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

2024 WOMEN’S NCAA SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Day 3 Finals Heat Sheet

It’s time for the third night of finals of the 2024 Women’s Division I NCAA Championships. With a full slate of events tonight, it’s Moving Day in Athens for teams that are hoping to finish highly in the standings. Virginia moved into the lead at the end of day 2 with 210 points. Behind the Cavaliers, the Gators are second (163 points) but the Longhorns are looking to close in. Currently, Texas is third (141 points) and Stanford leads Tennessee by one point, 105 to 104.

Order of Events:

  • 400 IM (top seed: Emma Weyant, Florida — 4:00.98)
  • 100 butterfly (top seed: Gretchen Walsh, Virginia — 48.26)
  • 200 freestyle (top seed: Anna Peplowski, Indiana — 1:41.85)
  • 100 breaststroke (top seed: Mona McSharry, Tennessee — 56.76)
  • 100 backstroke (top seed: Katharine Berkoff, NC State — 49.34)
  • 3-meter diving (top seed: Bridget O’Neil, Texas — 339.85 points)
  • 400 medley relay (top seed: Virginia — 3:22.49)

Finals get underway with the 400 IM where Emma Weyant faces off against the defending champion Alex Walsh. Walsh became just the second swimmer to break the 1:50 barrier in the 200 IM yesterday, firmly cementing her position as the favorite in this race. She cruised into finals with a 4:02.85 (4th). Meanwhile, Weyant clocked a personal best 4:00.98 for lane 4. She’ll aim to challenge Walsh in the final, though she’ll likely have to be well under 4:00 to upset her former college teammate.

Texas had a quiet Day 2, but they made their prescence felt in prelims this morning. They’ve got 11 finalists tonight–the most of any school–with five ‘A’ finalists and six ‘B’ finalists. Their depth was most on display in the 100 butterfly, where they went 2-3-4. Gretchen Walsh continues to impress, throwing down a meet record and the second-fastest swim all-time (48.26). She’ll be surrounded by Longhorns in the final: Emma Sticklen (49.73), Olivia Bray (50.33), and Kelly Pash (50.69) aim to help close Texas’ gap to Florida in the standings.

The Gators will fight back in the 200 freestyle, where they’ve got Bella Sims and Isabel Ivey in the ‘A’ final as the 2nd and 7th seeds. The top seed belongs to Anna Peplowski, who’s putting together an excellent meet. Her prelims time of 1:41.85 would’ve been a personal best but she swam a 1:41.16 leading off the 800 free relay on Day 1. She’s sitting just two-hundredths ahead of Sims (who beat her on the 800 free lead-off leg) so it should be a close race for the title tonight. The two swam the only 1:41s this morning, but really anyone in this ‘A’ final could close the gap and push the top two seeds to the title.

Similarly, the win could come from any lane in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Tennessee’s Mona McSharry has asserted herself as the favorite. In prelims, she dropped a tenth from her midseason PB and clocked a 56.76. That time moves her into a tie for 4th all-time with Alexis Wenger.

McSharry has the fastest lifetime best in the field but Jasmine Nocentini broke 57 seconds for the first time this morning and won’t let McSharry run away with the race. Kaitlyn Dobler and Anna Elendt, the 3rd and 4th qualifiers, have also been sub-57 seconds before. Then there’s defending champion Lydia Jacoby. Jacoby qualified 6th (57.96) but if there’s one thing she’s shown us in her career it’s that she knows how to get her hands on the wall first in a close race.

The individual swimming events wrap up with the 100 backstroke. Katharine Berkoff swam a pool record 49.34 to top the prelims field by .89 seconds, setting herself up well to win the third 100 back national title of her career. She may run away with the race for the crown, but 2nd through 8th seed are separated by .76 seconds so expect a fight for positioning on the podium.

Texas freshman Campbell Stoll jumped up from 12th after prelims to win the ‘B’ final. Stoll dropped 1.82 seconds with a personal best 4:03.89, which would’ve earned 6th in the ‘A’ final.

400 Individual Medley — Final

  • 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 8:

  1. Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 3:55.97 *Pool Record* 
  2. Emma Weyant (Florida) — 3:59.00
  3. Lucy Bell (Stanford) — 4:01.23
  4. Caroline Bricker (Stanford) — 4:02.14
  5. Megan Van Berkom (Minnesota) — 4:02.51
  6. Ella Nelson (Virginia) — 4:04.33
  7. Zoe Dixon (Florida) — 4:04.93
  8. Paige Maceachern (UCLA) — 4:08.95

Alex Walsh has swept IMs here at the 2024 NCAA Championships. In the 200 IM yesterday, she became the second-fastest swimmer in history. She replicated that here in the 400 IM, vaulting from 6th to be only behind Ella Eastin‘s NCAA record performance.

Walsh was ahead of Eastin’s pace through the middle of the race but fell off during the freestyle leg. Still, she held on for her third NCAA title in the event with a speedy 3:55.97. Walsh never trailed during the race, splitting 54.12/58.91/1:06.67/56.27 en route to her title.

Emma Weyant was the top qualifier out of prelims with a personal best time of 4:00.98. She bettered that time in the final by 1.98 seconds, breaking 4:00 for the first time in her career. According to USA Swimming, that makes her the 13th fastest performer in history.

Stanford had a great showing here in the 400 IM as sophomore Lucy Bell and freshman Caroline Bricker took 3rd and 4th place. Both swam personal bests; Bell dropped from the 4:03.25 she swam at midseason to a 4:01.23. Meanwhile, Bricker shaved six-hundredths off the personal best she swam this morning, putting together a a 4:02.14.

100 Butterfly — Final

Top 8:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) — 47.42 *New Everything Record* 
  2. Emma Sticklen (Texas) — 49.70
  3. Olivia Bray (Texas) — 50.52
  4. Kelly Pash (Texas) — 50.55
  5. Meghan Lee (Auburn) — 50.72
  6. Olivia Peoples (Florida) — 50.93
  7. Gigi Johnson (Stanford) — 50.99
  8. Mia Kragh (California) — 51.27

Did that just happen? Gretchen Walsh took down all her records in epic fashion, blasting past her NCAA record of 48.25 and the 48-second barrier with an incredible 47.42.

Walsh put her foot down from the very start of the race; when she popped up after her start she was already half a body length ahead of the field. She turned at the 25-yard mark in 9.94, and hit the halfway point in a blistering 21.75. That time would’ve made the ‘B’ final of the 50 freestyle and finished 11th. She split 25.67 on the way home to her record-breaking 47.42.

When the 2022-23 season started, Maggie MacNeil held the NCAA record at 48.89. Kate Douglass broke that mark twice last season, bringing the mark to 48.46. Walsh has now blown past those swims; from 2023 NCAAs to 2024 NCAAs Walsh has lowered the mark by a whopping 1.04 seconds.

The three Texas Longhorns in the race did exactly what they needed to do behind Walsh. They held on to their 2-3-4 seeds, picking up 48 points. Emma Sticklen, who finished 5th last year, moved up into 2nd place. She shaved three-hundredths off the personal best she swam in prelims with a 49.70.

Her teammates Olivia Bray and Kelly Pash earned 3rd and 4th in 50.52 and 50.55.

200 Freestyle — Final

  • 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 8:

  1. Bella Sims (Florida) — 1:40.90 *Pool Record*
  2. Anna Peplowski (Indiana) — 1:40.97
  3. Minna Abraham (USC) — 1:41.96
  4. Aimee Canny (Virginia) — 1:42.33
  5. Chloe Stepanek (Texas A&M) — 1:42.92
  6. Kayla Wilson (Stanford) — 1:43.23
  7. Isabel Ivey (Florida) — 1:43.79

DQ: Camille Spink (False Start)

It came down to the touch between Bella Sims and Anna Peplowski as their two different race strategies clashed in the 200 freestyle championship final. Sims likes to take the race out fast and gets a lot of confidence by getting out in front at the start, as she told Elizabeth Beisel in her post-race interview.

Sims was well ahead of the field at the halfway mark, turning in 48.90. She was the only person in the field out in under 49 seconds. Anna PeplowskiMinna Abraham, and Aimee Canny outsplit her on the third 50. Peplowski particularly began to close the gap, splitting 25.78 to Sims’ 26.23.

Peplowski continued to gain on Sims during the final 50 yards and outsplit her 25.52 to 26.17 but came up just seven-hundredths short of the win. Sims earned her second individual title (and third overall of the week) in 1:40.90, tying her season-best and SEC record from leading off Florida’s 800 free relay at the SEC Championships.

Peplowski earned second in a lifetime best 1:40.97, getting under 1:41 for the first time. She’d hit her season-best earlier in the meet leading off the 800 free relay with a 1:41.16 and bettered that by .19 seconds. Coming into the meet, her best was a 1:42.04.

USC’s Minna Abraham earned third. The Hungarian freshman 1:41.96, getting back under 1:42 for the first time since her 1:41.38 at the Texas Invitational.

The third freshman in the final, Camille Spink, was disqualified for a false start.

Last year’s runner-up Brooklyn Douthwright won the ‘B’ final with a 1:42.75.

100 Breaststroke — Final

  • 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: 56.76, Mona McSharry (Tennessee) – 2024
  • 2023 Champion: Lydia Jacoby (Texas) – 57.03

Top 8:

  1. Jasmine Nocentini (Virginia) — 56.09 *Pool Record*
  2. Mona McSharry (Tennesee) — 56.64
  3. Kaitlyn Dobler (USC) — 56.67
  4. Anna Elendt (Texas) — 57.01
  5. Lydia Jacoby (Texas) — 57.13
  6. Hannah Bach (Ohio State) — 57.40
  7. Josie Panitz (Ohio State) — 58.38
  8. Stasya Makarova (Auburn) — 58.94

Jasmine Nocentini was out first at the 50-yard mark, turning in 26.24, but it was on the final 25 yards that she really separated herself from the field. She split 15.03 on the last length of the pool, exploding for Virginia’s first 100 breaststroke NCAA title in 56.09.

Nocentini broke 57 seconds for the first time in prelims with a 56.96, taking lane 5 for the final. She just blew past that time by .90 seconds, becoming the 2nd fastest performer in history behind only Lilly King.

Top Performers, Women’s 100-Yard Breast

  1. Lilly King, Indiana — 55.73 (2019)
  2. Jasmine Nocentini, Virginia — 56.09 (2024)
  3. Molly Hannis, Tennessee / Mona McSharry, Tennessee — 56.64 (2017/2024)
  4. (tie)
  5. Kaitlyn Dobler, USC — 56.67 (2024)

As you can see from these ranks, Nocentini wasn’t the only one to move up the all-time ranks during this championship final. Tennessee’s Mona McSharry bettered the personal best she swam in prelims by .12 seconds and moved from from 4th into a tie for 3rd all-time.

Kaitlyn Dobler also went a lifetime best of 56.67, bettering the 56.93 at 2022 NCAAs (the year she won the 100 breast title).

Longhorn teammates Anna Elendt and Lydia Jacoby in 57.01 and 57.13.

100 Backstroke — Final

Top 8:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (NC State) — 48.55 *Pool Record*
  2. Isabelle Stadden (California) — 50.47
  3. Kennedy Noble (NC State) — 50.54
  4. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) — 50.55
  5. Josephine Fuller (Tennessee) — 50.56
  6. Kacey McKenna (Indiana) — 50.65
  7. Celia Pulido (SIU) — 50.73
  8. Miranda Grana (Texas A&M) — 51.65

Katharine Berkoff blasted her way to a third career NCAA title in the 100 backstroke. She closes out her career in this race on top and in a new personal best of 48.55, taking .15 seconds off the 48.70 she swam at 2024 ACCs. With that swim, she breaks the pool record and improves her time as the #2 performer all-time.

Berkoff was well clear of the field, splitting 23.55/25.00 to win the race by 1.92 seconds. Isabelle Stadden earned 2nd place in 50.47. She was seven-hundredths ahead of third-place Kennedy Noble. Noble helped the Wolfpack go 1-3 with a 50.54 personal best, out-touching 4th place Phoebe Bacon by .01 and 5th place Josephine Fuller by .02 seconds. Fuller swam a personal best 50.25 in prelims.

Celia Pulido finished 7th for SIU. She continued to drop time in the final, putting up a 50.73. Over the course of the day, she’s dropped 1.09 seconds. In prelims, she broke 51 seconds for the first time and took over as the fastest female mid-major 100 backstroker in history. She further cemented herself with her time in finals and is the only mid-major swimmer to get under the 51 second barrier.

3-Meter Diving — Final

  • NCAA Record: 437.75, Christina Loukas (Indiana) — 2009
  • Meet Record: 437.75, Christina Loukas (Indiana) — 2009
  • Pool Record: 413.75, Laura Ryan (Georgia) — 2014

Top 8:

  1. Aranza Vazquez Montano (UNC) — 364.75
  2. Anne Fowler (Indiana) — 342.45
  3. Hailey Hernandez (Texas) — 342.15
  4. Sophia McAfee (Purdue) — 329.40
  5. Bridget O’Neil (Texas) — 319.90
  6. Montserrat Lavenant (LSU) — 305.40
  7. Kiarra Milligan (Michigan) — 288.65
  8. Elizabeth Kaye (Virginia) — 267.30

It was close through the first few rounds of competition between Aranza Vazquez Montano and Bridget O’Neil. The door really opened for Vazquez Montano after the 4th round when O’Neil, the top qualifier after prelims, missed her dive.

Vazquez Montano sealed the win with her sixth and final dive, successfully defending her 3-meter national title. Yesterday, she repeated as the 1-meter champion meaning that she’s swept the springboards for two years in a row.

Anne Fowler and Hailey Hernandez also passed O’Neil. It came down the tenths between the Indiana senior and the Texas junior, with Fowler maintaining her hold on second place by just three-tenths. Fowler repeated as the 2nd place finisher with 342.45 points while Hernandez moved up from 9th in 2023 to 3rd with 342.15 points.

400 Medley Relay — Final

  • NCAA Record: 3:21.80, Virginia (G. Walsh, A. Walsh, K. Douglass, A. Canny) — 2023
  • Meet Record: 3:22.34, Virginia (G. Walsh, A. Wenger, A. Walsh, K. Douglass) — 2022
  • American Record: 3:22.34, Virginia (G. Walsh, A. Wenger, A. Walsh, K. Douglass) — 2022
  • U.S. Open Record: 3:21.80, Virginia (G. Walsh, A. Walsh, K. Douglass, A. Canny) — 2023
  • Pool Record: 3:27.84, Virginia (C. Bartholomew, L. Simon, E. Williamson, E. Thomas) — 2014
  • 2023 Champion: 3:22.39, Virginia (G. Walsh, A. Walsh, K. Douglass, A. Canny)

Top 8:

  1. Virginia (G. Walsh, J. Nocentini, A. Walsh, M. Parker) — 3:21.01 *NCAA, Meet, U.S. Open, Pool Records*
  2. Texas (B. Berglund, A. Elendt, E. Sticklen, K. Pash) — 3:24.92
  3. Tennessee (J. Fuller, M. McSharry, S. Stotler, C. Spink) — 3:25.39
  4. Florida — 3:25.64
  5. USC — 3:25.76
  6. NC State — 3:27.12
  7. Duke — 3:28.71
  8. California — 3:28.91

The Virginia women broke their own NCAA, Meet, U.S. Open, and Pool Records to close out an exceptional day of racing for the Cavaliers. G. Walsh led off for the Cavaliers, taking on the 100 backstroke after choosing to race the 100 fly individually. She ripped 48.26, slightly off her NCAA record of 48.10 with a long finish.

The first three legs of Virginia’s relay all won NCAA titles this session and G. Walsh handed the reins over to Nocentini, the 100 breast champion. Nocentini split 56.34, making her the the third fastest swimmer on a 100 breast split. Then, it was A. Walsh’s turn. She swam breaststroke on this relay last year but took over fly duties this year, putting together a field best 49.15 fly split. That gives her the 5th fastest 100 fly split all-time, just behind the 49.13 she swam at 2024 ACCs.

As she’s been doing this week, Maxine Parker closed it out for Virginia. She anchored in 47.26, stopping the clock at 3:21.01. The quartet erased the NCAA mark by .79 seconds.

They were in clear water from the first 25 yards but behind them there was a chaotic race for second place. In the final heat, Tennessee was running second at the halfway mark, thanks to McSharry’s 56.80 breaststroke split. Texas was 5th in the heat after breaststroke, but Sticklen’s 49.67 fly split powered them into 2nd place. They held on thanks to Pash’s 46.76, posting an overall time of 3:24.92.

After Fuller’s 50.22–a new personal best–and McSharry’s breaststroke split, the Volunteers got a 51.95 fly split from Sara Stotler and a 46.42 anchor from Spink. She held off Florida’s Ivey (46.39 anchor), a nice bounce back for Spink after getting disqualified for a false start in the 200 freestyle championship final.

From the second timed final, Duke took 7th place in 3:28.71.

Scores Thru Day 3

  1. Virginia — 360.5
  2. Texas — 319
  3. Florida — 267
  4. Tennessee — 185
  5. Stanford — 177
  6. USC — 157
  7. Indiana — 138
  8. Louisville — 136
  9. NC State — 114
  10. California — 110
  11. Ohio State — 104
  12. Michigan — 102.5
  13. Georgia — 83
  14. Texas A&M — 79
  15. UNC — 76
  16. Wisconsin – 58
  17. Duke — 57
  18. Auburn — 49
  19. Minnesota — 27
  20. UCLA — 26
  21. LSU/Purdue/Utah/Alabama — 19
  22. (tie)
  23. (tie)
  24. (tie)
  25. SIU — 12
  26. Arizona State — 11
  27. Northwestern — 8
  28. Kansas — 6
  29. Notre Dame/Virginia Tech/Rutgers/Miami (OH) — 6
  30. (tie)
  31. (tie)
  32. (tie)
  33. Cincinatti/Florida State — 4
  34. (tie)
  35. Houston/Miami (FL) — 3
  36. (tie)
  37. Akron — 2
  38. Arkansas — 1

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Rafael
1 month ago

Any idea why michigan did not use balduccini on the 400 medley relay?

Kate
1 month ago

Please let Matt Broussard and Elizabeth Beisel chat during any and all downtime at the meet. That was so delightful.

Hiswimcoach
1 month ago

Can Texas win this thing?

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

After Day 3, it’s UVA’s title to lose. Do your job!

CavaDore
2 months ago

After Nocentini’s win in the 100 Breaststroke, UVA has won every event at some point except one, across the history of the NCAA Champs. The only event left that they need to win is the 200 Back. Claire Curzan could help them accomplish that next year since she won it last year before transferring from Stanford to UVA.

That would be cool to figure out which schools have won every event and which schools are also close.

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
2 months ago

Nocentini could have been a full second faster on the relay.

Swemmer (GO DRESSEL)
Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
2 months ago

Ok and you at best could’ve been thirty seconds slower

#MFan
Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
2 months ago

that’s a good point… as fast as she swam, based on her flat start in the 100, the record could get even further demolished

Paul Windrath
2 months ago

Spink should not have be DQ’d for a FS in the 200 Free Final – watched the start twice. She had a little foot twitch after the beep. Bad call by the officials…

Seems like we need instant replay more and more….

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Paul Windrath
2 months ago

Looks like she was DQed

CavaDore
Reply to  Paul Windrath
2 months ago

They do have instant replay. Video can be used to review the calls.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

How good is Alex Walsh?

Alex Walsh posted the fastest fly split (49.15) in the women’s 4 x 100 medley relay.

Money!

swimfan
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

what? KD literally went 48.25 last year…

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  swimfan
2 months ago

Alex Walsh did not swim the individual women’s 100 butterfly.

jeff
Reply to  swimfan
2 months ago

im assuming he means fastest split at NCAAs this year

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

Alex Walsh posted the fastest butterfly split in the women’s 4 x 100 medley relay at the 2024 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. The Walsh sisters are in the zone.

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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