INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA has announced the field for the 2013 Division III men's and women's swimming and diving championship to be held at Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenendoah, Texas, on Mar. 20-23 and McDaniel freshman Brad Brooks (Newark, Del./Charter School of Wilmington) is among those invited.
Brooks earned the invitation after swimming his best NCAA B-Cut times of the season last weekend at the Centennial Conference championship.
On Friday, the freshman started his run to Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet and Outstanding Rookie Performer with a program, conference and championship meet record in the 500 free trials (4:32.63). Brooks improved on that time in the finals, swimming his NCAA seed time of 4:31.09.
His time ranks ninth on the list of final entries into the 500 free, earning him an automatic spot into that event's field. He is the only freshman in the top 13 of the event. The 500 free is the first event of the championship and will be contested on Wednesday, Mar. 20.
On Saturday at the championship, Brooks continued his strong rookie performance, toppling the program, conference and meet records in the 400 IM trials (4:06.07). He once again bettered that time in the finals, swimming a time of 4:04.87.
The 400 IM is the lone event in which Brooks' name appears below the optional entry line on the psych sheet for the NCAA championship. He ranks 19th on the list but has the opportunity to participate The 400 IM will be contested on Thursday, Mar. 21.
On Sunday at the championship, Brooks had one of his more impressive showings, opening the night session with a 38.75-second victory in the 1650 free, finishing the race a full lap ahead of the rest of the field. His time of 15:46.03 dropped more than 14 seconds off his program and conference record, establishing a new meet record in the process. He also split a time of 9:30.49 through the first 1,000 to establish a new program and conference record there.
Brooks enters the NCAA championship as the seventh seed in the event. By virtue of being in the top eight, he will swim in the fastest heat of the timed finals, which opens the final session on Saturday, Mar. 23.
At the conference championship, he led off both the 800 and 400 free relays. The 800 free relay just missed a program record but Brooks did split a time of 1:42.14 for a new program record in the 200 free. The 400 free relay did set a new program record with a time of 3:13.53.
For his weekend efforts, Brooks was named Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet – the first Green Terror swimmer to earn such distinction in the 20-year history of the championship. His gold medals also translated into first-team all-conference accolades.