March 1, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
A trio of Alabama swimmers earned a place at the Women's NCAA Championships it was announced today.
Sophomore Kristel Vourna earned her second trip to the national championships while sophomore Alex Popa and freshman Kaylin Burchell are making their first trip. The trio won't have far to travel as the 2012 NCAA Championships will be held in the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala. March 15-17.
"This is what we work for all year long, to make this meet," UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. "I'm very proud of Kristel, Alex and Kaylin, but they're not done yet. It's not enough just to make the meet; we want to make some noise in the events we're in."
Vourna, who holds the school record in the 100 butterfly, finished 17th in that event as a rookie in 2011. Popa is ranked third all-time at Alabama in the 200 breaststroke while Burchell is second all-time in the 100 breaststroke, just behind UA All-American and Olympic bronze medalist Anne Poleska.
In addition to the 100 butterfly, Vourna is also slated to swim the 50 freestyle. Popa and Burchell will swim the 100 and 200 breaststrokes as well as the 200 IM.
While the Tide's trio of swimmers has already punched their tickets for the NCAA Championships, the Alabama divers will have a chance to earn a place at the national championships of their own at the upcoming NCAA Zone B Championships.
Sophomores Callan Buck and Paige McCleary as well as freshmen Lisa Bogosian and Angley Martinez will all be vying for one of the spots available out of Zone B March 8-11.