Maggie MacNeil Won’t Swim 100 Back Individually at NCAAs, Opts for 100 Free


The 2020 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving psych sheets are out, and one of the best sprinters in the NCAA is shifting her schedule from last year.

Michigan sophomore Maggie MacNeil, who raced the 50 free/100 fly/100 back at this meet as a freshman, will drop the 100 back. Instead of doing a double on day three of the meet, she’ll move to the 100 free, leaving her with one event per day over the latter three days of the meet.

Last year at NCAAs, MacNeil qualified for A-finals in all three of her events, finishing second in the 100 fly, fourth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 back.

This year, her 100 back and 100 free have both improved. She’s dropped her best in the 100 back from 50.50 last year to 50.04 this year. In the 100 free, she’s dropped from 47.04 to 46.57 this season.

MacNeil is still ranked higher in the 100 back nationally at third; her 50.04 is just two-hundredths back of Alabama swimmer Rhyan White‘s 50.02, while Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson sits atop the rankings with a 49.70. In both the 50 and 100 free, MacNeil is a solid #4 but isn’t quite at the level of the three ahead of her (Tennessee’s Erika Brown, Arkansas’ Anna Hopkin, and Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil).

Weitzeil has been having a huge senior season with Cal, but hyper-extended her arm at Pac-12s during the 50 free final and missed the last two days of the meet. If Weitzeil is out, then MacNeil looks like a solid pick for third in both sprint free events with some chance of upsetting for a top-two slot.

In any case, she avoids having to do the 100 fly/100 back double and the 200 medley relay all on the same day, and she is a pretty safe bet for making three A-finals once more as the Wolverines’ top swimmer.

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1 year ago

Smart move for MacNeil. Why do the double if you don’t have to and when she faced off against Nelson in the back leg of the 400 medley relay at Big Ten’s it was obvious that she can not beat her. And with Weitzeil possibly hurt I agree that she could be an upset winner in the freestyle sprints. Oh and the 100 fly showdown with Hansson of USC should be epic.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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