Longhorn Women on Top of Mid-Season Mythical NCAA Swimming Championship

Update: The math below has been recalculated after some errors in the results database were corrected. Let’s hope it’s closer this time!

Mid-season has arrived for the NCAA, and with the big invites over, it’s a good chance to take stock of where we’re at in the college season.

That includes scoring out a mythical mid-season NCAA Championship meet based on season-best times.

Normally, this is no problem because of the Swimulator tool, but with USA Swimming still in the process of fixing all of its widgets, that means we had to do it the old fashioned way: with spreadsheets.

Go easy on us.

We’ll Start With the Women

The outcome of a mid-season scored meet here was a little surprising. The defending NCAA Champion Virginia Cavaliers, who are widely-favored to repeat as champions this year after they arguably got better, are only ranked 3rd in mid-season scoring, 23 points behind last year’s runners-up the Texas Longhorns. Stanford is ranked 2nd, and Texas is ranked 1st, about 3 points ahead of the Cardinal.

That Texas is ranked ahead of Virginia and Stanford isn’t entirely surprising. The Longhorns are a good team that also got better since last year with the additions of Dakota Luther (5th-year transfer from Georgia) and Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby (freshman).

Virginia also doesn’t usually rest as much as other teams for mid-season invites. They also have a few swimmers who were focused on Short Course Worlds instead (Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh), and when those times are factored in, it already jumps the Cavaliers by maybe 20 points.

But the easiest explanation comes when you look a little harder.

The Virginia Cavaliers didn’t race a mid-season 800 free relay for the 6th straight year, which dramatically impacts the scoring. The Cavaliers were 2nd at NCAAs in that event last season, and return all members of that team except for their anchor, and slowest leg, Emma Weyant (transfer to Florida). So if we tag on 32 or 34 points to their score, then they suddenly they resume their seat at the top – albeit much closer than one might expect from swimming points alone.

Add to that Texas returning 75 diving points from last season at NCAAs, and this title run suddenly gets very interesting.

Reminder of the top 5 from 2022 NCAAs:

  1. Virginia – 551.5
  2. Texas – 406
  3. Stanford – 399.5
  4. Alabama – 288
  5. NC State – 279

We know that an on-form Virginia team still has 550 points in them, and Texas + divers are bumping up against 500, so that means the Longhorns still need to find another 50 points at NCAAs to catch the Cavaliers (or hope for Virginia to close that gap from the other direction). I don’t think this is changing anybody’s pick for NCAA Champions quite yet, but it does make things very interesting.

A couple of other interesting positions to note:

  • While their best swimmers is officially transferring, the Cal women are thriving under the new coaching team of Dave Marsh and Dave Durden. I don’t think many expected them to come out 10th in the mid-season ranking after a tumultuous season and a ton of transfers out.
  • The UNC women are 13th mid-season, which would be their best finish since 2013, when they were 12th. They were 42nd with 2 points the year before Mark Gangloff took over.
  • Maggie MacNeil is a big part of why LSU is 16th, but her teammates are backing her up. The LSU 200 free relay currently ranks 7th in the NCAA, just behind Alabama and just ahead of Florida.
  • The University of Miami (FL) women have relied on divers for most of their recent NCAA success, with no swimmers qualifying since 2017 and none scoring since 2013, but that could change this year thanks to 5th year transfer Tara Vovk from Northwestern (who was already an All-American with the Wildcats last year). She is ranked 10th in the mid-season championship standings in the 100-yard breaststroke this year.

The top-scoring mid-major team on the list are the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine and the Akron Zips. The latter is thanks to Maddie Gatrall and parts of her 10-win outburst at the midseason Magnus Cup Invitational at Cleveland State. Hawaii is counting on points from USC transfer and Pac-12 champion Laticia Transom, while other mid-majors scheduled to score include Penn (13 points) and Oakland (4 points).

Mythical Mid-Season NCAA Championship Standings (Team):

Swimmers were scored at a maximum of three individual events each, though there may be an occasion where a swimmer is an all 5 of a team’s scoring relays still.

Note: SCM Conversions, including those from SC Worlds, are included in these rankings.

team_short_name Individual Relay Total
1 Texas, University of 244.67 146 390.67
2 Stanford University 211 176 387
3 Virginia, University of 227.5 140 367.5
4 North Carolina State University 109.5 128 237.5
5 Louisville, University of 87.67 122 209.67
6 California, University of, Berkeley 115 88 203
7 University of Alabama 100.5 100 200.5
8 Indiana University 79 98 177
9 Georgia, University of 78.67 64 142.67
10 University of Southern California 65 74 139
11 Florida, University of 72 58 130
12 Ohio State University 41 76 117
13 North Carolina, University of, Chapel Hill 39.5 68 107.5
14 University of Tennessee 61 24 85
15 Wisconsin, University of, Madison 54 26 80
16 Louisiana State University 53 24 77
17 Michigan, University of 24 44 68
18 Kentucky, University of 50 18 68
19 Texas A&M University 58 6 64
20 Northwestern University 55 4 59
20 Auburn University 22 22 44
22 Duke University 33 6 39
23 Arizona State University 24 10 34
24 Georgia Institute of Technology 22 0 22
25 VA Tech 7 12 19
25 University of Minnesota 16 0 16
25 University of California, Los Angeles 9 6 15
28 Arkansas, University of 13 2 15
29 University of Miami (Florida) 14 0 14
30 University of Pennsylvania 13 0 13
31 Arizona, University of 1 8 9
32 University of Hawaii 6 0 6
33 Akron, University of 6 0 6
33 Oakland University 4 0 4

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4 months ago

Love seeing the 4 mid-majors in scoring position.

VA Steve
5 months ago

Bulletin board in Charlottesville.

5 months ago

but how many events are won by juniors at mythical mid-season ncaas 🙈

Swim Coach
5 months ago

Where is Alabama on this list?

James Beam
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

it’s OK Braden, we forgive you. With SCW going on, I’m thinking you might be getting 2 hours of sleep a day this week….

Reply to  Swim Coach
5 months ago

And SMU? Can’t forget the Mustangs now can we?

5 months ago

Where does the University of Alabama stand?

Unfortunate for Bama
Reply to  BamaFan
4 months ago

They are having some issues right now. The kid that I sent there told me that most of the girls team is upset with the coaching staff, and that one of their BIG guns is not returning for Spring term…

5 months ago

No Bama?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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