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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1 year ago

I’m a UVA fan, but props to NC State and Julia Poole. That was a barnburner!

1 year ago

Man 3:24,59 is fast! Well done, Wolfpack Women! First ever Medley Relay title by NC State (men or women)! We’ll make Julia Poole an honorary member of the spring group from now on.

Silent Observer
Reply to  GrantJ
1 year ago

I was about to say the men have already…. But i can’t recall a Medley relay title, just freestyle.

But I’m sure they will be in the hunt for one with their next two freshman classes

Last edited 1 year ago by Silent Observer
Michael Schwartz
Reply to  GrantJ
1 year ago

Correct. It is literally the fastest…

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
1 year ago

Flip the anchors and NC State goes 3:22.17.

Dear god.

NC State fan
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
1 year ago

Each swimmer will be back next year😳

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
1 year ago

If we go by fastest back time + fastest time ever, we have a 3:19.45
Smith: 49.16
King: 55.73 (her flat start; not sure her fastest relay split, but her flat start tends to be comparable)
Brown: 49.11
Manuel: 45.45 (this was the fastest split in 2015, not sure if she went faster later)

Could be even faster if we subtract .5 from the fastest flat starts: King, L. Hansson/MacNeil’s 49.26, and Manuel’s 45.56 – 3:18.21

Last edited 1 year ago by iLikePsych
1 year ago

Gutsy anchor leg from breast/IMer Poole

Reply to  Rev
1 year ago

It’s was gutsy! Douglass had me scared to death. 😂

Ray Bosse
1 year ago

What was UCLA specifically DQd for? Results say stroke infraction swimmer #4. Only thing I could think of would be a 15 mt violation.

Zach Apple Superfan
Reply to  Ray Bosse
1 year ago

I didn’t see what she got DQd for it but usually when they go past fifteen it says 15m violation. It says stroke infraction, which for a freestyle leg is probably underwater kicking on her back. Need to go back and watch but that’s my guess

1 year ago

What a great relay! That fly leg was excellent 😁

1 year ago


Silent Observer
1 year 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 🙂

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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