2024 Women’s Division I NCAA Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap



Hola, Amigos!!! It’s not only Friday but also ‘Moving Day’. Teams like Texas and Cal will look to make big moves up the leaderboard after yesterday was a quiet day for the two teams. We will get our first look at Texas’s Lydia Jacoby (57.27), who is the defending champion in the 100 breast, who will look to tangle with not only her teammate Anna Elendt (57.51) but Mona McSharry (56.87) and Kaitlyn Dobler (56.99), who enter as the top seeds, with entry times under Jacoby’s winning time from last year.

In the 400 IM, 100 Fly, and 200 Free, we will see a trio of winners from last night as the top seeds. Leading the charge is Virginia’s Alex Walsh (4:00.52) , the 200 IM winner. Her time of 1:49.20 made her the second swimmer ever to swim under 1:50, behind only her former teammate Kate Douglass. Looking to play spoiler to A. Walsh is Emma Weyant (4:01.20) and Caroline Bricker (4:02.32), both of whom are seeded within two seconds of Walsh but will have to have the perfect swim to overtake last year’s champ.

Nobody is seeded within two seconds of Gretchen Walsh (48.25) in the 100 fly, an absolutely brilliant fact, but not entirely that surprising as Walsh set the NCAA record at ACCs. Every time G. Walsh has started a race here at NCAAs, she has walked away with a new everything record, a streak she kept alive yesterday, swimming all-time best marks in the 50 free twice. Behind Walsh, and playing out like a microcosm of the team race are a group of swimmers eager to get Texas back on track.

Texas hasn’t performed exceptionally well but was buoyed by advancing two divers into the A-final. Looking to move on and up are Emma Sticklen (50.36), Kelly Pash (50.37), and Olivia Bray (50.47), who enter as the 2nd-4th seeds and will love to make Moving Day a success for the Longhorns. Trying to throw a wrench in those plans is Florida’s Olivia Peoples. The SEC champ enters tied with Bray as the #4 seed (50.47) and may have an advantage over the Longhorns as she raced butterfly last night. Yes, last night, Peoples opted to swim fly instead of free on the 200 Free Relay.

Peoples is the only Gator ranked in the top 24 of the 100 fly, but the Gators will be expected to fight back against Texas 100 fly strength with their own in the 200 free. Leading the way and the third of our event winners from last night is freshman Bella Sims. Last night, Sims swam 4:32.47 to win her first NCAA individual title and go 1-2 with teammate Weyant. In the 200, Sims, the top seed (1:40.90), will look to team up with Isabel Ivey (1:41.85) to repeat the feat. Standing between them in the seedings is USC’s Minna Abraham (1:41.85), but the biggest threat to Gator Freestyle dominance is maybe Indiana’s Anna Peplowski, who finished 3rd last night in the 500 and set a new personal best of 1:41.16 leading off Indiana’s 800 free relay.

Finishing off the morning, we will get our first look at Katharine Berkoff‘s backstroke. The NC State senior (48.70), will look to help NC State jump up the rankings after a relay DQ on night 1. In contention to join her in the A-final is teammate Kennedy Noble (50.79), but she currently sits in the unenviable 8th position. Like Berkoff, Cal’s Isabelle Stadden, the #2 seed (50.26), will look to right the course for her team as they suffered a Relay DQ last night. After a 3rd place finish in the 200 IM, Tennessee, Josephine Fuller (#4 – 50.59) will look to continue her success and gain valuable second swims for the Lady Vols.


  • NCAA Record: 3:54.60, Ella Eastin (Stanford) – 2018
  • Meet Record: 3:54.60, Ella Eastin (Stanford) – 2018
  • American Record: 3:54.60, Ella Eastin (Stanford) – 2018
  • US Open Record: 3:54.60, Ella Eastin (Stanford) – 2018
  • Pool Record: 3:59.26, Elizabeth Beisel (Florida) – 2014
  • 2023 Champion: Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 3:57.24

Top 16:

  1. Emma Weyant (Florida) – 4:00.98
  2. Caroline Bricker (Stanford) – 4:02.20
  3. Megan Van Berkom (Minnesota) – 4:02.53
  4. Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 4:02.85
  5. Ella Nelson (Virginia) – 4:02.93
  6. Lucy Bell (Stanford) – 4:04.26
  7. Paige Maceachern (UCLA) – 4:05.38
  8. Zoe Dixon (Florida) – 4:06.03
  9. Rosie Murphy (UCLA) – 4:06.23
  10. Lea Polonsky (Cal) – 4:06.51
  11. Kathryn Ackerman (Michigan) – 4:06.88
  12. Campbell Stoll (Texas) – 4:07.39
  13. Giulia Goerigk (Texas A&M) – 4:07.78
  14. Callahan Dunn (Wisconsin) – 4:07.98
  15. Nicole Maier (Miami (Ohio))/Angie Coe (Texas) – 4:08.14

It was a much smaller field to start our day off than yesterday’s 500, so it only took two heats to get to the circle-seeded ones. Posting the fastest time from those first two heats was Michigan’s Kathryn Ackerman with a time of 4:06.88. The Wolverine was just 4th at Big-Tens with a time of 4:09.54 and put herself in a good position to potentially make it back, as 4:09.61 was 16th last year.

The first of the circle-seeded heats was a young affair with four freshmen. Stanford’s Caroline Bricker took over the lead in the backstroke but was surpassed by Florida’s Zoe Dixon by the time the breaststroke rolled around. Bricker used a strong breaststroke to outsplit the Gator by over a second in just the first 50 to take the lead. She was trailed by Minnesota’s Megan Van Berkom into the wall as the pair touched at 4:02.20 and 4:02.53, respectively.

Heat 4 brought experience to the field, as it saw last year’s runner-up, Ella Nelson, and fourth-place finisher, Emma Weyant, dive in. The Gator held the lead through the halfway point, but Nelson used a trademark strong breaststroke to close the gap on Weyant with a quarter of a second. Weyant, however, the runner-up in the 500, cleared the challenge posed by Nelson and would win by a body length in a time of 4:00.98.  Nelson would hold onto second place with a 4:02.93, and UCLA’s Rosie Murphy nabbed 3rd in 4:06.

Alex Walsh showed off an impressively speedy front half, splitting 1:55.36, but really took charge of the race in the breaststroke, opening up a two-body length lead over Stanford’s Lucy Bell and Cal’s Lea Polonsky. Walsh may have let up a little bit at the end as she seemed to have decided to save the legs for tonight, ultimately touching in 4:02.85. Bell would touch second behind her in 4:04.26 and UCLA’s Paige Maceachern surged home to steal third place in a time of 4:05.38.

100 BUTTERFLY – Prelims

Top 16:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 48.26 ***New Meet and Pool Record***
  2. Emma Sticklen (Texas) – 49.73
  3. Olivia Bray (Texas) – 50.33
  4. Kelly Pash (Texas) – 50.69
  5. Meghan Lee (Auburn)/ Olivia Peoples (Florida)- 50.85
  6. Gigi Johnson (Stanford) – 51.01
  7. Mia Kragh (Cal) – 51.07
  8. Abby Arens (NC State) – 51.10
  9. Ellie Vannote (UNC) – 51.14
  10. Christiana Regenauer (Louisville) – 51.17
  11. Lillie Nordmann (Stanford) – 51.26
  12. Giulia Carvalho (Miami (FL)) – 51.31
  13. Gabi Albiero (Louisville) – 51.32
  14. Kit Kat Zenick (OSU) – 51.32
  15. Abby Daniel (Akron) – 51.34

The fastest time through the first five heats were put up by a pair of PAC-12 rivals. Caroline Famous out-touched Morgan Brophy 51.48 to 51.49, with both knocking two-tenths off their seed times. Their place atop the leaderboard didn’t last long as in the next heat, Texas’s Kelly Pash swam a controlled 50.69 and was joined under 51 by Auburn’s Megan Lee at 50.85.

Heat 7 saw Pash’s teammate Emma Sticklen dive-in. The 2023 runner-up used a great back half  and underwater to nab the top time so far of 49.73 and to claim a new pool record with one heat remaining. Peoples, the Florida “freestyle flier” grabbed second in 50.85.

Sticklen’s new pool record didn’t have time for the ink to dry as Gretchen Walsh posted a 48.26 to take lane four tonight. Is it wrong to say that it was a bit of a disappointing swim, as she only broke the pool and meet record, and I don’t get to write “New Everything Record” again? Still, the time represents the second-fastest performance ever, and she displays remarkable consistency in always being on top of her game.

200 FREESTYLE – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin (California) – 2015
  • Meet Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin (California) – 2015
  • American Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin (California) – 2015
  • US Open Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin (California) – 2015
  • Pool Record: 1:41.23, Missy Franklin (California) – 2014
  • 2023 Champion: Taylor Ruck (Stanford) – 1:42.36

Top 16:

  1. Anna Peplowski (Indiana) – 1:41.85
  2. Bella Sims (Florida) – 1:41.87
  3. Minna Abraham (USC) – 1:42.79
  4. Kayla Wilson (Stanford) – 1:42.88
  5. Aimee Canny (Virginia) – 1:42.89
  6. Camille Spink (Tennessee) – 1:42.91
  7. Isabel Ivey (Flordia) – 1:42.95
  8. Chloe Stepanek (Texas A&M) – 1:42.96
  9. Brooklyn Douthwright (Tennessee) – 1:42.99
  10. Stephanie Balduccini (Michigan) – 1:43.00
  11. Erin Gemmell (Texas) – 1:43.13
  12. Aurora Roghair (Stanford) – 1:43.35
  13. Amy Fulmer (OSU) – 1:43.57
  14. Ayla Spitz (Northwestern) – 1:43.73
  15. Paige Hetrick (Louisville) – 1:43.76
  16. Katelyn Crom (Michigan) – 1:43.78

OSU’s Amy Fulmer threw down a scintillating 1:43.57 to knock off nearly 3/4 of a second off her seed time of 1:44.24 and to lead the field up through the start of the circle-seeded heats. Last year 1:43.90 qualified into the A-Final in 8th, and with 24 swimmers remaining, this event looks to be much faster than last year.

Isabel Ivey led a tight heat 6 as she was seriously challenged by Texas A&M’s Chloe Stepanek and Texas’s Erin Gemmell. Ivey touched in 1:42.95, just .01 ahead of the Aggie Stepanek. Gemmell, who came home in 26.26, was just on the other side of 1:43, hitting the wall in 1:43.13.

Minna Abraham and Aimee Canny rebounded in the 200 after having off swims earlier in the week to post the fastest two times of the morning. In the penultimate heat, the pair touched in 1:42.79 and 1:42.89 but had to work hard over the last 50 to hold off the Tennesse pair of Camille Spink (1:42.91) and Brooklyn Douthwright (1:42.99).

There’s a reason why we swim in the pool and not on paper as there was a minor upset this morning as Indiana’s Peplowski outdueled Sims to take lane 4 tonight. Peplowski, who has been dropping time left and right, touched in 1:41.85 but has already been as fast as 1:41.16 this week. Sims wasn’t too far behind and will look for some revenge tonight, as she finished just .02 back at 1:41.87.

Is there a freestyle revolution going on right now? Natalie Mannion’s 1:43.90, which puts her in 17th would have tied for 8th last year in the prelims. 16th place last year would have been just 25th year.

100 BREASTSTROKE – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 55.73, Lilly King (Indiana) – 2019
  • Meet Record: 55.73, Lilly King (Indiana) – 2019
  • American Record: 55.73, Lilly King (Indiana) – 2019
  • US Open Record: 55.73, Lilly King (Indiana) – 2019
  • Pool Record: 57.28, Breeja Larson (Texas A&M) – 2014
  • 2023 Champion: Lydia Jacoby (Texas) – 57.03

Top 16:

  1. Mona McSharry (Tennessee) – 56.76 ***Pool Record***
  2. Jasmine Nocentini (Virginia) – 56.96
  3. Kaitlyn Dobler (USC) – 57.18
  4. Anna Elendt (Texas) – 57.50
  5. Hannah Bach (OSU) – 57.58
  6. Lydia Jacoby (Texas) – 57.96
  7. Josei Panitz (OSU) – 58.06
  8. Stasya Makarova (Auburn) – 58.15
  9. Emelie Fast (Tennessee) – 58.21
  10. Emma Weber (Virginia) – 58.57
  11. Avery Wiseman (Alabama) – 58.58
  12. Joleigh Crye (Cincinnati) – 58.61
  13. Skyler Smith (UNC) – 58.65
  14. Maddy Huggins (FSU) – 59.16
  15. Alessia Ferraguti (Arkansas) – 59.17
  16. Henrietta Fangli (Houston) – 59.23

Houston’s Henrietta Fangli led up to the circle-seeded heat with a 59.23 but would be quickly overtaken by a speedy 56.96 by Jasmine Nocentini. The UVA sprinter, who placed 3rd in the 50 free, dropped .05 off her seed to dip under 57 for the first time this season. OSU showed off some depth as Hannah Bach and Josie Panitz finished behind the Cavalier at 57.58 and 58.06.

A duel of returning stars from last year did not disappoint, as Kaitlyn Dobler and Anna Elendt went stroke for stroke but the USC Trojan would take the win, pulling ahead to touch at 57.18 to the Longhorn’s 57.50.

The last heat saw Mona McSharry take down the Pool record that was just two heats old as the Lady Vol led from start to finish, hitting the wall in 56.76, over a second ahead of last year’s winner Jacoby (57.96). McSharru dropped .11 from her seed and personal best and will look to improve upon her runner-up finish from last year.

100 BACKSTROKE – Prelims

Top 16:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (NC State) – 49.34 ***New Pool Record***
  2. Kacey McKenna (Indiana) – 50.23
  3. Josephine Fuller (Tennessee) – 50.25
  4. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 50.42
  5. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 50.48
  6. Kennedy Noble (NC State) – 50.93
  7. Celia Pulido (SIU) – 50.98
  8. Miranda Grana (Texas A&M) – 50.99
  9. Caroline Famous (USC) – 51.01
  10. Berit Berglund (Texas) – 51.14
  11. Eboni McCarty (Georgia) – 51.33
  12. Olivia Bray (Texas) – 51.39
  13. Reilly Tiltmann (Virginia)/ Nyah Funderburke (OSU) / Greer Pattison (UNC) – 51.43
  14. Emma Kern (Texas) – 51.55

Up through heat 5, Akron’s Maddy Gatrall’s top time was 51.61. Last year, 51.60 was 16th, so Gatrall is right on the bubble to potentially make it back, but she should be happy with dropping .45 from her seed. IU’s Kacey McKenna threw down in heat 5 to blast a new top time, hitting the wall in 50.23, taking off .26 of a second from her seed. the Hoosier easily won the field winning by nearly a full second ahead of Texas’s Berit Berglund.

McKenna would hold onto the top seed at least for the next minute or so as Cal’s Isabelle Stadden and NC State’s Kennedy Noble dueled in heat 6 to finish in 50.42 and 50.93, each adding about a .10 of a second but should easily back the final as the currently sit in 2nd and 3rd.

The second consecutive event to see a pool record fall, Katharine Berkoff posted a speedy 49.34. While she added .64 to her seed time, this event, in the absence of Gretchen Walsh, is hers to lose. Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller posted a new personal best of 50.25, taking .34 of her previous best from SECs.

Having the swim of a lifetime #20 seed Celia Pulido surged into the A-final tonight dropping nearly a full second to post the 7th fastest time this morning at 50.98. The Southern Illinois Saluki’s previous best stood at 51.82.

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2 months ago

Gretchen should go for the 2IM, 2 back, and 2 free NCAA records next year. The 2 free definitely seems obtainable but not sure what she’d throw down in the 2 back

Reply to  Ashe
2 months ago

She’s not beating Tori or getting the 200 IM record.

Reply to  Ashe
2 months ago

claire and maybe regan in the 200 back to worry about, nobody at all in 100 free

2 months ago

Diving results in. UVA’s Lizzy Kaye qualifies 6th as their first ever diver into an A final. She picked a great time to do it, because Texas qualified 1st and 3rd, and will definitely have a monster night, points wise.

Updated ups/downs
Virginia 6/2
Texas 7/6

Florida qualified no divers so they’re still 5/0.

Last edited 2 months ago by CavaDore
Fast and Furious
2 months ago

Looks like Erica has been spending too much time on Twitter and too little time swimming

2 months ago

M women continue to swim superbly! It’s great to have an excellent coaching staff again!

Reply to  #MFan
2 months ago

Michigan? Minnesota? Miami? Monaco?

NCAAs will be closer this year
2 months ago

I. believe it is similar to football where they can play in 4 games and still redshirt. Swimming is around 3-4 meets. So I think Lydia Jacoby can redshirt this year.

Last edited 2 months ago by NCAAs will be closer this year
2 months ago

Wouldn’t this be her 5th year of eligibility – everyone got a “covid” year?

Reply to  SwimMom1
2 months ago

She only swam 2 dual meets and an invite in the 2022-2023 season, so she can likely apply and get that year back.

Cleo Lemon
2 months ago


Last edited 2 months ago by Cleo Lemon
2 months ago

A conservative estimate is 132 points today for UVA without any diving points.

NCAAs will be closer this year
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

174 points for Texas tonight will set them up for a close finish tomorrow with uva. After tonight Texas will only be 30 points back of UVA (1, 2, 3 in 200 fly tomorrow???).

Tonight predictions
UVA 337
Texas 315
Florida 270
Stanford 193

Saturday should be an epic finish!

Reply to  NCAAs will be closer this year
2 months ago

A conservative estimate is 131 points for UVA on Saturday and that is without Emma Weber scoring any points in the W 200 BR (which I doubt) and zero points in the W 200 FL.

If Texas can’t beat UVA in the relays, it’s over.

Reply to  NCAAs will be closer this year
2 months ago

342.5 points for UVA without any diving points.

Reply to  NCAAs will be closer this year
2 months ago

UVA is guaranteed at least 11 diving points tonight.