2022 W. NCAA Picks: Douglass Races History and Hansson in the 200 Breaststroke

2022 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • When: Wednesday, March 16 – Saturday, March 19, 2021
  • Where: McAuley Aquatics Center / Georgia Tech / Atlanta, GA (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Short course yards (SCY) format
  • Defending champion: Virginia (1x) – Meet Results
  • Psych Sheets

WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE

It’s the moment that we’ve all been waiting for. Virginia superstar Kate Douglass is swimming the 200 breaststroke at a college championship meet. The only question remaining: Can she finally break the NCAA, Meet, American, and U.S. Open record? 

She holds the top seed in the event (2:03.14), which was from a time trial swim at the Cavalier Invite in February 2022. When Douglass posted this time, it was a new ACC record, and made her the 2nd fastest performer in history, for the time being. 

At the 2022 ACC Championships, her teammate Alex Walsh broke Douglass’s ACC record (2:03.02) and became the 2nd fastest performer in history, pushing Douglass to 3rd. Walsh is not swimming the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships and will compete in the 200 butterfly during the final day of competition. 

Walsh’s absence leaves the door open for Douglass to reclaim the ACC record and perhaps top the time produced by breaststroke queen Lilly King. During King’s collegiate career with Indiana, she swept the 100 and 200 breaststroke events at all four NCAA Championships that she competed in. 

All Time Top Performers–200 Breaststroke

  1. Lilly King, 2:02.60, 2018, Indiana
  2. Alex Walsh, 2:03.02, 2022, Virginia 
  3. Kate Douglass, 2:03.14, 2022, Virginia
  4. Bethany Galat, 2:03.26, 2018, Texas A&M
  5. Kierra Smith, 2:03.55, 2017, Minnesota

Let’s take a look at Douglass’s splits from her top performance and compare it to King’s American, U.S. Open, NCAA, and meet record. It’s no surprise that King took this race out fast. Can Douglass step on the gas a little earlier in the race, but have enough in the tank to come home? 

Kate Douglass #3 Performer Lilly King #1 Performer 
28.44  26.96
31.29 (59.73) 31.43 (58.39)
31.48  32.17
31.93 (1:03.41) 32.04 (1:04.21)
2:03.14 2:02.60

 

Besides racing the clock, Douglass is also racing NCAA defending champion Sophie Hansson of NC State, the 7th fastest performer in history. At the ACC Championships, Hansson was denied a four-peat in the event by Walsh and finished 2nd. Her 2nd place time (2:03.75) is faster than what she posted to win the NCAA title in 2021 (2:03.86). In 2019 as a freshman, Hansson was 3rd (2:06.18). 

Virginia’s Ella Nelson finished 2nd to Hansson at the 2021 NCAA Championships (2:04.35), and was 3rd at the 2021 ACC Championships (2:05.91). She’s also the 10th fastest performer in history. This year, Nelson was 3rd at the ACC Championships (2:04.95), behind Walsh and Hansson and currently sits 4th on the psych sheet. 

Anna Elendt is having an explosive year for Texas. She broke the Big 12 record en-route to winning this event at the 2022 Big-12 Championships (2:03.92), which made her the 8th fastest performer in history. Elendt could also give Douglass a run for her money. At the 2021 NCAA Championships, Elendt won the B-final, finishing 9th (2:06.10). 

Outside of these top-four swimmers, the rest of the field is a toss up with seeds 6-13 all with season best times in the 2:06 range: that time last year would have been a lock for the A-final.

Sitting 5th on the psych sheet is Alabama’s Avery Wiseman with her time from the Tennessee Invite (2:05.46). At the 2022 SEC Championships, Wiseman was 7th (2:08.94). If she can repeat her performance from the mid-season invite, Wiseman could bring in crucial points for the Crimson Tide after not scoring any points in this event last year. 

Mona McSharry of Tennessee was 3rd in this event at the 2021 NCAA Championships as a freshman (2:05.01). After taking 3rd at this year’s SEC Championships, she sits 14th on the psych sheet (2:07.01). To secure a lane at night, McSharry will probably need to be right near her time from the NCAA Championships last year.

University of Southern California swept the podium at the Pac-12 Championships with Isabelle Odgers (2:06.42), Kaitlyn Dobler (2:06.65), and Calypso Sheridan (2:06.97). On the psych sheet, this trio sits 8th, 9th, and 13th, respectively. Dobler broke the Pac-12 record in the 100 breaststroke in prelims and then again in finals. Time will tell if she can deliver similar success in the longer distance. Neither Odgers nor Dobler qualified for finals last year, and Sheridan did not compete in the NCAA last season. This trio has the potential to score big points for USC. 

Nelson and Douglass’s teammate, Alexis Wenger, was 7th at the NCAA Championships last year (2:06.90). She sits 14th on the psych sheet (2:07.27). 

Zoie Hartman of Georgia was 8th in this event at last year’s NCAA Championships (2:07.70). Hartman posted a 2:06.27 to take 2nd in this event at the SEC Championships, which currently sits 7th in the NCAA this year. In the 200 breaststroke at the SEC Championships, Hartman was out-touched by Gillian Davey of Kentucky (2:06.21), who is ranked 6th on the psych sheet and finished 12th at last year’s NCAA Championship (2:07.38)

NC State’s Andrea Podmanikova was 4th in this event at the 2021 NCAA Championships (2:05:51). In a stacked 200 breaststroke field at the 2022 ACC Championships, Podmanikova was 5th (2:06.78), which sits 11th on the psych sheet. 

Noelle Peplowski of Indiana hopes to make another A-final appearance after finishing 6th last year (2:06.46). At the 2022 B1G Championships, Peplowski was 2nd (2:07.32) to her teammate Brearna Crawford (2:06.86). These Hoosiers sit 16th and 12th, respectively. 

Dark Horse–Sarah Foley, Duke: In an insane 200 breaststroke field at the ACC Championships, Foley was 4th (2:06.63) behind Walsh, Hansson, and Nelson. Her time sits 10th on the psych sheet. Foley competed in this event at last year’s NCAA Championships as a freshman and finished 40th (2:11.77). 

Top 8 Picks

Swimmer Team Season Best Lifetime Best
1. Kate Douglass Virginia 2:03.14 2:03.14
2. Sophie Hansson NC State 2:03.75 2:03.75
3. Anna Elendt Texas 2:03.92 2:03.92
4. Ella Nelson Virginia 2:04.95 2:04.95
5. Mona McSharry Tennessee 2:07.01 2:05.01
6. Andrea Podmanikova NC State 2:06.78 2:05.51
7. Zoie Hartman Georgia 2:06.27 2:05.05
8. Isabelle Odgers USC 2:06.42 2:06.42

 

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Pacific whirl
3 months ago

I’m rooting for Sarah Foley.

KD Simp Club
3 months ago

That race is going to be wild I’m so excited!!

Swimfan
3 months ago

Maybe Sophie breaks the record.

Nonrevhoofan
Reply to  Swimfan
3 months ago

Wolfie click bait