2019 Women’s NCAA Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


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. Indiana’s Lilly King is the heavy favorite to win the 200 breast, which would give her a perfect 8-for-8 in breaststroke titles throughout her NCAA career. Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson could take her 3rd individual title of the meet, but she’ll face Stanford freshman standout Taylor Ruck in what’s arguably her best short course event. Stanford’s Ella Eastin is the defending champion and NCAA Record holder in the 200 fly, but USC’s Louise Hansson, the 100 fly champ and NCAA Record holder, has been looking great all week.

Though she appeared to injure herself on the finish of last night’s relay and had her arm wrapped this morning, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil had a solid prelims swim. After a breakthrough performance in the 50 free, Weitzeil could pick up a sweep of the sprints. She’ll be racing a stacked field that includes 2018 runner-up Mallory Comerford of Louisville, the 200 free champion.



  1. GOLD: Ally McHugh, Penn State, 15:39.22
  2. SILVER: Molly Kowal, Ohio State, 15:44.61
  3. BRONZE: Mackenzie Padington, Minnesota, 15:47.16
  4. Leah Stevens, Stanford, 15:47.31
  5. Phoebe Hines, Hawaii, 15:50.13
  6. Sierra Schmidt, Michigan, 15:50.19
  7. Kensey McMahon, Alabama, 15:53.18
  8. Cierra Runge, ASU, 15:53.72

Ohio State’s Molly Kowal led through the first 500 in 4:46.28, with Penn State’s Ally McHugh, the 2018 runner-up, close behind. McHugh took over the lead on the next 50 and began to distance herself from the field. Hawaii’s Phoebe Hines pulled even with Kowal for 2nd by the 800 mark.

McHugh remained in the lead through the 1000, splitting a hundredth faster than Minnesota’s Mackenzie Padington (15:47.16) from the early heats at the 950. McHugh came in at 9:31.93 at the 1000. She then started to pick up the pace, beating Padington’s splits from earlier this afternoon. Kowal started to pick it up again to take a lead on Hines, while Stanford’s Leah Stevens pulled herself into the mix for a top 3 finish in a race with Hines.

With a 500 to go it was all Ally McHugh for the win. Kowal had built a body length lead on Hines in the race for 2nd, and Stevens was stroke-for-stroke racing for 3rd. McHugh continued to build her lead through the back end of the race, winning with a 15:39.22. Kowal dropped almost 5 seconds to take 2nd in 15:44.61. Stevens was 3rd in the heat at 15:47.31, but 4th overall as Padington’s time from the afternoon landed her 3rd. Hines took 4th in the heat but 5th overall in 15:50.13.



  1. GOLD: Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 1:47.24
  2. SILVER: Taylor Ruck, Stanford, 1:47.59
  3. BRONZE: Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 1:48.65
  4. Erin Voss, Stanford, 1:50.92
  5. Lucie Nordmann, Stanford, 1:51.10
  6. Sonnele Oeztuerk, Auburn, 1:51.22
  7. Megan Moroney, Virginia, 1:51.28
  8. Ali Galyer, Kentucky, 1:51.62

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson had a hundredth of a lead on Stanford’s Taylor Ruck at the 50, but Ruck took over by the 100 in 52.14. Ruck led through the 150, but Nelson used her last wall to push ahead with her underwaters, clipping the NCAA Record to win it in 1:47.24. She was less than a tenth shy of the American Record set by Regan Smith at Cary Sectionals earlier this month. Ruck finished in Stanford school record of 1:47.59 to become the 3rd fastest performer ever, while Nelson is #2 on that list.

Kentucky’s Asia Seidt broke 1:49 for the first time, setting a new school record to take 3rd in 1:48.65. She’s now the 9th fastest performer in history. Stanford’s Erin Voss was a tenth shy of her best time from prelims to take 4th in 1:50.92, followed by freshman teammate Lucie Nordmann (1:51.10).

Cal’s Keaton Blovad (1:52.99) took it out in 54.47 for the lead halfway through the B final, but Tennessee’s Meghan Small came through on the back half to win the heat in 1:51.13. That was a breakthrough for Small, as she swam her first best time in the event since 2016. Virginia’s Paige Madden, the 500 free runner-up, was 2nd in that heat with a 1:51.36. That cut half a second off her best.



  1. GOLD: Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 46.24
  2. SILVER: Anna Hopkin, Arkansas, 46.56
  3. BRONZE: Siobhan Haughey, Michigan, 46.64
  4. Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 46.97
  5. Erika Brown, Tennessee, 46.99
  6. Amy Bilquist, Cal, 47.42
  7. Ky-Lee Perry, NC State, 47.43
  8. Catie Deloof, Michigan, 47.59

Arkansas freshman Anna Hopkin led through the 50 in 22.03, but Louisville’s Mallory Comerford chased her down on the final 25 with a new Pool Record time of 46.24. Comerford remains the 2nd fastest ever and put up the 6th fastest time in history. Hopkin was 2nd in 46.56, breaking her tie with Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace for 6th fastest all-time. Hopkin clipped her best by a few hundredths, while Comerford was a few hundredths off her best from 2018.

Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey moved ahead of Missy Franklin to #8 all-time as she finished 3rd in a lifetime best 46.64. Despite swimming with a taped up arm after being injured on last night’s relay finish, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil still broke 47, taking 4th in 46.97. Tennessee’s Erika Brown, the 5th fastest ever in this event, placed 5th tonight in 46.99.

Auburn’s Claire Fisch took it out with the lead and held off the field to win the B final in 47.78.


  • NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018
  • American Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018
  • Meet Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018


  1. GOLD: Lilly King, Indiana, 2:02.90
  2. SILVER: Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 2:03.65
  3. BRONZE: Sophie Hansson, NC State, 2:06.18
  4. Emma Barksdale, South Carolina, 2:06.87
  5. Bailey Bonnett, Kentucky, 2:06.91
  6. Noelle Peplowski, Indiana, 2:06.94
  7. Anna Belousova, Texas A&M, 2:07.04
  8. Kaki Christensen, Virginia, 2:08.74

Indiana’s Lilly King was almost a second ahead at just the 50-mark in 27.39. She came through the 100 at 58.62, still over a second ahead of the field. She was right on record pace at the 150 in 1:30.58. King was slightly off her record from last season as she finished in 2:02.90 with the 2nd fastest performance ever. She now owns 6 of the 8 fastest swims ever in the event and a new Pool Record.

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem moved up to #4 all-time, clocking in at 2:03.65. That was a lifetime best by a second and the 8th fastest performance ever. Behind her, NC State freshman Sophie Hansson dropped over half a second in 2:06.18 to round out the top 3. South Carolina’s Emma Barksdale (2:06.87) outpaced Kentucky’s Bailey Bonnett (2:06.91) and Indiana freshman Noelle Peplowski (2:06.94) on the back half to take 4th. That was a best by almost a full second for Barksdale, while Bonnett and Peplowski broke 2:07 for the first time as well.

Minnesota’s Lindsey Kozelsky (2:07.77), a 2018 finalist in this race, took it out with the lead in the B heat at 1:00.56. Stanford’s Allie Raab closed in on the 3rd 50, taking over the lead down the final stretch to win the heat in 2:06.85. That was a big swim for Raab, who had never broken 2:08 before.


  • NCAA Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • American Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • U.S. Open Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • Meet Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:50.01
  • 2018 Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:50.01


  1. GOLD: Louise Hansson, USC, 1:50.26
  2. SILVER: Ella Eastin, Stanford, 1:50.46
  3. BRONZE: Grace Oglesby, Louisville, 1:50.80
  4. Katie McLaughlin, Cal, 1:51.09
  5. Katie Drabot, Stanford, 1:51.94
  6. Maddie Wright, USC, 1:52.26
  7. Olivia Carter, Georgia, 1:53.06
  8. Jing Quah, Texas A&M, 1:53.61

USC’s Louise Hansson, the 100 fly champion, stuck to her typical race plan as she was way under record pace up front in 24.42. Hansson turned in 51.81 at the 100, nearly 2 seconds under record pace. The field started to close in on the 3rd 50, but Hansson still led with a 1:20.33 and a second under record pace. Cal’s Katie McLaughlin was also under record pace at the 150, with Stanford’s defending champ Ella Eastin charging.

Hansson and McLaughlin were fading on the final 50 as Eastin made her move, but Hansson did enough to hold on and win it in 1:50.26 to Eastin’s 1:50.46. ACC Champion Grace Oglesby ran down McLaughlin for 3rd in 1:50.80, while McLaughlin dropped over a second to take 4th in 1:51.09. Oglesby’s time was a best by nearly 1.5 seconds. After tonight’s race, Hansson moves ahead of Kelsi Dahlia as the 3rd fastest ever. Oglesby is now the 5th fastest ever, and McLaughlin is the 7th fastest ever.

Stanford’s Katie Drabot, the 2018 runner-up, was 5th in 1:51.94, just a couple of tenths off her best. USC’s Maddie Wright clipped her best to take 6th in 1:52.26. Georgia freshman Dakota Luther dominated the B final, breaking 1:53 for the first time to win the heat in 1:52.99 with the 7th fastest time of the night. Stanford’s Brooke Forde, the 500 free champion, was 2nd in that heat just a few tenths short of her best in 1:53.93.



  1. GOLD: Murphy Bromberg, Texas, 391.60
  2. SILVER: Emily Meaney, Purdue, 336.15
  3. BRONZE: Jessica Parratto, Indiana, 332.90
  4. Delaney Schnell, Arizona, 321.45
  5. Abigail Knapton, Nebraska, 316.75
  6. Alais Kalonji, Texas A&M, 305.30
  7. Olivia Rosendahl, Northwestern, 290.40
  8. Maha Gouda, FIU, 270.55

Texas’ Murphy Bromberg won the platform diving finals, moving the Longhorns ahead of Minnesota by 2 points in the battle for 9th with only the 400 free relay remaining. Texas should be safely ahead of the Gophers as the Longhorns are in tonight’s A final. Indiana moved ahead of NC State in the top 5 team race as Jessica Paratto took 3rd.


  • NCAA Record: Cal, 2019, 3:07.41
  • American Record: Stanford, 2017, 3:07.61
  • Meet Record: Stanford, 2017, 3:07.61


  1. GOLD: Cal- 3:06.96
  2. SILVER: Michigan- 3:08.07
  3. BRONZE: Stanford- 3:09.73
  4. Texas- 3:10.89
  5. Louisville- 3:11.24
  6. Auburn- 3:11.64
  7. Tennessee- 3:12.20
  8. Virginia- 3:12.85

Michigan had the lead halfway after Siobhan Haughey‘s split on the 2nd leg, but Cal’s Amy Bilquist closed the gap by half a second on the 3rd leg. It came down to Daria Pyshnenko (47.68) vs. Abbey Weitzeil on the anchor leg. Cal’s Weitzeil, still swimming with her arm wrapped up, dominated the anchor leg. She flipped in 21.43 en route to a 46.07 split, touching for Cal’s new NCAA Record of 3:06.96.

Cal’s time will not count as an American Record, as Weitzeil’s arm tape is against the rules. However, they do claim the NCAA Record, breaking it by half a second. Izzy Ivey led off for the Bears in 47.79, followed by Katie McLaughlin (46.62) and Amy Bilquist (46.48).

Michigan (3:08.07) wound up 2nd with a pair of 46s on the middle legs from Siobhan Haughey (46.44) and Catie Deloof (46.91). Freshman Maggie MacNeil dropped over half a second to lead them off in 47.04. Stanford’s Taylor Ruck ran down the field with a blistering 45.65 split to help the Cardinal (3:09.73) to 3rd place.

USC’s Louise Hansson got an early lead for the Trojans with a 47.38 leadoff. NC State (3:12.11) moved ahead with freshman Kylee Alons on the 2nd leg. Sophie Hansson held on to the Wolfpack’s lead on the 3rd leg, but USC took over on the closing leg with Laticia-Leigh Transom sealing the deal in 3:11.62.


  1. Stanford                        456.5   2. California                        419
  3. Michigan                          314   4. Louisville                        235
  5. Texas                           190.5   6. Virginia                          188
  7. NC State                        187.5   8. Tennessee                         185
  9. Indiana                           179  10. Southern Cali                     159
 11. Minnesota                       158.5  12. Auburn                            146
 13. Texas A&M                       142.5  14. Arizona                         101.5
 15. Kentucky                        100.5  16. Wisconsin                         100
 17. UCLA                               75  18. Georgia                            66
 19. Arkansas                           63  20. Arizona St                         61
 21. South Carolina                   53.5  22. Missouri                           51
 23. Duke                               47  24. Florida                            44
 25. Ohio St                            43  26. Purdue                             31
 27. Northwestern                       27  27. Penn St                            27
 29. Kansas                             22  30. Lsu                                20
 31. University of Miami                19  32. Eastern Mich                       17
 33. Nebraska                           16  34. Alabama                            14
 34. Florida St                         14  34. Hawaii                             14
 37. Florida Int'l                      11  38. San Diego St                        9
 39. Akron                               6  40. Virginia Tech                       5
 41. Notre Dame                          4  42. UNC                                 2
 43. U.S. Navy                           1  43. Univeristy of Conneticut            1

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5 years ago

I may have missed it. Who was the swimmer of the meet? Most Valuable Swimmer?

Reply to  Duswim
5 years ago

Beata Nelson. Wisconsin

5 years ago

Not a big deal, but the article says Ruck is the 3rd fastest performer ever in the 200 back. Isn’t she #4 behind Smith, Nelson and Baker?

Joel Lin
5 years ago

The ACC programs are surging & it was a down year for the SEC programs. An anomaly or the start of a trend?

Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

With uva’s recruiting and state’s general trajectory I’m optimistic about the next few acc years

5 years ago

Texas went from 11th after the 200fly to 5th at the end of the meet. What an incredible race for 5th place. 5 teams that had a shot at getting that spot (Texas, Virginia, NC State, Tennessee, Indiana). Also, four teams in a tight race for 10th (Southern Cal, Minnesota, Auburn, Texas A&M).

What a fantastic meet, all around.

Reply to  zswam
5 years ago

And Texas did it with only one swimmer in the Bfinals the whole session. (No A swims). Just shows how important divers and relays can be!

5 years ago

I nominate Abbey for the Curt Schilling Award, injuries are no match for true Champions. The future is bright for Team USA. Ruck you’re a monster!

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Ragnar
5 years ago

I have no idea why someone would want to win an award named after Curt Schilling

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
5 years ago


5 years ago

So Nelson was the high scorer with just individual points taken into account, but who would be the high scorer if relay points (1/4 of the team’s points) were added in? I’m thinking it has to be between Comerford and Weitzeil (I don’t think I’m forgetting anybody, maybe Ruck or McLaughlin). Louisville doesn’t A final any of those relays without Comerford… she’s the big reason they finished 4th… she’s the Swimmer of the meet in my book!

Reply to  Takinpics
5 years ago

You think Wisconsin’s relays score without Beata???

Didn’t see Mallory breaking records…

Reply to  Takinpics
5 years ago

Not a MVP award

2 Cents
Reply to  Takinpics
5 years ago

Try thinking about it in terms of PAR (points above replacement). Weitzeil off her relays and Cal is still scoring in finals with the next woman up and they still finish 2nd at the meet. So statistically if you look at the advanced metrics you will see that what happens is……

5 years ago

Crazy to the change in A&M in a year.

Reply to  CanSwim13
5 years ago

Yep lookin like they put bunch o eggs in the SEC meet basket as did Tenn, UGA and Fla! The SEC was ugly here but the great news is at least the LADY VOLS won a relay!!! Which only a couple of others did…many tried but the LV NATION got it done!

Coach Josh
Reply to  CanSwim13
5 years ago

They are amazing at developing 3 and 4 star recruits, but don’t get the 5 stars very regularly. That always puts you at risk of graduating a great class and then just not being reloaded the next year. I’m sure they’ll be back soon.

5 years ago

McKeever should get coach of the meet. Meehan is obviously fantastic but McKeever was able to get the absolute most out of her swimmers this week. Cal actually made it a race for the team title which i don’t think anyone expected.

Reply to  swamfan
5 years ago

She did get COY and well deserved IMO

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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