Helander Competes at UGA Last Chance Meet (UPDATE)
ATHENS, Georgia (February 24, 2012) - On Saturday, freshman swimmer Kim Helander is competing in the University of Georgia's Last Chance Meet, hoping to trim about a tenth of a second off his season best in the 100 fly. Helander's current B-cut time in the event is the 15th best time in the country in NCAA Division II. Taking another tenth of a second off his time would land him in the country's top 10, increasing his chances of qualifying for the D-II Nationals in Mansfield, Texas next month. Helander swam his season best in the 100 fly in last weekend's Appalachian Swimming Conference Championships. His time of 49.10 seconds was quick enough to set a new conference record and claim the conference championship, but not quite quick enough to guarantee him a spot at Nationals. Head Coach Dave Johnson and Helander think focusing on just the 100 fly at UGA's Last Chance Meet is just what the freshman needs to swim a national top 10 time. At Conference, Helander's 100 fly was the 7th race of an incredibly busy weekend.
Helander also swam B-cut qualifying times in the 50 free and 200 IM this season, but Johnson believes his best chance for reaching and placing at Nationals comes in the 100 fly. On Saturday at UGA, the "Swedish Fish" will try to make UU history by becoming the first Blue Knight to land a spot at Nationals. As soon as the results are in, an update will be posted here.
Kim came up just short of improving his 100 fly time. He swam a 50.13 in the morning prelims, failing to improve upon his season-best 49.10. Despite that, Helander finished in 9th place in a field of 20 D-I swimmers. Then, in the Saturday night Finals, Helander took 6th place in a time of 49.95. Now, he'll have to wait and hope his B-cut time of 49.10 is strong enough to earn him a spot in the D-II National Championships. [Live Results]