BOISE, Idaho- Boise State junior Rachel Heaney was invited to compete at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the NCAA announced Wednesday. Heaney earned the invitation in the 200-yard butterfly. The meet will run March 21-23, in Indianapolis.
Heaney, ranked 32nd in the country among those entered in her marquee event, will make her first appearance at the national meet. She will also be able to swim the 400-yard individual medley by virtue of meeting the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the event. It is the third-straight season Boise State will be represented at the NCAA Championships. It is also the third-consecutive year a Bronco junior will be at the prestigious meet.
"Making NCAAs was one of my long-term goals," Heaney said. "This year I did everything I could to make sure this would happen and I'm really happy it did."
Head coach Kristin Hill will be making her third trip to the NCAA Championships as Boise State's coach.
"Rachel has done so much to work toward this," Hill said. "it's exciting to see one of our student-athletes accomplish her goals. She earned it, she deserved it and we are really proud of her."
In addition to Hill's experience coaching student-athletes at the national championship level, Heaney has big-meet experience herself. The North Bend, Ore., native competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200-meter butterfly last June, in Omaha, Neb.
"Going to trials will help me be more prepared for a big meet with some of the top swimmers in the country and the world," Heaney said. "Our coaches have been there before too. I know they'll be able to prepare me and also keep me calm."
Hill is confident too. "I think Rachel has the opportunity to be even faster at NCAAs," she said.
Boise State is one of 72 schools to have a swimming student-athlete invited to the championships. Student-athletes from five other Mountain West schools also earned invitations to the meet. The six institutions represented at the meet surpass the conference's previous best of five set last season.
Boise State and the Mountain West can add to their participant totals during the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships March 14-16, hosted by Air Force. The zone will send nine women to the NCAA Championships, decided by a predetermined priority selection based on order of finish in the three different events. All nine conference teams will be competing at the meet.