2019 W. NCAAs Predictions: How Did The Comment Section Do?


While we’ve revisited our own official predictions for the 2019 Women’s NCAA Championships, there’s a whole other set of predictions that deserve a re-visit: yours, from the SwimSwam comment section.

We dug through the comment sections of our own stories to catalog fan predictions for the women’s NCAA meet, tallying up correct, partially correct and incorrect predictions. Here are a few guidelines we used:

  • We searched the comment sections of all event previews, plus all five editions of our Power Ranks throughout the season.
  • Comments had to be specific enough for us to determine if they turned out to be true or not – though we tried our best to quantify most claims, including the infamous one: “ya’ll sleeping on…” When a commenter brought up a specific team or swimmer with “Ya’ll sleeping on…” or a similar phrase, we specified that prediction to mean that said team or swimmer would finish higher than what we’d predicted. Seems fair. This phrase or some variation has been used approximately 45 times in the last 10 days in the SwimSwam comments section.
  • An acknowledgement: the SwimSwam comment section as a medium is probably best for big, bold predictions. No one is going to comment “Lilly King will win the 100 breast.” (Well, someone actually did. But we’re guessing that was mostly a joke, though we did include it below). So a high rate of prediction success is probably not totally attainable.
  • Another acknowledgement: we didn’t include usernames on these, except to give credit to the predictions we found the most prescient. This isn’t about embarrassing specific commenters for making predictions. (As a staff of writers who have to publicly make predictions with our real names, then deal with the wrath of the comment section when any of those predictions don’t come true, we wouldn’t wish that on anyone, much less our loyal readers and commenters). It’s more about seeing how the “prevailing winds” of the comment section were blowing pre-meet, and where commenters did have great insight vs. where their predictions faltered.

Comment Section Predictions:

  • Success rate: 39.7% correct

Best correct predictions:

  • Louise Hansson will win 200 fly and top 3 will be closer than last year – HSwimmer
    • Good call on picking this upset. It’s also a pretty specific prediction, and the top 3 were far, far closer than last year. HSwimmer had several correct predictions: that Paige Madden would make the 500 free A final and that Cal and IU would go 1-2 in the 400 medley relay. Maybe we should all listen to this guy/gal more. (Don’t get a big head, HSwimmer. But maybe do e-mail me your predictions for the Kentucky Derby, would ya?)
  • Katie McLaughlin will be sub-50 in 100 fly –Sophie
    • Commenter Sophie had good factual support for this prediction, too, pointing to McLaughlin’s sprint development and relay splits
  • SwimSwam’s 200 free relay predictions will be spot on –GooGooDoll
    • GooGooDoll was so confident (or maybe not-confident?) in our top 8 predictions that he offered in his comment to buy me a MacBook Pro if the top 8 were exactly correct. Imagine my excitement when all 8 of our projected teams did indeed make the A final. Imagine my disappointment when Michigan touched 2nd and messed up my order.

One of the bigger comment section disputes revolved around Taylor RuckThere was a decent-sized wave of criticism that we (in our official picks) and other commenters, were way too high on Ruck. Luckily for us, Ruck didn’t disappoint in her freshman season.

In in the interest of checking out prediction accuracy in hindsight, it’s also worth noting that our SwimSwam Official Picks entry into the Pick ‘Em Contest (made up of the picks from our event-by-event previews where most of these comments come from) finished 7th overall, three points out of first place.

Here’s a look at all of the comment predictions we dug up:

Prediction Exact Comment Correct? Notes Post
Tennessee women top 6 in 800 free relay “Them Porcupined Capped She-Vols is being very tough in this event….I says they will definitely finish in the top 6!” No This was the stinger. Tennessee fell outside of scoring range. 800 free relay preview
Stanford won’t win 800 free relay “This article is way to optimistic on Stanford on this one…basically saying its a done deal even tho they lost at pac-12s” No A little shameless bragging time: when we made these predictions, my composite time math had Stanford going 6:47.5 and cal 6:50.1, hence the designation of Stanford as clear favorites. Stanford went 6:47.2 and Cal 6:50.1. 800 free relay preview
Our 200 free relay predictions will be spot on “Great synopsis and I think spot on in the order of finish..if you picked 1-8 correctly, I will buy you a MacBook Pro! (A DQ and no MacBook Pro even if you go 1-8!)” Correct I was so close to that MacBook I was online looking at specs between prelims and finals. We went 8/8 on picking the correct teams, but the finish order wasn’t exactly right 200 free relay preview
Cal will win 200 free relay “Mark my words– those CAL ladies remember that .07 touch-out from NC’s. Seems like one of those losses that sets a fire in a swimmer. They are hungry for the win and the record.” Correct 200 free relay
Paige Madden will make 500 free A final Paige Madden ?? –> She made the A final in 200 free LC and had a great summer in the 400, I think she could make the A final.” Correct Madden was a true breakout performer. Good prediction. 500 free preview
Drabot wins 500 free “While I would love to see Cierra Runge do great, I haven’t seen her ever perform to her full potential at NCAAs. Even the year she had that 4:31, she went a 4:33 at NCAAs. Because of this, I think that betting on her to beat her 4:35 from Pac-12’s, especially by a lot, is risky. That said, its a wide open field and anything can happen. I would personally go with Drabot.” No 500 free preview
Forde 4:35 or better in 500 “Brook Forde should be 4:35 or better this year” Correct 500 free preview
someone will go 1:49 in 200 IM “1:49 incoming” No NCAA season makes us all go a little ambitious with our time predictions 200 IM preview
Bailey Andison makes 200 IM A final “How many times does Bailey Andison have to prove you wrong? 100 bucks Andison makes A final.” Correct A questionable Siobhan Haughey DQ saved this commenter $100 200 IM preview
Both Weitzeil and Brown go slower in 50 free at NCAAs “Neither will likely go faster at NCAAs.” No On the other hand, sometimes projecting time drops to the top-tier athletes does come out correct. 50 free preview
Brown between 20.8-20.95 in 50 “Brown will after a 21.8 dual meet in regular suit. Looking very good that she can be 20.80-20.95” No 50 free preview
Brown wins 50 “wont cause problem for Erika Brown! Her underwater of the turn is NASTY! I think she’s taking this one.” No 50 free preview
Cal has two sub-21s on 200 free relay “You’ll see two sub-21s on Cal’s relay. Will be historic!” Correct 50 free preview
Cal 1st, IU 2nd in 400 medley relay “They wont be 8th, but lily has at least a 2 second gap in breast and she can make that up. Their flyer and freestyler will be good also. I think they will be second behind CAL.” Correct Pretty specific prediction – well done. 400 medley relay preview
Lilly King wins 100 breast “Lilly King, Indiana for the 100 Breast” Correct Bold call. Preview Index
McHugh top 8 in 400 IM “No love for McHugh? Maybe this will be her big year in the SCY 400 IM” No 400 IM preview
Andison sub-4:00 or close, 4th or better in 400 IM “Andison will be close to breaking 4:00 if not under. I think she’ll be 4th at worst” No 400 IM preview
Brown 48 in 100 fly “Brown will be 48 BET ON IT and that will win.” No 100 fly preview
McLaughlin sub-50 in 100 fly “After some of McLaughlin’s crazy relay splits this year, I’m gonna predict she’s going to be under 50 given that her fly is even better than her free.” Correct 100 fly preview
Comerford, Haughey, Weitzeil and Deloof will beat Ruck in 200 free “I don’t agree that Comerford’s biggest threat is the number six seed on the psych sheet. I would be shocked if Ruck takes the win. I think she will finish behind Haughey, Weitzeil, and DeLoof. Ruck is a really good swimmer but I think that Haughey and Deloof will have the intangible senior advantage thing going on in their last NCAA. Also if Weitzeil can maintain her speed through out the last 50 she will beat Ruck too.” No Very specific prediction. We’d have maybe given partial credit even if some of these swimmers beat Ruck. But Ruck soundly beat three of the four names mentioned. 200 free preview
Ruck will be top 2 in 200 free “Ruck won silver at World SC champs 2 1/2 years ago in a time that converts to a 1:40 low, she will be top two.” Correct 200 free preview
Comerford & Ruck 1:38, Haughey 1:39-low in 200 free “Comerford and Ruck will both my 138 with Haughey at 139 low. You heard it here first” No 200 free preview
Ruck will be in the 200 free through the third turn, then fall to 4th or worse “Ruck is a stroker; that’s why she excels in metres– more work to do on the surface. But SC yards have her at a disadvantage because the weakest part of her game is her underwaters. She regularly breaks out earlier than the rest of the field and watches her competitors streamline past before surfacing ahead of her, leaving her to play catch up if she can. She’ll be in it until the third turn and then she’ll fade. 5th, maybe 4th.” No 200 free preview
Ruck 3rd in 200 free “Ruck gets 3rd” No 200 free preview
Delaney Duncan should be top 8 in 100 breast “Really gonna leave Delaney Duncan out of this… presumably because she comes from a Mid-Major?” Correct Good call here – Duncan was outstanding. 100 breast preview
Ruck sub-50 in 100 back “Ruck will go under 50” No 100 back preview
3 or 4 women break 50 in 100 back “Agree I truly believe we will see 3 or 4 ladies under 50. Given all the success the high school swimmers have enjoyed recently. The psychology of strong swimmers will prevail…I HOPE!” No 100 back preview
Beata Nelson wins 100 back “Beata will win based on her monster turns. No one does them better.” Correct 100 back preview
Tennessee wins 200 medley relay “This is Tennessee’s Relay – BET ON IT (A figure of speech.)” Correct 200 medley relay preview
Tennessee or NC State win 200 medley relay “I’m thinking Tennessee or NCSU. Both teams have four solid legs. Should be fun.” Correct 200 medley relay preview
Drabot wins 500 free & 200 fly “Katie Drabot has been flying (PUN) below the radar this year. She is likely to be one of the Stanford Captains next year, and I expect that she will be one of their team leaders at NCAA, and put down some fast times. At least I hope so. I think she will win the 500m and possibly upset Hanson in the 200fly, but what do I know? :>)” No 500 free preview
Hansson wins 200 fly / top 3 are closer than last year “I could see Hansson winning this year honestly.. it will be closer than last year for sure for top 3” Correct Great prediction here: top 3 spread was 2.2 seconds last year, 0.6 this year 500 free preview
Eastin will win 200 fly if healthy “Only way Eastin loses the 2 Fly is if she gets sick or injured. As great as Hansson is, she just can’t stay with her the 2nd 100, no one can.” No Assuming we don’t find out in the next few days that Eastin crashed her motorcycle during taper 500 free preview
McLaughlin won’t break 1:50 in 200 fly “I don’t see McLaughlin dropping over two seconds to break 1:50 which is what it will take to win. She seems to have become more of a sprinter in recent years as well.” Correct 500 free preview
Hannah Cox top 8 in mile “Arizona’s Hanna Cox trains in Cory Chitwood’s D Group and is poised for a big meet. She should finish in the top eight.” No Cox wound up just outside of scoring, in 18th 1650 free preview
Tamila Holub top 8 in mile “You forgot Tamila Holub. Top 8 last year I believe. 15:55 at ACC and swimming under Bernardino this year. I would keep an eye on Tamila and Jahns from NC State. You can never count Dino’s army out.” No Holub added 22 seconds and took 36th 1650 free preview
Ruck will finish lower than predicted “Swimswam too heavily hypes Ruck…i’ll reserve judgement till after NCAA’s…but so far she seems like a better LC swimmer” No Ruck actually matched or bettered our predictions in every event: 2nd in the 200 free (she was 2nd), 5th in the 100 back (she actually took 3rd) and 2nd in the 200 back (she was 2nd). 200 back preview
Nelson wins 200 back “Nelson wins.” Correct 200 back preview
Seidt swims a smarter race & touches out Ruck in 200 back “The 200 Back is probably Ruck’s best chance to win at this years NC’s. It’ll probably come down to a close finish between Ruck and Seidt with Nelson not far behind. Expect to see Ruck go out fast but Seidt to do a better job of race management and close the gap through the last 50. Frankly, Ruck has struggled to close out competitive races this season, so I expect Seidt to get that first touch at the wall.” No Hard to say who swam the smarter race. But Ruck did win by more than a second over Seidt. 200 back preview
Small 5th in 200 back “Yep, I have Small as 5th on my own picks.” No She did win the B final, though, and her time would’ve been 6th. So this one wasn’t too far off 200 back preview
45s from Weitzeil, Comerford, maybe Brown in 100 free “We’re gonna see 45s from Weitzeil, Comerford, and Brown if she wants it bad enough” No Too ambitious. No one went 45. 100 free preview
Comerford wins 100 free “I’m going with Comerford, mainly because she is dropping the 500 Just a hunch” Correct 100 free preview
Brown wins 100 free “I’m picking Erika” No 100 free preview
Brown wins 100 free “Brown will take it.” No 100 free preview
Maddie Wright will make 200 fly A final “Maddie Wright is a near lock to make A final imo. Not sold on Rule or Carter or McLaughlin (who has become more of a sprinter).” Correct 200 fly preview
Cal & Texas won’t be close in 400 free relay “Sorry but it won’t be a “fierce battle” between Texas and Cal. But I am really impressed with Texas’ step forward this year.” Correct It started close. But Cal beat Texas by almost four seconds 400 free relay preview
Cal & Texas won’t be close in 400 free relay “Texas won’t beat Cal it won’t even be close. Auburn could even be up ahead of Texas” Correct 400 free relay preview
Amalie Fackenthal is an A finalist “Amalie makes A-final if not top 3. Heard it here first” No Best finish was 13th in 100 free November edition Power Ranks
Auburn women top 10 “Y’all are really underestimating Auburn women. I think they’ll be top 10.” No Auburn was 12th. Not far off this prediction, but right-on with our prediction in the story where the comment was left. Power Rankings – Final Edition
Tennessee women top 4 “Y’all really underestimating the SHE-GIRLY-VOLS! They WILL finish top 4.” No A bad day 1 doomed the Vols, who were 8th overall. Power Rankings – Final Edition
Ohio State women top 20 “How can Ohio State not be in the top twenty when they finished third in the Big Ten way ahead of Wisconsin and Minnesota? Wisconsin has arguably the best swimmer in the Big Ten in Beata Nelson but Wisconsin has only three girls that qualified for the NCAA championships. Minnesota has five qualifiers while OSU has seven. Also Minnesota didn’t even qualify all the relays. Wisconsin and OSU qualified all five relays. Using those simple facts I do not see how OSU is outside the top twenty.” No Ohio State was 25th, following the trend of falling off a little at NCAAs. In comparison, Minnesota was 11th and Wisconsin 16th. Power Rankings – Final Edition
Virginia women top 10 “Virginia will not finish outside of the top 10 at NCAAs.” Correct Good call. UVA had maybe the best showing of any team, taking 6th. Power Rankings – Final Edition
Auburn women show up big “The Auburn women will show up big at the NCAA’s.” No This one’s pretty vague… but going -51 from projected points probably doesn’t count as “showing up big” Power Rankings – Final Edition
UGA top 10 as a team “I think they standing are sleeping on Georgia. I understand that it is relying on ALOT of new talent, but I couldn’t see themn outside top ten with all the top recruits and transfers.” No Granted, this prediction was early in the year. But UGA was only 18th. First edition Power Ranks
Tennessee top 4 as a team “TN BIG LADY VOL MACHINE WILL NOT BE STOPPED…we gonna kick kneecaps and finish on the trophy stand TOP FOUR..it will happen…just you watch…suckers!!!” No December edition Power Ranks
NC State will beat Louisville at NCAAs “NC STATE is a much better team than Louisville. Not sure what the panel is thinking. ACCs and NCAAs will prove this fact.” No NC State swam great. But Louisville did indeed finish higher by a 48-point margin. February edition Power Ranks
Louisville will be around 5th as a team “I’ll bite. Louisville was 5th at NCAAs last year, with 232 points. They’ve only lost 4 individual points and one relay leg from that team, so I’m willing to bet they’ll end up right around there again, even if they’ve looked a bit slow at dual meets here recently.” Correct Louisville was 4th. We’ll give it to ’em. February edition Power Ranks
Tennessee ahead of Texas as a team “I say the She-Vols will relay themselves ahead of the Longhorns.” No February edition Power Ranks

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2 years ago

You really need to post the Username next to each comment so we can really pile on the praise or shame down here.

Reply to  CraigH
2 years ago

It was me who commented on the 100 back: ““Beata will win based on her monster turns. No one does them better.”

I was pretty sure about Beata after watching the video of her previous AR swim and the incredible distance and speed of her turns

JP input is too short
2 years ago

OK, this might be my favorite post-NCAAs wrapup feature.

Big Boi
2 years ago

Holding us accountable now? Well there’s really only 1 surefire bet at these men’s NCAA championships, and it’s the FACT that legendary 5th year Stanford swimmer Patrick Conaton will drop some wicked fast times.

As for prop bets? Post-race, with the cameras zoomed in on him he is bound to do the following. He will take off his cap to reveal his luscious locks of Andy-Daltonesque hair, all while water glistens as it streaks down his bulging biceps. He will crack that million dollar smile, and we will all be done for. Bet the over on the number of women to pass out from the sight of pure perfection post 200 backstroke. This is sure to win you big bucks… Read more »

2 years ago

I love this

tea rex
2 years ago

Man, so much petty here I love it… Wish you got that MacBook Pro though…

On one of the medley relays I postulated about Indiana going from 8th to 1st on the breaststroke leg. Their backstroker showed up though, and Indiana went from 5th to 1st (400 MR) and 6th to 1st (200 MR) on the breaststroke legs.

My favorite clapback? … “Assuming we don’t find out in the next few days that Eastin crashed her motorcycle during taper”

Reply to  tea rex
2 years ago

I giggled like a schoolgirl about that motorcycle comment. No joke.

Fat Swammer
2 years ago

What do the commentators know anyway?? 🙂

Reply to  Fat Swammer
2 years ago

Some opinions are better than others. If the commentator has a good reason for their prediction, it would be more valid than a random comment.

2 years ago

Y’all sleeping on us. We’re going to show up at men’s.

Reply to  50free
2 years ago

Bold prediction: the SwimSwam comment section will be better than a coin flip this time

Canadian Swimmer
2 years ago

Okay, I’m the first person to admit I got Ruck’s finish in the 200 Free very wrong but, in my defence, I hadn’t seen her swim it in a while and what I had seen her swim of it was not inspiring. Further, I was a little down on her because she cost me money and so I was a little pessimistic about her chances.

Let me tell you a little story….

The weekend of Pac 12’s, a buddy comes over for a beer. He asks me why I’m watching swimming. I say it’s because I’m a fan of Taylor Ruck who’s swimming for Stanford in this competition and I want to see how she’s doing since NC’s and Canadian… Read more »

Reply to  Canadian Swimmer
2 years ago

Damn, you are quite the wet blanket today, aren’t you? It’s just a little fun. Everyone else seems to like the post. I guess SS could ignore their comments section like every other news site on the internet…I kind of like that they acknowledge and interact with us.

Reply to  Canadian Swimmer
2 years ago

“Why I Lost a Bet On a Race but Really If You Think About It, I’m Still Right About That One Thing: A Treatise”

Anyway, I happen to like the fact that the SwimSwam staff is not afraid to dish it out once in a while. I guess we’re all welcome to our opinions.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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