2017 Women’s ACC Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


It’s the final day of the 2017 ACC Women’s Championships, with 7 women’s events and one men’s diving competition left and NC State looking to snap Virginia’s 9-year run atop the conference. The team battle is still extremely close (NC State leads by 26.5, which is about the value of 1 A final swim), and the team that earns the most scoring opportunities in this morning’s prelims session will probably be the team that ultimately wins the conference crown tonight.

NC State’s Alexia Zevnik will be looking for her third individual win, which would likely sew up the conference’s Swimmer of the Year honor, as all the other candidates have already lost an individual race. Zevnik will probably swim the 200 back after winning the 100 back last night, but could also take on the 100 free.

200 free champ Mallory Comerford of Louisville will look to add the 100 free title to her collection, 100 breast winner Laura Simon of Virginia goes after the 200 breast, and tonight, 500 free winner Leah Smith gets to chase the 1650 free title.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Atlanta.

Women’s 200 Back – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Zevnik, NCSU – 1:51.03
  2. Nazieblo, VT – 1:53.04
  3. Haan, NCSU – 1:53.47
  4. Treuth, ND – 1:53.86
  5. Moffitt, UNC – 1:53.96
  6. Glover, NCSU – 1:54.60
  7. Donnelly, VT – 1:55.17
  8. Kendzior, LOU – 1:55.19

It was a great 200 backstroke prelim for NC State, with the Wolfpack putting three swimmers into the A final. Even better for the Pack? Virginia, coming off the loss of last year’s ACC champ Courtney Bartholomew, put zero swimmers into scoring position in the event. That might give NC State upwards of 70 points tonight compared to zero for the Cavaliers.

Alexia Zevnik sits first in 1:51.03. She’s chasing her third win of the meet after taking the 200 IM and 100 backstroke earlier this week. She’s joined by Elise Haan (3rd, 1:53.47) and freshman Mackenzie Glover (6th, 1:54.60) in the final tonight.

Virginia Tech’s Klaudia Nazieblo splits up the two Wolfpack members at the top with the 2-seed. UNC’s star flyer/backstroker Hellen Moffitt made the final but was 1.8 seconds off her best time, meaning she’s likely to have plenty more in the tank for tonight. She sits just behind Notre Dame’s Alice Treuth, who had a huge swim to rocket to 4th this morning.

Women’s 100 Free – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Comerford, LOU – 47.00
  2. Caldwell, NCSU – 47.89
  3. Baldwin, UNC – 47.96
  4. Nevalainen, NCSU – 48.12
  5. Hitchens, UNC – 48.36
  6. Perry, NCSU – 48.47
  7. Labonge, NCSU – 48.62
  8. Fanz, LOU – 48.71

Another massive event for NC State, with the Wolfpack claiming half of the A final slots. The top spot, though, went to Louisville’s Mallory Comerford in a huge 47.00 that ranks her as the 9th-fastest swimmer of all-time in the event. Comerford – who was second last year – smashed the ACC and meet records held by last year’s champion and Comerford’s former teammate Kelsi Worrell at 47.30.

Comerford leads by about nine tenths over the field. NC State’s Courtney Caldwell also dipped under 48, going 47.89 for second. Caroline Baldwin of UNC was 47.96 to take third as the last swimmer under 48.

The other Wolfpack finalists are Lotta Nevalainen (4th), 50 free champ Ky-Lee Perry (6th) and Natalie Labonge (7th). Louisville and UNC each had two finalists apiece – Comerford is joined by Casey Fanz (48.71 as a freshman) for Louisville while Baldwin’s UNC teammate Sarah Hitchens was 48.36 for 5th.

NC State should again make big point charges on the field here, though Virginia did manage to spread 5 swimmers between the B and C finals to mitigate the point balance a bit.

Women’s 200 Breast – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Brumbaum, NCSU – 2:08.12
  2. Cottrell, LOU – 2:08.64
  3. Simon, UVA – 2:10.24
  4. Rathsack, PITT – 2:10.43
  5. Bradford-Feldman, LOU – 2:10.49
  6. James, LOU – 2:10.74
  7. Loh Yen Ling, FSU – 2:11.30
  8. Tafuto, UVA – 2:11.45

The 200 breast could be a barn-burner tonight, with a tight results list after prelims. NC State’s Kayla Brumbaum is the top qualifier in 2:08.12, which is a good two seconds faster than she went in taking 4th last year. Louisville’s Andee Cottrell is right behind in 2:08.64. Cottrell probably has more in her back pocket, though, after going 2:07 and earning conference runner-up honors last year.

But the biggest name to watch is Virginia’s Laura Simonlast year’s conference champ and the ACC 100 breast champ from last night. Simon was just 2:10.24 this morning, but really shut things down near the end of her race. Expect Simon to move down towards her 2:06 from last year in the final, especially after pulling a similar move in the 100 breast last night and rising from 3rd to 1st at night.

Louisville put three into the A final, a big boost as the Cardinals try to hold off UNC for third place. This race should help even out the battle for first some, as well. Virginia has 2 A finalists and 4 total scorers, compared to NC State, which does have the top seed, but only 2 overall scorers.

Women’s 200 Fly – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Koucheki, UNC – 1:54.27
  2. Nazieblo, VT – 1:54.68
  3. Jones, UVA – 1:54.74
  4. Marrkand, UVA – 1:55.10
  5. Oglesby, LOU – 1:55.24
  6. Houck, LOU – 1:56.82
  7. Hulsey, UNC – 1:57.15
  8. Smith, ND – 1:57.35

It’s been a redemptive senior season for UNC’s Sarah Koucheki. After taking a DQ in the 200 IM last year, sinking to 8th in the 100 fly final and missing the A final of the 200 fly, Koucheki scored in the 50 free this season, took 6th in the 100 fly and now holds the top seed in the 200 fly after prelims. Koucheki was 1:54.27, a big drop from her best and faster than last year’s winning time.

Defending champ Kaitlyn Jones of Virginia should put up a fight. She’s third in 1:54.74 right now, which is just a tenth off her winning time from a year ago. Jones is joined by Jennifer Marrkand (4th, 1:55.10) in the A final and is one of three UVA scorers as the Cavaliers set up to make a late points run tonight over the 200 breast and 200 fly. NC State, their chief rival for the conference crown, has just one scorer, in the B final.

Virginia Tech’s Klaudia Nazieblo is second in 1:54.68. It’s her second swim of the morning session and her second time qualifying second today. Nazieblo will have a bit of a tougher double tonight with less heats in between to rest, but she also pulled this same combo last year and still took second in the 200 fly.

Louisville gets a pair of championship finalists in freshman Grace Oglesby and senior Abby Houck.

Men’s Platform Diving – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

Women’s Platform Diving – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

Women’s 1650 Free – Slower Heats

Early leaders:

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ACC fan
6 years ago

WHAT?! Afternoon 1650 session posted in results and it looks like Leah Smith swam in the afternoon! Am I reading the results correctly? Does anyone know anything about this?

Reply to  ACC fan
6 years ago

Leah had only a 1000 time for qualifying. She couldn’t be seeded in the top heat by that.

6 years ago

Wolfpack closing in on the kill

That\'s it
6 years ago

Didn’t see that one coming for NCSTATE who places one of their divers in the top 8 tonight. UVA got one up as well, but unless there is a relay DQ NCSTATE will win the title. With Louisville having the top qualifying diver tonight UVA might not even finish 2nd.

6 years ago

NC State outscores UVA on platform!!

Reply to  Isaac
6 years ago

This isn’t true. I missed the UVA diver that also made top 8

6 years ago

Before this meet I gave the conference title to UVA, but after night 1, I think NCSU will take it. The DQ for UVA on night 1 didn’t do them any favors and NCSU women are really crushing this meet.

6 years ago

Points breakdown for tonight after prelims (sans platform diving):

1650 Free (Leah Smith and Sophie Cattermole are seeded with 1000 free times so I used their PBs to factor in their scoring):
NC State: 68 points (844.5 total)
UVA: 49 points (799 total)
Louisville: 39 points (713.5 total)
UNC: 61 points (736 total)

200 Back:
NC State: 83 points (927.5 total)
UVA: 0 points (799 total)
Louisville: 37 points (750.5 total)
UNC: 53 points (789 total)

100 Free:
NC State: 121 points (1048.5 total)
UVA: 56 points (855 total)
Louisville: 75.5 points (826 total)
UNC: 56.5 points (845.5 total)

200 Breast:
NC State: 37 points (1085.5 total)… Read more »

Reply to  NCSwimFan
6 years ago

ugh why does diving have the potential to screw up everything. Swimming and diving are not the same sport…. the only thing they have in common is that they both take place at a pool. Frustrating that the NCAA pairs them together.

Reply to  swamfan
6 years ago

I agree Swamfan- it seems like an odd pairing. You wouldn’t dream of putting water polo and swimming together. I always think too that swimming overshadows diving and it’s a bit disrespectful to the divers.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Bigtime
6 years ago

I agree with Swamfan. But the net of it is diving, unlike water polo, is not viable as an independent NCAA sport. Unless you have a faith it could be combined with alpine skiing, we’re kinda stuck with this status quo.

Reply to  Joel Lin
6 years ago

Good point Joel, wouldn’t want it to get cut

6 years ago

if I were Holloway I’d be telling those girls to not force their relay starts! I noticed they weren’t super great on the 400 MR. I hope they stick with that strategy

6 years ago

Finals through the first four events going into diving…
NCS 8/2/1
LOU 8/3/3
UVA 4/6/2
UNC 5/4/2

100 free prelims with regards to the 400 free relay –
NCS 4/1/0
LOU 2/1/1
UVA 0/4/1
UNC 2/0/1

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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