NC State Women Set NCAA, U.S. Open Records With 400 Medley Relay Victory


The NC State women recorded the fastest time in history to win the NCAA title in the 400 medley relay on Thursday night, becoming the first team ever to go sub-3:25.

The quartet of Katharine Berkoff (50.07), Sophie Hansson (57.01), Kylee Alons (49.29) and Julia Poole (48.22) came together to put up a time of 3:24.59, lowering the NCAA and U.S. Open Record of 3:25.09 set by Stanford in 2018.

That swim from the Cardinal remains the American Record, as Hansson is a native of Sweden.

Stanford, 2018 NC State, 2021
Ally Howe – 50.34 Katharine Berkoff – 50.07
Kim Williams – 58.59 Sophie Hansson – 57.01
Janet Hu – 50.36 Kylee Alons – 49.29
Simone Manuel – 45.80 Julia Poole – 48.22
3:25.09 3:24.59

Berkoff’s lead-off time was a personal best by over three-tenths (previously having been 50.40), and Hansson’s split was almost half a second under her flat-start PB (57.45), and makes her the second-fastest woman ever on a relay, with Lilly King having split sub-57 10 times.

The real jaw-dropper was Alons, who produced one of the fastest fly splits in history at 49.29. Holding a flat-start best of 50.74, Alons now holds the the fourth-fastest relay split of all-time, trailing only Erika Brown (49.11), Louise Hansson (49.24) and Kelsi Dahlia (49.25).

Anchoring the team was Julia Poole, who split 48.22, over six-tenths under her best of 48.84. Absent from the Wolfpack this week is Heather MacCausland, who split 48.16 on the relay at ACCs.

Placing second was NC State’s ACC rival Virginia, the pre-race favorites, who narrowly missed setting a new American Record in 3:25.13. The Wolfpack were a full two and a half seconds faster than the Cavaliers over the first 300, leading UVA to run out of room despite a scintillating 46.31 anchor leg from Kate Douglass.

Cal initially placed third, including a 49.95 fly split from Izzy Ivey, but they were disqualified after anchor Emily Gantriis jumped early.

The NC State victory marks the first women’s NCAA relay title in school history, and also the first women’s swimming title overall. The only other female title in championship history was won by diver Kristin Davies on Platform in 2009.

Race Video Update:

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2 months ago

Will the announcers mention NCS now?

No Kidding
Reply to  MildlyquietObserver
2 months ago

Yeah why everybody hating on the pack😒 They deserve some credit

Reply to  No Kidding
2 months ago

Nobody’s hating on the pack. This is a lowbrown cheapskate tactic that college swim coaches use to an alarming degree when they can’t find a real way to motivate their athletes: they get them mad at everyone else, convince them that the rest of the world is out to get them, “the media hates us,” kind of BS.

Doesn’t teach them how to be successful adults, but there can be short term gains in performance from it.

The announcers spent most of the relay talking about NC State and how good they were.

Silent Observer
2 months ago

Congrats to the Pack. Props to Braden for being a great overall coach for both the men’s and women’s teams. Making them nationally relevant again 🙂

2 months ago


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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