2021 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Wednesday, March 17 – Saturday, March 20, 2021
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
- Short course yards (SCY) format
- Defending champion: Stanford (3x) – 2019 results
- Streaming: ESPN3
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results – Swimming
- Live Results – Diving
The first NCAA Division I final since 2019 is done and dusted, with the majority of teams dropping time from their seeds.
Notably, coming off of emphatic conference titles with season bests were Kentucky and Ohio State, the Wildcats cutting 1.56 off of their seed time and the Buckeyes slashing 2.97 off of theirs. Kentucky, who wasn’t seeded in the top-four and swam in heat four of five, defeated Stanford, Georgia and Florida in their heat, putting up a time that would go on to place second overall with all of the heats done. OSU, meanwhile, vaulted up from 15th to seventh with their drop, a big points gain for them.
Kentucky’s Riley Gaines was the fastest split on their relay as she was at SECs, a few tenths slower tonight but still 1:42.8. Izzy Gati was 1:44.27 leading off, her first time under 1:45, while Sophie Sorenson and Kaitlynn Wheeler turned in 1:44.9s after only splitting 1:45 at SECs. For OSU, Kristen Romano was under 1:45 tonight at 1:44.83, faster than at Big Tens, while Sally Tafuto was the big improvement, splitting 1:44.98, almost two seconds better than she was at Big Tens.
ACC Champions Virginia also dropped big time, going nearly two seconds quicker than they did at ACCs, while Big 12 champions Texas took 1.2 off of their seed. Virginia’s big split was Paige Madden‘s field-best 1:41.63, while Texas swapped out Olivia Bray for Kyla Leibel. Leibel split a few tenths better than Bray did at Big 12s, while Evie Pfeifer was over a second quicker tonight than she was at Big 12s.
The only power 5 conference champ to gain time was Cal, who was 1.63 seconds slower than their time from the Pac-12 Championships. They chose not to use Isabel Ivey here, and still managed a third-place finish. Only Ayla Spitz split faster tonight than at Pac-12s on this relay as she was 1:43.87 on the second leg.
Thanks to SwimSwam’s Barry Revzin for the numbers
- 11 out of 17 teams dropped from seed (11/20 did so in 2019)
- Mean drop/gain (all teams): +0.03
- Median drop/gain (all teams): -0.45
- Mean drop (teams that dropped time): -1.33
- Mean gain (teams that gained time): +2.51
- Biggest drop: Ohio State (-2.97)
- Biggest gain: NC State (+6.41)
While Ohio State was the big drop, NC State was the huge gain, as they swapped out their fastest ACC relay splits, Kylee Alons (1:44.25) and Katharine Berkoff (1:43.72) with flying starts.
Their replacements were Abby Arens (1:46.62) and Emma Muzzy (1:48.01), while Julia Poole was about a second slower leading off tonight (1:45.75) than she was at ACCs and Kate Moore split more than a second quicker tonight (1:44.53). Arens split over a second faster than her lifetime best, while Muzzy’s lifetime best in the flat-start 200 free is a 1:50.67; Muzzy’s 200 back is also better than her 200 free, at 1:50.12.
RELAY SPLITS – 800 FREE RELAY