POSTED: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 7:04am
Baton Rouge, La — Junior swimmer Craig Hamilton and sophomore diver Daniel Helm will represent the No. 19 LSU Swimming and Diving men's team at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.
The national championships will span March 22-24 and take place at the Weyerhaeuser King Co. Aquatic Center in Seattle, Wash. The Tigers finished in 26th place last season and registered 14 points.
Hamilton, a now three-time NCAA qualifier and arguably the best distance swimmer in the program's history, will compete in the 1650 freestyle and 500 free events.
"We are excited to be here and for Craig to be at his third championships in three years," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. "Each year he has grown and gained more experience here, and we are looking for that this year as well. We had some rough travel yesterday, so we hope to shake that all out today and get set for a solid 500 free on Thursday. We all know that the main event for him is the 1650 free."
Helm qualified for his first NCAA Championships after punching out a one-meter sixth place finish with a 12-line total of 676.25 at the NCAA Diving Zone 'D' Regionals. Helm posted a preliminary round score of 327.35 and a final round score of 348.90.
"Daniel is young and has matured very well," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "On the men's side this season, the dives that they are doing and the degree of difficulty is really high at this elite level. I recruited Daniel with the hopes that he would show the talent and potential to compete at this level."
At the SEC Championships, Hamilton earned a bronze medal in the mile swim and finished sixth in the 500 free.
The Edinburgh, Scotland native owns the program's top marks in the 500 free (4:22.01), 1000 free (9:05.55) and 1650 free (14:58.11), all of which were set this season at the conference meet. Currently, his 1650 free time ranks 14th nationally and his 500 free ranks 37th nationally.
At last year's NCAA meet, Hamilton earned his first NCAA Honorable Mention in a 15th place finish in the 1650 free (15.02.33). He placed 35th in the 500 free (4:23.14) as well. He also competed as a freshman in the 500 free and 1650 free events.
Helm, a Second Team All-SEC selection, registered a silver medal in the one-meter (376.55) at the conference meet, which placed him at second in the program's history.
The Beaverton, Ore. native also boasts career high's of 380.70 on the three-meter and 339.90 on the platform, which is fourth and third best in the program's records for both events, respectively.
For updates on the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, please visit LSUSports.Net, follow @LSUSwimDive on Twitter or 'like' LSU Swimming and Diving on Facebook.