On Saturday, Maggie MacNeil announced via Instagram that despite her college career ending, she would continue to train at LSU to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“Huge thank you to @lsuswimdive for making this year the best,” MacNeil wrote. “But don’t worry, you aren’t getting rid of me yet, as I’m hanging around en route to Paris.”
Staying at LSU means that MacNeil will continue to train under her longtime head coach, Rick Bishop. She first began swimming for Bishop during the 2018-19 NCAA season when she was a freshman at the University of Michigan where he was an assistant coach, and continued to practice under him until the 2021 Olympics. MacNeil had a long course breakthrough under Bishop, first upsetting Sarah Sjostrom to win 100 fly World Championships gold in 2019, and then winning Olympic gold in the 100 fly at the 2021 Olympics.
In June 2021, Bishop was named the head coach of the LSU swim team, and MacNeil spent her senior season at Michigan without him. That season, she had an off NCAAs, being off her best times and missing the ‘A’ final of the 100 free. Following the conclusion of NCAAs, she injured her elbow, which resulted in her opting out of individual events at the World Championships. Around June 2022, MacNeil announced her intention to use her fifth year at LSU (she had originally planned on transferring to Cal, but re-entered the portal after allegations of abuse came out against former head coach Teri McKeever) to reunite with Bishop.
At MacNeil’s final NCAA championships, she finished first in the 50 free (20.79) and set a new NCAA record, and also took second in the 100 fly (48.51) and third in the 100 free (46.58). She was an integral part of LSU’s 13th place finish, which was their highest in 30 years. She also helped LSU win their first SEC relay title since 1984 (in fact, LSU won titles in both the 200 free and 400 free relay this year) and qualify their first relays for NCAAs since 2016.
Let’s build it, y’all. Ripping at things is for self-doubters. After that greatest of great meets, it’s totally clear that women’s world swimming is the most fun sports can be! I love em all (and as I go into this, please excuse my omissions): Lydia, Lily, Li, Zhang, Emma, Mollie, Regan, Katie Squared, Summer, Yu, Alex, Kate, Gretchen, Claire (squared), Ariarne, Kiah, Kaylee, Bella, Taylor, Kylie, Kensey, Hali, Shayna…oh sod it. Too many not to omit more than mere naming can prove. And of course, the subject of this SS post, Maggie. We are so in luck to be in the world at this time with these fierce and fiery and humble competitors.
agree!! but just letting you know that Chinese/Sinitic names have their surname/last name up front.
so zhang yufei’s given name is yufei and her surname is zhang, same with li bingjie and yu yiting. just something i noticed based on your comment
Probably a good idea to stay away from the High Performance Centres in Canada. No proven coaches anymore with Ben leaving a while ago
Ryan mallette is a good coach and Maggie never trained at that centre
She did train there during COVID time, not by her choice, but by necessity, as UMich was out of reach (even when Ben was the head coach)
You certainly can’t replace a coach of Ben Titley’s track record and success over night. However, I would imagine he left a template for Ryan and other future coaches to follow at HPC moving forward.
Eventually the proof will be in the pudding as they say.
As for MM, congratulations on a great collegiate career and all the best in the upcoming Canadian Trials and WC as you aim towards Paris 2024. 🇨🇦
A template? I’ve never known a coach who uses another coaches template. And mostly new swimmers at the hpc to work with.
Perhaps template is the wrong choice of words. Its quite possible that Ben left behind a solid foundation within the organization that hopefully with benefit all involved at the HPC moving forward.
If you are privy to further information please feel free to elaborate.
From people I speak to (and I’m not a Canadian swimmer so this is an outsider’s perspective), Ben’s most valuable contribution was not necessarily the technical knowledge he shared within the broader program, but the structure and pathways he brought to high performance.
I don’t think I’m making much of a leap to say that the current high performance group doesn’t seem to have bought in to how that benefits them (based on how many have left Canada to train), but where the validity of that will be borne out is in future generations of Canadian elites.
Appreciate your take.
While the number of athletes that left the program last autumn does look bad from the outside, let’s look into details. For many who left, the main reason to join the program in the first place in 2020 was covid. Their colleges were closed, the borders were closed with a lengthy quarantine period if you decide to come to Canada just before Trials. At some point TPASC was the ONLY open training pool in Ontario if not the whole Eastern part of Canada. Athletes described it in details in their interviews to SwimSwam or other podcasts. At some point McNeil was commuting 2 hour one-way to train at HPC!
As soon as everything went back to normal last summer,… Read more »
McNeil vs Yufei next year will be epic at the olympics Douglass won’t even be a factor in 100 butterfly
What about Huske and McKeon?
Agreed. Tokyo times:
Huske: 55.73 (and has since improved PB to 55.64)
0.13 difference between the PBs of the top 4. It’s going to be messy!
You mean Sullivan’s, amongst OTHERS?
USA does pouty face better than any country!
Don’t bring Erica into this. She’s my favourite American swimmer and absolutely lovely.
But yeah I don’t get the obsession some people have with attacking Maggie.
You’re a bit daft there buddy
I hope she has a positive impact on Louisiana Swimming as a whole. The kids in the state need a potential Olympian to model and admire. Maggie had some amazing swims this season. Most memorable for me was her 100 free relay split at SEC’s.
Also her back stroke potential can be tapped into I’d love to see how her SEC’s 50 back relay leadoff would look as a 100 back time.
Best of luck to her and her Olympic training.
Why does SS allow such negative garbage tearing down swimmers is not the way to go.
Posters are just reviling in the fact that she lost to Douglas and Walsh, but we all know they’re no match for her LCM. Her NCAA career was beyond great and now she’s looking forward to where it really counts – worlds and the Olympics.
Remember, NCAA’s are also just a playground for some kids who can’t make it in the big leagues 😅
Awesome swimming Maggie London Aquatics is got your back tooo. Young and old London swimmers just continue to getterdone and have fun