2018 WOMEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 14th – Saturday, March 17th
- McCorkle Aquatic Pavillion — Columbus, OH
- Prelims 10AM/Finals 6PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Stanford (1x) (results)
- Live stream: Wednesday/Thursday Prelims & Finals, Friday/Saturday Prelims / Friday/Saturday finals on ESPNU
- Championship Central
- Event-by-Event Previews
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
Though her team took 6th place in the event Wednesday night, University of Louisville junior Mallory Comerford threw down the fastest 200 free split in 800 free relay history (to our knowledge).
Comerford swam second on her relay, and her time of 1:39.14 appears to be the first relay split ever under 1:40, though Katie Ledecky would anchor her relay shortly after in 1:39.87.
Before Wednesday, Missy Franklin held the fastest relay split with her 1:40.05 from the 2015 NCAA Championships. However, it’s worth noting that in 2015, the 800 free relay was on the second night of competition, with the individual 200 free coming beforehand on the same day (in this case, Franklin had already gone 1:39.10 individually).
The clear difference between Comerford and Franklin’s strategies lies in their 2nd 100 — Comerford was actually 48.80 in her first 100, while Franklin was 47.61. However, in her second 100, Comerford was 50.74 while Franklin was 52.44. Check out their full relay splits below:
|SWIMMER||1ST 50 SPLIT||2ND 50 SPLIT||3RD 50 SPLIT||4TH 50 SPLIT||FINAL TIME|
|Mallory Comerford (2018 NCAAs)||22.95||25.45||25.33||25.41||1:39.14|
|Missy Franklin (2015 NCAAs)||22.52||25.09||26.05||26.39||1:40.05|
Comerford will swim the individual race Friday; she is the reigning co-champion after tying Katie Ledecky last year in 1:40.36. Because of the relay start, it’s hard to predict just how close she might be to Franklin’s individual American record. It’s a little fairer to compare if we subtract both swimmers’ reaction times: that would yield a 1:38.93 from Comerford’s relay split, compared to a 1:38.33 from Franklin’s individual swim. From this, we might expect Comerford to be within half a second or so of Franklin’s record on Friday.