2017 Women’s NCAA Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


The 2017 Women’s NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana come to close tonight with day 4 finals. Swimmers are set to vie for the national titles in the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 400 free relay, while divers will compete in the platform finals.

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky will look to become this first woman in history to swim below 15:00 in the 1650 free. Her teammate, Simone Manuel, will also be looking for a historic result, as we could see the first ever sub-46 swim in the women’s 100 free. Cal’s Kathleen Baker has the 200 back on record watch, as she came within half a second of Liz Pelton’s American Record at Pac-12s last month and has been on fire at this meet.


  • NCAA record: Katie Ledecky (2016)- 15:03.92
  • American record: Katie Ledecky (2016)- 15:03.92
  • U.S. Open record: Katie Ledecky (2016)- 15:03.92
  • Championship Record: Brittany MacLean (2014)- 15:27.84
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Leah Smith, Virginia, 15:32.72
  1. Katie Ledecky (Stanford)- 15:07.70
  2. Leah Smith (Virginia)- 15:28.89
  3. Megan Byrnes (Stanford)- 15:50.87

Katie Ledecky broke away from the pack from start to finish, setting a new Championship Record in 15:07.70, while teammates Megan Byrnes and Leah Stevens finished 3rd and 4th respectively to show off Stanford’s distance dominance. Virginia’s Leah Smith touched in 2nd, finishing over 20 seconds ahead of the 3rd through 8th swimmers.

Virginia’s Leah Smith (15:52.36), NC State’s Hannah Moore (15:52.75), and Texas’ Joanna Evans all earned a top 8 finish with their times from the earlier heats. Wisconsin’s Danielle Valley (15:53.22) was 6th overall, while Auburn’s Ashley Neidigh (15:54.88) rounded out the top 8.


  • NCAA record: Elizabeth Pelton (2013)- 1:47.84
  • American record: Elizabeth Pelton (2013)- 1:47.84
  • U.S. Open record: Elizabeth Pelton (2013)- 1:47.84
  • Championship Record: Elizabeth Pelton (2013)- 1:47.84
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Danielle Galyer, Kentucky, 1:49.71
  1. Kathleen Baker (Cal)- 1:48.44
  2. Alexia Zevnik (NC State)- 1:49.09
  3. Asia Seidt (Kentucky)- 1:49.63

Cal’s Kathleen Baker and NC State’s Alexia Zevnik battled down the stretch, but Baker broke away with a big underwater on the final wall to win the race in 1:48.44. Kentucky freshman Asia Seidt had a huge swim to take 3rd in 1:49.63, while teammate and 2016 champion Danielle Galyer (1:50.49) took 5th and fellow Kentucky freshman Ali Galyer (1:51.05) took 8th.

Texas’ Tasija Karosas finished just outside of the top 3, cranking out a personal best 1:49.91 to take 4th and break 1:50 for the first time in her career. Missouri’s Nadine Laemmler also came up with a big personal best, clocking in at 1:50.79 to win the B final.


  1. Simone Manuel (Stanford)- 45.56
  2. Olivia Smoliga (Georgia)- 46.30
  3. Mallory Comerford (Louisville)- 46.35

Stanford’s Simone Manuel scorched her way to a 21.90 to the feet at the 50 en route to becoming the first woman to ever break 46 seconds. Manuel, the Olympic gold medalist in the long course version of this race, tore through the water to post a 45.56, leaving an incredible pair of 46-lows by Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga and Louisville’s Mallory Comerford in the dust.

Stanford’s Lia Neal roared to a personal best 46.76 to out-touch Cal’s Farida Osman (47.07), as the 2 swimmers placed 4th and 5th respectively in the final individual swims of their NCAA career.


  1. Lilly King (Indiana)- 2:03.19
  2. Kierra Smith (Minnesota)- 2:03.55
  3. Emily Escobedo (UMBC)- 2:05.20

Indiana’s Lilly King charged to the early lead in 58.32 and held on for the gold in a new American Record time of 2:03.19. Minnesota’s Kierra Smith came home hard with a 1:03.76 on the back half, taking 2nd in 2:03.55 as she also cleared the former NCAA Record.

UMBC’s Emily Escobedo and Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem battled down the stretch, but it was Escobedo who got her hands on the wall a nail faster to take 4th in 2:05.20 to Pickrem’s 2:05.23. NC State’s Kayla Brumbaum (2:05.55) and Texas’ Madisyn Cox (2:05.77) each broke 2:06 for the first time to take 5th and 6th respectively.


  • NCAA record: Elaine Breeden (2009), 1:49.92
  • American record: Elaine Breeden (2009), 1:49.92
  • U.S. Open record: Elaine Breeden (2009), 1:49.92
  • Championship Record: Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, 1:50.61
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, 1:50.96
  1. Ella Eastin (Stanford)- 1:51.35
  2. Katie McLaughlin (Cal)- 1:52.37
  3. Jenn Marrkand (Virginia)- 1:53.15

Stanford’s Ella Eastin put up a convincing win in the 200 fly, winning her 2nd NCAA title of the meet. Cal’s Katie McLaughlin knocked a second off her best time to place 2nd in 1:52.37. Texas’ Remedy Rule initially touched 3rd in 1:52.92, but was disqualified for a 15-meter violation, bumping Virginia’s Jenn Marrkand up into the top 3.


  1. Olivia Rosendahl (Northwestern)- 335.30
  2. Jessica Parrato (Indiana)- 314.45
  3. Rebecca Quesnel (FIU)- 302.35

Northwestern sophomore Olivia Rosendahl became the first diver in Northwestern history to win an NCAA title, winning the event with a score of 335.30 ahead of Indiana standout Jessica Parrato. Florida International’s Rebecca Quesnel picked up big points for her team with a 3rd place finish.

Nebraska freshman Abigail Knapton finished 4th in this event at her first ever NCAAs with a score of 297.30, just ahead of Purdue’s Alexis Vincent, who rounded out the top 5 with 289.75 points.


  • NCAA record: Stanford (2017)- 3:08.51
  • American record: Stanford (2017)- 3:08.51
  • U.S. Open record: Stanford (2017)- 3:08.51
  • Championship Record: Stanford (2015)- 3:08.54
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: USC- 3:09.69

Simone Manuel rocketed to a 46.02 leadoff to post the 2nd fastest 100 free ever as Stanford took down the American Record in 3:07.61. With a 4th place finish on the line after Texas took 9th in the 400 free relay, the Georgia Bulldogs knew they had to finish at least 2nd t0 beat the Longhorns. They did just that, as Chantal Van Landeghem (46.73) ran down Cal’s Farida Osman (46.88) to give the Bulldogs a runner-up finish.


  • Swimmer of the Year- Kathleen Baker (Cal)
  • Swim Coach of the Year- Greg Meehan (Stanford)
  • Diver of the Year- Lexi Tennenbaum (Minnesota)
  • Diving Coach of the Year- Wenbo Chen (Minnesota)


  1. Stanford                        526.5   2. California                        366
  3. Texas A&M                       292.5   4. Georgia                         252.5
  5. Texas                             252   6. Louisville                      194.5
  7. NC State                          194   8. Indiana                           185
  9. Southern Cali                     176  10. Minnesota                         168
 11. Michigan                          159  12. Virginia                          149
 13. Missouri                          135  14. Kentucky                          106
 15. Wisconsin                          98  16. Arizona                          89.5
 17. UNC                                73  18. Auburn                             55
 19. Ohio St                            52  20. UCLA                               48
 21. Northwestern                       40  22. Tennessee                          35
 23. Purdue                             33  24. Umbc (W)                           30
 25. Miami (Oh)                         29  26. Iowa                               26
 27. Nevada                             25  28. Florida St                         24
 29. Arizona St                         22  30. Denver                             20
 31. Virginia Tech                      18  32. Florida Int'l                      16
 33. Nebraska                           15  34. Lsu                                14
 35. Cincinnati                         12  36. Boise St                           10
 36. Penn St                            10  38. South Carolina                      8
 39. Miami (Fl)                          5  39. Air Force (W)                       5
 41. Pittsburgh                          4  41. Florida Gulf                        4
 43. Alabama                           3.5  44. Notre Dame                          2
 44. San Diego State University          2  44. Massachusetts                       2
 47. Duke                                1  47. Drexel                              1
 47. Rutgers                             1

*EDITORS NOTE: Auburn’s Ashley Neidigh is the sister of author Lauren Neidigh*



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6 years ago

Not sure if I counted correctly, but Stanford and Cal won 14 out of 17 events in the meet (not counting diving)! Quite impressive for 2 schools just 20 miles apart in the San Francisco Bay Area, Could happen again next year even with Stanford losing Neal and Cal losing Osman. And Stanford has a GREAT class coming in next year (like they need it, lol) while Cal will need to somehow find a couple of top level replacements maybe foreign or transfers because their current commits are good but do not rank with Stanford, USC, and a few other schools.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Day 4 quick thoughts.

1650 free. KL on her own planet. She must be disappointed to not break 15 but she’s human and that’s a good thing. 🙂 And we must now get used to not seeing her break her crazy fast records every time she dives in the water. She has put them at such a crazy high level. She gets older. Maybe she has peaked in 2016. She has changed her training place and she works with new coaches. She’s in college and there’s the educaton part too. Everything was done to peak in Rio. And it worked perfectly. Once again, she’s human and the logic would be to see her start to decline a little bit every… Read more »

Attila the Runt
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

One of the amazing things about Ledecky (among a zillion) is her adaptability to different coaches. She’s on her third coach in her young career as a star, and hasn’t seemed to miss a beat. Can’t really think of anyone else who’s done that this well. Also speaks well to Yuri, Gemmell, and Meehan for being able to sublimate their own egos and collaborate for the benefit of Katey and the sport.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I think Katie hasn’t swum 1650 that often these days. Only swim 1000 in duel.duel meet. Sometimes you tend to lose your endurance just a tad when you didn’t do it day in day out. Like running half a marathon and a marathon. It’s hard to keep up the same pace when you already went out very fast at the front half.

I am sure KL will come.back and break that 15 min soon.

6 years ago


Captain Ahab
6 years ago

I just don’t see anybody beating Stanford for the next 3 to 4 years. If they sign Penelope Oleksiak and Gabrielle Fa’Amausili it could be another 6 to 7 years before they stop winning NCAA.

Reply to  Captain Ahab
6 years ago

First, do both swimmers have any interests in Stanford? Second, even they have, do they have the grades to get in? Greg mentioned how Lia committed to his program helped bring others like Simone, Ella and Katie in. You can see that other swimmers also benefited from having trained with Ledecky like Leann stevens and Megan Byrnes. Hopefully, both Penelope and Gabrielle have the interests and grades for Stanford. Any other program would have benefited from having both of them too.

Best shape of my life 2016
Reply to  ADSF
6 years ago

Stanford is hard to get into for virtually everyone, but lets not kid ourselves. Penny and Gabrielle are not “virtually everyone.” They’re both Olympic caliber (or gold medal winning) athletes. These types of athletes are coveted prizes with the “X-Factor” to bring prestige and recognition to whatever institution they choose. If they are interested in Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Georgia, Florida, Podunk Community College, or wherever, they will get accepted.

Reply to  Best shape of my life 2016
6 years ago

Hope they are interested. But if they don’t have decent grades, they don’t get in either. Top athletes with so-so academic results will definitely not be accepted by he admission office for sure.

Reply to  ADSF
6 years ago

Why bring them up then cast aspersion on their school grades? They are young girls – not American – their school grades are not your business.

Reply to  Best shape of my life 2016
6 years ago

sorry but this is not true for Stanford at all as having a gold medal isn’t an X-factor to get into the school. Like others have said, you have to have the grades and the talent to get in. Stanford has turned away gold-medalists Aaron Peirsol and others that applied and wanted to go there.

Reply to  the_Cheat
6 years ago

not true

Ex Quaker
6 years ago

Florida State, Florida International, and Florida Gulf all with more points than Florida. Ouch.

Reply to  Ex Quaker
6 years ago

Can SwimSwam write an article about Florida nowen”s team didn’t score a single point? Was this the first time? Whatever happened to the program? How does Troy plan to change this? Etc.

Reply to  ADSF
6 years ago

How you go from winning NCAAs and beating the team that now has a stranglehold on the meet to scoring ZERO points in the worst performance in school history just seven years later is inexcusable, and a monumental failure. Winning NCAAs should have been a recruiting coup and ensured at minimum a top 10 finish for years to come. This is an insult to the amazing alumni who built this program. Clearly, whatever is happening on the women’s team isn’t affecting the men’s team as they seem to keep getting better every year while the women’s team has regressed despite the improved performances of the freshman and sophomores that largely make up the team. It’s time for Troy to step… Read more »

Attila the Runt
Reply to  Aquajosh
6 years ago

Troy has obviously been slow on the trigger in realizing that South Florida recruits (and many internationals) were being taken by FGCU and FIU. Swimming for a guy who seems like an old-school curmudgeon on the surface, who’s known for insane volume (yet can develop a Dressel), in a small, fairly isolated college town isn’t exactly the big recruiting or retention draw. With the exception of A&M, the SEC has declined in women’s swimming. I agree that UF needs a new women’s coach.

Reply to  Attila the Runt
6 years ago

Stanford could really use Gabrielle. Looking at their upcoming recruits, Stanford’s one weakness is that they don’t have any sprint backstrokers to replace Howe and Hu.

6 years ago

Rowdy ONLY talked about Stanford during that last relay…. sigh.

Reply to  swamfan
6 years ago

luckily there wasn’t much Auburn to talk about or we would have heard War Eagle all weekend, in addition to Olympic this Olympic that!

6 years ago

Kathleen Baker NCAA swimmer of the year!

Jonathan W Washburn
6 years ago

Stanford’s Leah STEVENS earned a Top 8 finish from an earlier heat. I look forward to seeing the first sub-15 min 1650 when Katie gets this event at the beginning of a big meet, instead of at the end. GO KATIE!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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