2018 Women’s NCAA Coach of the Year: Greg Meehan, Stanford
It was an unprecedented show of dominance from Greg Meehan‘s Stanford women at NCAAs in 2018.
A loaded Stanford roster took the lead and never looked back at NCAAs, winning by 220 points – the third-largest margin of victory in NCAA women’s swimming history. And Stanford’s sweep of all five relays was just the third relay sweep in women’s NCAA history.
Stanford didn’t lose a single event until 1-meter diving at the end of day 2. They didn’t lose a single swimming event until Friday evening when Louise Hansson of USC won the 100 fly. Meehan’s team ultimately won 13 of 18 swimming events. Over the course of the 2017-2018 season, they set American, NCAA and U.S. Open records in the 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay, 1650 free, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM.
A look at all Stanford finishers who placed in the top 3 at NCAAs:
- 800 free relay: 1st – Katie Drabot, Ella Eastin, Brooke Forde, Katie Ledecky (6:46.93)
- 200 free relay: 1st – Janet Hu, Simone Manuel, Lauren Pitzer, Ally Howe (1:25.43 – NCAA/American/US Open records)
- 500 free: 1st – Katie Ledecky (4:26.57), 2nd – Katie Drabot (4:34.86)
- 200 IM: 1st – Ella Eastin (1:50.67 – NCAA/American/US Open records)
- 50 free: 1st – Simone Manuel (21.18)
- 400 medley relay: 1st – Ally Howe, Kim Williams, Janet Hu, Simone Manuel (3:25.09 – NCAA/American/US Open records)
- 400 IM: 1st – Ella Eastin (3:54.60 – NCAA/American/US Open records), 2nd – Katie Ledecky (3:58.29
- 100 fly: 3rd – Janet Hu (50.56)
- 200 free: 3rd – Simone Manuel (1:41.48)
- 100 back: 1st – Ally Howe (49.70)
- 200 medley relay: 1st – Ally Howe, Kim Williams, Janet Hu, Simone Manuel (1:33.11 – NCAA/American/US Open records)
- 1650 free: 1st – Katie Ledecky (15:07.57)
- 100 free: 1st – Simone Manuel (45.65)
- 200 fly: 1st – Ella Eastin (1:50.01), 2nd – Katie Drabot (1:51.73)
- 400 free relay: 1st – Janet Hu, Ella Eastin, Katie Drabot, Simone Manuel (3:07.94)
In no particular order
- Teri McKeever, Cal: McKeever’s Cal Bears made the best run at Stanford. They finished second by just a hair in the 200 free relay (.07 back), 200 medley relay (0.74) and 400 free relay (.11 seconds). Meanwhile Kathleen Baker set NCAA, American and U.S. Open records in the 200 back with a stellar 1:47.30 that blew out the field by almost two seconds.
- Steve Bultman, Texas A&M: The Aggies rose up in a great season to challenge perennial top-2 programs Stanford and Cal. The Aggies most notably dominated the breaststrokes, the area where the top two teams were weakest. Bultman’s group put an incredible four women into the 200 breast A final and scored two more in the 100 breast. They also had two in the A final of the 200 IM and 400 IM.
- Matt Kredich, Tennessee: The Volunteers made a massive surge in 2018, jumping from 22nd at NCAAs a year earlier to 7th. That was due in large part to major breakthroughs from their sophomores. Erika Brown became one of the best sprint freestyler/flyers in the nation, dropping over the course of the college season from 22.33 in the 50 free, 48.46 in the 100 free and 55.12 in the 100 fly to 21.39, 47.08 and an incredible 49.85 in the 100 fly.