2021 Women’s NCAA Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Day 3 Finals Heat Sheet

The action Greensboro continues with tonight’s scoring finals session at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Championships, including the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 200 medley relay timed finals. The top 8 qualifiers on the 3-meter diving board will also compete for points before the relay, highlighted by prelims leader and 1-meter champion Sarah Bacon of Minnesota.

Virginia holds top seeds in the 400 IM (sophomore Ella Nelson), 100 fly (sophomore Kate Douglass), and 200 free (senior Paige Madden). Meanwhile, NC State junior Sophie Hansson leads a competitive 100 breast while sophomore teammate Katharine Berkoff and Alabama junior Rhyan White tied as the top seed in the 100 back. Virginia and NC State will then swim in the middle lanes for the 200 medley relay timed finals, where the Cavaliers broke the American record at 1:32.93 at ACCs.


  1. Virginia 184
  2. NC State 124
  3. Texas 119
  4. California 114
  5. Ohio St 101.5
  6. Alabama 90
  7. Georgia 85
  8. Stanford 84
  9. Michigan 78
  10. Kentucky 65


  • NCAA Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:54.60 – 2018
  • American Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:54.60 – 2018
  • U.S. Open Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:54.60 – 2018
  • Meet Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:54.60 – 2018
  • 2019 Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 3:57.03
  • 2020 Top Performer: Brooke Forde (Stanford) – 4:01.53

Top 3:

  1. Brooke Forde (Stanford)- 4:01.57 *Pool Record
  2. Ella Nelson (Virginia)- 4:02.33 *ACC Record
  3. Lauren Poole (Kentucky)- 4:02.73

After the 200 fly/back of the 400 IM final, Stanford’s Brooke Forde was running 4th heading into the breaststroke. Forde then pulled ahead of the field into the 100 free, easily winning her first 400 IM NCAA title with a Greensboro pool record of 4:01.57. That was just four one-hundredths off her 2020 season best of 4:01.53. In 2018, Forde placed 4th in the final as a freshman followed by a third-place finish in 2019. Her title today is Stanford’s 5th-straight 400 IM title, following Ella Eastin‘s 2015-2019 sweep and the cancelled 2020 meet. Stanford now has 13 total 400 IM titles, the most of any program.

Placing in second place also under the former pool record was Virginia sophomore Ella Nelson, breaking the ACC conference record with a 4:02.33. Nelson has now moved from 22nd to 18th on the all-time U.S. performers list, only behind Olympian Summer Sanders.

Hitting third place by a half second was Kentucky sophomore Lauren Poole, dropping from 4:04.54 in prelims to 4:02.73 tonight. Winning the B-final was Ohio State senior Kristen Romano, whose lifetime best of 4:04.28 tonight would have placed 4th in the championship final.


  • NCAA Record: Louise Hansson (USC)/Maggie MacNeil (Michigan), 49.26 — 2019
  • American Record: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 49.38 — 2020
  • US Open Record: Louise Hansson (USC)/Maggie MacNeil (Michigan), 49.26 — 2019
  • Meet Record: Louise Hansson (USC), 49.26 — 2019
  • 2019 Champion: Louise Hansson (USC), 49.26
  • 2020 Top Performer: Maggie MacNeil (Michigan), 49.26

Top 3:

  1. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan)- 48.89 *U.S. Open/NCAA Record
  2. Kate Douglass (Virginia)- 49.55
  3. Kylee Alons (NC State)- 50.35

After placing 2nd by 0.04s in the 50 free yesterday, Maggie MacNeil took the 100 fly final out in a 22.67, four-tenths faster than Kate Douglass. MacNeil did not slow down, coming home in a 26.22 to stop the clock at 48.89. That is now the fastest 100-yard fly in history, breaking the NCAA, U.S. Open, and NCAA meet record of 49.26.

Douglass took second place in a lifetime best of 49.55, which ranks 4th in U.S. history and 6th all-time. NC State’s Kylee Alons also swam a lifetime best of 50.35 to place third, which ranks 12th in US history. Cal junior Izzy Ivey placed fourth at 50.68, which is now 21st in US history, passing Olympian Christine Magnuson.

In the B-final, Kentucky junior Izzy Gati touched out Stanford sophomore Emma Wheal 51.81 to 51.83.


  • NCAA Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015 – 1:39.10
  • American Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015 – 1:39.10
  • U.S. Open Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015 – 1:39.10
  • Meet Record: Missy Franklin (Cal), 2015 – 1:39.10
  • 2019 Champion: Mallory Comerford (Louisville), 1:40.26
  • 2020 Top Performer: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 1:41.66

Top 3:

  1. Paige Madden (Virginia)- 1:42.35
  2. Talia Bates (Florida)- 1:43.49
  3. Kelly Pash (Texas)- 1:43.50

Winning her second title here in Greensboro was Paige Madden, taking 0.04s off her lifetime best with a 1:42.35, remaining the 14th-fastest US performer all-time. Madden had the fastest third 50 split of the entire field at 25.91, more than a half second faster than the next-fastest split.

Taking second place by one one-hundredth was Florida’s Talia Bates at 1:43.49, just ahead of Texas’ Kelly Pash (1:43.50). Bates was just off her lifetime best from this year at 1:43.38 while Pash’s time is just off her program record of 1:42.70 from Big 12s.

Tying for the win in the B-final were Alabama junior Morgan Scott and Nebraska senior Autumn Haebig, both touching at 1:44.39.


  • NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • American Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • US Open Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • Meet Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73 — 2019
  • 2019 Champion: Lilly King (Indiana), 55.73
  • 2020 Top Performer: Sophie Hansson (NC State), 57.74

Top 3:

  1. Sophie Hansson (NC State)- 57.23 *ACC Record
  2. Kaitlyn Dobler (USC)- 57.46
  3. Alexis Wenger (Virginia)- 57.67

After five swimmers were at or under 27.2 at the first 50, NC State’s Sophie Hansson and her competitive stroke pulled ahead of the field to win the 100 breast with an ACC conference record of 57.23. Hansson now ranks 3rd all-time in the event, now tied with Olympian Breeja Larson and faster than Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson.

Placing second was USC freshman Kaitlyn Dobler, touching in at 57.46, making her the 6th-fastest US performer all-time. Placing third for Virginia was junior Alexis Wenger, hitting 57.67.

Winning the B-final was Northwestern sophomore Hannah Brunzell at 58.50.


  • NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019 – 49.18
  • American Record: Regan Smith, 2021 – 49.16
  • U.S. Open Record: Regan Smith, 2021 – 49.16
  • Meet Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019 – 49.18
  • 2019 Champion: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin) – 49.18
  • 2020 Top Performer: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 49.70

Top 3:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (NC State)- 49.74 *Pool/ACC Record
  2. Rhyan White (Alabama)- 50.21
  3. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin)- 50.39

Katharine Berkoff and Rhyan White were neck-and-neck until the final turn, where Berkoff’s underwater boosted her ahead of White, who was coming off a 5th-place finish in the 100 fly. Berkoff then broke 50 seconds for the first time at 49.74, breaking the Greensboro pool record and ACC conference record. Berkoff is now the 4th-fastest US performer in the 100 back, faster than Olympians Kathleen Baker (49.80) and Natalie Coughlin (49.97). Berkoff’s father, Olympian David Berkoff, won the 100-yard back at the 1987 and 1989 NCAA Championships representing Harvard.

Taking second was Alabama’s White, finishing at 50.21. Her lifetime best of 50.02 from the 2020 SEC Championships is now 9th all-time in US history. Nabbing third place for Wisconsin was freshman Phoebe Bacon at 50.39, moving up from 21st to 15th all-time in US history.

Cal teammates Izzy Ivey (50.85) and Isabelle Stadden (50.87) placed 4th and 5th respectively in the final.

Winning the B-final was Virginia freshman Reilly Tiltmann at 51.33, ahead of Mizzou senior Sarah Thompson (51.41).


  • NCAA Record: Christina Loukas (Indiana), 437.75 – 2009
  • Meet Record: Christina Loukas (Indiana), 437.75 – 2009
  • 2019 Champion: Maria Polyakova (UCLA), 396.00

Top 3:

  1. Sarah Bacon (Minnesota)- 408.60
  2. Aranza Vazquez (UNC)- 384.75
  3. Cami Hidalgo (Georgia Tech)- 356.40

After winning the 1-meter board yesterday, Minnesota’s Sarah Bacon won again on the 3-meter diving board by 23.85 points. Taking second was UNC’s Aranza Vazquez (384.75) and Georgia Tech’s Cami Hidalgo (356.40).

Texas’ A-finalist diver put them 1 point behind NC State for third place in the team rankings heading into the sprint medley relay.


  • NCAA Record: Virginia, 1:32.93 – 2021
  • American Record: Virginia, 1:32.93 – 2021
  • U.S. Open Record: Virginia, 1:32.93 – 2021
  • Meet Record: Stanford, 1:33.11 – 2018
  • 2019 Champion: Tennessee, 1:34.10
  • 2020 Top Performer: Virginia, 1:33.91

Top 3:

  1. NC State- 1:33.18
  2. Virginia- 1:34.13
  3. Ohio State- 1:34.96

Sophomore Katharine Berkoff had one of the fastest 50 backs of the entire field at 23.27, almost six-tenths faster than any other backstoker in that heat. Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil had the fastest back split at 23.17, which is the 2nd-fastest split in history behind her own 23.05. Michigan placed 16th at 1:37.37.

NC State was untouchable after Berkoff’s stellar lead-off, propelling Sophie Hansson (25.92), Sirena Rowe (22.73), and Kylee Alons (21.26) to the 3rd-fastest 200 medley relay in history at 1:33.18, just 0.07s off the 2018 meet record of 1:33.11.

Virginia took second place at 1:34.13, powered by Kate Douglass‘ 21.19 anchor leg. Sneaking in third place was Ohio State at 1:34.96, just two one-hundredths faster than Cal (1:34.98).

After the medley relay, Virginia remains in the lead at 344 points. NC State’s win boosted them ahead of Texas for second place by 17 points. Cal (210) and Ohio State (177.5) remain comfy in the top five over Alabama (155), Stanford (140), Michigan (127.5), Georgia (115), and Kentucky/UNC (114).

Team Scores (After 200 Medley Relay)

  1. Virginia 344
  2. NC State 241
  3. Texas 224
  4. California 210
  5. Ohio State 177.5
  6. Alabama 155
  7. Stanford 140
  8. Michigan 127.5
  9. Georgia 115
  10. Kentucky/UNC 114
  11. (tie)
  12. Tennessee 90
  13. Louisville 81
  14. Missouri 79
  15. Florida 74.5
  16. Texas A&M/Northwestern 64
  17. (tie)
  18. Indiana 63
  19. USC/Miami 42
  20. (tie)
  21. Minnesota 40
  22. Wisconsin 39
  23. Virginia Tech 28
  24. Nebraska 22
  25. Arkansas 21
  26. Arizona 17.5
  27. Georgia Tech 16
  28. Purdue 13
  29. LSU 9
  30. Houston 6
  31. San Diego State 6
  32. Notre Dame/Duke 4
  33. (tie)
  34. Akron 3

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Former Big10
2 years ago

ACC– 870
PAC12– 409.5
BIG12– 224

Former Big10
Reply to  Former Big10
2 years ago

PAC12 is waaaaaaay down this year, ACC big ups.

2 years ago

Georgia v UNC v Kentucky? Who ya got in the top 10??

2 years ago

Nice to see that flashback to Missy’s 200 free, I got goosebumps watching it. I remember leading up the meet everyone was anticipating an epic show down between her and Simone, but Missy blew everyone out of the water. Incredible.
At the time we all knew that was a great swim, but in when Ledecky joined the NCAA in 2016 many people were speculating how soon and by how much Ledecky would break Franklins record by, but it’s been five years now and no one has even come close.
I remember in an interview after the race Teri McKeever basically said she thought Missy’s record would be a Natalie Coughlin butterfly/backstroke-esque record in that it would be untouchable… Read more »

Reply to  swamfan
2 years ago

I think the commentator said it was the oldest record in the books. Hard to believe! (It was just in 2015 but I checked the women’s US open records and that’s true.) But it does look pretty untouchable at this point.

Reply to  swamfan
2 years ago

The changing of the guard for the face of American Swimming. I love finding out through NCAA’s who’s who in the lead-up to the Olympics before all my non-swimming friends

2 years ago

Maggie MacNeil went 23.17 lead off for Michigan… faster than everyone including Berkoff… also faster than Carter’s fly split (23.48 with a 0.4 exchange)! WOW! She is a racer!

Last edited 2 years ago by Spectatorn
2 years ago

UVA’s splits much slower vs their NCAA/American Record from night 1 of ACCs. I think part of that record can be attributed to fresh swimmers on night one of a cc versus not so fresh on night 3. NCS swam faster than they did at ACCs so they seem to have hit their taper well. Hansson had the biggest drop and oddly Douglass had the biggest add.

ACCs/NCAAs 1:32.93/1:34.13
Gmelich 23.70/24.13
Wenger 26.03/26.41
Cuomo 22.58/22.40
Douglass 20.62/21.19

ACCs/NCAAs 1:33.52/1:33.18
Berkoff 23.37/23.27
Hansson 26.31/25.92
Rowe 23.02/22.73
Alons 20.82/21.26

Reply to  lightning
2 years ago

NCS doing it when it counts. Sweet!

2 years ago

200 medley relay swimmers might be starting to show later-meet fatigue. At most conference championships the 200 medley relay happened early in the meet, possibly leading to fresher/faster swims, while it’s later at NCAAs. Still, NC State had a great showing – Hansson with an incredible 25.92 split.

2 years ago

At most conferences the 200 Medley relay happens on the first night when swimmers are fresh, as opposed to the end of night 3, where they’re more tired. That’s likely why everyone adds (except for Pac12 who had this relay on night 3 and those teams mostly hit close or under conference times).

2 years ago

Some amazing swims but besides lack of a double taper base this meet is suffering from the smaller team sizes. Teams are always small but usually you get crowds, media, and deck energy. Some conference meets arguably had more energy just from the programs

Last edited 2 years ago by anon
Konner Scott
Reply to  anon
2 years ago

We need that big deck energy.

Reply to  Konner Scott
2 years ago

nice deck

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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