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Kiwi swimmer just misses NCAA Final

Christchurch swimmer Matt Hutchins has just missed out on a place in the A Final on the opening day of the NCAA Division 1 Championships.

The Wharenui club swimmer, who is on scholarship at Wisconsin University, was 11th fastest in qualifiers in the 500 yard freestyle at Iowa City today.

Hutchins clocked an excellent 4:14.43, close to his personal best, to be half a second off qualifying for the final.

Three other New Zealanders were in action today with Commonwealth Games representative Corey Main 25th fastest in heats of the 50 yard freestyle. The University of Florida backstroke specialist, who is from the Howick Pakuranga club, clocked 19.58s in his heat.

Meanwhile St Peters (Waikato) freestyler Sam Perry was 27th fastest in 19.62.

Perry was also the lead-off swimmer in the 200 yard freestyle relay where his Stanford University team finished ninth and just missed out on a place in the final. There was some controversy after top seeds North Carolina State were disqualified, giving Stanford a spot in the final, but then that decision was overturned.

Butterfly specialist Alex Hancock, swimming for the famed Auburn University, clocked 1:46.17 in heats of the 200 yard individual medley.

All four New Zealand swimmers will return to New Zealand next week in preparation for the National Championships on 14-17 April, which doubles as the official trial for world championship selection.