Swimming and diving sending five (at least) to NCAAs

Sara Daher '17 will be the third seed in the 200 individual medley and the fourth seed in the 400 IM at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships are going to be a busier experience than normal for Bates head coach Peter Casares. As the NCAA announced Wednesday, Bates swimming and diving will be represented by its largest contingent ever -- at least four women and one man -- at the 2014 national meet in Indianapolis.

Bates junior Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.) learned Wednesday of his selection to compete in the 100-yard butterfly, in which he will be the 20th seed. Bates' women's team, meanwhile, received invitations for first-year Sara Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) to compete in both the 200 and 400 individual medleys and for the Bobcats' 800-yard freestyle relay team, comprising Daher, sophomore Lindsey Prelgovisk (Oakland, Maine), first-year Julia Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) and sophomore Caroline Depew (Hudson, Ohio).

Bates could also potentially send one more student-athlete to Indianapolis: first-year diver Emma Jarczyk's (Sudbury, Mass.) candidacy for nationals will be determined after this weekend, where she will compete at the NCAA Division III Northeast-North Diving Regionals at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

High seedings for Daher in the 200 IM (3rd; 2:03.71) and 400 IM (4th; 4:24.59), and the 800 free relay team's No. 11 seeding (7:34.62), got Bates' foot in the door to compete in a slew of other events as well, thanks to the many NCAA B cut times recorded by the individuals who are making the trip. 

Thus, Gagne will likely compete in not only the 100 back, but also in the 200 IM and 100 free. Daher will compete in the 200 back (22nd), Prelgovisk will compete in both the 100 butterfly (29th) and 200 IM (33rd), and Smachlo will compete in the 500- (28th) and 1,650-yard (25th) freestyle events. 

The 800 free relay team is also likely to compete in the 200 (29th) and 400 (17th) free relays, and possibly the 400 medley (24th) relay as well, according to Casares.

The championships will be held March 19-22 at the IU Natatorium, with the Indiana Sports Corp and Franklin College serving as the hosts. A total of 527 participants (479 swimmers and 48 divers) will compete in the championships.

Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion of the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered.  Divers will be determined by performances achieved at the Regional Diving meets February 28-March 1.  The complete list of all swimmers competing in the championships is available at www.usaswimming.org/ncaa. Selected divers will be added to the website Monday, March 3.

NCAA.com will stream all sessions Wednesday through Saturday of the championships.

Gagne will be the first Bates men's team member to compete at nationals since diver Erik Baker in 2004. He will attempt to become Bates' second-ever All-American male swimmer and the first since Dave Collins in 1991. 

"Unofficial DIII championship selections released" (NCAA.com)