For the second time in her career, senior Breann Fuller will compete in the NCAA Championships. Her events, the 100 and 200 Backstrokes, will take places Friday and Saturday, respectively.
March 19, 2013
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Fuller prepares for NCAA Championships
March 21-23 | IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sports Complex | Indianapolis, Ind.
Breann 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 holds five school records and has earned four Mountain West 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. Additionally, she has been selected to the All-MW team four times, and is a three-time Academic All-MW member.
Fuller’s current school records:
|100 Backstroke||52.92||Feb. 27, 2009|
|200 Backstroke||1:54.40||Feb. 23, 2013|
|200 Freestyle Relay||1:32.09||Feb. 26, 2009|
|200 Medley Relay||1:42.17||Feb. 20, 2013|
|400 Medley Relay||3:42.27||Feb. 21, 2013|
Fuller’s MW championships:
Back in the NCAAs
Prior to this week, the last time a CSU swimmer or diver was represented at the ultimate stage was in 2009, when Fuller, then a freshman, qualified for the 100 and 200 Backstroke events.
“I’m ready, I’m excited,” the senior said. “We’ve put in all of the work, and now I’m ready to go. This second taper has been really good for me; it’s been hard because there hasn’t been anyone to swim with, but at the same time, everything has been so specific for my events and my stroke, so I believe it’s helping me.”
Swimming at the 2009 NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, Fuller finished 48th in both events (54.48 in the 100 Backstroke, 1:57.89 in the 200 Backstroke). The most recent CSU athlete to qualify for the Championships other than Fuller was Kristen Schneider, who also competed in the backstroke events in 2004.
Shooting for the finals
Thirty-eight athletes will compete in each backstroke events. After being to the Championships before, Fuller believes the awe that she experienced in 2009 will be worn off, and she’s now looking to place.
“My freshman year I was awestruck when I was there,” she said. “I remember being in the locker room changing and seeing a bunch of girls with the Olympic rings tattooed on them. I was star struck and felt out of my element. I believe I’m more ready this year. I know it’s my last go around, so I have to leave it all in the pool.”
In order to qualify for the finals, she will need to be among the 16 fastest times during the prelims. The top 16 will swim again during the evening for the finals.
Entering the week, Fuller ranks 31st in the nation in the 200 Backstroke, and 37th in the 100 Backstroke. In order to qualify for the NCAA Championships, Fuller had to reach a certain time standard throughout the season. For the 100, B-qualifying time is 55.09, which Fuller reached multiple times, with her fastest coming on Nov. 15 in Tennessee (53.34). In the 200, Fuller needed to swim a 1:59.19, which she cleared by 3 full seconds four times, including at the MW Championships where she set a conference record (1:54.40).
Following from home
For updates from the Championships, visit CSU Swimming & Diving’s Twitter page: @CSUswimming. Additionally, ESPN3.com will stream each finals session on Friday and Saturday. ESPNU will also air a 90-minute show at 6 p.m. MT on Wednesday, March 27.
Quotes from Head Coach Christopher Woodard
On his goals for Breann: “Her goals all year long were to make the Championships, but not to just get there. Whether it’s a personal best, a school record, top 16—we want to go and have fun and celebrate that she’s at this point, but we want to meet our goals and expectations.”
On how competing in the NCAA Championships in 2009 gives Fuller an advantage: “There’s been a big gap, so I think that will be a challenge, but she’s not going to be a deer in the headlights. She’s not the type to get easily intimidated.”
On what he’s been working on with Fuller over the last three weeks: “A re-taper is always a tricky thing because once you’ve rested an athlete it’s hard to give them a quick bump, and then rest them again. It becomes less about conditioning and more about the fine details. We’ve worked a little bit on her strategy—her rates coming out of the break and maintaining her kicks on the back halves of her swims—but there’s not too much more we can do; she just has to feed off the energy that’s there and wow herself.”
On what makes Fuller successful: “It’s somewhat comparing apples to oranges because every kid has a different approach. However, coaching her, I do know that she’s not one to give in. Generally, when you get to a meet of this level, everyone is a quality athlete, but I trust Breann on the last 50, the last 25, the last 10 yards. She’s not the type who will back down because it hurts.”
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