2021 ACC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Wednesday, February 17th – Saturday, February 20th | Prelims: 11:00 am | Finals: 7:00 pm (EST) (Except Wednesday’s timed finals, which begin at 5:15 EST)
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC
- Defending Champion: University of Virginia (x1) (results)
- Format: 25 Yards/Short Course Yards (SCY)
- Championship Central: Here
- Championship Manual
- Live Results
- Psych Sheets (uncut)
- Day 1 Results
- Day 2 Prelims Heat Sheet
Two of the clear stars of the 2021 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships have made opposite decisions for their first individual events on Thursday.
Virginia sophomore Kate Douglass has opted for the 200 IM over the 50 free. She was the top seed in both races – by half-a-second in the 50 free, but by three-and-a-half seconds in the 200 IM.
Douglass on Wednesday anchored the Virginia 200 medley relay to a new NCAA Record, splitting 20.62. While that was the best time of the field, she was only .27 seconds better than NC State’s Kylee Alons (when the difference in reaction times is removed from the equation). While .27 seconds in the 50 free is not-insignificant, with only her Virginia teammates Alex Walsh and Ella Nelson even within a distance reach of her in the 200 IM, that choice was probably the safer scoring choice. It will knock down more Virginia teammates via the ‘waterfall scoring’ effect, but the title is a safer bet for the team’s star sophomore.
NC State’s Katharine Berkoff, meanwhile, is opting for the 50 free over the 200 IM for her day 2 individual event. Berkoff, like Douglass, had a big performance on day 1 of the meet, splitting 23.37 in the 50 back leading off the medley relay and then 1:43.72 in the 200 free on an 800 free relay rolling start. That 200 free time was the 4th-best split of the field in what is a secondary event for her.
That shows that she’s got both the speed and the endurance working this weekend.
But still, her #3 seed (pre-scratches) in the 50 free is much higher than her #9 seed (pre-scratches) in the 200 IM, and the choice of Douglass makes her now the #2 seed in the 50 free. Only her teammate Kylee Alons is seeded ahead of her.
The other big developing story is North Carolina’s ‘smaller roster,’ that they announced before the meet. We knew the team was down to 14 athletes as a result of COVID safety protocols, but we didn’t know which 14. After day 1, and now with these heat sheets, the absences have become more clear.
Among other names that are absent from Thursday’s heat sheets are Lilly Higgs, another NCAA qualifier in the 100 breaststroke. Prior to the meet, Higgs was entered in just 3 individual events, including the 200 IM on day 1, where pre-scratch she was seeded 17th.
Also completely absent for UNC on day 2 is Heidi Lowe, the 13th seed in the 50 free. She has later high seeds in the 100 back (21st seed) and 100 free (9th seed), which means more hits to the Tar Heel relays.
Other Noteworthy Day 2 Scratches & Choices:
- Virginia Tech’s Reka Gyorgy chose the 500 free (5th seed) over the 200 IM (11th seed). Gyorgy took an Olympic redshirt last season. As a junior she placed 4th in the 500 free at ACCs, while as a sophomore she placed 12th in the 200 IM at ACCs. Those choices were mirrored in her NCAA Championship event choices in the same seasons.
- NC State’s Heather Maccausland scratched the 200 IM, where she was a pre-scratch 12th seed, in favor of the 50 free, where she’s seeded with no time. Her lifetime best, from last season, is 22.61 in the 50 free, which would seed her 12th, pre-scratches.
- Florida State’s Jenny Halden has scratched out of the 50 free, where she was the 11th seed and the Seminoles’ top entry. Halden is out while in a contact-tracing protocol for COVID-19. There is a chance we could still see her later in the meet, where she has entries in the 100 fly, 100 back, and 100 free remaining.