PRESS DEMOCRAT STAFF
Maya DiRado, a Maria Carrillo graduate, qualified for the world championship swim meet next month in Barcelona by placing second Tuesday in the 200-meter butterfly final at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships & World Championship Trials in Indianapolis.
DiRado, a Maria Carrillo High School graduate who swims for Stanford University, was nosed out for first place by 26 one-hundredths of a second by the Aggie Swim Club’s Cammile Adams, who caught DiRado in the final strokes.
“It’s just great,” said DiRado in a phone interview from Indianapolis. “It just takes away the pressure and I just have to try to swim fast now. I don’t have to worry about qualifying (for the worlds).”
According to DiRado, her second-place finish wouldn’t have been enough to qualify for the world championships. Usually, the top-two finishers in the U.S. Championships qualify for the worlds, but DiRado said the U.S. national team requires the place and International Swimming Federation qualifying time to make the American squad.
Her time in the 200 butterfly was 2:09.12, which was just .18 seconds faster than the world championship qualifying time of 2:09.30, and two seconds faster than her Tuesday morning prelim time.
“I got the cut for this meet a month ago,” she said. “I haven’t done it in two years, and I dropped four seconds in the past month, so it’s very surprising.”
The 2010 Press Democrat Female Large School Athlete of the Year, DiRado isn’t finished competing at nationals. She will swim in the 200 and 400 freestyle along with the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
DiRado’s fellow Empire swimmer, Santa Rosa High School graduate Molly Hannis, begins her schedule of events at Indianapolis today. Swimming for the University of Tennessee, Hannis will be in the pool this morning for the 200 breaststroke, with the final later in the day.
Hannis also is scheduled to compete Thursday in the 50 breaststroke and Friday in the 100 breaststroke.