2019 Women’s NCAA Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


The 2019 Women’s NCAA Championships continues this morning in Austin, Texas with the first prelims session. Swimmers are set to compete in the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and 400 medley relay. This morning will also include prelims of the women’s 1-meter diving event.

One of the most exciting races to come is the women’s 50 free, where we’ll see NCAA Record holder Erika Brown (Tennessee) go up against American Record holder Abbey Weitzeil (Cal). The 200 IM will feature reigning NCAA champion and American Record holder Ella Eastin of Stanford. The 500 free could be close between several women, with ASU’s Cierra Runge, a former NCAA Record holder in the event, being one of the top standouts.


  • NCAA Record: Stanford (Hu, Manuel, Pitzer, Howe), 2018 – 1:25.43
  • American Record: Stanford (Hu, Manuel, Pitzer, Howe), 2018 – 1:25.43
  • Meet Record: Stanford (Hu, Manuel, Pitzer, Howe), 2018 – 1:25.43

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Cal- 1:26.25
  2. Louisville- 1:26.72
  3. Tennessee- 1:26.89
  4. Stanford- 1:26.91
  5. Michigan- 1:26.92
  6. NC State- 1:27.12
  7. Texas- 1:27.33
  8. Auburn- 1:27.40

Cal (1:26.25) was the fastest team through, with Maddie Murphy leading off in 22.20. Katie McLaughlin (21.37) and Amy Bilquist (21.57) took on the middle legs, while 50 free American Record holder Abbey Weitzeil anchored in 21.11. That secured the heat 3 win and the top seed for the Bears. Taking 2nd in that heat was Michigan (1:26.92) with a 21.40 anchor from Siobhan Haughey.

Heat 1 saw a close race between Louisville (1:26.72) and Tennessee (1:26.89). Mallory Comerford had the Cardinals ahead of Tennessee after her 20.94 split on the 2nd leg, which was the fastest split of prelims. Tennessee’s Erika Brown chased them down on the anchor leg, however, closing in 21.13. Comerford’s speed on the relay bodes well for her individual 50 free later on. She’ll be swimming that event instead of the 500 free this time around. The only other swimmer to break 21 on a split this morning was Arkansas’ Anna Hopkin (20.97).

In heat 2, Stanford’s Taylor Ruck got the early lead with a 21.70 on the leadoff, with NC State’s Ky-lee Perry (21.79) just behind. They were still nearly dead even through the 2nd leg as Stanford got a 21.5 from Lauren Pitzer and NC State’s Kylee Alons put up a 21.45. The Wolfpack pulled slightly ahead with Sirena Rowe (21.73) going 3rd, but Stanford came back for the win as Anya Goeders (21.73) anchored.


Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Cierra Runge, ASU, 4:34.64
  2. Brooke Forde, Stanford, 4:34.97
  3. Chantal Nack, Minnesota, 4:35.47
  4. Paige Madden, Virginia, 4:35.65
  5. Mackenzie Padington, Minnesota, 4:35.70
  6. Lauren Pitzer, Stanford, 4:35.80
  7. Evie Pfeifer, Texas, 4:36.04
  8. Courtney Harnish, Georgia, 4:37.30

ASU’s Cierra Runge, a former NCAA Record holder in this race, and Stanford’s Brooke Forde battled closely into the finish in the penultimate heat. Runge got her hand to the wall 1st in 4:34.64, followed by Forde in 4:34.97. That was a lifetime best by 2.5 seconds for Forde. Minnesota’s Chantal Nack also had a big swim in that heat. Nack touched 3rd in 4:35.47, taking a second off her best. Teammate Mackenzie Padington also dropped nearly a second to win the first circle seeded heat in 4:35.70.

In the final heat, top seed Lauren Pitzer (4:35.80) of Stanford trailed Virginia’s Paige Madden (4:35.65) after the first 100. Pitzer tried to make her move on the final 100, but came up just short as both women qualified for the championship heat. That heat also included Texas’ Joanna Evans (4:37.44) and Arizona’s Kirsten Jacobsen (4:38.55), who have both swim in the NCAA finals of this event before, but will swim in the consols heat tonight.

Texas’ Evie Pfeifer dominated heat 4, touching in 4:36.04. She’ll likely return to the final after placing 6th as a freshman in 2018. Pfeifer dropped almost a full second from her lifetime best. Stanford’s Katie Drabot, who took 2nd in this event at last season’s NCAAs, was 2nd in the heat with a 4:39.07.

There were a couple of freshman winners in the first few heats. Indiana’s Noelle Peplowski picked up a win in heat 3, dropping half a second in 4:41.51. In heat 1, Georgia freshman Maddie Homovich reached in for the win in 4:46.41. That was about a second shy of her seed time.

200 IM

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Ella Eastin, Stanford, 1:52.46
  2. Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 1:52.75
  3. Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 1:52.83
  4. Louise Hansson, USC, 1:53.50
  5. Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 1:53.51
  6. Emma Barksdale, South Carolina, 1:53.52
  7. Meghan Small, Tennessee, 1:54.54
  8. Bailey Andison, Indiana, 1:54.75

Stanford’s Ella Eastin (1:52.46), the reigning NCAA champion, got the job done in heat 8, breaking 1:53 for the first time this season in 1:52.46. She took it out with the lead and held strong on the back half, doing just enough to win it. Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem (1:52.75), the SEC runner-up and a returning finalist who placed 3rd in 2018, followed closely. USC’s Louise Hansson, the Pac-12 champion, took 3rd in that heat with a 1:53.50.

Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey touched 1st in the final heat with a 1:53.88, but was ultimately disqualified for multiple dolphin kicks on her breaststroke pullout. That made Tennessee’s Meghan Small, the SEC champion, the heat winner with her 1:54.54. It also bumped Indiana’s Bailey Andison (1:54.75) into the top 8 as Haughey, who finished 9th in this race in 2018 and is the 10th fastest of all time in the event, would have been 7th.

Wisconsin’s Big Ten champion Beata Nelson took heat 7, touching just half a second short of her best in 1:52.83. Between Eastin, Small, Pickrem, and Nelson, we’ll be seeing 4 of the fastest women ever battle it out in tonight’s final.

Georgia’s Danielle Della Torre ran down Ohio State’s Kristen Romano (1:57.02) on the back half to win heat 5, breaking 1:57 for the first time in 1:56.66. In the last of the heats before the circle seeds, Virginia’s Abby Richter nearly matched her lifetime best, coming within .02 of the mark in 1:55.94.


  • NCAA Record: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 2019 – 21.15
  • American Record: Abbey Weitzeil, 2016 – 21.12
  • Meet Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 2017 – 21.17

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 21.24
  2. Erika Brown, Tennessee, 21.30
  3. Maggie MacNeil, Michigan, 21.49
  4. Amy Bilquist, Cal, 21.60
  5. Anna Hopkin, Arkansas, 21.63
  6. Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 21.64
  7. Ky-Lee Perry, NC State, 21.66
  8. Kylee Alons, NC State, 21.87

Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil, the American Record holder in this event, came through with the 8th fastest performance in history to win heat 6 with a 21.24. Tennessee’s Erika Brown, the NCAA Record holder, was a few hundredths back as she won heat 7 with a 21.30. Weitzeil still owns 3 of the 10 fastest performances ever, having knocked off her previous #10 performance down to #11, and is the fastest all time. We’ll see the 2 fastest swimmers in the history of the event go head-to-head tonight, as Brown is #2 on that list.

Cal’s Amy Bilquist won heat 5 in 21.60, clipping a few hundredths off her best. Louisville’s Mallory Comerford is another top contender, touching with the 6th fastest time this morning in 21.64.

We’ll see 3 freshmen in the final tonight. The fastest newcomer was Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil, who put up a lifetime best 21.49 to qualify 3rd. Arkansas’ Anna Hopkin was the 5th fastest of prelims in 21.63, while NC State’s Kylee Alons picked up the 8th spot for finals in 21.87. NC State got 2 in with junior Ky-Lee Perry taking 7th overall in 21.66.

Duke’s Alyssa Marsh (21.92) and Stanford’s Anya Goeders (21.98) broke 22 for the first time as both qualified for the B final. That was a new school record for Marsh.


  • NCAA Record: Stanford, 2018 – 3:25.09
  • American Record: Stanford, 2018 – 3:25.09
  • Meet Record: Stanford, 2018 – 3:25.09

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Michigan- 3:27.17
  2. Indiana- 3:27.89
  3. Cal- 3:28.03
  4. NC State- 3:28.20
  5. Louisville- 3:28.47
  6. Virginia- 3:29.71
  7. Minnesota- 3:29.93
  8. Stanford- 3:30.19

Michigan came through with the top time of the morning in 3:27.17, getting the fastest fly split of the field as Maggie MacNeil put up a 49.94 in heat 2. Indiana (3:27.89) took the heat 3 win, getting the fastest breaststroke split of the field from Lilly King in 56.47.

The final heat saw Cal (3:28.03) and NC State (3:28.20) battle closely for the win. NC State was ahead of the Bears by over a second until Katie McLaughlin put up a 50.26 fly leg for Cal. They were just a tenth behind the Wolfpack as the anchors dove in, and Abbey Weitzeil secured the win with a 46.77 to Ky-Lee Perry‘s 47.10.

The fastest freestyler this morning was Louisville’s Mallory Comerford in 45.98. Texas got the fastest back split from Claire Adams, who led off in 51.44.


There was a swim-off for the alternate spot in the 200 IM between Cal’s Alicia Wilson and Indiana’s Mackenzie Looze. Looze came from behind on the freestyle leg to take a narrow victory, 1:56.11 to 1:56.26. They were both faster than their prelims times (1:56.54).

1-Meter Diving

Top-16 finishers:

  1. Sarah Bacon, Minnesota, 346.05
  2. Brooke Shultz, Arkansas, 331.70
  3. Alison Gibson, Texas, 324.60
  4. Maria Polyakova, UCLA, 321.55
  5. Elizabeth Cui, LSU, 300.30
  6. Brooke Madden, Florida, 300.05
  7. Vicky Xu, Kansas, 299.25
  8. Eloise Belanger, UCLA, 299.05
  9. Delaney Schnell, Arizona, 297.40
  10. Emily Bretscher, Purdue, 296.75
  11. Jessica Parratto, Indiana, 296.65
  12. Carolina Sculti, Stanford, 296.55
  13. Daria Lenz, Stanford, 296.40
  14. Haley Farnsworth, Stanford, 293.20
  15. Alicia Bagg, Miami, 292.45
  16. Phoebe Lamay, Cal, 290.95

UCLA qualified two divers to the A-final on the one-meter board this afternoon, and Stanford got three into the B-final.

Texas, after having divers in third place, sixth place, and tenth place after three rounds, ended up with just one athlete, Alison Gibson, in either final.

Minnesota’s Sarah Bacon, the defending 1-meter champion, is the top qualifier heading into tonight. Behind her is defending 3-meter champion Brooke Shultz, out of Arkansas. Gibson, third this morning, was the 2017 champion on 1-meter.

Also of note: Kansas’ Vicky Xu, a senior competing in her first and only semester of NCAA diving, made the A-final in the seventh spot.

Less than three points separated the 7th and 13th-place qualifiers this morning. After Xu’s 299.25 was Eloise Belanger with a 299.05, then Delaney Schnell with a 297.40, then Emily Brescher with a 296.75. In 11th was Indiana’s 2016 10-meter platform Olympian Jessica Parratto with a 296.65, in 12th was Carolina Sculti with a 296.55, and in 13th Daria Lenz with a 296.40.

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2 years ago

Will the live stream work this time..? Guess we’ll see

Coach Josh
2 years ago

This may have been answered elsewhere, but didn’t both prelims and finals used to start later? 10 AM / 6 PM?

Reply to  Coach Josh
2 years ago

I think espn asked them to move it up?!? It really hurts west coast teams or Hawaii. I think men are still at 10am/6pm

Reply to  Coach Josh
2 years ago

lol what time zone are u in? its 10am and 6pm for me

Reply to  Ervin
2 years ago

lol someone’s timezonecentric

2 years ago

No audio?

2 years ago

No sound? or is it just me?

Todd Kramer
2 years ago

Does anyone else not have sound on the live feed?

2 years ago

Stream works but no audio and no idea what times people are going. Where’s Andy when you need him? 🙁

Reply to  friuti
2 years ago

Camera work is at least a bit better.

2 years ago

I’m not getting anything but a black space. What browser are you using to see it?

Reply to  lovethemile
2 years ago

Chrome. make sure you have any ad blockers and such disabled.

Reply to  friuti
2 years ago

Thank you – I did get it going (no sound) just in time to see the last heat getting out of the pool. ARGH.

Reply to  lovethemile
2 years ago

What did you do? How do you disable?

Reply to  Seanswim
2 years ago

I have a little red hand at the top right side of browser that is the ad blocker. I clicked on that to allow or pause on this site and it started up.

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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