CSU's Fuller qualifies for NCAA Championships
March 7, 2013
NCAA Release | Psych Sheet
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Colorado State swimmer Breann Fuller has qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100 and 200 Backstroke events. The NCAA made the official announcement Wednesday evening.
“I think it’s a charge for everyone on the team to know that they trained and competed with one of the elite racers in America,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “That’s essentially what it is; she’s among the best of the best, and she should propel our team to earn that status, as well.”
Fuller, who has consistently been one of the best at her stroke, highlighted the 2013 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Championships by breaking the MW record in the 200 Backstroke (1:54.40), a vast improvement from her previous school record of 1:56.01. Her time ranks 31st nationally, and earned her NCAA-B consideration.
200 Backstroke times better than 1:53.17 earned automatic qualification for the Championships, while times faster than 1:59.19, like Fuller’s, earned B-cut consideration. Depending on the number of A-qualifiers, the top B-standard times were then selected.
Fuller will also compete in the 100 Backstroke at the Championships, ranking 37th.
At last month’s conference tournament in San Antonio, Texas, she recorded her fastest time of the season—and the fifth-fastest in MW history—in the backstroke leg of the school-record-breaking 400 Medley Relay team (53.21).
The NCAA Championships will not be a new experience for the veteran swimmer, as she also qualified in 2009, as a freshman. Then, she finished 48th nationally in both backstroke events.
While it’s a major accomplishment to earn NCAA status as a freshman, her coach is hoping she now has what it takes to place.
“I was just telling Breann, ‘We’re not going to this meet just for the experience; we’re going to try to place,’" Woodard said. “That’s been her motivation all along. I think she feels comfortable among the elite, but I think she wants to not just show up. She wants to be in the conversation, and she wants to compete at night; she wants to be an All-American.”
The NCAA Championships will be set up like the MW Championships, with preliminary swims in the morning and final swims at night. The top 16 preliminary times will qualify for the finals. A total of 38 athletes qualified for each event.
“I think she knows how tough it will be, but her priority is to compete,” Woodard said. “She knows she stacks up with these elite swimmers, and she wants to earn a spot in the evening sessions. It’s hard to say what that’s going to take. The 200 Backstroke this year has proven to be quite possibly the fastest event in the field.
Fuller has been integral to the success of the swimming & diving team since she first jumped in the pool as a freshman. Throughout her career, she has set five school records and holds four MW championships. She was a 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier and last month earned the Senior Recognition Award, which annually goes to the league’s top senior student-athlete.
Fuller, a three-time MW Scholar-Athlete from Brighton, Colo., is pursuing her master’s degree with a 4.0 GPA. The NCAA Championships will take place March 21-23 in Indianapolis, Ind. ESPN3.com will stream finals sessions on March 22 and 23, and ESPNU will air a 90-minute show at 6 p.m. MT on Wednesday, March 27.
In addition to Fuller, freshmen Ariana Milone and Paige Greely, and sophomore Maxelise Thorn, will also be competing for spots at the NCAA Championships. The three divers will compete at NCAA Zones in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 14-16. Like Fuller, their scores throughout the season were high enough to qualify for Zones, and they will now try and earn a trip to the Championships.