The big drop
Mavs' Hogan earns 'B' cut time in 1,000 freestyle
She had nearly 45 seconds to drop, but Colorado Mesa University swimmer Kelly Hogan likely sealed a trip to the NCAA National Championships in Birmingham, Ala., in March.
With a time of 10 minutes, 31.46 seconds in the 1,000-yard freestyle at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships at El Pomar Natatorium on Wednesday night, the senior bettered her season-best time by 46.5 seconds and made the “B” cut for the NCAA field.
The “B” cut means that after all “A” cut qualifiers secure spots, the top “B” cut qualifiers are used to fill out the top 16 swimmers for the national meet.
“It’s actually how I’ve made nationals the last two years,” Hogan said of the “B” cut. “It should work out this year. I hope it will at least. The 1,000 (freestyle) actually went better than I expected. My main events I’m actually focused on are the 200 (freestyle) and the 500 (freestyle).”
Hogan credited her season-best swim to a new tapering program introduced by first-year CMU coach Ron Allen. She said she was unsure how her body would react heading into her first race of the RMAC Championships, which continue today and run through Saturday.
“Coach told me to believe in myself and believe in the taper,” Hogan said. “He had us swimming about 3,000 to 5,000 yards heading into this. I was nervous and fatigued, and it’s a whole different dynamic. It was longer, but it was a whole bunch more yards. Not as much floating.”
Allen said his program is built around balanced swimmers, and it is not as sprinter-centric as some other programs.
“My tendency is to taper longer than other coaches,” Allen said. “I think that’s because our intensity and continued hard work is a little more than some other programs out there. They need more rest to recover from all that.”
With Hogan’s drastic drop in time, she might join divers Brock Martin, Ryan Popp, Amanda Jennings and Savannah Craft at the national meet. Allen said he hopes Hogan’s results will inspire swimmers to drop time.
In particular, Allen said to watch for Brett Lowe in the men’s 100 and 200 breaststroke, Briana Purkapile in the 400 individual medley and Hogan in the 200 and 500 freestyle, where they were ranked in or near the top 50 nationally.
“When we have rested for as long as we have, their times are deceiving,” Allen said. “When you see (CMU’s) Madison Wigg drop a minute in the 1,000 (freestyle), those are the payoffs we’re looking for.”
Danielle Pena finished sixth in the women’s 1,000 freestyle. Wigg and Hogan finished, fifth and third, respectively.
The Mavericks’ Tyler Kaslik finished second in the men’s 1,000 freestyle with a time 9:45.35, and Jeremy Pacheco finished sixth.
The CMU women’s 200 medley relay “A” team finished third with a time of 1:48.72, and the Maverick men’s 200 medley relay finished fourth (1:32.65).
In the women’s three-meter diving, Jennings finished second with 414.5 points, and Craft finished fourth with 361.2 points. Kali Lents of the University of The Incarnate Word won the event with a score of 470.7.