This past year, the women’s 100 fly was one of the closer 100 races at women’s NCAAs as the top three swimmers were only separated by 0.14 seconds. The only 100 that was closer in the top 3 was the women’s 100 breast. The women’s 100 fly also had the top three swimmers under the old American Record record of 49.24 held by Claire Curzan (although Canadian Maggie MacNeil was third, for the purpose of this article we will include her).
Kate Douglass went a 49.04 to win and set a new American Record, Torri Huske was second in a 49.17, and MacNeil was right behind in a 49.18. The excitement does not stop in this race after March 2022 though as the top three swimmers from this past season all return for the 2022-2023 season and former American Record holder Curzan joins the mix.
It might be one of the most stacked events in history as the race will feature the most recent American Record holder (SCY) in Curzan, the current American Record holder (SCY) in Douglass, the current American Record holder (LCM) in Huske, and the NCAA and US Open Record holder (SCY) in MacNeil. The only thing missing is the SCM American Record holder but that title still stands with now-Notre Dame Associate Coach Kelsi Dahlia.
Either way, this race looks to be an exciting showdown come March. What might make it even more exciting for some people is that the four will *mostly* not compete against each other before March, with the exception of Huske and Curzan who are Stanford teammates. So, when they show up in March, they’ll each be seeing each other for the first time this season (hugs all around).
To show the magnitude of this SCY showdown even more, the four make up the fastest four times in the SCY 100 fly ever. MacNeil holds the fastest time of 48.89 which she swam at 2021 NCAAs, setting new NCAA and US Open records in the process. Both Douglass (49.04) and Huske (49.17) swam their best times at 2022 NCAAs, and Curzan’s best (49.24) is not much older as she swam it at her high school state meet in February 2022.
In addition to SCY success in the event, the group has also battled it out in the LCM pool. MacNeil is the defending Olympic Champion, Huske is the defending World Champion, and Huske, Curzan, and Douglass went 1-2-3 in the 100 LCM fly at Wave II Olympic Trials last summer.
It’s just the beginning of the season, but the hype begins now. Will it take a new American Record to win? Will it take a new NCAA (and US Open) record to win? Could another swimmer break onto the scene and make it a 4+ person showdown? The countdown for this race begins today, with 169 days to go.