2018 W. NCAAs Finals Preview: Stage Set for Cal-Stanford Showdown in 200 Free Relay


With the first prelims session under their belts, swimmers are now getting ready for day 2 finals of the 2018 Women’s NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Tonight, we’ll see swimmers compete individually in the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. We’ll also see finals of the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay. Read on for a preview of what to look out for in tonight’s session.

200 Free Relay- This could get interesting between Cal and Stanford. At Pac-12s, Cal took down the American Record. This morning, Stanford broke that record. The 2 teams will go head-to-head tonight with their best lineups. We’ll likely see the NCAA Record go down, as Stanford was hundredths shy this morning and Simone Manuel looks like she has plenty left in the tank to go faster on her split tonight. Ally Howe impressed this morning for the Cardinal with a 21.07 anchor. Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil looks to help the Bears defend their title. Teammate Amy Bilquist is a key player for them as well, as she’s split 21-lows before.

500 Free- Stanford’s Katie Ledecky is chasing her own American Record tonight. Ledecky is head and shoulders above the field, but Virginia’s Jenn Marrkand is another swimmer to watch tonight. She dropped 4 seconds in prelims to take 2nd seed. Purdue’s Kaersten Meitz and Arizona’s Kirsten Jacobsen are looking good after best times this morning. Michigan’s G Ryan should be in the mix. They’ve been as fast as 4:34-low before. Stanford’s Katie Drabot, who has a lifetime best in the 4:35-range, will also vie for a top 3 spot.

200 IM- American Record holder Ella Eastin (Stanford) and defending NCAA champion Kathleen Baker (Cal) will have a rematch tonight. Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem will challenge them as the top seed for finals. Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson is in the hunt for a top 3 spot after a lifetime best this morning.

50 Free- None of the top swimmers seemed to show all of their cards in prelims. Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil, the American Record holder, and Stanford’s Simone Manuel, the NCAA Record holder and defending champion, headline this race. There are a couple of swimmers who could pull off an upset though. Tennessee’s Erika Brown has been on the rise this year, and Ohio State’s Liz Li has the home pool advantage.

400 Medley Relay- This could end up being a close race with the lead potentially changing hands a few times. Stanford and Cal have two of the fastest 100 backstrokers ever in Ally Howe (the American Record holder) and Kathleen Baker respectively, but Indiana should have far and away the fastest breaststroke split by Lilly King. Tennessee has the potential to be up there with them if they swap Erika Brown in on the fly leg.

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4 years ago

Can we get diving top 16 ? Its not showing up on my live results

4 years ago

Don’t forget to vote Caeleb Dressel for the Sullivan Award. Michael Phelps was the last swimmer to receive this award in 2003. He deserves this award. ?Link is below.


4 years ago

Cal will be swimming in an outside lane in the 400 medley relay. They cut it close using substitutes for their “A” team.

So, I think Stanford will win that one. Maybe Lilly King will create some excitement with a 55.+ split to keep Indiana in the hunt.

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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