2020 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 3 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’re onto a busy day 2 of ACCs, with five prelims swimming events on the docket.

NC State’s Sophie Hansson broke ACC and meet records in the 100 breast last year as a freshman, and she returns as the favorite there. In the 400 IM, NC State went 1-2-3-4 a year ago and return all four swimmers led by defending champ Kathleen Moorewho could be on the hunt for the meet record.

In the 100 fly, defending champ Morgan Hill returns for Virginia, but she should face a stiff challenge. It’ll either be her teammate, star freshman Kate Douglassor Louisville’s Grace Oglesbywho was just .01 behind Hill for the title last year and won the event in 2018.

Douglass is entered in the 100 fly, 200 free, and 100 breast, but will probably have to choose one of those races. The 100 fly may be most likely.

Four-time 200 free champ Mallory Comerford is graduated, but Virginia’s Paige Madden looks like the heir apparent. She was second last year and went on to take 5th at NCAAs.

In the 100 back, NC State looks for a fourth-consecutive title by a third different woman. Alexia Zevnik won in 2017 and Elise Haan the following two years. Now freshman standout Katharine Berkoff enters as the second seed, although she’ll have to get by UNC’s Grace Countie as well as top returners Megan Moroney (UVA) and Carly Quast (Notre Dame).

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

Women’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 50.06 – Kelsi Worrell, 2016
  • ACC record: 49.43, Kelsi Worrell, 2017
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Morgan Hill (UVA) – 51.01

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Douglass (UVA) – 50.90
  2. Hill (UVA) – 51.45
  3. Cuomo (UVA) – 51.51
  4. Oglesby (LOU) – 51.59
  5. Marsh (DUKE) – 51.60
  6. Nava (UVA) – 52.04
  7. Vereb (VT) – 52.23
  8. Gillilan (ND) – 52.40

It’s a huge event for Virginia to kick things off. The Cavaliers put four into the A final, including the top three prelims qualifiers. Kate Douglass looks like the clear favorite after cruising a casual 50.90 this morning. She was 23.7/27.1 in her splits, so there’s reason to believe she shut things down a little in the back half. (For reference, Douglass was 23.5/26.7 in her mid-season rest meet).

Defending champ Morgan Hill sits second with a 51.45, remarkably close to her 51.35 from prelims a year ago. Meanwhile Cavalier rookie Lexi Cuomo went 51.51 for third. That’s a huge drop for the Virginia high school product, who was 52.0 out of high school.

Louisville’s Grace Oglesby came within a hundredth of the win last year, and she’s lurking in fourth. Oglesby won ACCs in 2018.

Don’t count out Alyssa Marsh of Duke, who had the conference’s best 50 fly split on the 200 medley relay (22.0), besting Douglass (22.3) and Oglesby (23.1). She was fifth last year and qualified in that exact spot this morning. Virginia Tech’s Joelle Vereb is another top contender after a big 50 free last night.

This is the type of event that can break open the team race. Virginia has 4 A finalists and 1 B finalist. NC State, meanwhile, pulled most of their swimmers elsewhere and only entered one athlete in the 100 fly – Sirena Rowe, who added about a half second and missed the C final.

Women’s 400 IM – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 4:04.21 – Tanja Kylliainen, 2015
  • ACC record: 4:03.51 – Tanja Kylliainen, 2015
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Kathleen Moore (NCS) – 4:05.24

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Nelson (UVA) – 4:06.62
  2. Richter (UVA) – 4:07.90
  3. Moore (NCS) – 4:08.13
  4. Sargent (NCS) – 4:08.47
  5. Hay (LOU) – 4:09.58
  6. Muzzy (NCS) – 4:11.54
  7. Thomas (ND) – 4:12.93
  8. Dean (DUKE) – 4:13.41

NC State mostly spent the 100 fly loading up for the next two events, which should be good ones for them. But Virginia nearly matched them in the 400 IM – UVA has two A finalists and NC State three.

The Wolfpack were 1-2-3-4 coming out of prelims last year and held that up in finals. This year, they’ll need some more finals magic to sweep the top spots. Virginia freshman Ella Nelson was 4:06.62, cutting three and a half seconds from her previous best. That’s the second-straight event with a Virginia freshman coming through in a big way.

Her teammate Abby Richter was a B finalist in the 100 back last year (52.89), but made the leap to the 400 IM this year. It was a good decision so far, as Richter went a lifetime-best 4:07.90 (a drop of about three seconds) for second place.

NC State is still set up well, though. Kathleen Moore won this event last year in 4:05.24, and no one has touched that time in prelims. Moore sits third in 4:08.13, which is actually a half-second faster than she was in prelims last year. Kay Sargent returns after taking second last year, and third-placer Emma Muzzy is also into the A final. Last year’s 4th-place finisher, Julia Poole, will swim the 200 free instead.

It’s another good swim for Louisville freshman Abby Hay, who cuts three seconds to make the A final in 4:09.58. Notre Dame’s Luciana Thomas will make her second ACC A final in this raice in 7th, and Duke’s Constance Dean is in after scratching out of ACCs entirely last year.

Louisville’s Sophie Cattermole was an A finalist last year, but faded all the way to the C final in 4:18, adding five seconds from seed. Same goes for Pitt’s Sarah Giamber, who was 8th last year but 20th this morning.

Women’s 200 Free – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 1:41.60 – Mallory Comerford, 2019
  • ACC record: 1:39.80 – Mallory Comerford, 2018
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Mallory Comerford (LOU) – 1:41.60

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Moroney (UVA) – 1:44.87
  2. Openysheva (LOU) – 1:44.93
  3. Madden (UVA) – 1:45.14
  4. Dolan (ND) – 1:45.16
  5. Cole (UNC) – 1:45.94
  6. Valls (UVA) – 1:46.02
  7. Pish (DUKE) – 1:46.08
  8. Kraus (LOU) – 1:46.17

Three-for-three for UVA so far. Megan Moroney‘s 1:44.87 leads the 200 free field, though not by much over Louisville’s Arina Openysheva (1:44.93).

Last year’s runner-up (and the top returner in the field) sits third. That’s Paige Madden, who dominated the 500 last night and is still the clear-cut favorite here after a 1:42 relay split on Wednesday. Moroney was second last year and Openysheva sixth.

Notre Dame’s Abbie Dolan is fourth in 1:45.16. She went 1:44.5 and was fourth overall last year. Also returning to the A final is Virginia’s Kyla Valls, who is sixth and one of three Cavaliers into the A final.

Emma Cole from UNC had a major drop – she was 1:47.1 leading off the 800 free relay Wednesday, but went 1:45.9 this morning and will make the A final. Duke (Melissa Pish) and Louisville (Alena Kraus) round out the top 8.

It was a missed opportunity for NC State, who are quickly falling behind a red-hot Virginia team. NC State took 9th with Julia Poole, who was a returning A finalist in the 400 IM but swapped out for the 200 free. The Wolfpack have three into the B final.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Wenger (UVA) – 58.17
  2. Hansson (NCS) – 58.35
  3. Calegan (NCS) – 59.05
  4. Friesen (LOU) – 59.75
  5. Higgs (UNC) – 59.92
  6. Wheeler (LOU) – 59.94
  7. Astashkina (LOU) – 1:00.04
  8. Hauder (UNC) – 1:00.16

Virginia continued their hot streak at the top, as Alexis Wenger smashed a 58.17 for the top spot in the 100 breast. That’s a lifetime-best by two tenths, besting her 58.31 from this meet last year. She’s also on the cusp of moving into the top 10 of all-time in that event, which right now requires a 57.9.

Already in that top 10 is NC State’s Sophie Hanssonwho was 58.35 this morning. The sophomore went 57.74 last year to win the ACC title, and went 57 two more times at NCAAs. Hansson and Wenger should be set up for a great showdown tonight, both here and in the 400 medley relay.

NC State finally got some momentum here, putting Olivia Calegan into the A final in third. Calegan was 59.05, cutting four tenths from her best.

Louisville has been on fire this morning. They add three A finalists here, all returners from last year’s championship heat. Morgan Friesen is the top swimmer at 59.75, with Kaylee Wheeler and Mariia Astashkina in tow.

Florida State’s Nina Kucheran got the dreaded 9th place after taking 5th last year. She tied with Miami’s Zorryon Mason at 1:00.76. Last year, Kucheran was 59.6, though she was only 1:00.1 in prelims.

This should ultimately be a bounce-back event for NC State, with 2 As, 1 B and 1 C. Virginia has just one scorer, Wenger.

Women’s 100 Back – Prelims

  • ACC meet record: 50.74 – Courtney Bartholomew, 2016
  • ACC record: 50.01 – Courtney Bartholomew, 2014
  • 2019 ACC Champion: Elise Haan (NCS) – 51.43

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Berkoff (NCS) – 51.21
  2. Gmelich (UVA) – 52.20
  3. Countie (UNC) – 52.23
  4. Alons (NCS) – 52.33
  5. Moroney (UVA) – 52.33
  6. Lindner (UNC) – 52.41
  7. Quast (ND) – 52.55
  8. Shuppert (DUKE) – 52.56

NC State rookie Katharine Berkoff is the runaway top qualifier in the 100 back. Her 51.21 leads all swimmers by almost a full second this morning. Berkoff was a highly-touted recruit out of high school, but so far this year has been well off her personal bests. This 51.21 is a big step in the right direction, closing in on her 50.72 best that is now a little more than a year old.

Swapping Kylee Alons out of the fly and into the back looks like a decent move so far for NC State. Alons is fourth here in 52.33, a best by three tenths. Alons was fourth in the 100 fly last year, but everyone ahead of her returned and Douglass’s addition there would likely move her down.

Virginia had three A finalists a year ago and get two in this year to match NC State. Caroline Gmelich sits second in 52.20. Look for her to dip below 52 tonight after doing so at mid-season. Megan Moroney was second overall last year and qualified 5th today with a good chance to move up.

North Carolina also had a great backstroke showing. Grace Countie is third overall. She got stuck in the C final last year, though she won that heat by dropping more than a second from prelims and putting up a time that would have been 6th overall. Meanwhile fellow sophomore Sophie Lindner went 52.41, also moving way up from a C final (22nd) appearance last year.

In team points, UVA’s backstroke depth is going to carry them in this event. They have 2 As, 2 Bs and 1 C, while NC State put up 2 As, 2 Bs and no Cs.

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3 years ago

NC State Women are going to have to step up their game. They’ve benefitted from a flat UVA team in past and a nonexistent UNC team. With DeSorbo and now Gangloff tapping into same recruiting pool, it’s going to be a lot tougher. Good for conference, bad for NC state women.

David Berkoff
Reply to  Broady
3 years ago

Seems to me all schools tap into the same recruiting pool.

Reply to  David Berkoff
3 years ago

If you’re saying GEOGRAPHY plays no rule in college-choice and recruiting, I disagree (and a quick analysis of home towns on team rosters would be telling). Obviously some kids travel far from home (Montana to Raleigh, for example…) but certainly schools in the mid-atlantic like NCST/UNC/UVA have a better shot at kids from the East Coast than a kid from Seattle. And given all the talent coming out of DC/VA/NC right now — that’s a specific recruiting pool very well suited for these ACC schools. If those schools (Duke also) are all top destinations, then recruiting amongst them will be more competitive.

Reply to  David Berkoff
3 years ago

True..to some extent. UVA, State, and UNC all relyon the S.C.-N.C.-VA corridor more than other ACC or division 1 schools…not to mention in state in NC and NC State.

There was a reason UNC dominated N.C. State for years before DeSelm and DeSorbo arrived. UNC is 60+ Percent female. NC Girls have and continue to favor UNC over NC State.

Now with Gangloff and some success (top 6-7 girls on UNC not shaved as they’ve made NCAAs and knew they couldn’t win ACCs so rather make a splash at NCAAs-they’ll still get 4th at ACCs huge improvement in 1 year), UNC recruiting has picked up. Gotten some good N.C. and VA recruits that I think might not have… Read more »

Reply to  Broady
3 years ago

I’d hardly say UVA was “flat” in 2017 or 2019. And UNC was still pretty good up until about 2-3 years ago. I’d say it’s great for the NC State women. Iron sharpens iron. You’re not going to get any better if you don’t compete against a challenge.

Reply to  Broady
3 years ago

The advantage the “state” schools have for in-state talent is due to the lower in-state tuition. State schools are much less expensive than private or out of state schools, so scholarship dollars stretch further. The cost of tuition, after a half scholarship, is much lower for a recruit who stays in-state, so unless your a top tier who gets a full ride, a half scholarship to an in-state school leaves the parents (or the swimmer with loans) with much lower cost burden. A in-state Virginia swimmer, who would has a half scholarship from UVA has a much lower remaining cost that they would if they took a half scholarship at NCSU or UNC (and same holds true in reverse for… Read more »

Reply to  Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

UNC tuition is $9k in-state/ $35k out
NCST tuition is $9k in/ $28k out
UVA tuition is $17k in/ $49k out

If you are from NC in state is irresistible. UVa’s price is very high out of state and is way higher than NCs two schools for out of state.

Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

US News has a cool tool that shows you the average tuition paid by students from different family income levels, after need-based financial aid. Virginia is, still, generally more expensive, but the gap shrinks considerably.


Joel Lin
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Excellent point. UVa is the largest endowment school of the three & the larger endowment institutions are notorious for large full sticker rates paired with large financial aid rebates. It’s a common strategy to yield highest at the high end in order to spread more equities into need based. You can do that with more ease if a large endowment permits.

Meanwhile, USC is now free to any entering student from a household with AGI under $80K per annum. Bravo Trojans. That is a GREAT thing.

Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

Being from Australia , I’m not sure what this means. Sorry. Do you pay less if you are originally from that state ? Or are those students living at home ?

Reply to  Samesame
3 years ago

Because the vast majority of “public” universities are, in part, funded by state tax dollars (not federal), in-state students pay less tuition than out-of-state tuition. That is, students who went to high school in the state (usually) or are legal residents of the state receive a discount to account for the fact that they or their parents may have paid tax dollars into the cost of supporting the universities.

Some states have reciprocal programs where “we’ll give your students in-state tuition if you give our students in-state tuition.” Some schools have waivers for out-of-state students to pay the in-state rate, usually high achieving students (with the expectation that these students might stay and improve the state’s economy, or might go… Read more »

Reply to  Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

Yup. If you have an in-state kid, giving them a 50% scholarship makes school quite inexpensive. The out-of-state kid would need a much bigger chunk of scholarship to end up at the same price point.

Guy who knows
3 years ago

Berkoff doing Berkoff things. She hasn’t shaved yet either.

Reply to  Guy who knows
3 years ago

How do you know she hasn’t shaved?

David Berkoff
Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

I know she isn’t.

Silent Observer
Reply to  Guy who knows
3 years ago

I think this meet is going to be the start of the conversation surrounding if the NCState coaching staff can develop blue chip recruits as well as they have proven to do to diamond in the rough recruits….

Let’s see if Berkoff can go close or better than her high school best 👀

ACC fan
Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

Berkoff is unshaved, this blue chip will shine even brighter at NCAAs

Reply to  ACC fan
3 years ago

Two days “rest” and no shave. Not too many women can do that and go 51.2 in prelims.

Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

That’s why Kate Douglass’s huge success this year could have lasting impact on UVA’s recruiting of blue chippers – with the Walsh sisters on the way next two yrs.

Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

Isn’t really a fair statement to make when the season isn’t finished. Still have NCAAs.

Joel Lin
Reply to  DravenOP
3 years ago

NCS staff knows what they are doing. They’ve made huge drops at the NCAA meets in recent years & have been very consistent. All of this is an overreaction.

UVa is swimming exceptionally well here, but we have absolutely no reference on how rested they are relative to NCS at this meet. Both programs qualified several to NCAAs in the fall.

3 years ago

UVA put 12 into ‘A’ finals.

State put 7

3 years ago

The battle for second between UL and NCS might come down to the last relay! What a meet!

Dr Doolittle
3 years ago

Call the wagons, this meet is over folks

3 years ago

Big miss in the 200 free by the Pack

Silent Observer
3 years ago

Damn. UVA putting on a clinic today… This might be when they start to run away with it….

Was hoping NCState would be able to show up more, some of their mornings swims are barely missing out on finals… Or the unfortunate 9th and 17th places…

Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

YUP..NCSU swimming kind of flat this morning.

Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

Me too!! Not a great morning so far for my Pack

Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

Yeah, UVA is blowing this meet open.
fly 1-2-3-6-10
IM 1-2-10
2 free 1-3-6-10-17
breast 1st
back: 2-4-9-11-23

That’s 12 As, 5 Bs, 2 Cs for 19 swims tonight. Very few misses.

Silent Observer
Reply to  swimgeek
3 years ago

If I recall this was NCState’s weakest day out of the 3, last year. Not including the 1-4th 400 IM, of course. But still, those numbers don’t lie.

It’s feeling like a race for 2nd at this point

3 years ago

Huge point turnaround in the 100 fly

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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