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Men’s swimming: Last chance meet gives athletes shot at nationals

Chris Hine | Friday, March 3, 2006

The Big East Champion Irish will send three competitors to Purdue this weekend for the Last Chance Meet.

Event coordinator David Fraseur said the meet is an opportunity for athletes to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Juniors Brian Freeman, Nick Fanslau and Drew MacKay will represent the Irish in West Lafayette.

The meet is also an opportunity for swimmers to try their hand at events different from those they normally swim.

“The meet is all about the individual,” Freeman said. “In my case I’m trying to experiment with more sprinting and get away from my mid-distance races.”

Freeman, a candidate to qualify for the NCAA meet as a member of Notre Dame’s 800 freestyle relay team, will compete in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke instead of the 200 versions of those events.

“My best time in the 100 free is about 48.5,” Freeman said. “This can be faster considering I am usually going this fast in the first 100 meters of the 200. It will be nice just being able to go all out and not have to worry about finishing another 200.”

Fanslau plans to compete in the 200 freestyle and 100 fly.

“You never know if you’ll end up competing in a different [race] next year,” he said. “The 200 freestyle may be a possibility for me.”

MacKay will compete in the 100 backstroke as opposed to his usual 200.

“Preparation hasn’t really been that different,” Fanslau said. “We rested a lot for the Big East meet. We’ve just been having a lot of fun this week.”

Freeman said the competition at the meet will be fierce.

“I’m sure there will be some fast swims because it is a last chance meet and people want to get their [nationals qualifying] times,” Freeman said.

The final chance meet is taking place two weeks after the Irish defeated second place Pittsburgh by 224.5 points to capture their second consecutive Big East Championship Feb. 18.

Besides Freeman, other Irish swimmers with a chance at competing in the NCAA Championships March 23 in Atlanta include Tim Randolph in the 100 breaststroke and Jay Vandenberg in the 1,650 freestyle.