2019 W. NCAA Finals Preview: King Seeks 8-for-8 in Breaststroke Titles

2019 WOMEN’S DIVISION I NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

Swimmers are gearing up for the last night of finals at the 2019 Women’s NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. We’ll see the title races for the individual 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and  200 fly tonight. Divers will then compete in the platform finals. The meet will close with the 400 free relay.

Each of the 100 stroke champions and record-breakers will compete for titles in the 200s of their respective strokes tonight. Read on for a preview of a few of the races and swimmers to look out for. For a full recap of this morning’s prelims, click here.

KING SEEKS 8-FOR-8 IN NCAA BREASTSTROKE TITLES

Lilly King has been winning breaststroke titles left and right since she was a freshman at Indiana. King, who won the 100 breast title in a new American Record last night, will swim her final NCAA race in the 200 breast final tonight. She’s the favorite by far, and will make history if she wins it. It would make her the first woman ever to 4-peat in both breaststroke distances in the NCAA.

100 FLY CHAMP VS. 200 FLY RECORD HOLDER

USC’s Louise Hansson has crazy speed. Last night, she broke the 100 fly NCAA Record with a 49.26. Tonight, she has a chance to sweep the butterfly events, but Stanford’s Ella Eastin is the favorite to win it. Eastin is the fastest woman in history after breaking the American Record at 2018 Pac-12s. She’s also the defending champion. Eastin hasn’t been matching her best times here, however, so Hansson could win it if she hits her stride. Cal’s Katie McLaughlin, who became the 5th woman ever to break 50 in the 100 fly last night, could also step up to challenge for the win.

WEITZEIL GOES FOR SPRINT SWEEP

Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil had a breakthrough at this meet with her performance in the 50 free. She hadn’t gone a best time since she set the American Record at this pool in 2016. She finally broke that record on Thursday night, swimming a 21.02 to win. Weitzeil looks to be in peak form here, however, she appeared to injure her arm on the finish of last night’s 200 medley relay and had her arm wrapped this morning. We’ll have to see how that affects her swim, but Weitzeil definitely has the potential to become the 2nd woman ever to break 46.

One of her biggest challengers is Louisville’s Mallory Comerford, the 200 free champion, who currently sits #2 on the all-time top performers list. There will be 3 more of the all-time top 10 swimmers in the mix as well: Tennessee’s #5 Erika Brown, Arkansas’ #6 Anna Hopkin, and Michigan’s #9 Siobhan Haughey.

NELSON TO BATTLE FOR 3RD INDIVIDUAL TITLE

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson, who smashed the 100 back American Record last night, has a chance to go 3-for-3 in individual events here. Nelson, the 6th fastest ever in this event, will have a challenge on her hands though as she face Stanford freshman Taylor Ruck, the 8th fastest performer ever. They were just a tenth apart in prelims, with Nelson taking the top spot, and both were within a couple of tenths of their best times.

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phelps swims 200 breast rio

Olivia Carter may do very well tonight in the 200 fly. She splits very consistently. This will be a fun race to watch.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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