2018 Women’s NCAA Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Swimmers are gearing up for the second prelims session of the 2018 Women’s NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Tonight’s races include the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 200 medley relay. We’ll also see finals of the women’s 3-meter diving.

The 400 IM will feature a showdown between Stanford teammates Katie Ledecky, the American Record holder, and Ella Eastin, the defending NCAA Champion. We’ll see 4 of the fastest 100 backstrokers in history compete for the title: Cal’s Kathleen Baker, Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson, and Stanford teammates Ally Howe and Janet Hu. The 100 fly will pit 2 sub-50 swimmers, USC’s Louise Hansson and Tennessee’s Erika Brown, against each other. Louisville’s Mallory Comerford will go up against Stanford’s Simone Manuel and Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey in the 200 free. Indiana’s American Record holder Lilly King will look to earn her 3rd straight 100 breast title.

For a full preview of the Friday finals races, click here.


  • NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2018, 3:56.53
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2018, 3:56.53
  • Championship Record: Katinka Hosszu (USC), 2012, 3:56.54
  • 2017 Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:57.57
  1. GOLD: Ella Eastin, Stanford, 3:54.60
  2. SILVER: Katie Ledecky, Stanford, 3:58.29
  3. BRONZE: Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 3:59.05

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky took it out with a 54.55 on fly, leading under American Record pace. Teammate Ella Eastin pulled slightly ahead through backstroke, flipping over half a second ahead of Ledecky. Eastin was leading by a body length after the first 50 breast, and touched was 4 seconds ahead of Ledecky and 3 seconds under American Record pace. She continued to build her lead on Ledecky through the first half of the free leg, and she was way too far ahead for anyone to close on her by that point. Eastin destroyed the American Record by 2 seconds.

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem pulled ahead of Ledecky on the breast leg, but Ledecky came through on the free leg to give the Cardinal a 1-2 finish. Another Cardinal, Brooke Forde, nearly made it a top 3 sweep. She moved up to trail Pickrem by just a tenth with 50 yards to go, but Pickrem outsplit her down the stretch to out-touch Forde as she clipped her best from SECs. Forde broke 4:00 for the first time in 3:59.30, followed by Texas A&M’s Bethany Galat.

In the B heat, Denver’s Bailey Andison trailed halfway, but made a big move on the breast leg to take the lead. She held on through the freestyle leg to top Ohio State’s Kristen Romano, 4:03.83 to 4:04.56. Texas’ Evie Pfeifer led through backstroke. She fell back on the breast leg, but pulled into 3rd on the free leg with a 4:05.32.


  • NCAA Record: Kelsi Worrell (Louisville), 2016, 49.43
  • American Record: Kelsi Worrell (Louisville), 2016, 49.43
  • Championship Record: Kelsi Worrell (Louisville), 2016, 49.43
  • 2017 Champion: Farida Osman (Cal), 50.05
  1. GOLD: Louise Hansson, USC, 49.80
  2. SILVER: Erika Brown, Tennessee, 50.33
  3. BRONZE: Janet Hu, Stanford, 50.56

USC’s Louise Hansson was out quick in 23.36, just a hundredth ahead of Stanford’s Janet Hu. On the back-half, Hansson continued to pull ahead of the field, winning by half a second in 49.80. Behind her, Tennessee’s Erika Brown reached in to touch ahead of Hu. The only other swimmer to break 51 tonight were Cal’s Noemie Thomas and Ohio State’s Liz Li, who rounded out the top 5 in 50.92 and 50.94 respectively.

Hansson was the first non-Stanford swimmer to win a swimming event at this meet.

A close B heat saw Auburn’s Haley Black (51.25) out-touch Georgia’s Veronica Burchill (51.48). Fellow Tiger Aly Tetzloff was 3rd in 51.57.


  • NCAA Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015, 1:39.10
  • American Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015, 1:39.10
  • Championship Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015, 1:39.10
  • 2017 Champion: Katie Ledecky (Stanford)/Mallory Comerford (Louisville), 1:40.36
  1. GOLD: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 1:39.80
  2. SILVER: Siobhan Haughey, Michigan, 1:40.69
  3. BRONZE: Simone Manuel, Stanford, 1:41.48

Siobhan Haughey of Michigan was out in 23.84 to lead up front, but Louisville’s Mallory Comerford took over that lead with a 49.42 halfway. She extended her lead through the back half, crashing through the 1:40-barrier to win it in 1:39.80. She’s now the 2nd woman ever to break 1:40 in the event. Manuel had moved ahead of Haughey going into the last 50, but Haughey bounced back to take 2nd in 1:40.69, while Manuel wound up 3rd in 1:41.48. That was Haughey’s first time under 1:41.

Michigan’s Gabby Deloof took control of the B heat early on and extended her lead to a body length going into the last lap. Deloof shaved a couple of tenths off her best to win the heat in 1:42.69.


  1. GOLD: Lilly King, Indiana, 56.25
  2. SILVER: Miranda Tucker, Michigan, 57.98
  3. BRONZE: Lindsey Kozelsky, Minnesota, 58.18

Indiana’s Lilly King was out quick in 26.32, under American Record Pace. She closed in 29.93, clipping her own record with a 56.25. King rolled here eyes a bit to her team after the finish, as she’s hoped to break 56 seconds, but said she was still excited to get the record.

Former teammate Miranda Tucker, who transferred and now swims for Michigan, was just hundredths shy of her best as she took 2nd in 57.98. Tucker ran down Minnesota’s Lindsey Kozelsky into the finish. Kozelsky held on for 3rd, holding off Eastern Michigan’s Delaney Duncan (58.36). Texas A&M’s Anna Belousova (58.97) and Arizona State’s Silja Kansakoski (58.98) were also under 59.

An extremely close finish in the B heat saw USC’s Riley Scott hold on to out-touch a hard-charging Mariia Astashkina of Louisville, 59.23 to 59.29.


  1. GOLD: Ally Howe, Stanford, 49.70
  2. SILVER: Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 49.92
  3. BRONZE: Kathleen Baker, Cal, 50.18

Cal’s Kathleen Baker led a tight field halfway in 24.02, under record post. It was still 3 women neck-and-neck into the final turn, as Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson and Stanford’s Ally Howe trailed by hundredths. Howe shot off the final wall, followed closely by Nelson, as Baker faded to 3rd. Howe got her hand to the wall first just a hundredth shy of her own record, with Nelson just a couple of tenths back.

Baker ended up 3rd, just hundredths shy of her season best. NC State’s Elise Haan took a few tenths off her best to finish 4th in 50.42, making her the 10th fastest performer ever in this event. Stanford’s Janet Hu racked up another top 5 finish, narrowly behind in 50.63.

Kentucky’s Asia Seidt outside smoked the B final, racing to a 51.06 ahead of Cal’s Amy Bilquist (51.51) and Georgia’s Kylie Stewart (51.55).


  • NCAA Record: Christina Loukas (Indiana), 2009, 437.75
  • Championship Record: Christina Loukas (Indiana), 2009, 437.75
  1. GOLD: Brooke Schultz, Arkansas, 399.45
  2. SILVER: Sharae Zhang, Nevada, 394.95
  3. BRONZE: Julia Vincent, South Carolina, 361.75

Arkansas freshman Brooke Schultz brought home the title, beating out Nevada’s Sharae Zhang on the final dive. Indiana’s Jessica Parratto (7th)and Texas’ Murphy Bromberg (6th)each gave their teams a boost as they battle within the top 10.


  • NCAA Record: Cal, 2017, 1:34.10
  • American Record: Stanford, 2016, 1:34.15
  • Championship Record: Cal, 2017, 1:34.10
  • 2017 Champion: Cal, 1:34.10
  1. GOLD: Stanford, 1:33.11
  2. SILVER: Cal, 1:33.85
  3. BRONZE: Indiana, 1:33.89

Stanford and Indiana were tied at 23.54 after the back leg with Ally Howe and Ally Rockett respectively. IU’s Lilly King came through with a 25.38 breast split, the fastest ever, to give Indiana the lead. The Hoosiers held onto their lead with Christie Jensen‘s 23.18 fly split, but the Cardinal was closing in on them thanks to Janet Hu‘s 22.62. Indiana’s Grace Haskett put up her fastest split yet with a 21.79 on the anchor, but it wasn’t enough to hold on as Simone Manuel scorched the fastest free split in history at 20.45. Cal ran down Indiana to out-touch them for 2nd with a 20.95 anchor from Amy Bilquist.

NC State won the B heat, but they were disqualified due to a Lochte rule infraction and a false start.


  1. Stanford                          414   2. California                        268
  3. Texas A&M                         186   4. Texas                             171
  5. Louisville                        168   6. Michigan                          150
  7. Tennessee                       137.5   8. Minnesota                         134
  9. Indiana                           124  10. Virginia                          106
 11. Southern Cal                       83  12. Georgia                            82
 13. Ohio St                            81  14. Missouri                           72
 15. Wisconsin                          62  16. Auburn                           51.5
 17. Arizona                            45  18. South Carolina                     44
 19. Kentucky                           41  20. NC State                           37
 21. University of Nevada               33  22. Arkansas                           30
 23. Purdue                             29  24. Arizona St                         27
 25. UNC                                25  26. Northwestern                       20
 26. Denver                             20  28. UCLA                               15
 28. Alabama                            15  28. Eastern Mich                       15
 31. Miami University                   14  32. Hawaii                             12
 33. Virginia Tech                      11  33. Florida                            11
 35. Penn St                             9  36. Louisiana State University          8
 37. Rutgers                             6  38. Florida St                          3
 39. Duke                                2  39. University of Miami                 2

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

I’ve just read that Ally Howe retires after the 200 back. She knows her level in LCM. Congrats on a great college career. Cool to finish on a team title.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Quick thoughts

It should have been the night of the battles but except King vs the clock and the 100 back, the other individual races were dominated by one girl.

400 IM. As a big fan of that event, I say hats off to Ella Eastin. What a meet she has! Finally that record is put at a very very very high level. She crushed the race against KL on breaststroke. She should crush the 200 fly today. And she will be named swimmer of the meet. Without any discussion. If SCY and LCM were the same sports I would be confident about times around 2.07 and 4.29 on IM in LCM. But that’s not the case so I’m very… Read more »

6 years ago


Ol' Longhorn
6 years ago

I can remember the days when men first broke 4 min in the 400 IM.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
6 years ago

Wow! You must be very old! 😉

6 years ago

*Faints backward in slow motion.*

6 years ago

Minor correction, but Bilquist actually split an 20.95 (not a 21.95) which is BALLER for her. Bounced back from a mediocre 100 back consol and really came through big time for her team tonight.

6 years ago

Before everyone thinks that Meehan doesn’t know how to taper Ledecky or that Ledecky is on the decline, remember that Easton said some of the Stanford team was hit by some type of flu before the meet. If Ledecky was one of them, her endurance could be a little flat because of that. Speaking as someone who has had a multiple day fever two weeks out of their big meet before, my speed was as good as normal, but my endurance definitely was not what it should have been.

Reply to  Swimswamswum
6 years ago

Or Meehan doesn’t know what he is doing.

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

Yea his swimmers have all swum awfully this week!

6 years ago

How come Indiana wasn’t called for a false start? It says Haskett went -.02 reaction

Reply to  Swimmy
6 years ago

I believe if the recorded take-over is +- .04 an official has to call it a DQ, so if there is a -.02 take over not called by an official it is within the margin of error and stands as a legal take-over

Reply to  Swimmy
6 years ago

To the naked eye, Indiana’s takeoffs were very aggressive. Good for them! Way to go for it.

Reply to  Caleb
6 years ago

They were pretty on-point, and got better as the relay went on:

King: .32
Jensen: .16
Haskett: -.02

Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Have you noticed Louisville’s reaction times? Incredibly consistent with two .03 and one .05.

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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