(Posted February 3, 2001)

Juniata College freshman women's swimmer Kim Allen (Susquehanna Township/Harrisburg) will become the first-ever blue and gold competitor to make a showing at the NCAA Division III swimming championship. The rookie posted provisional qualifying times (also known as "B" cuts) in the 100- (1:07.41) and the 200-yard (2:26.97) breaststroke when she placed first in both events at last weekend's Middle Atlantic Conference championship hosted by the University of Scranton. On Friday, the Juniata women's swimming program learned that Allen's performances were good enough to earn Juniata's first-ever appearance at the national championship level.

"This accomplishment says a lot about Kim and a lot about how far our program has come," said third-year Juniata head coach Kathy Collins, who is a 1992 graduate of College Hill. "Kim is a very dedicated hard worker both in the classroom and in the pool and we knew that she had national championship potential when we were recruiting her. She has helped take us to the next level and I feel very honored to have the opportunity to coach her."

Allen heads into the NCAA Division III championship, slated for March 8-10 at the Flickinger Aquatics Center (Erie Community College) in Buffalo, N.Y., seeded 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 20th in the 200-yard breastroke. She will compete in the 100-yard outing on Friday, March 9, while the 200-yard competition is slated for Saturday, March 10. The trials will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the finals will start at 6:30 p.m. every day and the top eight individuals in each event earn first-team all-American status, while finishers in ninth through 16th place are tabbed as second-team all-Americans.

Allen was invited to attend the championship as a result of the following criteria since she did not have an automatic qualifying time. The total cap of Division III participants is divided into three subcaps: women's divers up to 22; women's individual event qualifiers - 146; women's relay-only qualifiers - 64. All individual swimmers and all relay that have that have achieved "A" (automatic qualifying) time standards are entered in the meet, along with the selected divers. One entry is then added to each individual swimming event in event numerical order. This process is repeated as long as each individual event entry in the entire order of events can receive an additional entry and the number of competitors added does not exceed the individual subcap (146 for women). Events are filled across until each event has an equal number of qualifiers.

Allen has had a tremendous freshman season at Juniata. In addition to setting three individual school records (100- and 200-breast; 200 individual medley) and having a hand in two relay teams that established program standards (200 - and 400-medley relay), including an MAC championship record in the 200-yard medley relay, Allen has recorded 33 first-place finishes for the Eagles this winter and 261.80 team points.

She became the first Juniata performer to post multiple first-place efforts at an MAC swimming championship last weekend. In addition to taking top honors in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes, she was on the 200-yard medley relay unit that took first place. She helped the Eagles to their best-ever finish at the conference championship (fourth) and a 9-5 dual-meet record.

"Just four short seasons ago, Juniata was 3-10 during the dual-meet season and placed eighth in the conference," said Collins. "It is swimmers like Kim that have helped take us to the next level in a short time."

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.