When it comes to making an imprint on the national swimming scene, Kasey Carlson isn't dragging her feet.
Carlson, a senior-to-be at Las Lomas High, qualified for the FINA World Championships with a second-place finish in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. national championships Thursday in Indianapolis. She hit the wall in 1 minute, 6.54 seconds, trailing only Olympian Rebecca Soni.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Carlson said by phone. "It's a great feeling. (Qualifying for worlds) was in the back of my mind, but I just wanted to improve and stay with the big girls."
A member of the Concord Terrapins, Carlson made her presence felt in the qualifying heat by powering home in meet-record time of 1:06.66. Soni eclipsed the mark in the final, however, with a 1:05.34 finish. The world championships begin July 17 in Rome.
Cal standout Nathan Adrian ensured he'd be joining Carlson with a first-place swim in the men's 50 freestyle. Adrian, a 2008 Olympian, finished in 21.52 seconds. Cullen Jones and Garrett Weber-Gale followed in 21.55. Former Bears star Dana Vollmer, who already qualified for the world championships by taking the women's 200 freestyle Wednesday, finished sixth in the women's 50 freestyle in 25.12. Stanford's Julia Smit was second in the women's 400 individual medley in 4:36.73.
Carlson, the Bay Area News Group-East Bay Female Athlete of the Year, credits "adrenaline and nervous energy" for her speedy performances in the 100 breaststroke. On Saturday, she'll attempt to add the 200 breaststroke to her worlds itinerary.
"I was just trying to stay composed," she said.
Contact Jennifer Starks at firstname.lastname@example.org.