2020 W. NCAA Previews: Hansson, MacNeil, and Brown Set for 100 Fly Showdown



The women’s 100 fly is one of the most anticipated showdowns of the 2020 women’s NCAA Championships. The race will feature 2 women tied as the NCAA Record holders, with a 3rd who holds the American Record in the mix. Last season, USC’s Louise Hansson became the fastest woman in history with a 49.26 at NCAAs to repeat as champion. At last month’s Pac-12 meet, Hansson become the first woman in history to win 4-straight 100 fly titles.

Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil, who was the runner-up in 2019, matched Hansson’s NCAA Record this season at the Minnesota Invite. MacNeil, a sophomore, earned back-to-back Big Ten titles in the 100 fly. Tennessee’s Erika Brown took down the American Record at the SEC Championships, winning her 3rd-straight title in the event. Those are the 3 title favorites in this race.

The elephant in this room is that MacNeil has the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials beginning on March 30th, less than 2 weeks after this meet ends. While she’s shown the ability to swim fast at mid-season meets, as the defending World Champion in the 100 fly it’s hard to see her taking too many chances with her taper for NCAAs.

That gives the edge to Hansson (who is already pre-qualified for the Swedish Olympic Team) in our prognostication. We think MacNeil has the higher ceiling in her, but titles are about who shows up on a given day, and given the context of looming Canadian Trials, we suspect Hansson will be more “all-in” on this meet than MacNeil.

Virginia freshman Kate Douglass has been closing in on the 50-second barrier as she won the ACC title in 50.30. Freshman teammate Alexa Cuomo is also in contention for a finals spot. She’s ranked 10th with a 51.51. The only other woman under 51 this season is Alabama’s Rhyan White, who took silver at SECs in 50.80. White’s teammate Flora Molnar (51.80) is another potential scorer for the Crimson Tide.

Cal’s Izzy Ivey (51.14), Virginia’s Morgan Hill (51.12), and Louisville’s Grace Oglesby (51.59) are all returning finalists, each with a lifetime best in the 50-range. Ivey will be swimming this event on the front end of a double, as she’s also a returning finalist in the 100 back. Teammate Maddie Murphy (52.78) was a B final scorer last season.

Duke’s Alyssa Marsh (51.05) and Kylie Jordan (52.28) are also returning B finalists. Olivia Carter (51.67), who swam for Georgia last season as a freshman but now competes for Michigan, returns after placing 12th in 2019. UGA will have Dakota Luther (51.99) in the mix.

We’ve got a lot of women coming in with 51s from the SEC. Florida’s Sherridon Dressel (51.20), the SEC bronze medalist, is the 9th seed. Like Ivey, Dressel is slated to swim this as the first of a double. She’s a returning 100 back finalist. Tennessee’s Trude Rothrock (51.53) and Kentucky’s Izzy Gati (51.60) put up best times at SECs.

USC’s Jemma Schlicht and Penn State’s Madison Hart are tied as the 15th seeds with their lifetime best 51.64. We’ve got a couple of mid-major champions vying for a top-16 spot. San Diego State’s Courtney Vincent (51.60) is tied as the 13th seed, while SMU’s Erin Trahan (51.68) is the 18th seed.


Place Swimmer Season Best Lifetime Best
1 Louise Hansson (USC) 49.94 49.26
2 Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) 49.26 49.26
3 Erika Brown (Tennessee) 49.38 49.38
4 Izzy Ivey (Cal) 51.14 50.82
5 Kate Douglass (Virginia) 50.30 50.30
6 Morgan Hill (Virginia) 51.12 50.84
7 Rhyan White (Alabama) 50.80 50.80
8 Alyssa Marsh (Duke) 51.05 51.05

Darkhorse: Stanford freshman Emma Wheal has dropped over a second in her first NCAA season. She was just off the podium at Pac-12s, setting her lifetime best at a 52.16. The Cardinal didn’t appear to show their cards at Pac-12s this season, so she could be due for another big drop.

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4 years ago

It’s going to take a great swim to win it. Close butterfly races come down to the final stroke and the timing coming into the touch.

Erika Brown has her underwaters and stroke count perfected for the 100 fly.

The 49 barrier might be challenged.

4 years ago

I honestly think MacNeil has the edge. MacNeil has been having an on-fire season. Hansson has not.

Silent Observer
Reply to  swimfan210_
4 years ago

You have to also consider that NCAAs might not be the focus for MacNeil, she isn’t a senior and like the article says, Canadian Olympic trials are coming up.

Where as Hansson is a senior, is already qualified for the Olympics, and therefore might want to give her last year all that she has. It’s easy to then go back into the grind and keep preparing when the actual Olympics is your next focus meet… Not a trials.

2 Cents
4 years ago

I still think MacNeil is the clear favorite. I know she has her OTs coming up, but she really doesn’t need to be 100% to make the Olympics for Canada. Plus her team is in the hunt for positioning in the top 5 teams. I am sure she can go full taper for NCAAs (especially now since the Olympics have the possibility of not even happening) and still be fine come Canadian trials. I am also still not convinced that Brown was not all out for SECs, just because of her AR in the 100 Free. You dont break records like that if you are not rested.

4 years ago

The real dark horse is Alons of NC State. She split 50.3 at ACC only minutes after the 100 Back. This is an exciting event!

Silent Observer
Reply to  Swimfan
4 years ago

I was going to comment similarly… But as I’ve been pro NCState’s women recently… Didn’t want to develop a reputation lol

Reply to  Silent Observer
4 years ago

I’m pro fast swimming 🙂

Tea rex
4 years ago

With the competition in this event, I’m surprised to see Douglas swimming it. Seems like the 100 breast is way more open

2 Cents
Reply to  Tea rex
4 years ago

I don’t think she has the pure breast speed like she does in the free and fly events. Put predicting her finish behind Ivey or just in 5th is the bulletin board material that she needs.

4 years ago

Brown is unstoppable as long as she hits her taper!

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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