The Georgia women enter day 2 of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Championships in the same position that they entered day 1: in the driver’s seat. While the Cal women have pressure on in both prelims and finals, for Georgia it’s all about the morning swims, at least from a team perspective. If they get the right girls into the right finals tonight, then they’ll have done what they needed to continue their march to a second-straight title.
Of course, they also showed up in finals on day 1, winning 3 of the 4 individual events (and very nearly sweeping them all).
Cal will need to continue to improve in the mornings, and continue to hit their finals swims, and then some to pull off this win. With events like the 100 back and 200 free, day 2 is supposed to be Cal’s big day, so they need to have a lead, or at least be very close to a lead, coming out of Friday’s finals.
Friday will see prelims and finals in the 200 medley relay, the 400 IM, the 100 fly, the 200 free, the 100 breast, the 100 back and 3-meter diving in the longest sessions of the meet. Then, all but the two fastest heats of the 800 free will swim in the morning as part of a timed final.
Update the page frequently, as we’ll be updating the recap at the conclusion of each event.
All the links you need to follow the meet, including live results, can be seen here.
See what happened on day 1 here.
Team scoring breakdown after day 1 here.
Women’s 200 Medley Relay – prelims
The Tennessee women weren’t as explosive on the first day of this year’s meet as they were in 2013, but they are still the defending champions in the 200 medley relay, and they’ve come out hot in that relay again by taking the top seed in prelims in 1:35.52.
That included a 26.47 from breaststroke Molly Hannis and a 21.44 from anchor Faith Johnson.
Texas A&M, who swam very well in the 400 medley on Thursday, was a 1:35.83 for the 2nd seed. They used Kelli Benjamin on their backstroke leg and moved Paige Miller to the fly leg, where she continued to swim well. The star though, as always, was Breeja Larson, who split 26.07 in a 50 breaststroke. That’s far, far faster than she (or anyone) split at NCAA’s last year, and only Hannis really has much contact with her there in the A-final.
Florida took 3rd in 1:35.96, and Stanford was 4th in 1:36.23 – following the fastest split of the day in the 50 back from Felicia Lee at 23.83.
Georgia is 5th after prelims in 1:36.58, Texas is 6th in 1:37.22, Virginia is 7th in 1:37.31, and the ‘Cinderella story’ is NC State, who was 8th in 1:37.35 after taking last in this event at last year’s NCAA Championship.
Michigan sits atop the B-final seeds in 1:37.38; that’s a B final that also includes USC (1:37.59) as the 12th seed, Indiana (1:37.67) as the 13th seed, and Arizona (1:37.71) as the 14th seed.
The real big story of this race is that Cal’s relay was DQ’ed, as Cindy Tran left early on the fly leg. See the implications of that DQ here.
Women’s 400 IM – prelims
Georgia’s Melanie Margalis looked incredibly smooth through her best stroke, the breaststroke, leg of the women’s 400 IM. She split a 1:08.2 on that 100 yards of breaststroke, and didn’t look like she was using much energy, en route to a 4:04.13 and the top overall seed.
The three behind her, though, are all National Teamers, and all looked like they were saving a lot for finals. Elizabeth Beisel of Florida was out way faster than the rest of the field in the first 200 yards, and though she looked like she was still working pretty hard on the breaststroke, she too shut things way down on the freestyle.
Texas A&M’s Sarah Henry sits 3rd after prelims in 4:04.81, and Stanford’s Maya DiRado is 4th in 4:05.08 (she also looked very, very relaxed to the eye).
Georgia’s Amber McDermott is 5th in 4:06.14 – that’s another big drop for her after one in the 500 free on Thursday; Texas A&M’s Cammile Adams is 6th in 4:06.09, USC’s Stina Gardell is 7th in 4:07.11, and Celina Li just snuck in to give Cal an A-finalist with a 4:07.35.
Georgia’s Hali Flickinger (4:07.39), UNC’s Cari Blalock (4:07.46), and another Bulldog Nicole Vernon is 11th in 4:08.83.
Women’s 100 fly – prelims
After going under 51 seconds in prelims of the women’s 400 medley relay on a rolling start, Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell broike through a huge barrier and did the same with a 50.95 in the prelims of the women’s 100 fly. That makes her just the 7th woman ever under 51 in the race – which includes her coach Rachel Komisarz.
That’s a lifetime best for her by six-tenths of a second, and she is in very good position headed into finals, although on Thursday her split in the evening on the relay wasn’t as good as it was in the morning.
Florida’s Ellese Zalewski is lurking with a 51.22 that’s just off of her season-best, as she continues to have a very good meet. The same can be said for Stanford’s Felicia Lee – she’s the 3rd seed in 51.27, which just misses her season-best, but continues a great set of performances this weekend for her as well.
The newcomer in the crowd is SMU’s Marne Erasmus, who also is building on a really fast relay split from Thursday. She swam a 51.53 for the 4th seed in this 100 fly on Friday morning; she’s a mid-season addition from South Africa for the Mustangs
Princeton’s Elizabeth Boyce is the 5th seed in 51.57 – in an event where the Ivy Leagues have a great tradition. UCSB’s Andrea Ward made the A-Final as the 6th seed in 51.58 after scratching the 500 free on day 1 of the meet.
Tied for 7th, and the last two into the A-final, are a pair of Cal swimmers: Farida Osman and Cindy Tran in matching 51.78’s.
Penn State’s Mackenzie Powers sits atop the B-Final in 51.85, followed by UCLA’s Ting Wen Quah (51.89) and Denver’s Sam Corea (51.91). Georgia had no scorers in this race, while Cal got 2 into the A final and 1 into the B final, so this could have been an opportunity for Cal to make up ground had the 200 medley events not happened.
Women’s 200 free – prelims
Tonight’s final will set up a side-by-side rematch of that explosive 500 free battle last night. Missy Franklin is the top seed for Cal in 1:42.86, while 500 free champ Brittany MacLean took the third seed in 1:43.20 and will man lane 3 for Georgia. Franklin had the fastest opening 100 of any competitor this morning but should be able to press her back 100 more tonight. MacLean, meanwhile, closed in 25.8, the best final leg of the field.
Between those two is Tennessee’s Lindsay Gendron, who cracked 1:43 for the first time with a 1:42.99. This has already been a good morning for the Vols, who sit on the top 200 medley relay seed and look to move up from their 6th-place slot.
Penn State sophomore Alyson Ackman is fourth, going 1:43.59 – that’s a half second faster than she went in winning the Big Ten title in this same pool a month ago.
In addition to MacLean, Georgia loaded two more swimmers into the A final, Shannon Vreeland (1:43.67) and Jordan Mattern (1:44.26). Cal kept pace as much as possible, though, with Franklin and Caroline Piehl up and three swimmers (Liz Pelton, Rachael Acker and Camille Cheng) in the B heat to Georgia’s zero.
Lili Ibanez also snuck into the A final for A&M, just beating out USC freshman Chelsea Chenault Chenault will have to fight off a tough consol heat that includes Stanford’s Lia Neal, who faded to 1:44.50 from her seed of 1:43.62.
Women’s 100 breaststroke – prelims
The loudest cheering section in the prelims of the women’s 100 breaststroke earned the top seed in a 57.81. But it wasn’t who you might think. Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Emily McClellan, with a crowd of at least 30 deafening fans, swam to the top seed in the women’s 100 breaststroke in a heat that she dominated.
Meanwhile, Emma Reaney from Notre Dame out-raced Texas A&M’s NCAA Record holder in this event Breeja Larson 58.08-58.23, in the same heat, for the 2nd seed. Larson’s typical swim in this 100 breaststroke is faster on both the front-half and the back-half.
USC’s Kasey Carlson was a 59.00 for the 4th seed. Stanford’s Katie Olsen is 5th in 59.12, and Alabama’s Kaylin Burchell comes out of the prelims in 6th.
SMU’s Tara Nicholas continued a very strong session for SMU that they’ll try and carry over into finals on their biggest scoring day. Tennessee’s Molly Hannis was 8th in 59.62.
Missouri freshman Katharine Ross will be in the middle-lane of the B-Final in 59.63, and Texas’ Gretchen Jaques will be aside her in 59.65.
Women’s 100 backstroke – prelims
Everyone knew this would be a tight race coming in, but some of the names left out of the A-Final are a bit flabbergasting. The top 6 finishers from last year’s NCAA Championship meet returned for this year, but the top two both failed to make the A-final this year.
Florida’s Sinead Russell is 9th in 50.13, and defending champion Rachel Bootsma came in 15th in 52.56.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M’s Paige Miller continued to inch her way into conversations with names like Coughlin, Tran, and Spofforth by going under 51 seconds for the 3rd time in her career, and the 2nd time in this meet, with a 50.97 for the top seed in the women’s 100 back. Cal’s Cindy Tran, a two-time defending champion in this event, sits 2nd in 51.17, and Felicia Lee sits 3rd in 51.39.
Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew, who was the fastest in the country up until this meet, took the 4th seed in 51.66. Florida Gulf Coast freshman Kira Toussaint will be the only freshman representative in this final with a 51.75.
Cal did get a 2nd swimmer up, as Melanie Klaren was 6th-fastest in prelims in 51.82, followed by Indiana’s Brooklynn Snodgrass (51.87), who now assumes the role of “highest-placing returner in this A-final”.
Auburn’s Emily Bos knocked four-tenths off of her season best as part of a deep Auburn backstroke group to round out the top 8 in 51.92.
Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga was another surprise to miss the A-final, swimming a 52.02 for 10th in prelims – she’s had a very good meet so far to this point.