For most college teams, this week marks the end of fall dual meet competition and the start of midseason invites, where the majority of swimmers will be suiting up for the first time. Because of this, we decided to highlight swimmers from SwimSwam’s top 25 ranked programs on both the men’s and women’s side who have yet to lose an individual race this NCAA season.
As of November 13, 2022, there are at least 17 different swimmers from top 25 teams that are still undefeated in individual competition. Of course, each swimmer’s “undefeated status” holds a different weight, as some have raced more than others, and some teams have extremely competitive schedules that make going undefeated much more difficult. In addition, a swimmer’s win-loss record throughout the NCAA season is not the primary indicator of their abilities, as many swimmers tend to race “off events” or not perform at their best during dual meets before going all-out in championship season.
The undefeated swimmer who has raced the most events this season is LSU’s Maggie MacNeil, who won 12 races across five meets. She primarily swam her marquee events of the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, and 100 back, although she’s swam the 200 back on quite a few occasions. In terms of event diversity, Cal’s Gabriel Jett takes the crown, having won races ranging from the 100 fly to the 400 IM. He has seven total event victories in three different strokes (plus IM) across three different meets.
The undefeated streaks for most of the 17 swimmers will likely be snapped (probably during midseasons), as even the all-time greatest NCAA swimmers have not been able to pull off perfect seasons. Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass, who both went three-for-three in individual NCAA titles in the 2021-22 season, didn’t go undefeated since they both lost “off-event” races at their midseason invite (plus, Walsh was third in the 200 fly at the Texas vs. UVA dual meet). Caeleb Dressel, who had arguably the greatest single-meet performance in NCAA history in 2018, was not undefeated that year since he had a few dual meet losses in the fall. Even Katie Ledecky, who hasn’t lost a long course 800 free race in ten years, did not have an undefeated NCAA season thanks to the likes of her teammates Simone Manuel and Ella Eastin.
That being said, if there’s anyone out of the 17 swimmers that’s most likely to end up with a perfect season, it’s got to be multi-event NCAA title contenders Leon Marchand, Maggie MacNeil, and Gretchen Walsh. If Marchand doesn’t swim any particularly “off events” in future dual meets this season, he could possibly remain undefeated through NCAAs if he gets past his competitors (Carson Foster, Hugo Gonzalez, Max McHugh, and Matt Fallon to name a few), given that he’s the favorite to win the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 breast.
Walsh and MacNeil won’t race each other until NCAAs, so it’s very possible that both of them are undefeated until then. The two swimmers are the fastest two performers in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 50 fly (relay splits) this season, and also would have been the fastest two performers in the 100 back had UVA’s 400 medley relay where Walsh led off in 50.60 not been DQed. However, given that Walsh and MacNeil are both sprinters that overlap in almost all of their events, it’s almost certain that one of them will ruin the other’s perfect season. In addition, they will also have to face additional competition from some of the NCAA’s best swimmers who happen to not be undefeated, such as 50 free American record holder Kate Douglass and the Stanford duo of Claire Curzan and Torri Huske.
Below, you can find a list of swimmers that our staff could find from top 25-ranked Division I programs that are still undefeated in official NCAA competition this season, and all of their individual event wins. Looking through the meet results for every single swimmer can be a lot, so if there’s anyone we missed, please let us know in the comments.
NOTE: Exhibitioned events count towards “wins” and “losses”. Only swimmers who have more than one event win are included.
List Of Undefeated Swimmers From Top 25-Ranked Division I Programs:
- Katharine Berkoff, NC State
- NC State vs. Tennessee: 100 free (49.35), 100 back (52.45)
- Grace Countie, North Carolina
- UNC vs. Queens: 50 free (22.24), 100 fly (53.86)
- UNC vs. UNCW: 50 free (22.47), 100 back (52.80)
- UNC vs. South Carolina: 100 free (49.17), 100 back (52.41)
- Maggie MacNeil, LSU
- LSU vs. Tulane vs. Vanderbilt: 100 free (47.43), 100 back (51.10)
- LSU vs. South Carolina: 50 free (21.90), 100 back (53.51), 100 fly (50.84)
- LSU vs. Denver vs. Air Force: 200 back (1:56.26)
- LSU vs. Auburn: 50 free (22.36), 100 back (52.65), 200 back (1:56.23)
- LSU vs. Alabama: 50 free (22.28), 100 free (48.81), 100 back (51.41)
- Jasmine Nocentini, Northwestern
- Northwestern vs. UIC vs. Illinois: 100 free (49.32), 100 breast (1:00.34)
- Northwestern vs. Michigan: 100 free (49.28), 100 breast (1:00.06)
- Anna Peplowski, Indiana
- Indiana vs. Kentucky: 50 free (23.12), 100 back (53.48), 200 back (1:56.80)
- Indiana vs. Texas vs. Texas A&M: 100 back (53.37), 200 back (1:55.97)
- Indiana vs. Missouri: 50 free (23.02), 100 free (50.11). 200 free (1:46.81)
- Taylor Ruck, Stanford
- Stanford vs. Utah: 200 IM (2:01.74)
- Stanford vs. Washington State: 200 back (1:56.82)
- Gretchen Walsh, Virginia
- Virginia vs. Florida: 50 free (21.40), 100 fly (50.53)
- Virginia vs. Texas: 50 free (21.16), 100 IM (52.09), 100 free (47.11)
- Emma Wheal, Stanford
- Stanford vs. Utah: 50 free (23.01), 100 free (50.98)
- Stanford vs. Washington State: 50 free (23.51), 100 fly (55.29)
- Stanford vs. San Jose State: 50 free (22.90)
- Carles Coll Marti, Virginia Tech
- Virginia Tech vs. George Washington vs. Ohio: 200 free (1:36.30), 200 IM (1:46.13)
- Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State: 200 breast (1:56.38), 200 IM (1:45.70)
- Preston Forst, Stanford
- Stanford vs. Utah: 1000 free (9:11.51)
- Stanford vs. Cal Triple Distance Meet: 200 free (1:38.91), 500 free (4:29.26), 1000 free (9:17.23)
- Gabriel Jett, Cal
- Cal vs. Utah: 200 free (1;35.58), 100 fly (47.65)
- Cal vs. Pacific: 100 back (46.95), 400 IM (3:54.29)
- Cal vs. Stanford Triple Distance Meet: 50 back (21.99), 100 back (46.89), 200 back (1:43.30)
- Hayden Kwan, Stanford
- Stanford vs. Utah: 100 back (48.23), 200 back (1:45.58)
- Derek Maas, Alabama
- Alabama vs. Delta State vs. Millsaps: 100 back (48.61), 100 fly (48.90)
- Alabama vs. South Carolina: 100 breast (53.52), 200 IM (1:47.50)
- Alabama vs. LSU: 100 breast (53.78), 200 breast (2:00.93)
- Leon Marchand, Arizona State
- ASU vs. Georgia vs. Missouri: 200 breast (1:57.67), 200 fly (1:43.21), 2o0 IM (1:44.32)
- ASU vs. Wisconsin: 200 back (1:42.82), 100 breast (53.16), 400 IM (3:41.59)
- ASU vs. USC: 100 breast (52.75), 200 breast (1:53.34), 200 IM (1:42.55)
- Youssef Ramandan, Virginia Tech
- Virginia Tech vs. George Washington vs. Ohio: 50 free (19.74), 100 fly (46.43)
- Virginia Tech vs. Duke: 100 free (43.85), 100 back (47.84)
- Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State: 50 free (19.78), 100 free (43.42). 100 fly (46.21)
- Kacper Stokowski, NC State
- NC State vs. Tennessee: 100 back (46.13), 200 back (1:44.53)
- NC State vs. Kentucky: 500 free (4:20.40)
- Adam Wu, Columbia
- Columbia vs. Princeton: 200 free (1:37.23), 500 free (4:28.37), 200 fly (1:46.84)
- Columbia vs. Yale: 500 free (4:27.19), 1000 free (9:21.59), 200 fly (1:46.96)
What swimmer do you think has the greatest chance of going undefeated this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.