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


This morning marks the final session of prelims at the 2019 Women’s NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. Swimmers will compete in the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 400 free relay. The 1650 free will also be contested today, with the fastest heat swimming in finals and the rest of the heats swum earlier in the afternoon ahead of the finals session. Divers will compete in the platform event after this morning’s session. SwimSwam will provide separate updates on the early 1650 heats later on.

After smashing the 100 back American Record last night, Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson has the 200 back record on her radar, but Stanford’s Taylor Ruck is also in the title hunt. Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil had a breakthrough in the 50 free earlier in the meet, and will look to do the same in the 100 free today. Lilly King of Indiana completed a perfect 4-for-4 in the 100 breast, and will go after the same in the 200 breast. In the 200 fly, we’ll see Stanford’s defending champ and NCAA Record holder Ella Eastin go up against USC’s Louise Hansson, who took down the 100 fly NCAA Record last night.


Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 1:48.74
  2. Taylor Ruck, Stanford, 1:48.84
  3. Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 1:49.70
  4. Lucie Nordmann, Stanford, 1:50.70
  5. Ali Galyer, Kentucky, 1:50.74
  6. Erin Voss, Stanford, 1:50.78
  7. Sonnele Oeztuerk, Auburn, 1:51.13
  8. Megan Moroney, Virginia, 1:51.50

After smashing the American Record in the 100 back last night, Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson put up the fastest time of prelims. Nelson’s 1:48.74 was just a few tenths away from her best. She’s currently the 6th fastest performer ever in this race and will have a perfect 3-for-3 wins individually at this meet if she takes the title tonight. Last night, Nelson took the 100 back American Record back after Regan Smith broke it. Smith also broke the American Record in the 200 back earlier this month, so Nelson will be chasing Smith’s record again.

Stanford’s Taylor Ruck, the 8th fastest performer ever in this race, set the pace with a 52.53 at the halfway point in heat 6. She was within 2 tenths of her best as she hit the wall in 1:48.84. Fellow Cardinal freshman Lucie Nordmann had a big swim, breaking 1:51 for the first time. Her 1:50.70 safely got her into the championship heat, securing at least 2 in the final for the Cardinal as they battle Cal for the team title tonight. Erin Voss then took it a step further for Stanford as she qualified for the A final in 1:50.78 out of the next heat. That was her first time under 1:51 as well.

Kentucky’s Asia Seidt was the fastest through the 100, flipping in 53.88 in heat 5. Seidt held on to her lead to win that first circle-seeded heat in 1:49.70. Auburn’s Sonnele Oeztuerk dropped close to a second as she came in behind Seidt at 1:51.13. Oeztuerk made it into the championship heat at 7th. Qualifying 8th was Virginia’s Megan Moroney with a 1:51.50 out of heat 6. Teammate Emma Seiberlich was just 5 hundredths short of making the A final at 9th in 1:51.55. That was a best by a second.

Tennessee’s Meghan Small set the bar at 1:52.19 in heat 1. That’s a season best by over 3 seconds for Small and the fastest she’s been since 2017. This was a change in Small’s lineup this season as she competed in the 200 fly on day 4 of NCAAs last year. NC State freshman Kylee Alons won heat 3, dropping a second from her best in 1:52.52. Both Small and Alons will compete in the consol final tonight. Cal got one in the B final, with Keaton Blovad taking 16th in 1:53.07.

Cal vs. Stanford Up/Downs Tracking:

  • Cal: 0 up/1 down
  • Stanford: 3 up/0 down


Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 46.57
  2. Anna Hopkin, Arkansas, 46.61
  3. Siobhan Haughey, Michigan, 47.16
  4. Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 47.28
  5. Erika Brown, Tennessee, 47.33
  6. Amy Bilquist, Cal, 47.28
  7. Catie Deloof, Michigan, 47.47
  8. Ky-Lee Perry, NC State, 47.51

After appearing to injure her right arm on the finish of the 200 medley relay last night, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil, the top seed into prelims and 3rd fastest ever in this event, had her arm wrapped this morning. Weitzeil still made it safely into the final of this event, taking 2nd in the final heat with a 47.28. Just ahead of her was Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey (47.16), the 9th fastest performer ever.

Cal’s Amy Bilquist and Erika Brown, the SEC champion and 5th fastest ever in this event, battled closely into the finish in heat 7. Brown had the edge up front, with Bilquist trying to run her down, but Brown held her off at the touch, 47.33 to 47.38. NC State’s Ky-Lee Perry qualified 8th for the final as she took 3rd in that heat with a 47.51.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford picked up the heat 6 win as she and Arkansas freshman Anna Hopkin were stroke-for-stroke the whole way through. Comerford clocked in at 46.57, while Hopkin was a nail behind in 46.61. Hopkin is now tied with Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace as the 6th fastest performer in history. This was her first swim under 47. Michigan’s Catie Deloof took 3rd in that heat behind them, clipping her best in 47.47 to qualify for the final.

Stanford freshman Amalie Fackenthal had a big swim in heat 3. She broke 48 for the first time in 47.95, earning a spot in the consol final for the Cardinal. Cal will also have one in that heat with Robin Neumann (47.99) at 16th. Auburn’s Aly Tetzloff, who placed 7th in this event last year, will join them in the B heat after qualifying 11th in 47.90.

Cal vs. Stanford Up/Downs Tracking:

  • Cal: 2 up/1 down
  • Stanford: 0 up/1 down


  • 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

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Lilly King, Indiana, 2:05.65
  2. Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 2:06.57
  3. Sophie Hansson, NC State, 2:06.87
  4. Bailey Bonnett, Kentucky, 2:07.53
  5. Emma Barksdale, South Carolina, 2:07.71
  6. Noelle Peplowski, Indiana, 2:07.72
  7. Anna Belousova, Texas A&M, 2:07.92
  8. Kaki Christensen, Virginia, 2:08.42

Reigning champion and NCAA Record holder Lilly King took it out smooth with a 1:00.31 at the halfway mark. She cruised through the 3rd 50 in 32.75, but picked up her tempo a bit on the last 50 to move a body length ahead of the field in 2:05.65. NC State freshman Sophie Hansson was up with King at the 150, taking 2nd in the heat at 2:06.87. South Carolina’s Emma Barksdale, who broke 2:10 for the first time just a month ago, dropped almost a second off her time to take 3rd in that heat with a 2:07.71.

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem, the 6th fastest woman ever in this event, picked up the first circle-seeded heat win. Pickrem used her back-half speed to distance herself from Kentucky’s Bailey Bonnett (2:07.53), winning the heat in 2:06.57. Pickrem’s teammate Anna Belousova (2:07.92), the 9th fastest performer in history, took 2nd in the next heat. Indiana freshman Noelle Peplowski took it out slightly faster than Belousova and they were evenly matched in their back half speed. Peplowski clipped her best time to win that heat.

Virginia freshman Kaki Christensen took almost half a second off her time. She took it out quick and started to drop off the pace on the final 50, but her race plan paid off as she qualified for the A final at 8th in 2:08.42. South Carolina nearly got 2 into the top 8, with Margaret Higgs was 2 hundredths coming up 2 hundredths short in 2:08.44.

Stanford continues to set themselves up to win the meet. With no Cal scorers in this event, they’ll get another boost here from B finalists Grace Zhao (2:08.53), Zoe Bartel (2:08.62), and Allie Raab (2:08.64). They’ll be joined by one of last season’s A finalists: Minnesota’s Lindsey Kozelsky (2:08.62).

Cal vs. Stanford Up/Downs Tracking:

  • Cal: 0 up/0 down
  • Stanford: 0 up/3 down


  • 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

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Ella Eastin, Stanford, 1:51.02
  2. Louise Hansson, USC, 1:51.70
  3. Grace Oglesby, Louisville, 1:52.21
  4. Katie McLaughlin, Cal, 1:52.63
  5. Olivia Carter, Georgia, 1:52.70
  6. Maddie Wright, USC, 1:52.90
  7. Jing Quah, Texas A&M, 1:53.45
  8. Katie Drabot, Stanford, 1:53.64

USC’s Louise Hansson was out in 52.43, over a second under NCAA Record pace. She finished over a second ahead of the field in 1:51.70, while teammate Maddie Wright followed in 1:52.90. Hansson will challenge for the title tonight after finishing 3rd in 2018. She’s currently the 4th fastest ever in this race.

The fastest ever, Ella Eastin of Stanford, is the favorite. Eastin is the top seed for finals after winning the penultimate heat in 1:51.02. Her prelims swim was the 10th fastest performance in history. Cal’s Katie McLaughlin, who took 4th in this event last season, was just a few tenths shy of her best to take 2nd in the heat with a 1:52.63. Behind McLaughlin, Georgia freshman Olivia Carter broke 1:53 for the first time, qualifying 5th for the final in 1:52.70. Another Bulldog freshman, Dakota Luther, was just outside of the top 8 with a 1:53.91 for 9th.

ACC champion Grace Oglesby of Louisville took the heat 6 win. Oglesby trailed Texas A&M’s Jing Quah at the halfway mark, but brought it home for the win in 1:52.21. That was a best by nearly half a second. Quah held on for 2nd in 1:53.45. Stanford’s Katie Drabot, the 2018 runner-up in this event, took 3rd in 1:53.64 to qualify 8th for the championship heat.

Cal freshman Cassidy Bayer hit a stall in this event over the past few seasons, but had a breakthrough to win heat 4. Bayer came through with a 1:55.35, which is her fastest swim in the event since 2016. That’s also under 2 tenths shy of her lifetime best. Bayer will compete in the B final tonight.

Texas’ Remedy Rule was disqualfied for alternating kicks – she was also DQed in this event in 2017 for going past 15 meters underwater.

Cal vs. Stanford Up/Downs Tracking:

  • Cal: 1 up/1 down
  • Stanford: 2 up/1 down


  • NCAA Record: Stanford, 2017, 3:07.61
  • American Record: Stanford, 2017, 3:07.61
  • Meet Record: Stanford, 2017, 3:07.61

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Michigan- 3:09.64
  2. Cal- 3:10.64
  3. Texas- 3:10.89
  4. Stanford- 3:11.17
  5. Auburn- 3:11.66
  6. Louisville- 3:12.01
  7. Tennessee- 3:12.24
  8. Virginia- 3:12.58

Freshman Izzy Ivey led off for Cal in the final heat, giving the Bears the lead in 47.75. The Bears held on to their lead to win the heat in 3:10.64, with Amy Bilquist closing in 47.22. Stanford (3:11.17) ran down the field for 2nd, as the Cardinal got a scorching 45.99 anchor from Taylor Ruck.

Michigan put up the fastest time of the morning with a 3:09.64 in heat 2. Their fastest splits came on the middle 2 legs from Siobhan Haughey (46.73) and Catie Deloof (47.08). Texas won the 3rd heat with a 3:10.89 as freshman Julia Cook anchored in a quick 47.19.

Aside from Haughey and Ruck, there were only a handful of sub-47 splits. Tennessee (3:12.24) qualified 7th with Erika Brown posting a 46.98 on the 2nd leg. Louisville’s (3:12.01) Mallory Comerford took on the 2nd leg in 46.28. Wisconsin’s (3:13.91) Beata Nelson helped them to 11th place with a 46.93 2nd leg. Arkansas (3:16.60) freshman Anna Hopkin also took on the 2nd leg, racing to a 46.53 split.

The Trojans (3:12.59) got a 47.90 leadoff from Louise Hansson. They were a hundredth short of making the championship heat, as Virginia took the 8th spot in 3:12.58.

Cal vs. Stanford Up/Downs Tracking:

  • Cal: Up
  • Stanford: Up

Platform Diving

Top 16 – prelims:

  1. Delaney Schnell, Arizona, 345.80
  2. Samantha Bromberg, Texas, 339.80
  3. Olivia Rosendahl, Northwestern, 328.40
  4. Jessica Parratto, Indiana, 316.40
  5. Abigail Knapton, Nebraska, 315.25
  6. Alais Kalonji, Texas A&M, 311.60
  7. Maha Gouda, Florida International, 282.15
  8. Emily Meaney, Purdue, 275.70
  9. Carly Souza, USC, 265.90
  10. Emily Brescher, Purdue, 264.40
  11. Freida Lim, Georgia, 261.80
  12. Sofia Rauzi, Texas, 261.00
  13. Eloise Belanger, UCLA, 258.50
  14. Daria Lenz, Stanford, 257.75
  15. Molly Fears, Louisville, 256.00
  16. Marissa Roth, South Carolina, 256.00

Consolation final results:

  1. Eloise Belanger, 274.20
  2. Emily Brescher, 267.00
  3. Marissa Roth, 262.80
  4. Molly Fears, 258.65
  5. Daria Lenz, 254.95
  6. Sofia Rauzi, 254.00
  7. Freida Lim, 246.75
  8. Carly Souza, 215.90

The consolation final of platform diving saw significant shakeup from how prelims played out. UCLA’s Eloise Belanger, who was the No. 5 seed in consols, won the event. Carly Souza, the top seed, took eighth place and was over 30 points behind seventh-place finisher Freida Lim. Stanford, in pursuit of the team title tonight, picked up 4 points with Daria Lenz‘s fifth-place finish.

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5 years ago

Anyone know what Remedy Rule did to DQ in the 2fly?

Swimming is fun
Reply to  Devo
5 years ago

Alternating kick…(flutter)

5 second rule
Reply to  Devo
5 years ago

Alternating kicks

Reply to  Devo
5 years ago

Flutter kick.

Steve coach
5 years ago

What happened to UGA this year

Reply to  Steve coach
5 years ago

Last 4 years. 1st- 4th- 11th – ??this year

5 years ago

some teams might not be focusing on all relays but somewhat curious to see Akron ahead such luminaries as Indiana, Arizona or Florida in 4×1 fr

Steve Coach
Reply to  samulih
5 years ago

What happened to UGA this year ?

5 years ago

Too bad Ruck isn’t swimming the 100 free.

5 years ago

Impressive Cal/Stanford Up-Down Tracker there….

5 years ago

anybody know when distance session starts?

Reply to  Dude
5 years ago

I think 3:00, Meet Mobile says 2:57 for some reason

Acc fan
5 years ago

UVA with nice morning seesion

5 years ago

So Stanford had 2 more ups and 2 more downs than Cal this morning? Add in 1650 and diving and it’s more like 4/4. Gonna be hard for Cal to beat…

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
5 years ago

Drats, the suspense was fun while it lasted! Never been more true that championship meets are won and lost in the morning… Here’s to hoping the men’s meet is as exciting as this one has been!

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
5 years ago

Will it be over before the 400 free relay? Or is there a scenario where Stanford loses the meet with a DQ and Cal win in the 400FR-R?

Reply to  Paul
5 years ago

Update: Scoring projection article indicates that Stanford would need to flub the relay AND the mile/diving in order to lose. Shout out to SwimSwam staff for including that analysis.

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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