2021 NCAA Women’s Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

2021 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Last night, Virginia continued to steamroll ahead in the team race, while a heated battle for second has formed between NC State, Texas and Cal.

The Wolfpack staged another upset win, this time in the 200 medley relay, their second-ever relay title in program history to go along with their 400 medley relay victory.

After Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil broke the 49-second barrier in an otherworldly 100 fly last night, her third-round battle with Virginia’s Kate Douglass today in the 100 free will be intriguing. Douglass beat her in the 50, but not by much; how much does each star have left in the tank? Cal’s Isabel Ivey is another dangerous name here, and her sprint free looks solid based only on her 200 free relay performance.

Meanwhile, Douglass’s senior teammate Paige Madden is the only swimmer in the meet who might claim a third victory after wins in the 500 free and 200 free, but she has this morning off as she prepares for the final heat of the mile tonight.

NC State’s stroke specialists, Katharine Berkoff in the back and Sophie Hansson in the breast, look like potential double winners in the 200 version of their respective strokes. Alabama’s Rhyan White will be waiting in the 200 back, though, as well as Cal freshman Isabelle Stadden.

Finally, it’s anyone’s race in the 200 fly, though Kelly Pash of Texas and Olivia Carter of Michigan have looked the best this weekend among the top contenders.

200 BACK PRELIMS

  • 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

Top 8

  1. Rhyan White (Alabama) – 1:50.18
  2. Katharine Berkoff (NC State) – 1:50.31
  3. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:50.32
  4. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 1:50.33
  5. Reilly Tiltmann (Virginia) – 1:51.40
  6. Emma Muzzy (NC State) – 1:51.45
  7. Emma Atkinson (Virginia Tech) – 1:51.48
  8. Sophie Sorenson (Kentucky) – 1:51.74

Heat seven was all Rhyan White (Alabama) and Katharine Berkoff (NC State), as White held strong against a charging Berkoff under the flags, 1:50.18 to 1:50.31. They’ll be the top two seeds tonight.

In heat six, freshmen Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin, Isabelle Stadden of Cal and Emma Atkinson of Virginia Tech duked it out. Bacon got the touch by .01 over Stadden, 1:50.32 to 1:50.33, while Atkinson faded a bit to third at 1:51.47, Bacon and Atkinson dropping from seed.

Heat five saw four women battle it out, with Emma Muzzy and Kate Moore of NC State, Sophie Sorenson of Kentucky and Reilly Tiltmann of Virginia. It was Tiltmann, the freshman, at 1:51.40 with the strong finish over Muzzy (1:51.45), Sorenson (1:51.74) and Moore (1:52.12). Tiltmann dropped over a second from seed.

In heat four, Michigan’s Mariella Venter got things moving with a big 1:52.21, dropping almost two seconds from her seed time. As Michigan pushes to maintain a top eight finish, this was a big swim for them.

NC State got two up into this A-final, huge as they try to hold on to second in tonight’s finals. Mid-major B-finalists include Ioanna Sacha (Houston) and Susan Lagrand (Oakland), Sacha at 1:53.16 and Lagrand at 1:53.48.

100 FREE PRELIMS

  • 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

Top 8

  1. Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 46.54
  2. Isabel Ivey (Cal) – 47.30
  3. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 47.34
  4. Morgan Scott/Cora Dupre (Alabama) – 47.88
  5. Kylee Alons (NC State) – 47.89
  6. Kalia Antoniou (Alabama) – 47.96
  7. Chloe Stepanek (Texas A&M) – 48.06

Kate Douglass meant business in the final heat, dropping from seed with a lifetime best and school-record 46.54. She was 22.4/24.1, blistering on the back-half. Morgan Scott was second in the heat at 47.88, as the Crimson Tide swelled with three swimmers into this A-final.

Cal’s Isabel Ivey took heat seven with a 47.30, leading Cora Dupre (Alabama) and Kylee Alons (NC State) under 48 seconds. Dupre was 47.88 and Alons 47.89.

In heat six, Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil dropped a 47.34, winning the heat easily and dropping .02 from seed. Alabama’s Kalia Antoniou was second in 47.96, also getting under 48.

Grace Countie of UNC continues her stellar meet– the junior won heat three with a 48.15, dropping .72 from seed.

Mid-major alert: Houston’s Mykenzie Leehy dropped .05 from seed to qualify for the B-final at 16th (48.56).

200 BREAST PRELIMS

  • 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

Top 8

  1. Sophie Hansson (NC State) – 2:05.56
  2. Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 2:05.64
  3. Ella Nelson (Virginia) – 2:05.80
  4. Mona McSharry (Tennessee) – 2:06.37
  5. Zoie Hartman (Georgia) – 2:06.42
  6. Alexis Wenger (Virginia) – 2:06.65
  7. Andrea Podmanikova (NC State) – 2:06.67
  8. Noelle Peplowski (Indiana) – 2:06.71

This is one of, if not the, deepest event in the country. It took a 2:06 to make the A-final, which is quite fast; a 2:08.4 made the A-final in 2019.

In the final heat, Sophie Hansson of NC State goes 2:05.56 to take the top time of the morning. Her teammate Andrea Podmanikova also gets into the A-final, much-needed points for the Wolfpack as Cal and Texas were shut-out of this A-final.

Tennessee freshman Mona McSharry took down Molly Hannis’s school record here, going a lifetime best 2:06.37 for fourth overall.

Virginia freshman Alex Walsh was out in a big 59.89 at the first 100, and her teammate Ella Nelson pulled up right behind her at the finish. Walsh was 2:05.64 ahead of Nelson’s 2:05.80. Georgia’s Zoie Hartman (2:06.42) and Indiana’s Noelle Peplowski (2:06.71) were both under 2:07, too.

Joining Walsh and Nelson in the A-final will be a third Cavalier, as Alexis Wenger clocked a new best of 2:06.65 (by a second) to nab sixth overall.

In the first circle-seeded heat, three swimmers went under 2:08, led by Kentucky sophomore Gillian Davey (2:07.06). Texas freshman Anna Elendt was second (2:07.40) and Georgia’s Danielle Dellatorre third (2:07.51).

Sophie Angus (Northwestern) won a tight heat in heat four, going 2:08.78, the third 2:08 of the morning.

In heat three, 400 IM champion Brooke Forde was out hard in 1:01.42, and she turned in a time of 2:08.61 for the top time through the first three heats.

SDSU’s Klara Thormalm had a big swim in heat two, hitting a 2:08.85 for the win. She’s been faster, with a personal best of 2:08.30 from the 2020 Mountain West Championships.

200 FLY PRELIMS

  • 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

Top 8

  1. Olivia Carter (Michigan) – 1:53.19
  2. Taylor Pike (Texas A&M) – 1:53.32
  3. Kelly Pash (Texas) – 1:53.38
  4. Dakota Luther (Georgia) – 1:53.43
  5. Emma Sticklen (Texas) – 1:53.56
  6. Olivia Bray (Texas) – 1:53.83
  7. Izzy Gati (Kentucky) – 1:53.86
  8. Abby Harter (Virginia) – 1:53.90

In the final heat, Texas A&M’s Taylor Pike dropped a half-second from seed to beat the field, going 1:53.32 to take the #2 spot in the A-final tonight.

Meanwhile, Texas surged, as Kelly Pash (1:53.38) and Olivia Bray (1:53.83) made it into the A-final at third and sixth, respectively.

Georgia’s Dakota Luther was 1:53.43 to win heat six, coming back on Kentucky’s Izzy Gati (1:53.86) and Cal’s Rachel Klinker (1:54.20).

In heat five, Olivia Carter of Michigan and Emma Sticklen of Texas battled it out, with Carter using her expected final 50 speed to pull out the win. Carter was 1:53.19 to Sticklen’s 1:53.56.

Kentucky gets one into the A-final with Izzy Gati, while Virginia freshman Abby Harter squeaks in at eighth in 1:53.90.

Notre Dame’s Coleen Gillilan dropped from seed, going 1:53.94 to just miss the A-final at eighth, while Navy’s Sydney Harrington earned a spot in the B-final with a 1:55.36 this morning.

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USA 4x100 Medley Gold Medel 2021
2 months ago

First comment

Mr Piano
Reply to  USA 4x100 Medley Gold Medel 2021
2 months ago

Sir, this is a Wendy’s

CT203
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 months ago

Mr Piano, are you really Sun Yangs Hammer! nice try!

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
2 months ago

Your Event is About to Begin

(pre-recorded cheers, broken clarinets, and cat scratches on loop)

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
2 months ago

These ads on the livestream are bad enough, but the Geico gecko really just might be the last straw.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
2 months ago

Eh I just got the Dikembe Mutombo one. I’d be fine if that was the only one they showed.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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