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


Swimmers are gearing up for the second prelims session of the 2018 Women’s NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Today’s races include the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 200 medley relay. Stanford’s Katie Ledecky and Ella Eastin will set up a showdown in the 400 IM tonight, while Ally HoweBeata Nelson, Kathleen Baker, and Janet Hu will challenge the :50 barrier in the 100 back. Mallory Comerford will try for sub-1:40 after going 1:39.14 on her relay Wednesday night. We’ll also see Lilly King in her individual 100 breast after going the fastest relay split ever last night. Erika Brown will shoot for another sub-:50 in the 100 fly.

Click here to view the full heat sheet.


  • 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), 4:57.57

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Ella Eastin (Stanford)- 4:01.49
  2. Katie Ledecky (Stanford)- 4:01.72
  3. Sydney Pickrem (Texas A&M)- 4:03.09
  4. Meg Bailey (Ohio State)- 4:03.95
  5. Brooke Forde (Stanford)- 4:04.95
  6. Sharli Brady (Missouri)- 4:04.96
  7. Bethany Galat (Texas A&M)- 4:04.98
  8. Sarah Darcel (Cal)- 4:05.09

Stanford’s Ella Eastin held a commanding lead in the penultimate heat, swimming a smooth 4:01.49. She was 3 seconds ahead, with Texas A&M’s Bethany Galat touching 2nd in 4:04.98. Eastin’s teammate Katie Ledecky was just a few tenths shy of her with a 4:01.72 to win the last heat, setting them up to battle side-by-side in the final. Another Cardinal swimmer, Brooke Forde, came in 2nd in that heat with a 4:04.95, coming from behind to out-touch Mizzou’s Sharli Brady by a hundredth.

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem led the first circle seeded heat in 4:03.09, followed by Ohio State’s Meg Bailey (4:03.95). That was a best by almost a second for Bailey. Cal’s Sarah Darcel was 3rd in that heat with a 4:05.09.

Texas’ Evie Pfeifer rolled to a 4:06.37 in heat 3, knocking 2 seconds off her former best.


  • 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

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Louise Hansson (USC)- 49.90
  2. Noemie Thomas (Cal)- 50.76
  3. Erika Brown (Tennessee)- 50.83
  4. Grace Oglesby (Louisville)- 51.07
  5. Janet Hu (Stanford)- 51.09
  6. Katie McLaughlin (Cal)- 51.24
  7. Liz Li (Ohio State)- 51.25
  8. Ann Ochitwa (Missouri)- 51.57

USC’s Louise Hansson joined the sub-50 club this morning, winning heat 6 in 49.90. She’ll battle with Tennessee’s Erika Brown in the final, making it the first time we’ve seen 2 women with lifetime bests in the 49-range going head-to-head. Brown won the final heat this morning in 50.83, followed by Auburn’s Haley Black (51.61). Though Black was 2nd in the heat, she came up short of the top 8 at 9th.

Cal’s Noemie Thomas is the 2nd seed, finishing behind Hansson in her heat with a 50.76. Teammate Katie McLaughlin qualified 6th, a hundredth ahead of Ohio State’s Liz Li. Missouri’s Ann Ochitwa clipped her season best to qualify for the final in 51.57. That’s the fastest she’s been in this event since 2015.

Stanford’s Janet Hu took the early lead in heat 5, but Louisville’s Grace Oglesby ran her down, out-touching Hu 51.07 to 51.09 at the finish. They each earned a top 5 spot.


  • 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

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Mallory Comerford (Louisville)- 1:41.61
  2. Siobhan Haughey (Michigan)- 1:43.04
  3. Simone Manuel (Stanford)- 1:43.08
  4. Robin Neumann (Cal)- 1:43.38
  5. Claire Rasmus (Texas A&M)- 1:43.49
  6. (T-6) Megan Moroney (Virginia)- 1:43.68
  7. (T-6) Katie Drabot (Stanford)- 1:43.68
  8. Katie McLaughlin (Cal)- 1:43.71

Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey set the pace in heat 5, winning in 1:43.04. Cal’s Robin Neumann started to close in on her on the final 50, but came up short in 1:43.38. Virginia’s Jenn Marrkand was 3rd there in 1:43.96.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford took over the leaderboard in heat 6. She led from start to finish, but really distanced herself from the field on the back half as she touched in 1:41.61. Texas A&M’s Claire Rasmus (1:43.49) clipped Stanford’s Katie Drabot (1:43.68) for 2nd in that heat.

Stanford’s Simone Manuel came up with the early lead, holding steady down the stretch in 1:43.08. Virginia’s Megan Moroney reached in at 1:43.68 to out-touch Cal’s Katie McLaughlin (1:43.71) for 2nd. McLaughlin had a quick turnaround after the 100 fly, but snuck into the final at 8th overall.


Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Lilly King (Indiana)- 57.35
  2. Delaney Duncan (EMU)- 58.36
  3. Lindsey Kozelsky (Minnesota)- 58.41
  4. Anna Belousova (Texas A&M)- 59.07
  5. Miranda Tucker (Michigan)- 59.25
  6. Jinq En Phee (Purdue)- 59.32
  7. Silja Kansakoski (ASU)- 59.34
  8. Franziska Weidner (Hawaii)- 59.35

Minnesota’s Lindsey Kozelsky took over the leaderboard in heat 5, followed by Texas A&M freshman Anna Belousova (59.07). Purdue’s Jinq En Phee (59.32) and Hawaii’s Franziska Weidner(59.35) clipped their bests in that heat to earn spots in the final.

Indiana’s Lilly King answered back, blowing that time away in the next heat. She trailed Eastern Michigan’s Delaney Duncan through the front half, but surged ahead on the last lap to win it in 57.35. Duncan wound up 2nd in a personal best 58.36.

Michigan’s Miranda Tucker reached in to win heat 4, using her front-end speed to edge out USC’s Riley Scott (59.41).


Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Beata Nelson (Wisconsin)- 50.61
  2. Ally Howe (Stanford)- 50.64
  3. Elise Haan (NC State)- 50.75
  4. Kathleen Baker (Cal)- 50.77
  5. Janet Hu (Stanford)- 50.82
  6. Hannah Stevens (Missouri)- 51.23
  7. Ally Rockett (Indiana)- 51.25
  8. Claire Adams (Texas)- 51.27

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson and Stanford’s American Record holder Ally Howe battled in the final heat, with Nelson Holding off Howe into the finish, 50.61 to 50.64.Missouri’s Hannah Stevens reached in 3rd, while Indiana’s Ally Rockett matched her best for a close 4th.

Cal’s Kathleen Baker, the defending NCAA Champion, topped her heat by half a second in 50.77. Texas’ Claire Adams was a 51.27 behind her, sneaking into the final at 8th overall.

NC State’s Elise Haan was slightly faster than Baker as she won heat 6, tying her lifetime best in 50.75 to out-touch Stanford’s Janet Hu (50.82). Hu, who was on the back end of her 100 fly/100 back double, qualified 5th for tonight. Cal’s Amy Bilquist touched behind them in 51.36, just missing the final at 9th place.


  • 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

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Indiana- 1:35.12
  2. Cal- 1:35.55
  3. Stanford- 1:36.02
  4. Minnesota- 1:36.05
  5. USC- 1:36.20
  6. Texas A&M- 1:36.28
  7. Louisville- 1:37.01
  8. Texas- 1:37.04

Indiana qualified as top seed for the final, with backstroker Ally Rockett (23.64) and breaststroker Lilly King (26.08) giving the Hoosiers the fastest splits of the field in their respective strokes. Cal was the only other team to crack 1:36 this morning, with Kathleen Baker tying Rockett for the fastest back split. The fastest fly split of the field came from USC’s Louise Hansson (22.36). Texas A&M’s Béryl Gastaldello (21.36) had the fastest anchor leg.

At the conclusion of the event, Virginia Tech was given a re-swim. No details were given, but the Hokies improved their time and qualified 9th for the final. They went from a 1:37.95 in their heat to a 1:37.13 on the re-swim, narrowly missing the top 8.

Women’s 3-Meter Diving:

  • NCAA Record: Christina Loukas (Indiana), 2009, 437.75
  • Championship Record: Christina Loukas (Indiana), 2009, 437.75
  1. Brooke Schultz (Arkansas) – 384.60
  2. Sarah Bacon (Minnesota) – 369.90
  3. Sharae Zheng (Nevada) – 363.60
  4. Samantha Bromberg (Texas) – 359.40
  5. Pei Lin (Miami) – 350.85
  6. Julia Vincent (South Carolina) – 350.50
  7. Jessica Parratto (Indiana) – 342.30
  8. Kassidy Cook (Stanford) – 337.75


In This Story

Leave a Reply

25 Comment threads
96 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
65 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Who disagreed with me at PAC 12s when I said that meet was no indication Weitzel was back in the 100? Last night she split 47.0 and long course that would be worse!


She is an emotional swimmer and was devastated after the 50 free. Managing one’s emotions is key to many achievements in life and is extremely hard.


And at least she didn’t DQ the relay.

Steve Nolan

Yeah man, really brush off those haters that doubted you.

The meet’s not even half over.


Love how mad everyone here gets that you are pointing out legitimate facts. Yeah lets all just pretend it was a great swim and that she hasn’t been an immense disappointment I guess…


I think it’s more so a reaction to being so negative about someone who really hasn’t done anything to warrant being so negative to.


What she’s done to warrant it is swim poorly. This isn’t some personal attack on her character its pointing out she didn’t swim well and has by and large put up disappointing results. Swim fans always want people to care about the sport like they care about football or basketball but as soon as people criticize a swimmer like they would a player in mainstream sports most of them act like its some awful thing. Actually analyzing a sport is going to involve pointing out negatives and not just positives. Abby Weitzeil is a D1 athlete getting scholarship money. I’m not her mom and I honestly don’t care how personally disappointed she’s been, I care about her athletic performance. The… Read more »

Steve Nolan

She’s an amateur athlete, is what you forgot to mention.

Context is important, when discussing these kids.


Yeah, they’re kids. Except when they’re drinking. Then they’re all mature enough to make their own decisions about alcohol consumption [/swimminghypocrisy]


Lol so is Jalen Hurts but I didn’t see many Alabama fans talking about how great he did in the National Championship or worrying about how disappointed he was after getting pulled from the game. The reality is swim parents want to coddle their kids no matter how unreasonable it is. This isn’t some 10 year old at an age group meet she’s been to the Olympics. The tradeoff for free college and competing at the highest level is that people are going to watch you and comment when you do poorly or fail to meet the (admittedly high) expectations you’ve set based on past performances. If you think that’s not how it should work in swimming then just admit… Read more »


D1 sports aren’t club sports. It’s essentially a business. Performance does matter.


Just because you believe them to be legitimate facts does not mean people need to agree with you

Dan D.

Yep. I’d expect nothing else from the SwimSwam comments section


Weitzeil was devastated after the 50, who wouldn’t be. But the truth of the matter is we do not know what is going on. Hopefully she can put up a strong 100. I don’t know why people are hating on Weitzeil so much, she is a great competitor, and is having a rough time but she never quits. I believe her time will come again.

Steve Nolan

Ooh, ooh, I know why!! Because she was incredibly good when she was younger, so people feel like they should expect / are owed continuous improvements. Anything less and she’s a dang failure or something.

Which like, whatever fine. “I hope she does well and it sucks she’s not going faster” is something you could say for pretty much every athlete here.


Continuous improvements = not going .8 slower than your best flat start time with a relay start? Hmmm interesting theory. Another theory is that sports fans take notice when someone gets significantly worse and find it interesting to analyze why that happened. I hope you weren’t one of those people that criticized Tiger Woods after he got caught cheating on his wife and started to suck. It’d be so unfair of you to feel you were “owed continuous improvements”


Does anyone know why the meet is an hour earlier for prelims/finals today? Just wondering. Normally 10am/6pm and today is 9am/5pm?


To accommodate Live TV on ESPNU for finals


You are probably right but ratings will be a disaster vs march Madness.

Phil McDade

Five individual event prelims vs. three? Just a guess….

TV. Fits the ESPN schedule for finals, so they move up prelims an hour to maintain the gap between prelims and finals.


ESPN agreed to televise finals live “over the air” on ESPNU but they could only accommodate a 5:00 start time. In order to have the same 8 hour spread between prelims and finals as 10/6 would, it move the prelims to 9:00 a.m. so finals could start at 5:00 p.m. The opportunity to be live on a broadcast network as opposed to online or a 2 week tape delay was too good to pass up.


I’m very impressed that these women could pull it together so well for an early start to racing – the morning times don’t seem to have suffered much. It’s fast.


why would anyone downvote this comment? If you’ve ever been a competitive swimmer or athlete (as most of us have) you know it’s harder to perform well early in the day. There’s a reason they usually run prelims at 11….


Why would anyone down vote this comment? True; especially after late night of finals, eating, and getting to bed.


I don’t know what started the downvotes, but I contributed my own after reading the comment where you cried about downvotes, because it’s a meaningless system and it is beneath you to get worked up about it. It’s nothing personal, just my policy when people get upset over the rating system. It’s worth pointing out that, in my experience, most prelim sessions at big meets have started at 9am, so I’m not sure I’d really call this an early morning, but it sounds like you’ve had a different experience and that’s cool. At a meet like this, the pressure is on in the morning if you want a second swim. Very few athletes can coast into the top 8 (like… Read more »


Holy smokes. That’s another DFL for ASU and the “Fighting Bob Bowman’s”. Two relays already DFL, another relay second to DFL, and now this. Glad they didn’t rest for any dual meets this year. Also hope they get better the rest of the meet. Has to be a bad way to spend your time in scenic Columbus, Ohio.




I heard he recruited 5 more kids during the time it took you to write your post


Nicely played. Although if I don’t see a picture of it on swimswam did it really happen??


Buying out top recruits and failing to develop most of your swimmers ends up with disastrous results like this


Is he really not developing them though? Look at the progression of the women’s team since he’s been there.


Take a look at the best times of the top of their freshman class and see how they did at their PAC12 championship

science geek

Same thing sometimes happens first year at Florida. It’s a hard training adjustment that can take a few years for results.

Steve Nolan

I was trying to figure out if that’s part of the pitch – loogit how fast we’re going RIGHT NOW *hides NCAA results behind a curtain*


Is it a bad season strategy to try and peak early to get cuts for the meet? They don’t have anyone that can get cuts untapered, except maybe their breastroker

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 …

Read More »