2015 WOMEN’S NCAA DI CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, March 19 – Saturday, March 21
- Greensboro Aquatic Center – Greensboro, NC
- Prelims 11AM/Finals 7PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Georgia (2x) – results
- NCAA Championship Central
- Live stream: All prelims & Thursday finals (Other sessions will be on ESPN3)
- Live results
1. California – 383.5
3. Stanford – 264
7. Southern California – 128
12. Arizona – 81
28. UCLA – 22
Rachel Bootsma makes relay history, wins 100 back on day 2
2012 Olympian and 2013 NCAA champ Rachel Bootsma had a rough go of things at the 2014 NCAA Championships, missing out on a defense of her 100 backstroke title and scoring in just one event.
2015 is serving notice that Bootsma is back, though, as the Cal junior came up with two huge swims to help lead the Golden Bears out to a team points lead.
Bootsma started the night off by leading Cal’s 200 medley relay to a national title. Bootsma’s 23.39 checks in as the fastest 50 yard backstroke in history, and bough the Bears a 1.5-second lead on Louisville, who would prove to be the closest challengers in the A final.
That split from Bootsma almost singlehandedly nullified Cal’s breaststroke weakness – even after Marina Garcia was outsplit by about a second, Louisville still trailed Cal by a half-second and needed a heroic fly split just to climb back into the hunt.
But that was just the beginning for Bootsma. Returning to the 100 back, Bootsma faced an even she won as a freshman, then missed the A final entirely in as a sophomore. In addition, she took on the favored Courtney Bartholomew, who nearly broke the American record mid-season.
With all of that pressure bearing down, Bootsma came up golden. Her 50.03 becomes the third-fastest swim of all-time, just .06 off of Natalie Coughlin‘s American record.
Oh, and in between, Bootsma won the B final of the 100 fly, just for good measure. That means Bootsma went undefeated in her three heats tonight, rolling up 29 individual points and helping Cal pull down 40 more in that relay.
- As a whole, the Pac-12 won 9 of 13 finals heats swum tonight (not counting the timed-final 800 free relay or 3-meter diving). That included sweeps of the A and B final wins in the 200 medley relay, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back.
- If you didn’t hear about Missy Franklin‘s swims tonight, you might have been living under a rock. The superstar was trending nationally on Twitter after becoming the first woman ever to break 1:40 in the 200 free – Franklin went 1:39.10.
- That 200 free was the most Pac-12-dominated event we’ve seen in a long time. Pac-12 teams accounted for 6 of the 8 A finalists and 9 of the 16 total point-scorers. That included the top 4 finishers, Franklin, Simone Manuel, Lia Neal and Cierra Runge.
- Stanford made a critical prelims error in the 200 medley relay, swimming an off lineup and missing the A final. From the consol heat, the team went a time that would have won the event overall, 1:35.10. For those keeping track at home, that’s a loss of 22 points for Stanford based purely on one off prelims swim.
- On the bright side for the Cardinal, though, the team was literally unbeatable in the breaststrokes tonight. Sarah Haase won the national title in the 100 breast, and her teammate Katie Olsen won the B final. Haase also had the second-best 50 breast split of the field on the 200 medley relay.
- Lost in the shuffle of Kelsi Worrell‘s American record 100 fly was a very good swim from USC’s Kendyl Stewart. The junior went 50.92, her first time under 51 seconds, and took third.
- Cal also managed to win the 800 free relay and came remarkably close to its own American record in the event, despite all four women coming off of multiple swims earlier in the session.