Maggie MacNeil Will Race World Cup – Berlin, Return to Michigan for SMU Classic

Canadian swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Maggie MacNeil has arrived in Berlin, Germany ahead of the opening stop of the 2021 FINA World Cup Series, but says that she still plans to return home in time to open up her collegiate season in Dallas next month.

MacNeil is the defending Olympic and NCAA Champion in the 100 butterfly, and is entering her 4th and final season with the Michigan Wolverines’ varsity squad. MacNeil entered the NCAA transfer portal over the summer, but said at the time that she still planned to finish out her original four year commitment in Ann Arbor and graduate. She will then explore options to transfer to use her 5th year of eligibility, which was granted by the NCAA to all swimmers who competed last season because of the challenges of COVID-19.

MacNeil arrived in Berlin on Monday morning.

The World Cup stop in Berlin runs from October 1-3, and Michigan will open its intercollegiate season on October 8 and 9 in Dallas at the SMU Classic. MacNeil says that she’s racing the first stop of the series “just for fun,” and will be back in Michigan on Monday, October 4 before leaving with the team for SMU on Thursday afternoon.

While the NCAA has opened up its rules on “Name, Image, and Likeness,” and MacNeil has signed with an agency to manage those opportunities, rules surrounding prize money have still not changed. That means athletes are still only able to accept prize money up to covering their actual competition and training expenses. That broad definition, though, does mean that MacNeil can likely keep all of the money she earns at the World Cup if she can justify it as an offset against her expenses.

Author’s musing: with Kylie Masse in Berlin for the meet as well, and the possibility of those two being joined by Ingrid Wilm and a breaststroker (Kelsey Wog? Sydney Pickrem?) we could see the Canadian women going after a National, or even World, Record in the 200 medley relay. Based on form and abilities, that relay might look something like Wilm, Pickrem, Masse, MacNeil. The Canadians say that isn’t the goal, but it’s fun to think about anyway.

The SMU Classic has a unique format where teams take 8 swimmers and 1 diver (per gender). That team has to fill out the schedule with 2 swimmers per event in an almost ISL-like format, though it’s been around long before the ISL was a glimmer in Konstantin Grigorishin’s eye.

Besides her specialty the 100 fly, MacNeil excels in sprint backstroke and freestyle events as well. At the SMU Classic, she’ll have a big showdown with swimmers like Louisville’s Gabi Albiero and Missouri’s Sarah Thompson, both of whom also scored at NCAAs. MacNeil was the NCAA runner-up in the 50 free, Thompson placed 3rd, and Albiero finished 14th.

MacNeil was also the 2021 NCAA Champion in the 100 free.

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Ghost
28 days ago

So missing the majority of two weeks of school? Probably a great student but still….

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Ghost
28 days ago

She’s an Olympian. She’s probably had to do worse than that.

Thomas
Reply to  Ghost
28 days ago

People have learned how to work effectively while remote. I’m sure it will be fine.

John
Reply to  Ghost
28 days ago

In sure she’s learning remotely for the most part.

Also, didn’t she win an academic award last season for the blue?

This is a weird point to fixate on.

Joel
Reply to  Ghost
28 days ago

You’re kidding? Get a real problem. She’s very academic anyway by all reports. What do you expect her to do? Never miss a week of college?

Canuswim
Reply to  Ghost
27 days ago

It’s okay, but very obvious you have no clue.

CY~
28 days ago

Lol at the author’s musing. Unfortunately MacNeil and Masse are the only Canadians on the start list… Maybe SC Worlds?

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  CY~
28 days ago

I don’t think Canada plans to participate in short course worlds. It is not listed on their international event calendar:

https://www.swimming.ca/en/events-results/national-international-events/

CY~
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
28 days ago

Daaaamn 🙁

Canuswim
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
27 days ago

Have heard otherwise and Canada will be sending a team to SC Worlds. Likely official in the next couple of weeks.

wow
28 days ago

MacNeil has a legit shot at the 50 Back world record if she enters it. It’s her best event in yards, even better than her 100 Fly, I’d argue.

Roseanne
Reply to  wow
27 days ago

According to Fina’s website, she’s gonna race in 50 – 100 M Fly, 50 – 100 Back and 100 IM. I’m excited to see her in non butterfly event.

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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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