Cal Breaks NCAA Record with 3:07.41 400 Free Relay


Cal finished out the last major D1 women’s conference meet this year with a bang, clocking a new NCAA record in the 400 free relay. Their time of 3:07.41 undercut the previous NCAA, Pac-12, and U.S. Open records of 3:07.61, which were held by the Stanford squad of Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Janet Hu, and Lia Neal from 2017. The Cal relay was comprised of Robin Neumann, Katie McLaughlin, Amy Bilquist, and Abbey Weitzeil.

Here is a comparison of splits between the 2 relays

2017 Women’s NCAA Champs 2019 Women’s Pac-12 Champs
Simone Manuel 46.02 Robin Neumann 48.17
Katie Ledecky 47.59 Katie McLaughlin 46.55
Janet Hu 47.63 Amy Bilquist 46.30
Lia Neal 46.37 Abbey Weitzeil 46.39
Total Time 3:07.61 Total Time 3:07.41

So, right off the bat, it’s noticeable that Cal had a blistering fast last 300, with all 3 of their last splits 46.55 or faster. Comparing the splits on the last 300, Cal tonight was 3:19.24, compared to 2017 Stanford at 3:21.59. Of course, the difference that made Stanford an insanely fast relay, was Simone Manuel‘s insanely fast 46.02 lead-off, which was 2.15 second faster than Robin Neumann‘s tonight. One other notable part of this race was the the fastest Cal split did not belong to Abbey Weitzeil, it was Amy Bilquist, who threw down an absolutely incredible 46.30 on the 3rd leg.

What’s kind of bizarre here is that we pretty much know this relay has the ability to be faster. Robin Neumann‘s lead-off was 48.17, but she had also swum a lifetime best 47.78 in the A final of the 100 free tonight. Abbey Weitzeil‘s split of 46.39 was actually slower flying than she was flat start in the 100 free tonight too (46.35). Those 2 splits combined could account for around 1 second of improvement if they both were to swim at their absolute best.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Big split from Bilquist. I’ve thought for years that her sprint freestyle has big scope; Hopefully we see some substantial drops in the next few years.

3 years ago

That Stanford relay was *ICONIC* and I did not expect Cal to take this down even at NC’s. And yes, it’s scary that they definitely can go faster– in the video clip, Abbey cruised into the wall. What I admire so much about this Cal relay team is that they are survivors and fighters. Inspiring people.

3 years ago

Any time you take down a Simone-Ledecky-Neal-Hu record, you’re doing something right. Wow

3 years ago

There better be a video

Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

Should be rebroadcast. If you download the Pac 12 Now app, I show it being shown at 11:30 PM tonight and 6:00 AM tomorrow on the Bay Area channel.