Fast Facts From Day 1 Prelims At Division I Women’s NCAAs


The first prelims session is completed in Athens, Georgia at the 2024 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. We’ve decided to put together some fun facts from each of the events.

500 Free

The 500 free has greatly improved over the last year:

  • 17 swimmers this morning would have made the ‘A’ final last year. It took a 4:37.40 to make the A final this year and a 4:39.51 a year ago. Aimee Canny of Virginia swam a 4:39.11 this year for 17th in prelims, missing the B final.
  • Seven times from this morning would have WON the event last year. Last year, Alabama’s Kensey McMahon won in a 4:36.62 while Georgia’s Abby McCulloh was 7th this morning in a 4:36.40.

200 IM

  • Although the event did not get much faster to make the B final as it was 0.03 seconds faster this year (1:55.45 vs 1:55.48 last year), the A final did get faster. This year, it took a 1:53.73 to make the A final compared to a 1:54.43 a year ago.
  • Duke’s Catherine Belyakov was originally an alternate to earn an invite. She earned the invite just last week as Virginia scratched Ella Bathurst due to the roster limit of 18 athletes. This morning, Belyakov swam a 1:56.53, a season and personal best. Belyakov also won her heat this morning.
  • We already have our first mid-major at 2024 NCAAs as Akron’s Abby Daniel was 16th in prelims of the 200 IM as she swam a 1:55.45. She dropped over a second off of her entry time of a 1:56.78.

50 Free

  • There were two three-way ties this morning resulting in two swim offs. There was a three-way tie for 7th as well as a three-way tie for 17th.
  • Read about the three-way tie for 7th here.
  • The tie for 17th was between Cal Baptist’s Sofia Maksimova, Abby Arens of NC State, and Ava Longi of Texas. They all swam a 21.94 in prelims. Longi won in a 21.89 and Arens swam a 21.93. This morning was Longi’s first time under the 22-second mark.

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Aragon Son of Arathorne
2 months ago

Is it sad that I think March madness just pertains to swimming?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
2 months ago

A tradition unlike any other: Me sending a picture of NCAA swimming to my non-swimming friends and saying “watching the tourney”

2 months ago

Catherine, great job! Congratulations!!! GO DUKE!!!!!!

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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