2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Championship: Day 2 Finals Live Recap



  1. Virginia – 80
  2. Texas – 64
  3. Cal – 56
  4. Stanford – 52
  5. NC State – 44
  6. es vcasTennessee/Louisville – 40
  7. (tie)
  8. Ohio State – 38
  9. Indiana – 34
  10. Georgia – 30


It’s the first full session of finals at the 2023 Women’s Division I NCAAs. There’s a full slate of individual events, relays, and diving in store during the session. That includes the finals of the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and 1-meter diving, along with timed finals of the 200 freestyle relay to close out the night.

Teammates Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh cruised to the first and third seeds in the 200 IM during prelims. 2022 runner-up Torri Huske sits between them as the second overall qualifier in 1:52.38, but expect this race to be all about the duo from Virginia. At ACCs, Douglass scared Walsh’s NCAA and American records with a 1:50.15, and will take another run at claiming the records for herself tonight. Walsh won’t just hand it to her though, and it should be a great race between them for the title.

In the 50 free, their teammate Gretchen Walsh is the top qualifier by .38 of a second. She cruised to 21.00 in prelims, with Maggie MacNeil sitting second in 21.38. Both have been sub-21 before, and it looks like it will take that to win the title. We’ll still be on record watch in this event, as Walsh lowered the NCAA and American records to 20.83 at ACCs. Speaking of the ACC, they dominated the 50 free this morning; six out of the eight finalists swim in that conference.

A. Walsh swam on both relays yesterday, so Virginia is going to have to leave her off one, and it could be the 200 freestyle relay. However, Douglass and G. Walsh will be back in action there, along with Lexi Cuomo. Last month, they reset their NCAA record in the event, and they’ll look to bring it even lower tonight.

After a quiet morning in the 500 freestyle, Erica Sullivan is the favorite to claim the title. She’s the top seed in 4:36.51. Wisconsin’s Abby Carlson had a great back half during prelims though and ate into a large part of the gap between her and Sullivan. She could surprise in the final, as could Rachel Stege, Kensey McMahonor Sullivan’s own teammate Olivia Bray.


  • NCAA Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) 4:24.06 — 2017
  • Meet Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) — 2017
  • American Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) — 2017
  • US Open Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) — 2017
  • Pool Record: 4:33.09, Paige Madden (Virginia) — 2020
  • 2022 Champion: Lia Thomas (Penn) — 4:33.24

Top 8:

  1. Kensey McMahon (Alabama) – 4:36.62
  2. Abby Carlson (Wisconsin) – 4:36.96
  3. Olivia Bray (Texas) – 4:37.02
  4. Erica Sullivan (Texas) – 4:37.28
  5. Rachel Stege (Georgia) – 4:37.32
  6. Emma Weyant (Florida) – 4:38.46
  7. Ching Hwee Gan (Indiana) – 4:38.91
  8. Dune Coetzee (Georgia) – 4:40.58

Fifth-year Kensey McMahon came into the meet as the 23rd seed and now she is the national champion. It was an exciting race to start off the session as the lead changed hands several times and there were five swimmers bunched together heading into the touch.

Olivia Bray led the field through the first 200, flipping at 1:48.38. Then, the SEC champion Rachel Stege took control for Georgia, and lead for about a 100 yards before McMahon took over. Once she grabbed the lead, McMahon didn’t surrender it again, holding off pushes from Bray, Erica Sullivan, Abby Carlsonand Stege.

After posting a lifetime best to qualify sixth, McMahon dropped another 1.19 seconds off her best to win the event in 4:36.62. Wisconsin sophomore Carlson used a strong back half to take second, while Texas teammates Bray and Sullivan finished third and fourth. Bray, who only began to really swim this event collegiately this year, swam another lifetime best for third with a 4:37.02. Sullivan was .26 seconds behind her in 4:37.28. Her prelims time would have been fast enough to win.

Last year’s runner-up Emma Weyant was sixth, a bit behind the main bunch in 4:38.96.

Tennessee sophomore Julia Mrozinski won the ‘B’ final for the second straight year in 4:37.34.


  • NCAA Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022
  • Meet Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022
  • American Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022
  • US Open Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022
  • Pool Record: 1:50.92, Kate Douglass (Virginia) — 2020
  • 2022 Champion: Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 1:50.08

Top 8:

  1. Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 1:48.37 (NCAA and American Record)
  2. Torri Huske (Stanford) – 1:50.06
  3. Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 1:50.07
  4. Ella Nelson (Virginia) – 1:53.13
  5. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:53.56
  6. Emma Sticklen (Texas) – 1:54.09
  7. Abby Hay (Louisville) – 1:54.62
  8. Sarah Foley (Duke) – 1:54.96

Well, that certainly lived up to the hype. The women’s 200 IM was one of the marquee events of the meet and the swimmers delivered, with Kate Douglass, Torri Huskeand Alex Walsh all getting under the old NCAA and American records.

It was Douglass right from the start though, as she left no doubt about who the winner was going to be. She led from wire-to-wire, out-splitting Huske on the butterfly, 23.51 to 23.56. She kept the pedal down on the backstroke with a 27.40 split, then splitting 31.38 on breast and bringing it home in a blistering 26.08. Post-race, she said that she really wanted to break 1:50 and she certainly did that, blowing past that barrier with a 1:48.37 and smashing the NCAA and American records by 1.71 seconds.

Huske lost her grip on second place to Walsh during the breaststroke leg, but roared home in 26.42 to repeat as the NCAA runner-up. As we said, she was also under the old record and the swim is also a massive personal best for her, as her old mark was 1:51.81. She out-touched Walsh by one-hundredth, which is a big upset as Douglass and Walsh were heavily favored to go 1-2; the defending champion grabbed third in 1:50.07, also under her old record.

Virginia got a 1-3-4 finish, as Ella Nelson took fourth in 1:53.13. That’s a personal best for the senior, bettering the 1:53.69 she swam last month at the Cavalier Invite. It’s a big improvement for her in the standings as well; last year she finished eighth.

Fifth-place Phoebe Bacon and sixth-place Emma Sticklen also notched personal best times. Bacon touched in 1:53.69, which is a .83 second drop from the best time she recorded at this meet last year. Like Nelson she also vaulted up the standings from last year, where she finished 10th overall.

This is a new event for Sticklen at the collegiate level; she raced the 50 free in 2022. She established herself as a threat for three ‘A’ finals earlier this season and lived up to that with her sixth-place finish here. She posted 1:54.09, shaving another nine-hundredths from her lifetime best. Coming into the meet, her best was a 1:54.70, so she’s taken .61 seconds off her best over the course of the day.


Top 8:

  1. Maggie MacNeil (LSU) – 20.79 (NCAA Record)
  2. Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 20.85
  3. Gabi Albiero (Louisville) – 21.30
  4. Teresa Ivan (Ohio State) – 21.46
  5. Katharine Berkoff (NC State) – 21.54
  6. Grace Countie (UNC-Chapel Hill) – 21.67
  7. Christina Regenauer (Louisville) – 21.68
  8. Lexi Cuomo (Virginia) – 21.71

Make that back-to-back NCAA records. Maggie MacNeil wiped out the NCAA record that Gretchen Walsh swam just last month, putting up a blistering 20.79. She bettered the record by .04 seconds and blew away her personal best of 20.98, which she swam to win at SECs.

Coming into the race we knew that it would be a battle between MacNeil and Walsh, with the Cavalier establishing herself as the favorite thanks to her 21.00 in prelims. Here in the final though, it was MacNeil all the way and what really made the difference for her was her start. MacNeil had a +.64 reaction time, while Walsh was the slowest in the heat to get off the blocks, a tenth back from MacNeil in +.74. Walsh tried to stage a comeback, pushing MacNeil into the flags, but she ended up repeating as the NCAA runner up in 20.85–nine-hundredths behind MacNeil.

Louisville’s Gabi Albiero held onto her third place seed, securing 16 points for the Cardinals. She clocked a new personal best of 21.30, getting under the 21.36 she swam at ACCs. Her teammate Christina Regenauer earned seventh, hitting her prelims time exactly in 21.68.

Ohio State’s Teresa Ivan jumped up from eighth to finish fourth in 21.46. It’s the second time she’s lowered her personal best today. She came into the meet with a 21.78, which she lowered to 21.71 in prelims. With her 21.46 here, she’s taken .32 seconds off her fastest time today.

Senior Katharine Berkoff moved up from her seventh place finish in 2022, earning fifth tonight in 21.54. That knocks a hundredth off her personal best.

1-Meter Diving — FINALS

  • NCAA Record: 365.75, Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) — 2022
  • Meet Record: 365.75, Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) — 2022
  • Pool Record: 364.30, Lauren Reedy (Missouri) — 2017
  • 2022 Champion: Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) — 365.75

Top 8:

  1. Aranza Vazquez Montano (UNC-Chapel Hill) – 358.75
  2. Delaney Schnell (Arizona) – 340.05
  3. Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) – 338.10
  4. Hailey Hernandez (Texas) – 321.05
  5. Chiara Pellacani (LSU) – 318.55
  6. Carolina Sculti (USC) – 312.90
  7. Kyndal Knight (Kentucky) – 304.55
  8. Joy Zhu (Minnesota) – 297.35

At ACCs, Aranza Vazquez Montano swept the 1-meter, 3-meter, and platform. She’s kept that momentum going here, becoming the 2023 national champion on the 1-meter board with 358.75 points. A UNC junior and an Olympian, this is her first national title as she’s finished second and third on this board in her two previous meets.

She led after every round, but it was tight for a while; at the halfway point, the top three divers (Montano, Mia Vallee, and Kyndal Knight) were separated by less than half a point.

Arizona’s Delaney Schnell climbed up during the later rounds to finish second, improving on her fifth-place finish from 2022. Mia Vallee set an NCAA record en route to her title last year, and this year she finished third. Texas’ Hailey Hernandez moved up a place from prelims, earning fourth with 321.05 points.

200 Freestyle Relay — TIMED FINAL

  • NCAA Record: 1:23.87, Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) — 2023
  • Meet Record: 1:24.55, California (M. Murphy, K. McLaughlin, A. Bilquist, A. Weitzeil) — 2019
  • American Record: 1:23.87, Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) — 2023
  • US Open Record: 1:23.87, Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) — 2023
  • Pool Record: 1:26.38, Alabama (K. Antoniou, M. Scott, K. Winter, C. Dupre) — 2021
  • 2022 Champion: Virginia (K. Douglass, A. Walsh, L. Cuomo, G. Walsh) — 1:24.96

Top 8:

  1. Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, M. Parker) – 1:24.51
  2. Stanford (T. Huske, C. Curzan, T. Ruck, A. Tang) – 1:25.70
  3. Louisville (G. Albiero, C. Regenauer, J. Dennis, E. Welch) – 1:25.73
  4. Ohio State – 1:25.80
  5. LSU – 1:27.04
  6. Texas – 1:27.11
  7. Florida – 1:27.31
  8. Indiana – 1:27.48

They were off their NCAA record from ACCs, but Virginia is now 3-for-3 at relays so far at these 2023 Championships. They got it done in meet record fashion, taking down Cal’s meet record of 1:24.55 from 2019. 200 IM champion Kate Douglass led off in 21.01, before handing things off to Gretchen Walsh, who split 20.59. Lexi Cuomo threw down a 21.33 split, and Maxine Parker, the new addition to this relay from ACCs (replacing Alex Walsh), brought things home in 21.58.

Stanford out-touched Louisville by three-hundredths, 1:25.70 to 1:25.73. Torri Huske opened for the Cardinal in 21.57, then Claire Curzan swam 20.98 on the second leg. After missing 50 free finals, Taylor Ruck rebounded with a 21.39 split, and Amy Tang clocked 21.76 to hold off a charging Ella Welch for Louisville.

On the first three legs for the Cardinal, Gabi Albiero opened in 21.62, Christina Regenauer split 21.23, and Julia Dennis clocked 21.39. All three swam in finals of the 50 free, with Albiero and Regenauer in the ‘A’ final and Dennis in the ‘B’ final.

Swimming second for LSU, newly crowned 50 free champion (and NCAA record holder) Maggie MacNeil ripped 20.37, which is the third fastest split of all-time. The Tigers added time from SECs, but still finished fifth in 1:27.04.

Ohio State dropped nine-tenths off their seed time to collect fourth place. Katherine Zenick, who scratched the individual 50 free, led off in 21.74. Amy Fulmer split 21.24, Nyah Funderburke 21.63, and Teresa Ivan 21.19 to combine for 1:25.80.

Notably, NC State was disqualified for an early take-off. They would have finished fifth, which is a big blow for them in the team standings. Auburn was also disqualified and would have finished 13th.

Top 20 Teams Thru Day 2

  1. Virginia – 208.5
  2. Texas – 162
  3. Louisville – 117
  4. Stanford – 106
  5. Ohio State – 93
  6. Indiana – 83
  7. Florida – 76
  8. Cal – 74
  9. UNC-Chapel Hill – 73
  10. Georgia – 66.5
  11. NC State – 66
  12. LSU – 62
  13. Tennessee – 61
  14. Alabama – 56
  15. Wisconsin – 49
  16. USC – 37
  17. Kentucky – 26
  18. Virginia Tech – 18
  19. Arizona – 17
  20. Miami (FL) – 16

In This Story

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Mike McCormack
1 year ago

We now should acknowledge that the Women’s NCAA meet gets better every year, because it is solidly based in FUN…and is blessedly free from anything weighty or morose. And, in far greater part, from ego. In the spirit of that fun, here are a few nicknames I’ve bestowed on some of these marvelous athletes:

Kate: The Greyhound. An even cursory check of her physique reveals…
Gretch: The Kayak. And that ain’t no slow boat!
Maggie: the somewhat unimaginative Double Mac, but more demonstratively, The Atomic Event Herself.

Non-meet bonuses — Summer Mc: The 100-Pound Locomotive (cribbed from the great runner Emil Zatopek);
Katie: Mr. Ed. (Don’t get your hackles up… her voice’s timbre – inflection and intonation… Read more »

Reply to  Mike McCormack
1 year ago


Swimming Genius
1 year ago

Uhhhh anyone notice UNC is ahead of Georgia…thats a big swing

1 year ago

Maggie is ready. She respects Douglass and Walsh enough to know she needs to be ready as HELL if she wants to take these titles. And she is hungry. Even more ominous than that really brilliant NCAA record in what is her worst individual event of the meet, was the interview afterward. She spoke with such aplomb. NCAA records and titles in everything is what she has trained for. Sleep on her at your peril.

1 year ago

I don’t think anybody is sleeping on her , it’s just that Kate right now has just delivered her best swims ever in her last ncaa meet and seeing what she did today its going hard to beat her on individual events.

VA Steve
Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

Curzan and Huske are top of game now as well. Going to epic tonight–the record has no chance.

1 year ago

Day 2
University of Virginia
Results vs Seeding ()

500 FR
Donohoe, Madelyn +7 (18th)

200 IM
Walsh, Alex -1 (2nd)
Nelson, Ella +1 (5th)
Harter, Abby -6 (11th)

50 FR
Walsh, Gretchen -3 (1st)
Parker, Maxine -1.5 (13th)
Cuomo, Lexi +11 (23rd)

Subtotal +7.5

Steve Nolan
1 year ago

I miss anything good??


Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 year ago

The best 200 IM in the history of the NCAA. Kate Douglass 1:48.37.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 year ago

I actually almost posted a comment earlier asking where you were

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Shaddy419
1 year ago

Ugh, working night shift this month. But off this weekend!

Saw you got the Rowdy drinking game up again, might try it tomorrow

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Nolan
pete kennedy
1 year ago

Day 2 found the Big 10 awakening. Go 10. Macneil did not receive an offer to stay at Michigan. Why?
Congratulations to Virginia.

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

  • A major variable is the demoralizing impact on Alex Walsh in long course 200 medley. It’s going to happen. The extent is uncertain. I’ve wagered on sports long enough to identify variables and outcomes. Even if Walsh doesn’t regress she’s not going to improve or have nearly the confidence she would have owned minus this system shock by her teammate
  • That result should further encourage Summer McIntosh in 200 medley. There was never a reason to demote that event. The talent pecking order is McIntosh/Douglass/Walsh. If an Australian wants to flop around with the Asians toward 4th or 5th, she’s welcome to it
  • Maggie McNeil wins the showdowns. That’s been true since the Sjostrom race
… Read more »

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I think this is supposed to go to the overreactions comment section.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

Dude WTF
So disrespectful

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

I wish there was a way to make people taste how gross their words are

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

It’s so rare that people reference the myriad times that Bill Parcells talked about Gretchen Walsh’s Instagram.

Octavio Gupta
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

People don’t like to swallow tough pills, as evidenced in the ratio of upvotes/downvotes

VA Steve
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

That is a silly analysis. UVA swims competitions among themselves all of the time and the women reportedly get along great. If you have ever played sports against a brother or sister, you get the rivalry and the pain of losing especially to someone you are close to. Of course she was upset that she finished third, but she will get over it quickly and kill the 400im today.

1 year ago

Looking at the comments every time there’s a competition, you’d be surprised that Macneil is literally n olympic n world champion but so many people will keep underestimating her and be surprised that she eventually be the winner. Strange world. Kinda imagine if she were American

Reply to  Kat
1 year ago

I don’t think people are underestimating her, there are just a lot of other really good swimmers right now. It wasn’t unreasonable to expect G Walsh to win that either.

Reply to  Meow
1 year ago

Even when she broke 2 individual records at scm wc, people were arguing someone else should be awarded swimmer of the championship, now here u get people already hailing Douglas as swimmer of the meet 🙃

Reply to  Kat
1 year ago

Lol I couldn’t believe some people still trying to argue Douglass was swimmer of the meet in Melbourne when Maggie literally broke two individual WRs and won three individual titles.

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

Yes Kate didn’t break any world record in individual events in that meet but she won five gold and almost break the world record in her two individual events and she’s also on the only medley relay team that beat Australia and set the world record.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lisa
Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

Told u it’s a strange world here. Look at the commenter below. Still arguing about it lmao

Last edited 1 year ago by Kat
Reply to  Kat
1 year ago

Even if you don’t like her , you got to give credits where it’s due and what she did tonight is impressive

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

No one even says who dislike who. Can u hear yourself?

Reply to  Kat
1 year ago

You’re trying to make to an excuse that she’s not swimmer of the meet after what she has done tonight and I can’t wait to see what happens this sunday.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lisa
Reply to  Kat
1 year ago

She wins and broke NCAA and american record by 1.71 second in 200im tonight and that I think is enough to win her swimmer of the meet.

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

There’s literally plenty individual races remaining 🙃 like u can’t even hold on your own argument. When macneil blastered the records (2 at that) at scm wc, apparently douglass was doing better according to u. Now one record, douglass is already swimmer of the meet.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kat
Reply to  Kat
1 year ago

Because there are people arguing what she did tonight is the best swims in the history of NCAA and to win by 1.71 in 200 im and not just went below 1:50 but to get past 1:49 into 1:48 is mighty impressive and yes there are plenty of individual races left and based on her form right now she could break even more record on individual events and on top of that she’s probably gonna win every relay events she’s in with UVA.

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

I always take relay swims with a grain of salt regarding swimmer of the meet status, and I especially think that the overall relay time should be irrelevant towards it, only the swimmer’s only split.

Granted, Douglass is looking very good right now and is clearly the swimmer of the meet so far. Ultimately I think it’ll end up being her, given that her 200 breast looks to be a good amount stronger than MacNeil’s 100 free, but it’ll also come down to how the 100 fly plays out.

Maggie was the clear swimmer of the meet at 2022 SC worlds tho lol I’m sorry im a douglass fan but no way did she compare to 2 individual WRs

Reply to  jeff
1 year ago

Yes I understand why McNeil won swimmer of the meet because the difference is that she set two wr but Douglass imo is also swimmer of the meet last year SC world champs cause she the only swimmer that won most medal and five of them is gold .

And also if you talking about relay split Douglass is also really fast on every relay split whether it’s on fly or freestyle and that’s why they’re able to set the world record on medley relay against Australia.

It could also gonna come down to 100 fly but we’ll see on prelims tomorrow and if Douglass is fast on the morning and the race could be close but I think she… Read more »

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

Kat, please shut up. MacNeil just posted an incredible ncaa record and you’re trying to change the narrative to victimize her. Gretchen and Maggie are both incredible swimmers, it’s not the issue of race but more so people being so used to UVA dominance. Let’s just enjoy these awesome performances without trying to point out issues

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

Relays should have no bearing on who wins Swimmer of the Meet for any meet. It would penalize swimmers who happen to be from a less powerful country/team. There are Team Champs/Teams of the Meet to honour that aspect.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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