Swimming is one of those sports that really has no end for the athletes. There are the dual meet seasons, such as summer league and high school, and championship meets in December, March, and August, but training is an endless cycle where time away from the water frustrates coaches and erases months of time spent in the water. Our athlete contributors, Amanda Kendall and Bradley Phillips, are past their NCAA conference championship meets, but have wasted little time getting back in the water to prepare for the next round of meets.
Kendall competed Feb. 15-18 at the SEC Championship meet, where she helped LSU to a fifth place finish. Kendall walked away with two individual silvers, including a personal best and an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 21.92 in the 50 freestyle. She will have to wait for an invite in the 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 200 freestyle events, in which she achieved NCAA ‘B’ times, but she will do so from the water and weight room, where LSU’s NCAAs team will be working hard before tapering back down for the championship meet, March 15-17.
Last weekend at the ACC Men’s Championships, Feb. 22-25, Bradley Phillips opened his meet in a manner that swimmers dread, missing an expected ‘A’ final in his first event, followed by a disqualification in his second. He rallied for his final event in the 1,650 freestyle, earning big points for Virginia, who went on to win its fifth consecutive ACC men’s swimming & diving championship. He is on the cusp in of making NCAAs in the 1,650, with the men’s Pac-12 and Ivy League championships still to go.
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“I screwed up my 500 freestyle, missing the ‘A’ final, but was able to hold onto the ninth position to keep the maximum points for the team, and then, for the first time in my career, I disqualified in a race in the 400 individual medley.”