WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Taite Kitchel eclipsed the program record in the 200 butterfly for the second time this season at Purdue women's swimming's Boiler-Make-It NCAA last chance meet Saturday at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center.
Kitchel posted a time of 1:55.90 in the 200 fly, clipping five hundredths of a second off the program record (1:55.95) Emmy Rawson established at the Big Ten Championships earlier this month.
Kitchel and Rawson have now both held the Purdue benchmark in the event twice this season. Rawson's time of 1:56.52 was the top mark in team history entering the season. She set it at a last chance meet at Ohio State in February 2016. The Boilermakers were unable to host their annual last chance meet that season because the Burke Aquatic Center was serving as the site of the Big Ten Men's Championships.
At the Purdue Invitational in November, Kitchel's career-best time of 1:56.42 made her the program record holder. Both swimmers qualified for the A final of the event at the Big Ten Championships, with Rawson's time of 1:55.95 in the prelims making her the first Boilermaker to ever break 1:56 in the 200 fly.
According to data compiled by CollegeSwimming.com, Kitchel (30th) and Rawson (T-31st) are now both ranked among the top 32 nationally in the 200 fly. That likely puts both of them on the right side of the bubble for berths at the NCAA Championships. Kaersten Meitz will also qualify as an individual for NCAAs based on her top-10 national times in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle.
Danielle Auckley (100 free, 49.28), Evan King (200 fly, 1:59.86) and Reagan Thom (200 breast, 2:21.52) also posted notable career-best times Saturday. Auckley moved up to fourth in program history and King improved on her 12th-fastest time in program history. Jackie Smailis (53.58) also registered a Purdue season-best time in the 100 backstroke.
Women's swimming qualifiers for the NCAA Championships will be announced this week. Diving berths at the national championship meet are determined at the Zone Championships. Purdue competes in Zone C from March 8 to 10 in Columbus.