LIVEBARN Race of the Week: MacNeil’s Historic Split Carries LSU to 400 Free Relay Win

Maggie MacNeil blazed the fastest 100 free split ever (45.26) to help LSU edge Florida by just .26 seconds in a thrilling women’s 400 free relay showdown at the 2023 SEC Championships on Saturday.

LSU senior Katarina Milutinovich led off the Tigers’ winning relay team with a 48.59 split before MacNeil’s historic 45.26 split put them ahead of Florida by more than two seconds. LSU’s back half of Michaela De Villiers (48.74) and Megan Barnes (47.98) helped the Tigers hang on by a hair as Gators anchor Micayla Cronk (46.80) nearly chased them down at the finish. LSU reached the wall in a final time of 3:10.57, just barely out-touching Florida’s 3:10.83.

This is your LIVEBARN Race of the Week because MacNeil’s historic split carried the Tigers to their second SEC relay title of the week after having previously not won since 1986.

Fastest 100 Yard Freestyle Splits on Rolling Starts:

  1. 45.26 – Maggie MacNeil, LSU, 2023 SEC Championships
  2. 45.45 – Simone Manuel, Stanford, 2015 NCAA Championships
  3. 45.47 – Simone Manuel, Stanford, 2018 NCAA Championships
  4. 45.65 – Taylor Ruck, Stanford, 2019 NCAA Championships
  5. 45.74 – Mallory Comerford, Louisville, 2018 NCAA Championships
  6. 45.77 – Abbey Weitzeil, Cal, 2020 Pac-12 Championships


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Mike McCormack
1 year ago

If so briefly as to have been almost only a flash (the sort she is in the tank), to have had Maggie be ‘ours’ in South Central Louisiana for these few months of her Grad Student year…’Oh my God,’ as she herself said of her own effort, squinting at the frozen numbers on a clock in Tokyo a year and some ago… how fabulous. Thank you for bringing your character, speed and grace to us, Maggie. And we have one more strain of the magic in purple and gold remaining; it has been to savor, and to remember for the rest of one’s years.

Reply to  Mike McCormack
1 year ago

Hey are you the same Mike McCormack who swam for the Piranhas back in the 1970’s? Just wondering.
Maggie’s relay swim had a Lezakian quality about it. This was the fastest female 100 free ever. I’m looking forward to seeing how the team does at NCAA’s. If her relay mates can improve their underwaters off the water to Maggie’s level, they could be a top three finisher in those relays at NCAA’s. Congrats to the LSU women’s team and coaching staff for a great season – so far.

1 year ago

Is it relay, flying, or rolling start?

"We've got a boilover"
Reply to  SSNP
1 year ago


K Chilly
1 year ago

There are about a dozen swims that deserve this title. Kudos to Maggie and getting credited as #1 with the final swim of her meet.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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