2019 ACC Women’s Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 13

February 22nd, 2019 ACC, College, News


If you went to bed last night thinking that this was NC State’s meet to lose, well, we couldn’t blame you. The Wolfpack women certainly looked strong as they rattled off a pair of victories, including an ACC record in the 200 free relay.

But, like they say in baseball, it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings. This morning, Virginia came out swinging, and despite NC State putting four women into the top eight of the 400 IM, UVA actually is projected to score more points tonight, based on prelims seedings. Now, UVA did have quite a few women in the #1, #9, or #17 spots, which means they don’t have a lot of room to improve on their projected score total, but can certainly lose a few projected points.

Louisville put seven women into A-finals, further widening the gap between the top three teams and the rest of the field.

Morgan Hill, last night’s 50 free winner, is the top seed in the 100 fly, and she’ll be contending against a field that includes NC State freshman Kylee Alons, last year’s winner Grace Oglesby of Louisville and Duke’s Alyssa Marsh.

The 4oo IM should be another fun battle. NC State posted the 1st-4th fastest times this morning, with Makayla Sargent and Kathleen Moore leading the way with a pair of 4:08s, but Emma Muzzy had the fastest time coming into tonight, and last year’s champion, Reka Gyorgy of Virginia Tech, returns as well.

Paige Madden of UVA was the only women under 1:44 in the 200 free this morning, but ACC record holder Mallory Comerford is in the field, and has to be considered the heavy favorite.

NC State’s Sophie Hansson looks to be in the driver’s seat in the 100 breast; she was over a second faster than anyone else this morning with a 57.95. UVA’s Megan Moroney has the fastest time in the 100 back this morning (51.83), but defending champion Elise Haan of NC State was right behind her at 51.97.

Tonight’s session will also include the platform diving finals, and timed finals of the 400 medley relay.

100 Fly Finals

  1. Morgan Hill (Virginia) – 51.01
  2. Grace Oglesby (Louisville) – 51.02
  3. Kylie Jordan (Duke) – 51.46

Morgan Hill keeps coming through for Virginia, as she earned her 2nd victory of the meet, just touching out Louisville’s Grace Oglesby by the slimmest of margins, 51.01 to 51.02. Oglesby was the defending champion, but Hill went out fast and hung on, adding another gold medal to her hardware after winning the 50 free last night. Hill came into today with a 52.16 personal best, which she did at last fall’s UGA Invite, meaning that she has improved her best time by over a second today. That was Oglesby’s 2nd-best time ever, with her best time being a 50.75 from the IU Invite in November.

Duke put two swimmers into the top five, with Kylie Jordan earning 3rd with a 51.79, and Alyssa Marsh taking 5th in 52.06. Marsh couldn’t quite match her 51.87 from this morning, but whose 52.06 is her 2nd-best time ever. NC State’s Kylee Alons took 4th in 51.79.

Jessica Nava dominated the B-final with a 51.99, a time that would’ve put her 5th in the A-final. Still, UVA will happily take those points, especially as Caroline Gmelich was 2nd in that heat with a 52.52.

Current top 3 scores:

NC State – 484
Virginia – 470
Louisville – 462

400 IM Finals

  1. Kathleen Moore (NC State) – 4:05.24
  2. Makayla Sargent (NC State) – 4:06.19
  3. Emma Muzzy (NC State) – 4:06.89

Call it the #BernadinoEffect? NC State absolutely rocked this event, sweeping the top four spots and picking up a whopping 162 points, rocketing them out to a 139-point lead over Louisville.

Defending champion Reka Gyorgy of Virginia Tech looked to be in control through the first half of the race, but the Wolfpack women began creeping up on her during the breaststroke leg, and she just could not hold them off. She would end up in 5th, touching in 4:08.72, over four seconds slower than her winning time from last year.

NC State’s Makayla Sargent took over the lead during the breaststroke leg, but teammate Kathleen Moore out split her down the stretch, with Moore touching first in 4:05.24. Sargent held on to finish 2nd in 4:06.19, followed by freshman Emma Muzzy (4:06.89) and 200 IM winner Julia Poole (4:07.65).

NC State earned a whopping 162 points in this event, dramatically altering the look of the team race, as they went from a 14 point lead over UVA to a 139 point over Louisville.

1. North Carolina State Universit 646
2. Louisville, University of 505
3. Virginia, University of 486

200 Free Finals

  1. Mallory Comerford (Louisville) – 1:41.60
  2. Paige Madden (UVA) – 1:44.03
  3. Megan Moroney (UVA) – 1:44.61

Mallory Comerford seems to have adopted a strategy this week of taking it easy in prelims, and then dropping the hammer in finals. She was in lane 6 tonight after putting up the 4th-fastest time this morning, but no one was even close to her tonight. She was the only woman to hit the 100 mark under 50 seconds, and powered all the way through to win by nearly 3.5 seconds, setting a new meet record in the process.

Virginia picked up a total of 103 points in the event, led by Paige Madden and Megan Moroney, who finished 2nd and 3rd with times of 1:44.03 and 1:44.62.

There were no freshmen in the A-final, but Duke freshman Melissa Pish put up a 1:45.08 to win the B-final.

With four women in the A-final, UVA jumped ahead of Louisville and closed the gap on NC State, but the Wolfpack still have a 63 point margin roughly halfway through the session.

1. North Carolina State Universit 652
2. Virginia, University of 589
3. Louisville, University of 572

100 Breast Finals

  1. Sophie Hansson (NC State) – 57.74
  2. Alexis Wenger (UVA) – 58.31
  3. Ida Hulkko (FSU) – 58.94

Youth was the name of the game in this event tonight, as the field consisted solely of freshmen and sophomores. NC State’s Sophie Hansson came into tonight as the prohibitive favorite after blasting the 2nd-fastest time ever by a freshman this morning, but Virginia freshman Alexis Wenger actually was in the lead for most most of the race. But, Hansson rocketed off the final wall, overtaking Wenger, and hung on to win 57.74 to 58.31. That’s a new best time for both swimmers, with Hansson dropping 0.21s and Wenger lowering her personal best by a massive 1.39 seconds. Until today, she hadn’t had a best time since 2015, when she was 1:00.02.

FSU’s Ida Hulkko took 3rd in 58.94, making it three freshmen under the 59-second mark, and teammate Nina Kucheran took 5th in 59.61. NC State got a 4th-place finish from sophomore Olivia Calegan (59.43), while Louisville ended up with the 6th-8th spots.

100 Back Finals

  1. Elise Haan (NC State) – 51.43
  2. Megan Moroney (UVA) – 51.96
  3. Carly Quast (Notre Dame) – 52.06

Elise Haan successfully defended her title in this event; she was 51.43 tonight after going 50.75 last year, but that was still more than enough as she defeated UVA’s Megan Moroney by over half a second.

Notre’s Dame Carly Quast swam to a personal best time of 52.06 for 3rd, just ahead of a pair of Duke swimmers, Alyssa Marsh (52.18) and Madeline Hess (52.27). Neither UVA’s Caroline Gmelich (52.71) nor NC State’s Emma Muzzy (53.35) could quite match their times from this morning. UVA’s Marcella Maguire appeared to slip off the start, putting her immediately about a body length behind, and she couldn’t quite make up the distance, finishing 8th in 54.01, almost two seconds slower than her time from this morning.

UVA has made up a ton of points over the last three events, and they’ve narrowed NC State’s lead to 18 points, while opening up a 102 point lead over Louisville. Each of those three schools has a woman in the platform diving finals, so barring any DQs in the 400 medley relay, we shouldn’t see any massive shift in scores heading into tomorrow.

  1. NC State – 788
  2. UVA – 770
  3. Louisville – 668

400 Medley Relay

  1. NC State – 3:27.81
  2. Louisville – 3:29.02
  3. UVA – 3:29.98

The Wolfpack dominate the field to cap off the night with a 1.11 second win over Louisville. Elise Haan led off in 51.51, just a hair off her winning time in the individual event a short while ago. Hansson split 57.75, Alons went 51.52, and Ky-Lee Perry easily held off Louisville and Virginia with a 47.03 anchor.

Virginia was in 2nd heading into the anchor leg, thanks to solid swims by Maguire and Wenger, and a smoking fast 50.34 fly leg by Hill, but Eryn Eddy could not hold off the force that is Comerford, as the Louisville senior dropped a 46.53 to push the Cardinals ahead of the Cavaliers for 2nd place.

Women – Team Rankings – Through Event 14

1. North Carolina State Universit 886
2. Virginia, University of 867
3. Louisville, University of 766
4. Notre Dame, University of 624.5
5. Duke University 570.5
6. Florida State University 490
7. North Carolina, University of, 487.5
8. VA Tech 333
9. Pittsburgh, University of 237
10. Georgia Institute of Technolog 209
11. University of Miami (Florida) 184.5
12. Boston College 124

With one day of competition left, less than 20 points separate NC State and Virginia. We’ve seen how quickly scores can shift when 24 swimmers score, so Louisville isn’t out of the hunt yet, but they would probably need everything to break right in the morning and some misses by NC State and Virginia to have a realistic shot. Still, they look to be pretty well locked in for 3rd. Notre Dame and Duke both have had some solid performance this week, and they’ll battle it out for 4th tomorrow.

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Coach Mike 1952
3 years ago

FYI as a point of correction for the article above: the baseball saying is actually “It ain’t over till it’s over”, from 1973 & spoken by the legendary Yogi Berra. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34324865. Dan Cook made a closer stab with “the opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings”, in a televised basketball commentary in 1978. Cook was preceded however by US sports presenter Ralph Carpenter, in a broadcast, reported in The Dallas Morning News, March 1976: Bill Morgan (Southwest Conference Information Director): “Hey, Ralph, this… is going to be a tight one after all.” Ralph Carpenter (Texas Tech Sports Information Director): Right. The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”

3 years ago

Someone should force UNC’s AD to one of these sessions

Reply to  Swimclh
3 years ago

How did UNC get left behind in swimming?

B1G fan
3 years ago

So much for “UVA will be in the lead after tonight”

Wolfpack have this meet wrapped.

Reply to  B1G fan
3 years ago

No teams in the Big Ten at this meet my friend.

Don’t count the Wahoos out.

Here we go HOOS!!!!!!

Reply to  B1G fan
3 years ago

Famous last words. UVA 10 out of last 11 years…

Wolf cub
Reply to  HOO Fan
3 years ago

After tonight will be 10 out of 12

Silent Observer
3 years ago

The 400 Medley relay is going to be really exciting!!! The team race for 1st & 2nd is tight.

B1G fan
Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

Hindsight is 20/20. Actually. State had ACC champ in 3 of 4 legs. Was never a close race

Eddie Rowe
Reply to  B1G fan
3 years ago

Except the 100 free hasn’t been contested yet, and Alons didn’t win the 100 Fly. But 2 out of 4 isn’t bad.

Eddie Rowe
3 years ago

Pish from Duke was taking between 20 and 22 strokes per length in the 200 free. It was exhausting to watch.

3 years ago

Morgan Hill from UVA with the “closer” award — that’s two wins in two events, *both by 0.01*…. wow

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