2021 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Wednesday, March 17 – Saturday, March 20, 2021
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
- Short course yards (SCY) format
- Defending champion: Stanford (3x) – 2019 results
- Streaming: ESPN3
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results – Swimming
- Live Results – Diving
The Virginia Cavaliers are on the brink of their first-ever NCAA title, getting six swimmers into A-finals tonight (not including a possible title for Paige Madden in the mile). This would also be the first win for an ACC school in NCAA history.
Meanwhile, NC State looks like they could clinch the second-place trophy, which would also make history. In addition to having no NCAA titles, the ACC has also never had a team finish as high as second, either. Further, if NC State does clinch second, it’ll be the first time since 2010 that Georgia, Cal and Stanford have all finished lower than second.
But the Wolfpack faces Texas, whose women are having the best NCAA showing in recent memory. They haven’t been quite as on-fire as NC State, but they have 500 free runner-up Evie Pfeifer in the mile, while the Wolfpack have Yara Hierath seeded 16th. Further, Texas’s diving group finished 6-9-10 in the platform prelims, with one diver slated for the final appearance tonight.
All told, aside from diving and the mile, NC State is 5/1 for A/B finals tonight, while Texas is at 3/2, so the Longhorns will have to lean heavily into their diving/mile athletes.
Round three of Kate Douglass v. Maggie MacNeil will run tonight in the 100 free, too, as Douglass was much better this morning (46.54 to 47.34). But, of course, we know what MacNeil is capable of after she became the first woman under 49 in the 100 fly last night.
1650 FREE TIMED FINAL
- NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 15:03.31 – 2017
- American Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 15:03.31 – 2017
- U.S. Open Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 15:03.31 – 2017
- Meet Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 15:07.57 – 2018
- 2019 Champion: Ally McHugh (Penn State), 15:39.22
- 2020 Top Performer: Molly Kowal (Ohio State), 15:43.17
Top 8 (final)
- Paige Madden (Virginia) – 15:41.86
- Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 15:46.41
- Sierra Schmidt (Michigan) – 15:51.09
- Kristen Stege (Tennessee) – 15:52.07
- Kaitlynn Sims (Michigan) – 15:57.80
- Kensey McMahon (Alabama) – 16:00.62
- Camryn Toney (Texas A&M) – 16:04.02
- Lola Mull (Northwestern) – 16:04.11
Virginia’s Paige Madden let the field jump out over the first 500, but by the 1000 mark, the senior had moved into the lead. Madden kept pouring it on, though, and she made it home in 15:41.86, dropping over three seconds from her seed.
That’s Madden’s third win of the meet, and she looks favored to win swimmer of the meet, the only swimmer to claim three victories.
In big points for Texas on their hunt for second, Evie Pfeifer went 15:46.41 for second, while Michigan’s Sierra Schmidt claimed third at 15:51.09, an all-senior podium.
Early leader Kristen Stege of Tennessee held on for fourth at 15:52.07, while Michigan had another top-eight finisher with Kaitlynn Sims at 15:57.80. In sixth was Alabama’s Kensey McMahon of Alabama, while two swimmers from early heats made it into the top-eight.
In the first four heats, Texas A&M’s Camryn Toney dropped two seconds from seed in heat four, going 16:04.02 to challenge for a top-eight finish with only the finals heat to go. Northwestern freshman Lola Mull dropped four seconds off of her old best to finish first in heat three at 16:04.11, while Ohio State’s Sally Tafuto and Maya Geringer both dropped from seed, too.
200 BACK FINALS
- NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 1:47.24 – 2019
- American Record: Regan Smith, 1:47.16 – 2019
- U.S. Open Record: Regan Smith, 1:47.16 – 2019
- Meet Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 1:47.24 – 2019
- 2019 Champion: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 1:47.24
- 2020 Top Performer: Rhyan White (Alabama), 1:48.06
- Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:48.32
- Rhyan White (Alabama) – 1:48.99
- Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 1:49.66
This was a fantastic race, as Katharine Berkoff of NC State, Rhyan White of Alabama and Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin all took it out within tenths of each other.
Pushing into the third 50, though, Bacon really charged, and she was able to hold onto that pace through the exciting final 50. Bacon hits her first sub-1:50 ever, becoming the third-best NCAA freshman ever at 1:48.32. That keeps the Wisconsin 200 back streak alive after Beata Nelson won in 2019.
White was also under 1:49, hitting a 1:48.99, not quite able to come back on Bacon but picking up big points for Alabama before their huge 100 free.
Cal freshman Isabelle Stadden was third in 1:49.66, while youth continued to reign; Virginia Tech freshman Emma Atkinson was fourth in 1:50.43 ahead of Virginia freshman Reilly Tiltmann (1:50.66).
In the B-final, Kate Moore of NC State edged out Texas’s Julia Cook, 1:51.61 to 1:51.81 as both swimmers move up from seed to help their teams’ race for second.
100 FREE FINALS
- NCAA Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 45.56 – 2017
- American Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 45.56 – 2017
- U.S. Open Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 45.56 – 2017
- Meet Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 45.56 – 2017
- 2019 Champion: Mallory Comerford (Louisville), 46.24
- 2020 Top Performer: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 45.83
Douglass was out faster, both out in 22-low, but MacNeil was relentless on her underwaters over the back-half, hitting a lifetime best 46.02 to tie for the fourth-fastest time in history. Douglass, at 46.30, again set a new personal best, not quite able to withstand MacNeil’s back-half.
In third, Cal’s Isabel Ivey dropped a 46.95 to claim bronze for the Golden Bears. Meanwhile, Alabama touched 4-5-7, led by junior Morgan Scott at 47.48.
In the B-final, UNC’s Grace Countie broke 48 for the first time to win at 47.84.
200 BREAST FINALS
- NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018
- American Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018
- US Open Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018
- Meet Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.60 – 2018
- 2019 Champion: Lilly King (Indiana), 2:02.90
- 2020 Top Performer: Sophie Hansson (NC State) – 2:05.59
- Sophie Hansson (NC State) – 2:03.86
- Ella Nelson (Virginia) – 2:04.35
- Mona McSharry (Tennessee) – 2:05.01
Sophie Hansson of NC State blazed out to the lead at 59.44, but five swimmers broke a minute on the first 100.
Hansson held strong, though, pushing her lead and pulling out the win at 2:03.86, her best time by a second to move into the top 10 all-time. Ella Nelson of UVA dropped under 2:05 for the first time for second, going 2:04.35, while Tennessee freshman Mona McSharry broke her new school record by over a second with a huge 2:05.01 for bronze.
NC State’s Andrea Podmanikova vaulted from seventh to fourth, claiming fourth at 2:05.51 out of lane one.
The B-final went to Anna Elendt of Texas, a huge swim for the freshman at 2:06.10. These are key points for the Longhorns. In second was Northwestern’s Hannah Brunzell at 2:06.60, obliterating the 2:08 barrier for the first time.
200 FLY FINALS
- 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
- 2019 Champion: Louise Hansson (USC), 1:50.28
- 2020 Top Performer: Louise Hansson (USC), 1:51.26
Texas was out 1-2-3 in the first 50, gunning for top finishes in the overarching team race.
But Olivia Carter of Michigan, tactical as she is, blew away the field on the back-half. Carter was 28.3 for a huge third 50 then came home in 29.3, getting to the wall at 1:51.33 to win by over a full second.
For Carter, it’s a home win– the Greensboro native, after transferring from Georgia to Michigan, wins it and wins big.
For Texas, Olivia Bray did her job, dropping a second from prelims to take silver at 1:52.87 ahead of Georgia’s Dakota Luther (1:53.01). Texas was also fourth and seventh, as Kelly Pash was just off of the podium at 1:53.42 in a tie with Texas A&M’s Taylor Pike, while Emma Sticklen finished seventh at 1:54.09.
In sixth, Virginia freshman Abby Harter dropped .04 to hit a 1:53.86.
Rachel Klinker of Cal crushed the B-final, clocking a 1:53.19, a time that would’ve tied for first in prelims.
PLATFORM DIVING FINAL
- Meet Record: Haley Ishimatsu (USC), 396.75 – 2013
- 2019 Champion: Murphy Bromberg (Texas), 391.60
- Tarrin Gilliland (Indiana) – 338.40
- Delaney Schnell (Arizona) – 331.80
- Maycey Vieta (Purdue) – 316.80
Coming back from injury a year ago, Indiana freshman Tarrin Gilliland clinched the platform title with a score of 338.40.
400 FREE RELAY TIMED FINAL
- NCAA Record: Cal, 2019, 3:06.96
- American Record: Stanford, 2017, 3:07.61
- U.S. Open Record: Cal, 2019, 3:06.96
- Meet Record: Cal, 2019, 3:06.96
- 2019 Champion: Cal, 3:06.96
- 2020 Top Performer: Auburn, 3:09.18
- Alabama – 3:09.78
- Virginia – 3:10.45
- Cal – 3:10.64
Kate Douglass goes 46.76 to just beat Maggie MacNeil (46.94) on the lead-off here, but with 47s and a 46.90 anchor from Cora Dupre, Alabama claims the big 400 free relay win here at 3:09.78, breaking the school record and bringing it under 3:10 for the first time ever.
Morgan Scott was 47.78 leading off, followed by Kalia Antoniou (47.16), Flora Molnar (47.94) and Dupre. It’s a huge moment for the Crimson Tide, who have had a tough year with a midseason coaching change to go on top of the pandemic. That’s the only Alabama NCAA title ever besides the 50 breast in 1983, when Angelika Knipping won.
Virginia hung on for second at 3:10.45, just ahead of Cal’s 3:10.64, with Isabel Ivey anchoring in a mighty 46.10 for the Golden Bears.
In heat four, it’s Tennessee with the win at 3:12.66 to pull into second overall. Texas falls to fourth in the heat, and it’s NC State second, Texas third in the team race. This marks history– it’s the first time an ACC team has finished in the top two in the team race at this meet, and Virginia and NC State BOTH do that with their 1-2 team finish.
NC State blows away heat three, going 3:11.25 for the fastest time by over two seconds. Texas up next in heat four, and they’ll need to go a 3:11 or faster to hold on to second. Their seed is a 3:13.3.
Heat two went to Louisville at 3:13.84, just ahead of Stanford’s 3:14.20.
In heat one, Virginia Tech goes 3:14.07 ahead of Indiana’s 3:15.20.
TEAM SCORES (FINAL)
- Virginia 491
- NC State 354
- Texas 344.5
- California 290
- Alabama 266
- Michigan 224.5
- Ohio State 215.5
- Georgia 181
- Stanford 159
- Tennessee 153
- Kentucky 152
- UNC 144
- Louisville 108
- Texas A&M 107.5
- Indiana 102
- Northwestern 96
- Florida 84.5
- Missouri 79
- Wisconsin 61
- Purdue 56
- Virginia Tech 55
- USC 51
- Miami 42
- Minnesota 40
- Arizona 34.5
- Nebraska 33
- Arkansas 26
- Georgia Tech 24
- Notre Dame 12
- LSU/Houston 9
- San Diego State/FGCU 6
- Duke 5
- Wyoming 4
- Akron 3
- Oakland/Navy 1