2020 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


  • When: Wednesday, February 19th to Saturday, February 22nd | Prelims 10:00 am | Finals 6:00 pm (1650 prelims Saturday at 4:00 pm)
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: North Carolina State University (NC State) (1x) (results)
  • Streaming: ACC Network
  • Championship Central: Here
  • Detailed Timeline: Here
  • Psych Sheets: Here
  • Live Results

We kick off this morning with the 500 free, where 2019 NCAA runner-up Paige Madden leads the Virginia Cavaliers into heats. Madden was second in this event last year behind two-time conference champ Mallory Comerford, but outdid Comerford’s time at NCAAs when Comerford switched to the 50 free. Madden could challenge the meet record from 2016 today. NC State’s Kathleen Moore also returns from last year’s top three.

The big question will be where we’ll see star Virginia freshman Kate Douglass swim. Douglass entered the 200 IM and 50 free and is the top seed in both, though she’ll almost-assuredly drop one or the other to leave two individual entries for the next two days of the meet. Her career-bests (1:52.84 and 21.53) are already under the ACC meet records in both races, and she’s got a great chance to smash overall conference records in either event as well. Update: Douglass will swim the IM today and not the 50.

NC State’s Julia Poole returns as the defending champ in the 200 IM – six of the eight A finalists from a year ago return. In the 50 free, Virginia’s Morgan Hill is the defending champion and the entire top 8 return from last year. Hill touched out NC State’s Ky-Lee Perry by .01 to win the race last year, and they’ll get a rematch of that battle today.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Greensboro.

Women’s 500 Free – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 4:30.74 – Leah Smith, 2016
  • ACC record: 4:28.90 – Leah Smith, 2017
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Mallory Comerford (LOU) – 4:34.63

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Madden (UVA) – 4:40.93
  2. Donohoe (UVA) – 4:42.68
  3. Sargent (NCS) – 4:43.29
  4. Dolan (ND) – 4:43.48
  5. Moore (NCS) – 4:44.15
  6. Thomas (ND) – 4:44.89
  7. Foley (NCS) – 4:45.16
  8. Glover (NCS) – 4:46.02

Two Virginia Cavaliers swept the top two spots this morning, but NC State put four into the A final in the battle for the team title. Paige Madden was second in this meet last year – she was also second at NCAAs. Madden went 4:40.93 this morning, and will chase her 4:38.13 time from this meet last year, not to mention her 4:32.98 from NCAAs.

Virginia freshman Madelyn Donohoe was second in 4:42.68, a career-best by about a second.

NC State’s foursome are senior Makayla Sargent, junior Kathleen Moorefreshman Katharine Foley and senior Mackenzie Glover. Moore was third last year and had a solid prelims-to-finals drop, so she might be the top threat to Madden tonight. Glover scratched out of this meet entirely last year, and Sargent didn’t swim the 500 free. Maybe the biggest story of the bunch is freshman Katharine Foley, who cut more than five seconds from seed and about three seconds from her high school personal best this morning.

It was a good event for Notre Dame, with two A finalists. Abigail Dolan was 8th last year and will look to have a better prelims-to-finals transition this year after qualifying fourth. The sophomore Luciana Thomas was 9th in the IM last year, but swapped for the 500 this season to make the A final.

Women’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 1:54.44 – Alexia Zevnik, 2017
  • ACC record: 1:52.84 – Kate Douglass, 2019
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Julia Poole (NCS) – 1:55.13

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Douglass (UVA) – 1:53.90
  2. Richter (UVA) – 1:55.53
  3. Hauder (UNC) – 1:55.59
  4. Poole (NCS) – 1:55.63
  5. Nelson (UVA) – 1:55.91
  6. Gillilan (ND) – 1:56.69
  7. Hay (LOU) – 1:57.28
  8. Muzzy (NCS) – 1:57.43

It’s a young conference in the 200 IM – half of the A finalists are freshmen and one more a sophomore. There are also zero seniors in the top 8.

Virginia once again sits 1-2 on a morning where their top athletes are clearly showing up to compete. Kate Douglass broke the ACC meet record in a pretty casual swim for her, going 1:53.90. (Douglass was 1:52.84 earlier this season to set the conference record). Virginia junior Abigail Richter sits second; she was second in this event a year ago in 1:55.92 and was four tenths faster this morning.

Last year it was NC State going 1-2 in prelims. Defending champ Julia Poole was fourth this morning in 1:55.63, which is actually four tenths faster than she went in taking the top prelims spot a year ago. That shows how much faster the conference has gotten in this particular event.

That’s due to the influx of freshmen: Douglass, her teammate Ella Nelson (listed in results as Margaret), Notre Dame’s Coleen Gillilan and Louisville’s Abigail Hay. Nelson cut from a career-best 1:57.7 to 1:55.9 this morning. Gillilan shaved a hundredth from her high school personal best. Hay was the big dropper, going from a lifetime-best 2:00.4 out of high school to 1:59.1 in a first-chance meet last week to 1:57.28 this morning.

Even the returners are swimming much faster. UNC’s Caroline Hauder was 1:58.7 in prelims last year and took 8th in the final in 2:00. She went 1:55.59 this morning for third overall, a good early return for UNC’s new coaching staff.

Last year’s 3rd and 4th place finishers both missed the A final – that was Louisville’s Grace Oglesby and NC State’s Sophie Hansson. They’ll show down in the B final.

Once again, NC State and UVA are set up pretty well with scorers. Virginia has one more A finalist, but NC State put three into the B final and has three more scorers than Virginia in this event.

Women’s 50 Free – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 21.54 – Caitlin Cooper, 2018
  • ACC record: 21.48 – Caroline Baldwin, 2017
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Morgan Hill (UVA) – 21.68

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Marsh (DUKE) – 21.78
  2. Alons (NCS) – 21.85
  3. Fanz (LOU) – 21.89
  4. Perry (NCS) – 22.06
  5. Hill (UVA) – 22.16
  6. Vereb (VT) – 22.26
  7. Regenauer (LOU) – 22.28
  8. Openysheva (LOU) – 22.29

Despite the prowess of NC State and Virginia in the sprints, it’s actually Louisville who dominated the 50 this morning, stacking three into the A final. Oddly enough, that trio includes neither of Louisville’s returning A finalists in the event. Louisville has Casey Fanz (11th and just 22.3 last year, but 21.8 this morning), Christiana Regenauer (a freshman who cut from 22.4 to 22.2 this morning) and Arina Openysheva (20th in the 500 last year, but cut from 22.4 to 22.2 this morning) into the top 8.

Alyssa Marsh out of Duke is the top qualifier in 21.78. Marsh cuts more than a tenth from her mid-season best and is already well ahead of her 22.0 from this meet last year.

2017 champ Ky-Lee Perry out of NC State is fourth in 22.06 and 2019 champ Morgan Hill of Virginia fifth in 22.16. Both should be plenty faster tonight after they went 21.68 (Hill) and 21.69 (Perry) in dueling for this title last year.

Virginia Tech gets its first A finalist of the meet so far in Joelle Vereb, who swam 100 fly/100 breast/100 free last year. Vereb was 22.26 this morning, a tenth off her best.

NC State’s other A finalist is Kylee Alons in second. Virginia has just the one A finalist. That’s going to put NC State firmly in the driver’s seat heading into tonight with 8 A finalists and 16 total individual scorers set up (not including diving). Virginia has 6 A finalists and 12 individual scorers.

Keep an eye, too, on Louisville, which only has 4 A finalists but also has 12 scoring swims set up. Keep an eye out for our full up/down analysis coming soon.

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1 year ago

So I can watch nearly every dual meet on ESPN but can’t even get a static camera for prelims at conference championships? Sad.

Konner Scott
1 year ago

Is there a prelims stream?

Reply to  Konner Scott
1 year ago

ACC Network if you can get it!

Go Pack!
Reply to  Justanarp
1 year ago

Only finals. ACC network is currently showing a re-air of their talk show. You can watch the ivies and A-10 on Espn+ and SEC on SEC network. But no ACC prelims. WtF.

1 year ago

Ella Nelson is on fire geez

Reply to  Anonymous
1 year ago

Big time. 1:44 on relay last night. 1:55IM today.

Reply to  Anonymous
1 year ago

Last night I was going to the roster saying “who is this Margaret Nelson going 1:44??” 🙂

DeSorbo Effect
Reply to  Anonymous
1 year ago

THE DESORBO EFFECT ladies & gentlemen 🙂

Nuff said. BOOM!

Silent Observer
1 year ago

Finals is going to be really exciting! The team battle is looking good!!!

maddie Hess
1 year ago


Thinking Cap
1 year ago

Can anyone say SLOW 500 Free prelim
4:46 for an A final is far from what I would expect at a major conference meet like this

Reply to  Thinking Cap
1 year ago

Yeah, its the one area where the conference is still very far behind.

Reply to  Thinking Cap
1 year ago

Top 5 in SEC 50 free prelims beat Marsh’s top prelim time. ACC ladies will have to step it up to compete at NCAAs!

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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