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

2020 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

100 BUTTERFLY

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.

TOP 8 PICKS

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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Ladyvoldisser
6 months ago

Brown is unstoppable as long as she hits her taper!

Tea rex
6 months 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
6 months 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.

Swimfan
6 months 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
6 months 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

Swimfan
Reply to  Silent Observer
6 months ago

I’m pro fast swimming 🙂

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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