Produced by Coleman Hodges.
Reported by Jared Anderson.
200 FREE – FINALS
- NCAA Record – 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015, Cal
- American Record – 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015, Cal
- U.S. Open Record – 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015, Cal
- Championship Record – 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015, Cal
Pool Record – 1:42.80, Hali Flickinger, 2016 (800 free relay leadoff)
- Defending Champion – 1:39.10, Missy Franklin, 2015, Cal (turned pro)
- Brittany MacLean, Georgia – 1:42.42
- Mallory Comerford, Louisville – 1:42.54
- Lia Neal, Stanford – 1:42.58
Georgia’s Brittany MacLean might be the owner of some of the best photo finish wins in NCAA history.
In 2014, she used an absurd final 50 to pass up Missy Franklin for the 500 free title. And in 2016, she did it again, crushing a 25.7 on her final split to emerge from a tight field and win the 200 free championship.
MacLean rocketed from 4th place at the 150 turn all the way into the lead, rolling in at 1:42.42 to earn gold as well as redemption after injuries severely limited her in her junior season a year ago.
Louisville freshman Mallory Comerford had herself a great swim, going 1:42.54 for the silver medal. Comerford has been an outright revelation as a freshman for the Cardinals, dropping her best time in this event from a 1:47.6 all the way to 1:42 over the course of her rookie year alone.
Stanford’s Lia Neal, the top returner from 2015, wound up third while actually going a few hundredths faster than she did a year ago. Neal was 1:42.58, after going out very fast – she led the entire field through the 150 by almost a full second, but fell off in the final split to the field’s only 27-second leg.
Georgia continues to rack up big points through the freestyle races, with Hali Flickinger taking fourth in 1:43.32. Flickinger was an All-American 400 IMer last year, but jumped into this race in 2016 for the Bulldogs.
Michigan freshman Siobhan Haughey was 1:43.35 for fifth, just ahead of 500 free champ Leah Smith of Virginia (1:43.50). Indiana’s Haley Lips (1:43.72) and Kennedy Goss (1:44.75) rounded out the championship heat.
A tight battle in the B final saw Georgia’s Meaghan Raab top the field in 1:44.62.