INDIANAPOLIS - Clay High state champion swimmer Sara Stotler, with an outstanding freshman season as a University of Tennessee Volunteer and now a promising sophomore, smashed a handful of her …
INDIANAPOLIS - Clay High state champion swimmer Sara Stotler, with an outstanding freshman season as a University of Tennessee Volunteer and now a promising sophomore, smashed a handful of her personal and season bests in the recent Phillips 66 USA National Championships held June 27-July 1 at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Stotler was with another Clay High state champion with Caeleb Dressel also competing with Dressel, the defending world and Olympic champion in numerous events, having four top 10 finishes; third in the 50 fly and fifth in the 100 fly, but failing on time to make the USA World Aquatics Championships team heading to Fukuoka, Japan July 14-30.
“He’s (Dressel) very happy where he’s at now,” University of Florida head coach Anthony Nesty was quoted as saying by SwimSwam after the national meet.“Now we have a starting point and we can go from there. Obviously, he wanted to do better, but for us, it’s just posting times that could improve upon."
Stotler, who finished 2023 with a 10th place finish in the 200 butterfly at the 2023 NCAA championships with the third fastest time in Tennessee swimming history, improved on her split of one minute, 54.88 seconds that got her a bronze at the Southeastern Conference championship, to improve to a 1:53.94 at the NCAA championship race.
At the USA National Championships, Stotler had a best finish of 17th in the 200 fly with a 2:11.31 split that won the C Final and was a personal best for the event. In comparison, Regan Smith of the Arizona State team won the event in 2:05.79. Stotler's 2:11.31 won the C Final and would have placed 14th overall by time comparison.
In the 200 butterfly, Stotler was 18th with a 2:12.04 personal best in the prelims (Regan Smith, Olympic backstroker, 2:05.79 winning time) and 19th in the 200 individual medley; third in C Final, with a 2:15.38 season best (Kate Douglass, New York Athletic Club winner, World Champion, Olympic medalist, 28X NCAA All American, at 2:07.09).
In other events, Stotler hit 2:02.30 in the 200 free for 46th (season best), 28.17 in the 50 fly and 59.66 in the 100 fly for 26th (season best).
Stotler qualified on time for three US Olympic Trials events; 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM.
Stotler had been a key member of the Volunteer relay squads that finished fifth in the 800 free relay at the NCAAs, second in the 400 medley relay at the SECs and silver in the 800 free relay also at the SECs.
Also in 2023, Stotler, an All-SEC Second team member of the All-Freshman team, was part of the Volunteers SEC championship team with the sixth fastest 200 individual medleys in 1:56.36.
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