2018 ACC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday-Sauturday, February 14-17th
- Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: NC State (1x) (results)
- Psych sheets
- Live results (link available soon)
- Live Video
- Championship Central
NC State upset Virginia’s 9-year run of ACC titles last year, but this year it appears to be all Louisville based on the psych sheet. NC State has been plagued by injuries this season, making their normally impressive sprint group look thinner than usual. Most noteably, Ky-lee Perry is most likely not swimming at the ACCs and Courtney Caldwell is not on the psych sheet. Those absences can only be describes as critical for the team, both for relays and in individual scoring. Perry is on the psych sheet, but suffered from a dislocated elbow and torn tendon in late January that was said to keep her out for 4-6 weeks, well beyond the ACCs. When we reached out to NC State, head coach Braden Holloway said it would be an “11th hour” decision whether Perry competes this week or not.
With the graduation of Leah Smith, the 500 and 1650 will have new ACC champions for the 1st time in 4 years, as she went undefeated in those events at the ACCs during her collegiate career. Smith is not the only 2017 ACC champion who has since graduated, as Alexia Zevnik (100 back, 200 back, 200 IM), Hellen Moffitt (100 fly), Kaitlyn Jones (200 fly), Laura Simon (100 breast), and Andrea Cottrell (200 breast) have finished their collegiate careers as well. In fact, there are only 4 (probably 3) events in which last year’s champion will be returning, with Mallory Comerford defending her titles in the 100 and 200 free, Reka Gyorgy in the 400 IM, and Ky-lee Perry in the 50 free, only if she ends up swimming.
Duke and Notre Dame, who finished 6th and 7th respectively last year, have both had great seasons compared to past years, and have put themselves in a pretty good position to be able to place a little higher this year. Duke was only 13.5 points behind Virginia Tech last year, and based on the psych sheet, has an excellent chance to overtake them this year.
- 200 Medley Relay
- Women’s 1-meter diving
- 800 Free Relay
- Men’s 3-meter diving
- 500 Free
- 200 IM
- 50 Free
- Men’s 1-meter diving
- 200 Free Relay
- 400 IM
- 100 Fly
- 200 Free
- 100 Breast
- 100 Back
- Women’s 3-meter diving
- 400 Medley Relay
- 1650 Free
- Women’s platform diving
- 200 Back
- 100 Free
- 200 Br(east
- 200 Fly
- Men’s platform diving
- 400 Free Relay
Boston College – Victoria Lin (sophomore butterflyer), Erika Freeman (junior IM’er/middle distance freestyler) They graduated 7 seniors from their ACC team last year, and have a promising group of freshmen this season.
Duke – Verity Abel (senior distance freestyler), Leah Goldman (senior butterflier/IMer), Alyssa Marsh (sophomore sprint freestyler/flyer), Maddie Hess (junior sprint freestyler/backstroker), Constance Dean (freshman IM’er/breaststroker) – Abel has been a distance standout for Duke’s program her entire career, and in her senior season she has gone lifetime bests in-season in the 500 and 1650. Meanwhile, Goldman, Marsh, Hess, and freshman standout Dean are all in position to score in 3 events.
Florida State – Megan Brown (sophomore IMer/backstroker/butterflier), Natalie Pierce (senior breaststroker), Tayla Lovemore (senior sprinter), Molly Carlson (sophomore diver) – Natalie Pierce will look to pick up a pair of breaststroke wins in her senior campaign. The Seminoles have impressive medley and sprint free relays, and a huge freshmen class, especially in the strokes, that will look to back up the top performers.
Georgia Tech – Florina Ilie (junior breaststroker), Kira Debruyn (senior flyer/backstroker/IM’er), Iris Wang (senior sprint freestyler), Emily Ilgenfritz (sophomore distance freestyler) – Iris Wang is still showing off her in-season speed, coming into the ACCs with lifetime bests in the 50, 100, and 200 free. Ilie lost teammate Chiara Ruiu in the breaststroke events, but will still be able to do damage on her own both breaststrokes.
Louisville – Mallory Comerford (junior freestyler/flyer), Sophie Cattermole (junior distance freestyler), Rachael Bradford-Feldman (junior IMer), Alina Kendzior (junior backstroker/IMer), Arina Openysheva (freshman sprint freestyler) – Comerford is leading this team into the ACCs, and will be looking for 3 individual wins in whichever events she decides to swim. Sophie Cattermole is having a crazy-good season, and she’ll look to being in the and 1650, and the top 5 in the 200 free. Bradford-Feldman and Kendzior have been extremely reliable for the Cardinals, and Openysheva has shown up for them so far this season as well. Although not listed as a star, freshman Mariia Astashkina is set to score big for the Cardinals as well.
Miami – Manon Viguier (sophomore middle-distance freestyler), Wally Layland (senior diver), Marcela Maurie (junior diver) – Miami is known for its great diving program, and Layland and Maurie come in huge for the Hurricanes in the diving events. Viguier has come into her own this season, and has shifted away from the 50 and to the 500. Her 49.2 100 free is also a second faster this year than her season best from last year.
North Carolina – Caroline Baldwin (senior sprint freestyler/backstroker), Caroline Hauder (freshman breaststroker), Brook Bauer (sophomore sprint freestyler), Maddie Smith (freshman sprint freestyler) – UNC is rebounding this year with a fast and large group of freshmen and sophomores, all of whom will work to back up a terrific sprint squad. Baldwin has been stellar this year, and she’s the only swimmer with a real shot of beating Mallory Comerford in the 100 free.
NC State – Ky-lee Perry (sophomore sprint freestyler), Krista Duffield (senior sprint freestyler/flyer), Hannah Moore (senior distance freestyler), Julia Poole (freshman IM’er), Elise Haan (junior backstroker) – Looking to defend their title from last year, the big question mark for the Wolfpack is Ky-lee Perry. Her absence would make it very difficult for NC State to win the meet. Poole is seed 1st in the 200 IM, and could provide big points in her freshman season. Also, sprint standout Courtney Caldwell has not competed this season and is not on the psych sheet. Moore will be in for tough races in the 200 and 500 free, but is the favorite in the mile. Haan will score big backstroke points, and will help the medley relays.
Notre Dame – Carly Quast (freshman backstroker/sprint freestyler), Alice Treuth (junior backstroker), Nikki Smith (junior IM/flyer), Abbie Dolan (sophomore freestyler), Meaghan O’Donnell (junior breaststroker/IM’er) – Notre Dame has had a standout meet. Quast is looking to score big points in her freshman campaign. Dolan has transitioned into swimming the 500 as well as the 50-200 free after she went a 4:50 in her first collegiate 500. Smith and O’Donnell are in position to score individually in 3 events each, and will be helpful on the Fighting Irish relays, which are in a good postition going into the meet.
Pitt – Amanda Richey (junior distance freestyler), Lina Rathsack (sophomore breaststroker/IMer), Valerie Daigneault (sophomore backstroker), Sarah Giamber (sophomore distance freestyler) – Rathsack could take the title in both breaststroke events, while Richey is a top 3 contender in both the 500 and 1650. Giamber will provide some depth for Pitt in the distance events, and Daigneault could score in both backstroke events.
Virginia – Jenn Marrkand (senior flyer/IM’er/freestyler), Erin Earley (freshman backstroker/IM’er/middle-distance freestyler), Megan Moroney (junior sprint freestyler/backstroker), Morgan Hill (sophomore sprint freestyler), Caitlin Cooper (senior sprint freestyler/backstroker) – They have a great group of underclassmen to provide a great deal of depth to the team scoring. Marrkand has had a great season, and will likely be a top 3 finisher in 3 events. Moroney has had a much less shaky season this year, and seems to be poised to swim at her previous bests.
Virginia Tech – Chloe Hicks (sophomore freestyler/backstroker), Klaudia Nazieblo (senior butterflier/backstroker/IMer) Reka Gyorgy (sophomore IM’er) – Gyorgy will be huge for the team in the IMs, and could make the A final in the 200 back. Nazieblo can score in all 3 individual events, and Hicks could make the A final in both backstrokes and score in the 500.
Out of the top 5 seeds in the 200 IM, there are 3 freshmen, including top seed Julia Poole. Poole will look to take down 2017 3rd place finisher Jenn Marrkand, and 4th place finisher Reka Gyory. 1st-5th are separated by only .98 seconds, with Poole at 1:56.39 and Caroline Hauder at 1:57.37. Mariia Astashkina is the 3rd seed at 1:57.06.
Caroline Baldwin will be looking to hold off Caitlin Cooper, Casey Fanz, and Mallory Comerford (if she ends up swimming the 50). Baldwin is 2nd in the NCAA this season in the 50, and has a pretty comfortable lead of .38 seconds in the over 2nd seed Cooper, 22.48 to 22.86. If Comerford ends up swimming the 50, it would likely be her most difficult race to win.
3 swimmers come into the meet with sub-1:00 100 breaststrokes: Natalie Pierce, Mariia Astashkina, and Lina Rathsack. Caroline Hauder and Morgan Friesen aren’t seeded far behind with 1:00.2 and 1:00.3 respectively. Additionally, 4th place finisher last year, Vivian Tafuto, is in the field as well. Tafuto went 59.79 at the ACCs last year.
Out of the top 6 seeds in the event, 5 are freshmen, 4 of those freshmen are from Virginia, and they’re only separated by 1.2 seconds. Emma Seiberlich is the top seed at 1:53.45, followed closely by Madeline Cohen at 1:53.51, and Paige Madden is 3rd with a 1:53.58. They’re followed by Alina Kendzior (1:53.78), Abby Richter (1:54.22), and Erin Earley (1:54.65). The ‘A’ cut in the 200 back is 1:50.99, but the invited time last season was 1:54.00. That means the top 3 are likely safe to be invited with their times already, but they will probably need to be a 1:52 to be sure they get invited.
400 free relay
The last event of the meet will surely be an exciting one, as Virginia and Louisville are seeded only .09 seconds apart, and 3 seconds ahead of 3rd seeded UNC. UVA and UL are already 3rd and 4th in the NCAA this season, and this race will be important, as it will take a sub-3:10 to be a contender to win at the NCAAs.
Louisville is the overwhelming favorite when looking at the psych sheet. The psych sheet can be misleading although because many swimmers across the board are entered in more than 3 individual events, which is the maximum number allowed. They will most likely win 4 relays, and have a really good shot at winning the 400 free relay as well. Mallory Comerford will very likely win her 3 individual events, and the Cardinals could be in the top 3 in every single event.
According to the Swimulator, Louisville is set to run away with this meet, outscoring Virginia by nearly 250 points. The one thing to keep in mind with the swimulator is that it doesn’t include diving, which Louisville will score points in from sophomore Molly Fears. They will still be one of the lowest scoring teams in the combined diving events, however, it shouldn’t be enough for Virginia or NC State to catch them.
If Ky-lee Perry does end up swimming, NC State has a great shot at coming in 2nd. They have a lot of sprint speed, and a great group of underclassmen. In the more likely event that Perry does not swim, Virginia is probably the favorite for 2nd. UVA has an incredibly deep group of underclassmen and great free relays.
Duke has an excellent shot at making a top 5 run barring any consequential DQ’s. They have been building consistently since they got full-scholarship status 4 years ago. Notre Dame could also be able to make a decent run at finishing in the top 5, but they’ll need their divers to step up in order to finish ahead of Virginia Tech and Florida State. There’s a lot to be excited about with those two teams because they both have a good incoming class for next season.
- NC State
- North Carolina
- Virginia Tech
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Georgia Tech
- Boston College