Maddy Gatrall Drops 52.6/1:55.4 Backstokes To Lead Akron In Zips’ Classic


The Akron women opened their season on a high note last weekend, rolling to a decisive victory at their home Akron Zips Classic on Friday and Saturday.

Highlighting the team’s effort at the season-opening meet was junior Maddy Gatrall, who unleashed a pair of best times in the women’s 100 and 200 backstroke.

Gatrall, a Canadian native, blasted a new best of 52.63 in the 100 back on the lead-off leg of the 400 medley relay, dipping well under her previous best time of 53.01 from last season’s Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships.

After winning the individual 100 back in 53.20, Gatrall followed up on the second day of the meet with a decisive victory in the 200 back, clocking 1:55.44 to surpass her previous best of 1:55.78 from last December.

She also established a PB in the 50 back (24.52), 100 fly (55.83) and 100 free (50.14), and neared it in the 50 free, clocking 23.20 to fall just six one-hundredths shy of her 23.14 best time.

In addition to the lifetime bests, Gatrall now ranks second in the NCAA in both the 100 and 200 back.

2022-23 NCAA Rankings, Women’s 100 Backstroke (SCY)

  1. Maggie MacNeil (LSU), 51.10 – LSU vs Tulane vs Vanderbilt
  2. Maddy Gatrall (Akron), 52.63 – Akron Zips Classic
  3. Rhyan White (Alabama), 52.68 – Arkansas vs Alabama
  4. Isabelle Stadden (Cal), 52.82 – Cal Poly vs Cal
  5. Sophie Lindner (UNC), 52.94 – Queens (NC) vs UNC

2022-23 NCAA Rankings, Women’s 200 Backstroke (SCY)

  1. Rhyan White (Alabama), 1:51.81 – Arkansas vs Alabama
  2. Maddy Gatrall (Akron), 1:55.44 – Akron Zips Classic
  3. Paige Hetrick (Louisville), 1:55.63 – SMU Classic
  4. Hanna Henderson (USC), 1:55.90 – SMU Classic
  5. Marie Schobel (Georgia), 1:56.58 – UGA vs ASU vs Mizzou

Akron is a team that frequently sends swimmers to the NCAA Championships. Last season, Sarah WatsonPaulina Nogaj and Weronika Gorecka represented the Zips at NCAAs, and if Gatrall can continue this early season momentum she’s created, there’s a good chance she’ll be there come March.

Of the three who were at NCAAs last year, Gorecka, a senior, is the only one still on the roster. The Polish native was the runner-up to Gatrall in both the 100 back (55.02) and 200 back (1:59.70) on the weekend—last season, the 200 back was the event in which she qualified for NCAAs, having hit a time of 1:53.89 during the season.

Gatrall placed second at the 2022 MAC Championships in the 100 back (53.42) and third in the 200 back (1:55.86), and swam that 53.01 best time leading off the 400 medley relay.

The cutlines to qualify for the NCAA Championships were 52.46 and 1:53.97 in the 100 and 200 back, respectively.

For a full recap of the Akron Zips Classic, click here.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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