UVA alum Leah Smith qualifies for World Championships

Leah Smith (Class of 2017) recorded a 2017 World Championships qualifying swim on Wednesday (June 28) in the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championships Trials at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.  Smith finished second in the 200m freestyle, recording a time of 1:56.68.

leah smith uvaThe second-place finish earned Smith a spot on the U.S. World Championships team that competes in Budapest, Hungary (July 23-30).

“We’re all so excited for Leah (Smith),” head swimming and diving coach Augie Busch said. “Although she will likely qualify in the 800 (freestyle), it wasn’t the swim she wanted last night. Then, as we’ve come to expect from her, she shows incredible determination placing second in a star-studded field, in what is probably her third-best event. She works so hard every day to have these types of moments. We could not be prouder.”

Smith advanced to the finals after recording a time of 1:57.61 during the preliminary races. The swim ranked her third in the meet and qualified her for the A finals. She finished first in her preliminary heat.

She competed in the 800m freestyle on Tuesday, placing second in the event. The U.S. national team will announce a full roster following the conclusion of the meet.

The 2017 World Championships roster will feature 26 men and 26 women. Priority for roster positions will be giving to the top-four finishers in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle events, followed by the top-two finishers in Olympic events. Winners for non-Olympic events will be selected next before the fifth and sixth place swimmers in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle round out the team

Also in action on Wednesday evening, rising senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford. Mass) finished seventh in the B final of the 200m freestyle. Her time of 1:59.85 placed her 15th overall. Rising junior Bryce Keblish (Fairfield, Conn.) finished fifth in the B final of the 50m butterfly. He placed 13th overall with a time of 24.26.

Day three of the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials will continue tomorrow with preliminary races beginning at 9 a.m.

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