|Updated: 3/14/2012 10:07 am
||Published: 3/14/2012 10:00 am
AUBURN, Ala. – University of Arkansas swimmers Chelsea Franklin and Nicole Menzel are set to represent the Razorbacks in the NCAA Championships Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17, at the Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala.
Franklin, a junior, is making her second straight appearance at the national meet, and will swim in the 1,650 freestyle as well as the 500 freestyle. Menzel, a sophomore, will make the first NCAA Championship appearance of her career, and will compete along with Franklin in the 1,650 freestyle.
“Chelsea and Nicole have been the anchors of our distance group, which has been the strength of our program,” said Arkansas head coach Jeff Poppell. “They now have a chance to compete against the best in the country at the NCAA Championships.”
Franklin was a 2011 All-American in the 1,650 freestyle, and her time of 16:08.27 in the mile is the second-fastest in school history and the 14th-best in the country this year. Menzel qualified for the 1,650 free with a time of 16:17.94, which ranks 30th in the nation. The pair has combined for 14 top-two finishes in the 500 and 1,650 free events this season.
“I think we’re going into the championships with the right frame of mine,” Poppell said. “Everyone has done a really good job of training going into the week, so we’re really excited about the opportunities in front of us.”
Having qualified with a B cut time of 4:42.91, Franklin will compete in the 500 freestyle on Thursday, March 15. Both athletes will be off Friday, before competing in the 1,650 freestyle on Saturday, March 17, the final day of competition.
Each day of the NCAA Championships will feature a preliminary session at 11 a.m., and an evening session at 7 p.m. Auburn will provide live streaming of the preliminary sessions of all three days of the championships, as well as the finals on Thursday night, March 15. The finals sessions on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, will be streamed live by ESPN on WatchESPN.com. ESPN will also broadcast the championships on tape delay at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, on ESPNU.