event of the day for NCAA invite-seekers. After four different swimmers moved near or into NCAA-qualifying range in prelims this morning, two came back to actually swim even faster at night.

Alabama’s Mia Nonnenberg dropped another 1.8 seconds from her season-best at night, going 4:09.03. That’ll move her from 28th in the NCAA to 20th, and she’ll leapfrog Georgia’s Nicole Vernon, who won this event at prelims in likely punching her own ticket to NCAAs.

Also improving was Louisville’s Abby Chin, who dropped from 4:11.58 in the morning to 4:11.32 at night. She was roughly 35th (including Vernon and Nonnenberg’s new times), but will now slide up just a couple spots to 33rd.

A couple more notable finals swims:

  • Louisville’s Erica Belcher improved her 200 IM by just .01, from 1:58.30 to 1:58.29, but it still won’t likely be enough to make the Big Show.
  • NC State’s Kayla Brumbaum improved in both her 100 breast swims today, going from 1:01.20 to 1:00.98 in prelims and then to 1:00.84 in finals. That still likely won’t be enough, but Brumbaum’s tremendous effort did jump her from 57th to 44th in the NCAA.
  • Once again, Western Kentucky missed the 200 medley relay A cut, which they were only about seven tenths off of. The team was 1:38.81 at night, improving on a 1:39.42 morning, but neither could match the program’s previous season-best of 1:38.54.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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