March 17, 2009
ATHENS, Ohio -
For the first time since 2001, Ohio University will be represented at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, as junior Chelsey Bower will compete in College Station, Texas, Thursday, March 19 through Saturday, March 21. Bower (Bethel Park, Pa.) will be the lone representative from Ohio at the Championships, hosted by Texas A&M University, and will compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
Bower will be the first Bobcat to compete for an NCAA title since Kim van Selm swam in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Championships. The 50 free will be held on Thursday, March 19, while the 100 free is scheduled for Saturday, March 21.
The 2009 First Team All-Mid-American Conference selection posted the 38th-fastest time in Division I in the 50 free with a MAC and school-record mark of 22.48, which Bower put up Feb. 27 during the prelims at the MAC Championships. She went on to win the 50 free MAC crown in 22.55 later that night. Her time of 22.48 was under the provisional qualifying standard of 22.80 and was one of the top 65 times across the country in the event, earning her an invitation to the NCAA Championships. Bower's time is the fifth-fastest from a mid-major school and was one of only six overall, with Miami's Alyson Schmidt being the sixth.
Bower will also compete in the 100 free after swimming a school-record 49.16 in the MAC finals Feb. 28, where she finished second, just .18 out of first. Her 100 free mark was the 41st-fastest in Division I and was under the provisional standard of 49.75. Seventy swimmers will compete for the 100 free NCAA crown, with only seven hailing from mid-majors, including Miami's Schmidt.
The NCAA Swimming Championships will be held at the Aggies' Student Recreation Center Natatorium with preliminaries beginning at 12 p.m. ET (11 a.m. local) and finals commencing at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) all three days. Live results for the Championships are scheduled to be available here.