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: Katie Ledecky (2017) – 4:24.06
- American record: Katie Ledecky (2017) – 4:24.06
- U.S. Open record: Katie Ledecky (2017) – 4:24.06
- 2017 NCAA Champion: Katie Ledecky – 4:24.06
There’s no stopping Katie Ledecky, the Stanford sophomore who will be up against her own NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record of 4:24.06 that she set at the 2017 NCAA Championships. She’s been as fast as 4:26.09 this season, a solid 8.9 seconds ahead of the next-fastest swimmer in the NCAA. Nobody is catching her in this race– like usual, it’s going to be Ledecky vs. the clock.
Things get a lot more interesting when looking past Ledecky, where the next sixteen swimmers are between 4:35.0 and 4:37.8. In total, 31 swimmers are entered with times under 4:40, which is notable considering only 17 swimmers actually broke 4:40 at NCAAs last year. Not everyone can match their seeds at NCAAs, but it looks like it will take a faster time to score this year in this event.
Michigan’s Rose Bi sits 2nd in the nation (4:35.02), with her teammate G Ryan at the 10th seed (4:37.37). Both Wolverines placed in the A final last year, along with this year’s 5th-seed, Mallory Comerford. The Louisville star has been 4:35.78 this season, a touch faster than the 4:36.16 she went at last year’s meet to take fourth. Also coming into the meet with A cuts, besides Ledecky, Bi, and Comerford, are Georgia freshman Courtney Harnish (4:35.69) and Texas junior Joanna Evans (4:35.05). Harnish has improved in her first season in Athens, while Evans is also experiencing a nice progression, and is representing a Texas program that has a lot of momentum going into this meet.
The Stanford contingent is heavy, with five swimmers in the top 25 besides Ledecky. Lauren Pitzer (4:36.61), Leah Stevens (4:37.44), Katie Drabot (4:37.51), Brooke Forde (4:37.85), and Megan Byrnes (4:39.05) make up the most formidable distance group in the country, and any number of them may well find their way into scoring position.
Purdue’s Kaersten Meitz (4:36.59), Kentucky’s Geena Freriks (4:37.20), and Texas A&M’s Claire Rasmus (4:37.30) are also squeezed into the top 10 at 6th, 8th, and 9th, respectively. Arizona sophomore Kirsten Jacobsen (4:37.47) and Louisville junior Sophie Cattermole (4:37.48) are having standout seasons, and 15th seed Hannah Moore (4:37.51) of NC State will probably move up from her seed and challenge for an A final spot.
TOP 8 PICKS:
|7||Hannah Moore||NC State||4:37.51||4:36.85|
Dark horse: Indiana’s Kennedy Goss. Seeded down at 20th with a 4:38.48, Goss was 4:36.13 at NCAAs last year and took 3rd– another swim matching that time will probably get her into the A final this year.