Swimming Looks to Last Chance Meet for NCAA Qualification

March 1, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky swimming team will send 17 of its athletes this weekend to compete in the Bulldog Last Chance Meet in Athens, Ga., as they look to solidify their times to qualify for the NCAA Championships set for the last week of March.

After wrapping up competition at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships last weekend at Texas A&M, these 17 athletes will look to prolong their season with qualifying times. Junior Lucas Gerotto and Christina Bechtel highlight the group as athletes close to earning qualifying times in Georgia this weekend.

“I think there’s a pretty good chance that Lucas could get in with the time that he’s got now, but he’s sitting about 20th in country,” said UK head coach Gary Conelly. “It’s a new system; nobody knows how it’s going to work. We’re thinking he’s probably got 10-12 spaces to play with, but you don’t like to gamble on that.”

Gerotto will be looking to improve his time in the 100-backstroke, 100-butterfly and the 200-individual medley. Bechtel will look to break through and make the cut in the 100 and 200-butterfly events.

At the SEC Championships, Gerotto broke the school record in the 200-IM (1:47.20) and 100-backstroke (47.28). Bechtel clocked in with a time of 53.38 in 100-butterfly and 1:58.44 in the 200-butterfly, which are good for fourth and second best in school history respectively.

“Christina really needs to get there,” said Conelly. “It’s her sophomore year and the experience would be enormous for her. Obviously we’d like to get her to score, but really she needs to get there and get a look at it to see how it goes.”

UK will also send their top 200-medley relay team consisting of Gerotto, George Greenhalgh Ramon Walton and either Chris Lott of Will Heidler.

The Bulldog Last Chance Meet begins Saturday at 10 a.m. ET with evening action at 5 p.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Diving will begin their NCAA qualifying Monday, March 14 at the Zone Diving Meet lasting through March 16.