2018 Women’s NCAA Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


We’re on to day 2 finals of the 2018 Women’s NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Tonight, we’ll see swimmers battle for individual titles in the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. The 200 free relay and 400 medley relay will bookend the session, while the women’s 1-meter diving finals will take place between the 50 free and 400 medley relay.

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky is chasing her own NCAA and American Record tonight in the 500 free. After her strong showing in the 800 free relay last night, anchoring in 1:39.87, swimming fans could see the first sub-4:24 tonight. Teammate Ella Eastin is in a similar boat, as she’s chasing her own records in the 200 IM, but she’ll be up against Cal’s reigning NCAA champ Kathleen Baker and Texas A&M’s SEC champ Sydney Pickrem. Another NCAA champ from Stanford, Simone Manuel, looks to defend her title in the 50 free. Manuel, the NCAA Record holder, will be up against American Record holder Abbey Weitzeil of Cal. Tennessee’s Erika Brown could surprise there as well, as she’s been on fire this season, as could local star Liz Li of Ohio State.


  • NCAA Record: Cal, 2017, 1:25.59
  • American Record: Stanford, 2018, 1:25.68
  • Championship Record: Cal, 2017, 1:25.59
  • 2017 Champion: Cal, 1:25.59
  1. GOLD: Stanford, 1:25.43
  2. SILVER: Cal, 1:25.50
  3. BRONZE: Tennessee, 1:27.10

It was a close battle between Cal and Stanford that came down to the last stroke, but the Stanford squad of Janet Hu (leadoff- 21.65), Simone Manuel (20.89), Lauren Pitzer (21.62), and Ally Howe (21.27) combined to take down the NCAA and American Records. That split by Manuel was the 6th fastest in history. She currently holds the fastest ever with a 20.78 from 2017 Pac-12s. Cal was also under the former records to take a narrow 2nd with Maddie Murphy (leadoff- 21.94), Amy Bilquist (21.08), Katie McLaughlin (21.47), and Abbey Weitzeil (21.01).

On the leadoff split, Tennessee’s Erika Brown and Ohio State’s Liz Li tied in 21.61 to give their teams an early edge. The Vols landed 3rd, while Ohio State wound up 7th. Virginia was 4th with a 21.27 anchor split from Caitlin Cooper. Louisville rounded out the top 5 with a 21.04 on the 2nd leg from Mallory Comerford.


  1. GOLD: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 4:26.57
  2. SILVER: Katie Drabot (Stanford), 4:34.86
  3. BRONZE: Kirsten Jacobsen (Arizona), 4:35.04

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky swam to the 5th fastest time in history, dominating the field in 4:26.57. Leecky gave a huge nod and a fist pump to teammate Katie Drabot, who broke 4:35 for the first time to secure the Cardinal 1-2. Arizona’s Kirsten Jacobsen shaved another second off her time to round out the top 3. After a massive drop in prelims, Virginia’s Jenn Marrkand put up another lifetime best to take 4th in 4:35.21. Purdue’s Kaersten Meitz (4:36.83) was off her time from prelims, but still landed a spot in the top 5.

All-Time Top 10 Performances: Women’s 500 Free

Place Swimmer Time
1 Katie Ledecky 4:24.06
2 Katie Ledecky 4:25.15
3 Katie Ledecky 4:26.09
4 Katie Ledecky 4:26.46
5 Katie Ledecky 4:26.57
6 Katie Ledecky 4:26.58
7 Katie Ledecky 4:27.21
8 Katie Ledecky 4:27.54
9 Katie Ledecky 4:27.84
10 Katie Ledecky 4:27.88

Penn State’s Ally McHugh dropped almost 2 more seconds off her best time, winning the B heat in 4:36.17. Georgia’s Courtney Harnish was also sub-4:37. In her 3rd 500 free of the day, she put up her fastest time of the day in 4:36.91.


  1. GOLD: Ella Eastin (Stanford) 1:50.67
  2. SILVER: Kathleen Baker (Cal), 1:51.25
  3. BRONZE: Sydney Pickrem (Texas A&M), 1:52.35

Stanford’s Ella Eastin completetly blew away the American and NCAA Record to keep the Cardinal winning streak alive in 1:50.67. That took a second off the former record. Stanford has yet to lose a race at this meet.

Cal’s Kathleen Baker rolled to the early lead in 51.56 at the halfway mark, while Eastin trailed by half a second. Baker continued to extend her lead through breaststroke, but Eastin made up a 7-tenths deficit and blew by her on the free leg. Eastin outsplit Baker 26.35 to 27.60 on the free leg. Baker was also under the former American and NCAA Record with a lifetime best for 2nd place.

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem shaved a few tenths from her best to take 3rd. Teammate Bethany Galat dropped a second to take 4th in 1:53.17, holding off Tennessee’s Meghan Small (1:53.18) by a hundredth. Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson dropped a few tenths for 5th in 1:53.54.

Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey was just hundredths shy of her lifetime best, swimming much faster than she did in prelims to win the B final in 1:53.53. That was the 5th fastest time of the night.


  1. GOLD: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 21.18
  2. SILVER: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 21.51
  3. BRONZE: Liz Li (Ohio State), 21.59

The NCAA Record barely survived Simone Manuel‘s finals swim tonight. Manuel was just .01 off her best, putting up the 3rd fastest time in history with a 21.18. She finished well ahead of the field, with Tennessee’s Erika Brown out-touching Ohio State’s Liz Li for 2nd.

All-Time Top 10 Performances: Women’s 50 Free

Place Swimmer Time
1 Abbey Weitzeil 21.12
2 Simone Manuel 21.17
3 Simone Manuel 21.18
4 Simone Manuel 21.20
5 Olivia Smoliga 21.21
6 Lara Jackson 21.27
7 Abbey Weitzeil 21.28 (T-6)
8 Liz Li 21.28 (T-6)
9 Liz Li 21.29 (T-8)
10 Simone Manuel 21.29 (T-8)

Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil, the American Record holder, was 4th in 21.67, followed by Texas A&M’s Béryl Gastaldello (21.74). Auburn’s Aly Tetzloff was the only swimmer in the field to clock a best time, touching in 21.77 to tie Virginia’s Caitlin Cooper for 6th.


  • NCAA Record: Kassidy Krug (Stanford), 2007, 361.55
  • Championship Record: Kassidy Krug (Stanford), 2007, 361.55
  • 2017 Champion: Alison Gibson (Texas), 332.60
  1. GOLD: Sarah Bacon (Minnesota)- 343.50
  2. SILVER: Julia Vincent (South Carolina)- 333.50
  3. BRONZE: Sharae Zheng (Nevada)- 325.25

Minnesota’s Sarah Bacon made her way to the top of the podium tonight, with South Carolina’s Julia Vincent and Nevada’s Sharae Zheng rounding out the top 3. Texas’ Alison Gibson (320.65) took 4th and Tennessee’s Rachel Rubadue (302.30) took 7th to help their teams in the battle for a top 5 spot.


  • NCAA Record: Stanford, 2018, 3:25.15
  • American Record: Stanford, 2018, 3:25.15
  • Championship Record: Stanford, 2016, 3:26.14
  • 2017 Champion: Stanford, 3:26.35
  1. GOLD: Stanford, 3:25.09
  2. SILVER: Indiana, 3:26.09
  3. BRONZE: Cal, 3:26.86

Stanford is still perfect at this meet, picking up their 5th title here. Ally Howe took the early lead in 50.34 ahead of Cal’s Kathleen Baker (50.66). They trailed Indiana after Lilly King‘s 56.02 breast split, but Kim Williams kept the Cardinal in the hunt with a 58.59 split. Janet Hu came through with a 50.36 fly split, but the Cardinal still trailed. Simone Manuel made up the gap, closing in 45.80 to lead them to a convincing victory and a new American and NCAA Record.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford had the fastest free split fo the night in 45.74 to help her team to 4th. Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson led off in 49.83 in the B heat, marking the 4th fastest 100 back of all time. That was just hundredths shy of her lifetime best 49.78 from Big Tens and the fastest 100 back of the night. USC’s Louise Hansson came up with the 2nd fastest 100 fly split ever, leading with a 49.24 fly split from the B heat.


  1. Stanford                          211   2. California                        147
  3. Texas                             109   4. Tennessee                       108.5
  5. Michigan                          101   6. Louisville                         99
  7. Texas A&M                          89   8. Virginia                           86
  9. Minnesota                          70  10. Indiana                            46
 11. Georgia                            45  11. Arizona                            45
 13. Ohio St                            40  14. Auburn                           34.5
 15. Wisconsin                          33  16. Kentucky                           32
 17. Southern Cal                       30  18. UNC                                25
 19. South Carolina                     23  20. Purdue                             18
 20. NC State                           18  22. University of Nevada               16
 23. Missouri                           15  24. Arizona St                         14
 25. Northwestern                       11  25. Denver                             11
 27. Arkansas                            9  27. Penn St                             9
 29. UCLA                                6  29. Rutgers                             6
 31. Louisiana State University          5  32. Alabama                             4
 32. Florida                             4  32. Virginia Tech                       4
 35. University of Miami                 2

In This Story


  1. My Predictions: says:

    200 Freestyle Relay:
    1) Stanford 1:25.40 NCAA/AR
    2) California 1:25.70
    3) Tennessee 1:26.20

    500 Freestyle:
    1) Ledecky 4:23.40 NCAA/AR
    2) Katie Drabot 4:34.70
    3) Kaersten Meitz 4:35.45

    200 Individual Medley:
    1) Eastin 1:51.35 NCAA/AR
    2) Baker 1:51.97
    3) Pickrem 1:52.67

    50 Freestyle:
    1) Manuel 21.21
    2) Brown 21.35
    3) Weitzel 21.39

    400 Medley Relay:
    1) Stanford 3:24.03 NCAA/AR
    2) California 3:25.78
    3) Tennessee 3:27.08

    Really rooting for Baker in this 200 IM!

  2. wild Bill says:

    B final – 4x 50
    Fast swimming!

  3. swim enthusiast says:

    the audio on the live stream sounds terrible

    • Sean Sullivan says:

      I’d rather have Sam Kendricks sounding scratchy sure to poor audio levels than Rowdy and whatever random person from ESPN they pull in for the next 2 days.

      • Fred says:

        I just talked to my son about that moments ago and fully agree. They are putting up the finish results superimposed on the screen quickly whereas Rowdy would talk and talk and us listeners would have no clue who was 3rd through 8th until much later.

      • tea rex says:

        Rowdy Gaines is the Plan 9 From Outer Space of announcers. Not for everyone, but I appreciate it.

      • CBswims says:

        Stop complaining. Sam is of course great and Rowdy is at the very least entertaining. I’m lucky I got to watch such amazing swimming on a live stream and participate in a website so dedicated to swimming.

      • David Avery says:

        You have a beautiful name

    • END CLOSEUPS says:

      Sound quality is irritating, but my pet peeve in swimming video is using a close-up shot on one swimmer. I realize Katie Ledecky makes it harder to include other swimmers in the frame, but try to show them. Some people might even say “the race is for second”. But there were extended periods where that “race for second” was not shown. Every swimmer in every heat has somebody who cares about that swimmer. Just keep the same zoom for the entire event, and let me decide what part of the race to watch. That way I won’t have to yell at my screen.

      • Charlie Hodgson says:

        Agree 1000%. It is super irritating not be able to see all of the swimmers all of the time, especially if one of the other swimmers is someone you are following. Another irritating method is the placement of the heat list over the entire middle of the screen while the swimmers are being announced which means you can’t see the swimmers. Move the heat list over to the right at least.

  4. Yabo says:

    Live stream isn’t working ://

  5. Cookies says:

    This total silence in between announcements on the audio is incredibly lame and annoying…

  6. MASONMAKOS says:

    Stanford just went 1:25.43

  7. Klorn8d says:

    Why did absolutely no one look happy after that race finished haha

    • Ervin says:

      Seriously! Based on Cal’s body language i thought they might have DQ’d

      • ALEXANDER POP-OFF says:

        They’re just disappointed. Hope they use it as motivation!

        • Observer says:

          Because they should have won. 21.0 for Abbey is not good any way you slice it. She has almost been that flat start in her prime.

          • Klorn8d says:

            I more meant Stanford didn’t even look happy

          • Adsf says:

            They were tired catching their breathes. 50 is such a short distance and doesn’t leave much time to brrathe and cheer much. Then wham, the next swimmer had to leave the block and the next thing you know the race was over.

  8. Ice Age Swimmer says:

    thought Abbey was gonna catch her!

  9. joe says:

    What a race. Cal brings back everyone next year while Stanford loses their three fastest splits, so I don’t expect the record will last long 🙂

    • Hint of Lime says:

      Crazy to think about how “young” Cal’s relay is — Murphy, Bilquist, Weitzel, and McLaughlin under the NCAA/American records, too. Bet they’ll be hungry for next year, but congrats to all teams on a great race.

      • Ervin says:

        Yeah. Stanford graduating 3 legs of that relay…even with a monster class coming in theyre not going to be able to replace splits like that…atleast not initially. Hu, Howe and Manuel are so versatile on relays.

    • CraigH says:

      But, Stanford brings in Ruck and Goeders plus more. I think they will be alright.


    Janet Hu really came through for Stanford.

  11. tea rex says:

    The 500 finals start in a few minutes. I heard Katie Ledecky finished 15 minutes ago…

  12. Pvdh says:

    Is the stream down?

  13. Yabo says:

    I’ve tried three different browsers across two different devices why isn’t the live stream loading?

  14. Ice Age Swimmer says:

    holy cow Simone split 20.89!!!

  15. tea rex says:

    Based on that 21.04 split, Mallory Comerford could have done some damage in the 50 free. Third fastest split of the field…

    • Steve Nolan says:

      I’m curious why they picked the 500 over it. I’m sure they had a reason, but idk seems weird given how fast she’s been elsewhere

  16. E+Gamble says:

    Simone Manuel split…20.89. Boom !

  17. Ice Age Swimmer says:

    I missed it- did Sierra dance behind the blocks?

  18. Hint of Lime says:

    4:36.17 for McHugh, 4:36.91 for Harnish, 4:37.53 for Forde for top 3 in B-Final. Kudos to Harnish for her third 500 of the day!

  19. HOYA13 says:

    Love that Harnish is taking this 500 out hard from lane 8 even though this is her THIRD 500 of the day. Gutsy swim.

  20. pvdh says:

    the name change to “Liz Li” still makes me nearly cry with laughter

    • Steve Nolan says:

      It sounds like a joke cut from a 30 Rock episode.

      “You just ate that entire sheet cake very Lizly.”

  21. pvdh says:

    she looks so much smoother than last year

  22. CanSwim13 says:

    Harnish is going to sleep well tonight!

  23. HurricaneMasters says:

    Ledecky out super fast…

  24. Hint of Lime says:

    4:26.57 for Ledecky and Stanford goes 1-2 with Drabot in second

    • wild Bill says:

      It’s getting harder for Katie to have radical drops – still two AR’s this season

      • tammy touchpad error says:

        Does it matter? watching that race it wasn’t even a race. she could’ve been 10 seconds off PB and still get a win. It will be hard for someone to beat her in 2020, but there definitely are girls eying her in her pet events. I think she’ll still win 4-8-15 at least.

    • ArtVanDeLegh10 says:

      I said last year that I wouldn’t be surprised if Ledecky never went another best time LCM in the 400/800/1500 (the events she mainly focused on with Gemmel). One event in, and it doesn’t even look good for SCY. As I said last year, I hope I’m wrong, but another rested swim, another slower time.

      • Zelda says:

        Stanford ruined her.

        • wild Bill says:

          She has added significantly to SCY swimming at the college level

        • USA USA USA says:

          I kind of agree

        • Sean Sullivan says:

          If you look at the history of female distance swimmers who were world class in their teens, very few continued to drop time into their 20s. Maybe this comment was tongue in cheek, but if not it’s just silly.

        • tea rex says:

          Yeah, Katie Ledecky is totally terrible at swimming now and stuck at a dead-end school. not.

        • caswim says:

          Ha, Stanford may have made her ability to swim 20 lengths in a pool just a wee bit slower- but her ability to become whatever else she wants is certainly heightened by this school. Especially since she comes from a very wealthy family who can fund whatever endeavors she has beyond her time in the pool- we need worry not about her future, which with as fans of hers we should be very concerned and hopeful. She’s in good hands overall at Stanford. Be happy for her.

      • pvdh says:

        moving on to 200 free/400 Im will keep her engaged and challenged in the sport. even with these other girls stepping up, shes not going to have trouble winning 400-1500 at the olympics. She needs a challenge and 200 free/400IM gives that to her

        • gii says:

          If Ledecky was 8 sec off her 800 PB like last year, how is she’s not going to have trouble in winning the 800 at 2020?

      • AWSI DOOGER says:

        Rio was always going to be her peak. That’s why I rooted for Katie to meet the time goals in that meet. I don’t think she had any clue how difficult it was going to be to approach the records again.

    • Sccoach says:

      I love that everyone is judging Katie’s future based on this one swim. Just stop

      • gii says:

        No, the judging are based on last year NCAA, last year Worlds, and this swim.

        • Ole 99 says:

          Isn’t the 500 free record from last years’ NCAA? Ella Easton was slower than her 200 IM record last year as a sophomore. Bounced back this year.

          • gii says:

            Thing is, Ledecky was slower than Pac-12, she was 4:26.09 three weeks ago.
            Her teammates are faster than Pac-12, which couldn’t imply the whole team taper are a bit off like last year.

          • Ole 99 says:

            Ledecky was about two seconds slower in both prelims and finals this year. I don’t know the reason. Could be a lot of things. She also had a 4:28 swimming next to her last year in finals so maybe that helped as well.

      • ArtVanDeLegh10 says:

        It’s not just 1 swim.

        • Yozhik says:

          Let’s wait to the end of the meet with conclusions. If she even set her individual goals for this meet it would be most likely 400IM and maybe personal best at 1650.
          There was no improvement at 500 since Pac-12 but her 200 looked better. It’s hard to say what form she is in now and if it is better than at Pac-12.
          There was poor connection during 500 race and it is difficult to say for certain but there was no excitement shown with what she did. But she was happy to see teammate second in the race.
          Let’s see what tomorrow brings to us.

          • Steve Nolan says:

            Or maybe she’s not rested for this meet. No one’s ever rested!! You don’t know her life!!

      • Lazy 8s says:

        I know, people need to remember that (believe it or not) she is a HUMAN and not a MACHINE. Every swim can’t be perfect. She will find her way to wherever she wants to be.

      • Notaswimmer says:

        Agree! Does anyone consider that she is also a full time student at one of the toughest academic institutions in the country?

    • Silent observer says:

      She was also swimming against no one. Just the clock. NCs is all about points. Times get sidelined.

      You could tell she didn’t shift into another gear at the end of that race. She was most likely considering energy conservation for the 4X100 FREE Relay, 400IM and 1650 she has to still swim.

      I wouldn’t be too concerned with YET ANOTHER sub 4:30 500. Have we gotten used to that so much, that it has somehow started looking pedestrian? Let’s just enjoy watching the best female freestyler in history.

  25. pvdh says:

    in other news….Tuggle 1;44 in 200 free at 13 years old, nearly breaking Missy’s 13-14 NAG…

  26. Silent Observer says:

    Katie Ledecky….so fast she swims in two lanes at the same time


  27. Phelps swims 200 breast rio says:

    Ledecky’s stroke doesn’t look the same to me. Her right arm entry seems different.

  28. marklewis says:

    Kirsten Jacobsen from Arizona did well to get 3rd.

    I guess the new coaches at Arizona aren’t so bad after all.

    • CraigH says:

      In the NCAAs, I would much rather have a coach who can coach sprints than distance. Besides didn’t Leah Smith’s coach from Virginia go back to Arizona with Busch? I’d imagine any magic happening there is from him.

  29. Swimfan45 says:

    Can someone explain to me why even though B final people are faster that A finalists still get the medals? I’ve swam all my life and I get it’s the system I just never really understood it. Props to harnish for swimming 3 500’s. And still pulling a 4:36. That’s unreal man.

    • Braden Keith says:

      Swimfan45 – you could change that system, and let B finalists beat A finalists…but then that would make prelims effectively meaningless. It’s been decided in championship swimming that it’s a test of who can swim the best time after having previously swimming the race. Is it kind of arbitrary? Yes. But it’s also kind of arbitrary that a jump shot from 24 feet is worth 50% more points than a jump shot from 23 feet.

    • PINODEE says:

      Because to be a champion, or even to receive an award as a 7th place finisher, you have to get the job done in prelims as well. That’s why, especially at a meet as fast as NCAA’s, it is crucial to do what you need to do it prelims to set yourself up for the most points in finals.

    • Butterpeanut says:

      That really is the purpose of the competition. We’re in a sport where in theory every meet could be 100% virtual and everyone just hosts their own meet and the time/scores are added up…but that defeats the purpose. Doing well in the morning and being able to repeat/improve at night is in the key to the competition.

      • Caleb says:

        + giving people a chance to actually race each other — it’s not the same as track where you can really see everyone, but “racing” is still different than just comparing times.

  30. pvdh says:

    so i just realized Siobhan Haughey is not from the UK, but from Hong Kong. I think i conflated her and Siobhan Marie O’Conner into the same person

  31. Hint of Lime says:

    1:50.67 for Eastin, 1:51.25 for Baker

  32. pvdh says:



    WOW! Ella!

  34. marklewis says:

    Ella Eastin had a magnificent final turn to pull ahead of Baker.

    New records all around for her.

  35. Swimmerj says:

    THIS WEBCAST IS DRIVING ME NUTS!! How can you put the times over their faces when theg finish the best part of swimming is the reactions!!

  36. Hint of Lime says:

    Second time tonight for Cal — in the relay and IM — swimming under the NCAA and American records but Stanford getting first. Some PAC-12 dominance over here.

  37. IM FAN says:

    Damn, both Eastin and Baker destroy the record. 1:50.67, almost a second under the old one.

  38. Sccoach says:

    Gutsy swim by Baker too

  39. My Predictions: says:

    Baker looked heartbroken. Was really rooting for her. Can’t wait for her 200 back!
    Congrats to Eastin for an unbelievable swim though.

  40. JimSwim says:

    Anyone know the record for most wins by one team?

  41. IM FAN says:

    Wow, Baker outsplit Eastin on every leg but the free leg.

    • jcd<3 says:

      yeah wow – Eastin with the fastest free split and Baker with the 2nd slowest. regardless, fantastic swims by both. so fast!

    • pvdh says:

      thats the difference between a 100/200 backstroker and a 200fly/400IMer lol

    • Double Arm Freestyle says:

      She went out fast and it hit her hard that last 50. Amazing and gutsy swim, absolutely delightful seeing she and Eastin race

  42. Cookies says:

    I understand that the announcer is trying to be enthusiastic and add excitement etc, but when combined with the horrid audio quality it all comes off as a little annoying…

  43. IM FAN says:

    Results on the stream just showed Weitzel in 3rd and 4th and Brown in 2nd and 6th. Nice. Just another reason to hate this stream.


    So someone said earlier that Manuel would win by 4 or 5 tenths. And there you have it! PS– Honestly, I think she is disappointed not to break the American Record. As for Weitzeil, my hope for her is she can use this as motivation and bounce back.

  45. Cookies says:

    OMG the audio for the diving is such a welcome relief from that nightmare sound in the swimming.

  46. Cookies says:

    Why is she “your” NCAA champion? Why can’t she just be “the” NCAA champion????


    Looks like Abbey is crying on the podium :(. Been there. Hope she takes it out on the pool!

  48. marklewis says:

    Erika Brown adding some style to the awards podium with her Davy Crockett coonskin hat.

  49. wild Bill says:

    Love Erika Brown at the victory stand – and her UT ” Hat “

  50. swamfan says:

    Thoughts on the 50:
    Manual’s start was insane.
    Erika Brown’s ascension is awesome but really confuses me.
    Weitzel looked devastated on the podium. . . hope she can bounce back for the relay tonight.
    Happy for Bilquist and Murphey going 1-2 in the B-final. It sucks that they missed the A-final by .02 and .01

  51. MSA says:

    Janet Hu would have placed 4th in the 50 free with the relay leadoff time.

    • Bob says:

      Such an incredible talent-so versatile. She is an integral part of Stanford’s team and especially the relays, it’s gonna be a huge loss for her to go. Really hope she finds more success going forwards!

      • Swimmerj says:

        Love how she was virtually useless her freshman year and then found her gear and turned into one of Stanford’s keys. She is a team player too. Such a valuable swimmer.

  52. wild Bill says:

    Go Abby Go!

  53. wild Bill says:

    Abby – the will of the online crew – fantastic split tonight!

  54. My Predictions: says:

    Let the downvotes come… but

    Certain training methods and environments just don’t work for some people. Abbey Weitzel was on a rise until she arrived at Cal. Since, she hasn’t been near her best. Not saying Cal isn’t training their athletes well (Kathleen Baker just smashed the NCAA record in 2nd place and swims @ Cal) I’m just saying that certain training methods don’t work well for certain people. I really feel horrible for Abbey and I hope she can bounce back but it might not happen if she continues to swim at Cal.

    • Sean says:

      Well said and true. She still holds the record of 21.12 before college. Hope she figures out what she needs to do.

    • bigNowhere says:

      Yes, different people respond better/worse to different training methods. I’m old enough to remember Dana Volmer getting injured her freshman year at Florida, and then transferring to Cal. The rest is history.

      • Aquajosh says:

        She was injured before she ever got to Florida. She herniated a disk in her back on a flip turn during her senior year of high school. A healthy Dana could have handled that program and done really well, but she wasn’t in the physical condition for the yardage and it exacerbated things. Teri does a really good job with nursing injured swimmers back to health. She made the right choice.

        • bigNowhere says:

          Fair point. As someone who read a lot of posts bashing Cal the last few years (mostly with regard to Missy Franklin) I felt like pushing back on that a little. But, yes, someone as talented as Dana probably would have thrived in many programs. I didn’t realize she injured herself before college.

    • Demario says:

      Well said, completely agree. She still holds American record and fastest time in history @ 21.12 and that was BEFORE college. Hope she figures out what she needs to do whether that’s talk to McKeever and switch the way she’s been training and try something new or transfer.

    • swammerjammer says:

      Very, very true. Anyway, stellar swimming today from mighty athletes!

    • Taa says:

      Indiana has her old coach

      • SeanSwimmer says:

        The only leg Indiana is really missing on there Medley relays is Freestyle. With Weitzeil anchoring they’d smash the 200 Medley Relay Record for sure. They were 1:34.1 at big 10 with a 22 something anchor leg. But I may jumping a bit ahead lol

        • swimmerTX says:

          Note that it was done by freshman Grace Haskett

          • Sean says:

            It was Swam by Holly Spears as I was at the meet. Haskett was listed as the alternate but was entered in on Meet Mobile and Live results as the anchor swimmer not the alternate.

          • SeanSwimmer says:

            It was done but SENIOR Holly Spears as I was at the meet. On Meet a mobile and live results it does indeed read Grace Haskett but she was the alternate for the Freestyle leg but Holly Spears was the one who swam the leg. Misprint On Meet mobile.

          • My Predictions: says:

            I can also confirm this. Swimmertx it was not swam by Grace Haskett

          • swimmerTX says:

            Alright, sorry for the confusion. Was solely basing it off of previous meets and expected it would be the freshman Haskett. Thanks for the new information!

          • Dean Tipton says:

            It was swam by Grace Haskett

          • Demario says:

            You are correct, Holly Spears did swim the free leg

    • swimmerTX says:

      She’s emphasized it in many interviews that it’s not the new training methods that Teri has brought, and it has nothing to do with the program, Teri, or her coaching tactics as a whole.

      • Sean says:

        Well it clearly is based on her results (not that they are bad in any means, just off her times for her) She didn’t just slow for absolutely no reason. Something happened when she got to Cal with her training because she was 21.1 before college!

    • Ole 99 says:

      Ledecky to Cal for Weitzel and a freshman to be named later

    • Caleb says:

      that’s not exactly true… her Olympic year was swimming at home before going to Cal and the plateau started there.

    • Steve Nolan says:

      Or maybe she’s just taking more classes this semester or something.

      Not everyone just keeps improving forever and sometimes people do different things on purpose. We’ll literally never know. Would Michael Phelps have been better with a different coach?! Idk, prolly not! But ya never know.

  55. Dru151 says:

    Comerford should have swam the 50

  56. jd14 says:

    North Allegheny with a 2:53.8 national record 400 free relay! What’s happening?

  57. swamfan says:

    Incredible race by Baker and Eastin. I’m sure Baker she was disappointed to finish 2nd (even though she destroyed her previous personal best and the former ncaa record) but she looked happier than anyone on the podium. Whenever she’s interviewed you can sense her excitement and enthusiasm for swimming. It’s cool to watch a competitor who clearly loves the sport so much. She always looks like she’s having a great time.

    • HOYA13 says:

      Do the think Baker would ever take on the 200IM LC?

      • swimmerTX says:

        She did at 2017 WC Trials but probably used it as a training swim of sorts as her strokes were smooth and not too on par with race pace and scratched from finals in that

      • tea rex says:

        I’d like to see it – Baker has been under 1:00 in the 100 bk (lcm), 100 fly (lcm), and 100 br (scy). Not many people can say that.

        But realistically, Ella Eastin is much more suited to swimming the 200 IM long course. Baker’s underwaters are worth less and Eastin’s endurance worth more in LCM.

    • Lazy 8s says:

      Those two have such an amazing rivalry in that race! Their 200 yard IM is next level and hopefully they can carry that confidence & momentum together into 2020.

    • Swimmerj says:

      She seems like the sweetest, always happy for her competitors. Never forget when Ally Howe went 49.69, Baker looked more happy for Howe than Howe was for herself… incredible sportsmanship… an A1 athlete

  58. wild Bill says:

    Hope this is not viewed as ego – wonder if any of our comments are read by the NCAAers – during the meet –

    If so – we love you all! Go Swimming Go! – The # 1 Sport

    • Ole 99 says:

      I’m sure the comments section will keep Ledecky up tonight. ?

    • Steve Nolan says:

      God, I hope not. It’d be better just to read a bunch of ipsum lorem than this drivel. (He says as the biggest source of most of the drivel.)

      • PKWater says:

        I may have had one too many beverages newly being sold at senior level swim meets tonight but I am loving the swimswam community more than usual. The ones that I like have the best sense of humor. Good on you Steve

  59. PKWater says:

    I just realized Stanford had 3 seniors on that 200 relay…
    Cal had 2 Sophomores and 2 Juniors. Cal has another year and I think next year they will break that thing by another half a second.

    It is unbelievable to me that Stanford could potentially win all but 3 events here (breaststrokes and 200 backstroke). It would take a big effort from a lot of those women but it is doable… That is crazy

  60. wild Bill says:

    Sam Kendricks is fantastic!

  61. wild Bill says:

    Wow! 49.83 – 100 Back lead off – B. Nelson

  62. paloozas says:

    wow 49.83 by beata nelson!

  63. IM FAN says:

    Nelson proving big 10s wasn’t a fluke. 49.83 leading off in the B final.

  64. tea rex says:

    Beata Nelson has those underwaters on lock.

    PS – did she get a little too close to the wall on the last turn?

  65. marklewis says:

    Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson swims 49.8 back split. She’s got extra good turns and underwaters.

  66. Caleb says:

    200 IM showdown is hard to top but the 100 back tomorrow could do it.

  67. paloozas says:

    56.02 for lilly king 100 breast split

  68. IM FAN says:

    Stanford just edging under their Pac 12 time.

  69. swamfan says:

    Beata Nelson had by far the fastest 100 back lead-off. Baker was nearly a second slower than her lead-off last year. Howe was way off her personal best as well.

  70. paloozas says:


  71. Zanna says:

    Stanford won all events tonight apart from diving.

  72. E+Gamble says:

    Stanford has won every event so far. This is his just crazy. ?

  73. Kate says:

    So Stanford won every event tonight and owns every NCAA record in those events. So fun to watch.

    Also, I hate that “swimming more than 1/4 of the race in the style of backstroke” call. Do you think they’ll get rid of it? We’re constantly telling kids to push off on their backs and then rotate to their stomachs 🙁

  74. pvdh says:

    Lilly King basically Adam Peaty’s the Indiana relay into the podium

  75. Daaaave says:

    Has a team had a more dominant night in any NCs ever? Most dominant single event was Texas men 100 fly a couple years ago. But wins across the board with three American and NCAA records is just astounding for a single session. My goodness.

  76. IM FAN says:

    Fastest splits
    Nelson 49.83
    King 56.02
    Hu 50.36
    Comerford 45.74 (Manuel was close with 45.80)

    Those splits added together gives a time of 3:21.98!
    Shows how much room this relay record has to drop even further, albeit a huge portion of that comes from Lilly king, who is an anomaly time was.

  77. jd14 says:

    Hansson with a 49.2 fly split! in the b final.

  78. Sean Sullivan says:

    Comerford outsplit Simone by a little bit on that relay. Looked like Simone’s last couple strokes were a little more relaxed than they would have been in a closer race. Should be a fascinating 100 free on Saturday.

    • AWSI DOOGER says:

      Mallory is not going to beat Simone at 100. I think Simone will narrowly hold on at 200 also.

      Massive value of the lead in races like that. Mallory is terrific but she’s always going to be chasing from behind.

      • Sean Sullivan says:

        I agree about the 100 but I think Mallory is the clear favorite in the 200. Better back half than Ledecky yesterday and she has the speed to keep it fairly close to Simone on the front end.

      • Swimmerj says:

        Non-Oympians can win races. Grow up Rowdy.

  79. Bevo says:

    Keep it up Texas. Horns Up!

  80. wild Bill says:

    Mallory Comerford had the fastest free split of the evening – 45.74.

  81. paloozas says:

    wow 1:00.19 split from Riley Scott? yikes

    • AvidSwimFan says:

      Riley Scott seems to peak before the biggest meet each year. There’s still the 100 breaststroke race for redemption, but if I was the USC coach, I’ll try aroesty in Scott’s place.

  82. Buona says:

    Texas A & M does not look good. They might not be in top 3.

    • Sophie says:

      They’ll have that huge surge on the last day, though, and since Gastaldello is doing better than people thought she would, I think they still have a good shot at top 3. The one I’m more worried about is Michigan. They’re going to have to get some big points tomorrow in the 200 if they want any chance at even being close to a top 3 finish.

      • Hannah says:

        Based on their 800 free relay, Michigan should knock the 200 free out of the park. I wouldn’t count out Texas A&M out until after the 200 breaststroke. I would also point out that as individuals they are mostly hitting their taper well as Galat Pickrem and Gastaldello are all doing great. Where they are having issues is in relays. Honestly, the team that’s really imploding is USC. They’re in 17th right now. Any thoughts on why they’ve missed their taper two years in a row? (Although Louise Hansson killed it on both relays today).

        • Taa says:

          They are just super weak in the freestyle events. Mosley leaving for Tennessee was a big loss. Heading into PAC-12s Ciesla looked like she would pick up the slack but she fizzled out. They just have no horses in the stable. The men’s team I worry about also just 6 guys qualified and how many relay swims can those guys do.

  83. E+Gamble says:

    I’m so ready for ESPN tomorrow night. A clear picture…nice volume….and replay. Heaven. ?

    • On Fleek says:

      But will you be ready for Rowdy… 😀

      • E+Gamble says:

        Sorry. I grew up in the same town as Rowdy. Yup. I’m looking forward to Rowdy. ?

        • Swimmerj says:

          “This race is a two-women show. It is completely between Manuel and Ledecky.” Get you a man who does his research. This girl has been dropping time like it’s jello for the past few years. Good swimmers exist, even if they aren’t Olympians!!

          • AvidSwimFan says:

            The Olympics are the pinnacle of swimming competition (and most other competitions), so it follows that Olympians especially soon after the Olympics are the current best of the bests because of the selection process. Rowdy isn’t the only one who celebrates this, I see posts on Twitter all the time before a big race.

        • CheddaShredda says:

          put some respek on rowdy’s name

        • AvidSwimFan says:

          I think we’re the only 2 people who like Rowdy.

          • Teamwiess says:

            The secret club of folks who actually like Rowdy. I am in that club. I love his enthusiasm. As a longtime swimmer and swim fan, I think that some of the commentary is simplistic but at the same time for anyone who does not follow swimming religiously, he brings an aura of excitement to the table. I know others disagree and point out every mistake or disagreement. For certain feeds there are Nicole Livingstone and the British gentleman. They comment for the swimming expert but also are worse than watching paint dry in terms of entertainment. I think many of the Rowdy-haters actually prefer them. I do not.

  84. eagleswim says:

    was the Tennessee dq a “lochte rule” violation? have wee seen that on a medley relay before? I know ella got dqed for it in 4 im at trials last year… This interpretation of the rule needs to be scrapped. when you teach kids how to flipturn you teach them to flip straight over and push off on their back. This makes no sense to me. I understand the premise i guess, but if doing fly kicks isn’t considered “swimming in the style of butterfly,” then I don’t really understand why pushing off or kicking on your back should be considered “swimming in the style of backstroke”

  85. Caeleb Dressel Will Get 8 golds in Tokyo says:

    Still think Ledecky will break 15 minutes?

  86. Sophie says:

    It looks like Weitzel didn’t bounce back from that 50 free in the relay 🙁 …too bad. Would have been an even more exciting race to watch if Baker had gone a similar split to last year and if Weitzel had been similar to Comerford/Manuel.

  87. icyhot says:

    is it just me or do a lot of “established” swimmers look pretty off today…

    congrats to drabot for having a killer meet so far in regards to last year!!!

  88. Swim says:

    I thought Cal was winning?


    Feel sad for Cal and hope they bounce back. At the same time, I want to give props to Ali Harrison and Noemie Thomas for their big splits. ESP. to the freshman Ali for that big 58!

  90. swamfan says:

    Just realized the reigning ACC champ in the 200 IM didnt score in the event at NCAAs. Leah Godlman was 27th in the 200 IM prelims.

  91. Swimmerj says:

    I literally can’t fathom Eastin’s 200 IM it is so ridiculously fast

  92. bobo gigi says:

    Quick thoughts

    4X50 free relay. Stanford with 4 strong legs. Weird to put Simone in second instead of first or last but they won so they were right. 🙂

    500 free. KL no surprise. Some people will be disappointed by the time. I’m not. We can’t expect her to break her crazy records every time she swims. It’s more and more unlikely. I don’t see her break her LCM records again in the future. And it would be logical. I think she has peaked in 2016. Mentally and physically. Her training with Bruce Gemmell was huge. Now she’s at Stanford with other coaches, other methods and she’s a student in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. She’s not focused as much on swimming as it was before Rio. Maybe she will be back with Gemmell to prepare Tokyo, no idea, but we must put in our mind that she’s not a machine. And I think that she must find new challenges. The 400 IM can be one of them. Or more focus on the 200 free. Having said that we must not forget that she has easily won and in a time which is in the top 10 ever. So nothing bad here. 😆 Of course the young Chinese girls can represent a big threat in Tokyo from the 400 free to the 1500 free. Of course Taylor Ruck can represent a big threat for her in the 200 free. But it can also help her to find a new motivation. We’ll see.

    200 IM. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! As a fan of IM events that’s huuuuuuuge! That’s a huge record by Ella Eastin. I need to watch the race to see how she destroyed Kathleen Baker on freestyle. She has much more endurance as a 200 fly/400 IM swimmer but I presume that her turns and underwaters were crazy. That’s why I wonder if she will one day convert her huge SCY accomplishments into LCM. I want to see her shine in the big pool too. Her underwaters count less in LCM so it’s hard to say how her SCY time drops will convert into LCM. If it was the same sport she would be in 2.06/2.07 in LCM. Maybe it will happen in 2020 to win the gold in Tokyo after a 2019/2020 season focused on long course training. That’s all I wish her. She will be hard to beat in the 400 IM even if that’s Katie Ledecky who holds the record since Pac-12 championships. And she will crush the 200 fly competition. Huge swim by Baker too. She’s in great shape too.

    50 free. Simone, as always, is clutch. Almost the same winning time as last year. She’s back to her best. Not the crazy final that some fans could expect in terms of times overall but it’s a final and a lot of tension. Times don’t count in final. Onloy the places. And Simone is a huge racer who always steps up when it counts the most. Disappointing performance for Abbey Weitzeil. The talks about Abbey’s rise stopped at Cal can begin…. 🙂 I’m a big fan of the work made at Louiville with the girls but I must say that I don’t understand the choice of not putting Mallory Comerford in the 50 free instead of the 500 free considering her speed base. She would have finished second in my opinion. I just hope that having swum a 500 free race will not cost her too much energy for the 100 free on Saturday. I want to see a Mallory at 100% against a Simone who will be at 100%. Mallory is the only girl who can bother Simone in that race. Simone is the big favorite and I imagine she has no intention of losing her final college individual race but I want to see the best Mallory possible to push her until the end.

    4X100 medley relay. Useful to have the best 100 free girl in the world in your team. Logical win for Stanford. Beata Nelson is a monster in terms of underwaters. No surprise to see her break the 50-second barrier on backstroke. Lilly King will be alone on her planet in the 100 breast. Hansson rebounds with a big 100 fly relay split after a disappointing 200 free in the relay on day 1. She will the main rival of Erika Brown in the 100 fly.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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