2021 W. NCAA Previews: Douglass v. MacNeil Part 3 – The 100 Freestyle

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:
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

The 2021 finale of ‘Maggie MacNeil vs. Kate Douglass‘ will take place during the women’s 100 freestyle at the upcoming 2021 Women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. MacNeil, a Michigan junior, and Douglass, a Virginia sophomore are two of the nations leading swimmers this year and just so happen to be racing the exact same events at the upcoming national championships.

We have previously detailed their showdown in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly but we have one more event to talk about: the 100 freestyle.

Previous Recaps

This event is a little different than the first two though because while Douglass and MacNeil accounted for the top two seeds in the 50 free / 100 fly, a third swimmer is in the mix for the 100 free. Cal’s Isabel Ivey is ranked in second place going into NCAAs with a 47.24 behind Douglass’ #1 46.83 and MacNeil’s #3 47.36. All three of the top-ranked swimmers recently won their respective conference championship titles in the 100 free; Douglass at ACCs, Ivey at Pac-12s, and MacNeil at Big Tens.

While season-best is an important consideration going into next week’s championships, we need to also take a look at personal best times to get a sense of each swimmer’s proven potential.

Douglass / Ivey / MacNeil 100 Free Stats

Personal Best Season-Best Time Swum At 2021 Conference Champs
Douglass 46.83 (2021) 46.83 46.83
Ivey 47.24 (2021) 47.24 47.54
MacNeil 46.57 (2020) 47.36 47.36

Note that while MacNeil is #3 this season, she has the fastest best time in the event between the three of them.

MacNeil, Ivey, and Douglass are the frontrunners this season in the 100 freestyle but as with any sprint event, if you have a spot in the final, you have a shot to pull off the win. One swimmer who could certainly threaten the field is Alabama’s Morgan Scott. Scott was out darkhorse pick for the 50 with a 19th seed in that event but in the 100, Scott is going in with the 4th fastest time.

That’s an incredible improvement for Scott from last year to this year. In the 2019-2020 season, Scott didn’t even crack the top 100 rankings in the 100 free with a 49.28 season-best, compared to Kayla Filipek and Elisa Rodriguez’s 100th place tie for 100th. Scott was nearly two seconds fastest than last year’s season-best at the 2021 SEC Championships when she won the event with a 47.50. That’s quicker than Scott’s previous PB of 48.84 from 2019 and a new school record for Alabama.

Scott’s 47.50 was quicker than what either Douglass or Ivey swam to win their respective conference championships, giving her a reasonable shot at finding a way to the podium next week.

The Alabama women have proven that their sprint group is firing this year and they’re close to having 3 in the top 10 of the 100 free. Behind Scott, Kalia Antoniou has posted a 47.82 this year to earn 8th seed and Cora Dupre is going in with a 47.90 for 11th. It will take a lot to get all three Alabama women into the final but it’s definitely too early to count any of them out.

Georgia freshman Maxine Parker and NC State junior Kylee Alons are going into the 100 free with only 0.02 seconds separating their season-bests. Alons will go in as 5th seed with a 47.73 while Parker is 6th with a 47.75. Alons’ 47.73 season-best is the same as what it was last year while Parker has dropped from a 49.82 as her season-best last year.

Their season bests are also their lifetime bests and both times account for their only time ever swimming under the 48-second mark leaving us with little to differentiate the two.

Missouri senior Sarah Thompson was mentioned in the 50 freestyle preview as third-ranked, improving upon her 5th place finish last season, 29th place in 2019, and 46th in 2018. In the 100, she has also improved this year moving from 24th rank last season to the 7th seed for the upcoming championships. Thompson went from a 48.15 last year to a 47.78, proving her potential to drop even more time next week.

Also in the mix for the 100 freestyle final will be 9th seed Tjasa Pintar for Tennessee who’s 47.82 ties, Kalia Antoniou, for 8th seed, Chloe Stepanek from Texas A&M who has a 47.84 for 10th, and Cal’s Robin Neumann with a 13th place 47.94. While Neumann’s season-best is outside the top ten, she has been as fast as a 47.78 (the same time as Sarah Thompson‘s current 7th place seed) back at Pac-12s in 2019.

TOP 8 PICKS:

PLACE SWIMMER SEASON BEST LIFETIME BEST
1 Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) 47.36 46.57
2 Kate Douglass (Virginia) 46.83 46.83
3 Morgan Scott (Alabama) 47.50 47.50
4  Izzy Ivey (Cal) 47.24 47.24
5 Sarah Thompson (Missouri) 47.78 47.78
6 Kylee Alons (NC State) 47.73 47.73
7 Maxine Parker (Georgia) 47.75 47.75
8 Kalia Antoniou (Alabama) 47.82 47.82

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Peyton
6 months ago

Douglassss!

Vaswammer
6 months ago

Ben, you have the class years switched up. MacNeil is a junior and Douglass a sophomore!

Apathetic
6 months ago

No dark horse?

Hmmmm
6 months ago

I know MacNeil has the better times. But I can’t imagine Douglass leaves this meet without an individual win

swimfast
6 months ago

A lot of this depends on what MacNeil’s been up to. Douglass is clearly going best times right and left since New Years 2021, but we just haven’t seen what MacNeil *could* do, tapered, since her win in summer 2019. My guess is that MacNeil is actually quite a bit faster and will wreck her personal bests at this meet; and Douglass is at a rapidly improving rate of best times that she, too, will wreck her best times (I’m 100% assuming she was not rested for ACC’s). So, all in all, I don’t think these time comparisons matter much, as BOTH ladies will clobber their best times, just who is actually faster? Dark horse Ivey btw

Last edited 6 months ago by swimfast