2018 WOMEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 14- Saturday, March 17
- McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion – Columbus, Ohio
- Defending champion: Stanford (1x) (results)
- Psych Sheet
- Championship Central
- NCAA record: Lilly King (2017) – 56.30
- American record: Lilly King (2017) – 56.30
- U.S. Open record: Lilly King (2017) – 56.30
- 2017 NCAA Champion: Lilly King – 56.30
The 100 breast LCM world record holder, Lilly King, probably won’t have much competition. Like Ledecky, it’s a race against the clock, and the IU junior has been 56.46 this season already, just .16 off of her NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records. Could a 55 be in the cards?
The 100 breaststroke belongs to the Big Ten this year, with the top three seeds belonging to schools from the power midwest conference. 2nd seed Lindsey Kozelsky and 3rd seed Miranda Tucker represent Minnesota and Michigan, respectively, while Tucker is a transfer from IU (making her twice as Big Ten, right?). Kozelsky and Tucker are the only other swimmers to have broken 58 seconds this season besides King, with Kozelsky having been 57.91 and Tucker 57.93. They’re neck and neck, and little, if anything, separates them. Well, two hundredths separate them, technically. Let’s just say it’ll be close.
The fourth seed might be a name you’ve never seen before. Coming in with a 58.37 is Eastern Michigan junior Delaney Duncan, and it’s about time we pay her some attention. The Illinois native headed to Eastern Michigan with a high school best of 1:04, then transformed into a NCAA qualifier with a vastly-improved 59.46 at the 2016 MAC Championships. Duncan went on to place 14th at NCAAs as a freshman from a mid-major program, an impressive feat. She regressed a bit as a sophomore, posting a 59.89 at MACs in 2017 and then missing scoring at NCAAs with a 1:00.58 to tie for 29th. This year, though, she has found yet another gear, and her 58.37 ranks her 23rd all-time in this event.
Texas A&M has two swimmers in the top 10, with 5th seed Anna Belousova (58.40) and 7th seed Jorie Caneta (58.91). USC’s Riley Scott (58.64) and Arizona State’s Silja Kansakoski (58.96) are the remaining swimmers under 59 this season– both scored in the B final last year. Scott’s freshman teammate Maggie Aroesty is ranked highly, too, at 11th (59.35), tied with Florida State’s Natalie Pierce.
Kansakoski entered last season’s NCAA Championship meet, as a freshman, with a top-4 seed. In her freshman meet, she had a little trouble with her prelims swim, and while she was better in the evening, she couldn’t match her season best. She’s about half-a-second slower in-season this year than last, so an optimist’s view is that she’s got more left for NCAAs – if she can ‘get up’ for her morning swim.
Stanford’s Kim Williams sits 9th (59.07), just ahead of Texas’s Kennedy Lohman (59.25). Lohman transferred from Arizona, and is Texas’s highest qualifier in this event. Kentucky has two well-ranked swimmers in this event, with sophomore Madison Winstead at 13th (59.38) and freshman Bailey Bonnett at 16th (59.48).
TOP 8 PICKS:
|5||Silja Kansakoski||Arizona State||58.93||58.44|
|6||Delaney Duncan||Eastern Michigan||58.37||58.37|
|7||Anna Belousova||Texas A&M||58.40||58.40|
|8||Jorie Caneta||Texas A&M||58.91||58.85|
Dark horse: Pitt’s Lina Rathsack. The German native and Pitt senior Rathsack was 13th last year with a 59.00– it’ll probably take a 58 to make the A final this year, so a big swim from her could secure a top 8 spot.