Reviewing SwimSwam’s 2024 NCAA Event Predictions – Women’s Edition


The NCAA Championships are arguably the most unpredictable meets of the year, but we do our best to forecast what’s to come in each event before chaos takes over on two Wednesday nights every March.

At the women’s meet, we went 6/8 in picking ‘A’ finalists (or top eight finishers) in 11 of the 18 events, while we went 7/8 in five events.

That leaves one where we went a tough 5/8, and another where we were perfect…which has a caveat.

In the 200 medley relay, the first event of the meet, we predicted the eight fastest teams correctly, but NC State was disqualified for an early takeoff. Since a DQ of this nature is impossible to predict, we’re counting this an 8/8 win, because we need at least one.

Below, find our top eight picks in each event, along with where the swimmer/relay team ended up finishing. We’ve also included who finished in the top eight we didn’t predict under “Moving In,” and the number in the bottom right of each event indicates how well we did in picking the top eight.

200 Medley Relay

Picks Finish
1 Virginia 1st
2 Texas 6th
3 Ohio State 2nd
4 USC 7th
5 Cal 4th
6 NC State
DQ (time would be 3rd)
7 Florida 3rd
8 Tennessee 5th
Moving In Stanford (8th) 8/8

800 Free Relay

Picks Finish
1 Virginia 4th
2 Florida 1st
3 Tennessee 2nd
4 Stanford 3rd
5 USC 11th
6 Texas 7th
7 Indiana 5th
8 Cal 9th
Moving In Georgia (6th), Michigan (8th) 6/8

500 Free

Picks Finish
1 Bella Sims 1st
2 Rachel Stege 7th
3 Emma Weyant 2nd
4 Aimee Canny 17th
5 Lindsay Looney 16th
6 Aurora Roghair 4th
7 Dune Coetzee 8th
8 Anna Peplowski 3rd
Moving In Cavan Gormsen (5th), Abby McCulloh (6th) 6/8

200 IM

Picks Finish
1 Alex Walsh 1st
2 Isabel Ivey 2nd
3 Phoebe Bacon 5th
4 Ella Nelson 7th
5 Josephine Fuller 3rd
6 Lea Polonsky 15th
7 Caroline Bricker 10th
8 Kelly Pash 6th
Moving In Lucy Bell (4th), Zoe Dixon (8th) 6/8

50 Free

Picks Finish
1 Gretchen Walsh 1st
2 Katharine Berkoff 2nd
3 Jasmine Nocentini 3rd
4 Gabi Albiero 6th
5 Christiana Regenauer 4th
6 Teresa Ivan 13th
7 Julia Dennis 5th
8 Kristina Paegle 12th
Moving In Maxine Parker, Brady Kendall (T-7th) 6/8

200 Free Relay

Picks Finish
1 Virginia 1st
2 Louisville 2nd
3 Ohio State 9th
4 Texas 3rd
5 NC State 7th
6 Florida 10th
7 Michigan 5th
8 Indiana 8th
Moving In USC (4th), Tennessee (6th) 6/8

400 IM

Picks Finish
1 Alex Walsh 1st
2 Ella Nelson 6th
3 Caroline Bricker 4th
4 Emma Weyant 2nd
5 Justina Kozan 23rd
6 Lucy Bell 3rd
7 Megan Van Berkom 5th
8 Zoe Dixon 7th
Moving In Paige MacEachern (8th) 7/8

100 Fly

Picks Finish
1 Gretchen Walsh 1st
2 Emma Sticklen 2nd
3 Olivia Peoples 6th
4 Kelly Pash 4th
5 Gabi Albiero 10th
6 Olivia Bray 3rd
7 Abby Arens 15th
8 Meghan Lee 5th
Moving In Gigi Johnson (7th), Mia Kragh (8th) 6/8

200 Free

Picks Finish
1 Bella Sims 1st
2 Isabel Ivey 7th
3 Anna Peplowski 2nd
4 Camille Spink DQ (time would be 5th)
5 Aimee Canny 4th
6 Minna Abraham 3rd
7 Chloe Stepanek 5th
8 Brooklyn Douthwright 9th
Moving In Kayla Wilson (6th) 7/8

100 Breast

Picks Finish
1 Mona McSharry 2nd
2 Jasmine Nocentini 1st
3 Lydia Jacoby 5th
4 Anna Elendt 4th
5 Kaitlyn Dobler 3rd
6 Hannah Bach 6th
7 Kaelyn Gridley 17th
8 Josie Panitz 7th
Moving In Stasya Makarova (8th) 7/8

100 Back

Picks Finish
1 Katharine Berkoff 1st
2 Isabelle Stadden 2nd
3 Josephine Fuller 5th
4 Miranda Grana 8th
5 Kacey McKenna 6th
6 Berit Berglund 9th
7 Kennedy Noble 3rd
8 Olivia Bray 11th
Moving In Phoebe Bacon (4th), Celia Pulido (7th) 6/8

400 Medley Relay

Picks Finish
1 Virginia 1st
2 Texas 2nd
3 Ohio State 13th
4 USC 5th
5 Cal 8th
6 NC State 6th
7 Florida 4th
8 Tennessee 3rd
Moving In Duke (7th) 7/8

1650 Free

Picks Finish
1 Abby McCulloh 1st
2 Ching Hwee Gan 3rd
3 Paige McKenna 9th
4 Aurora Roghair 2nd
5 Erica Sullivan 6th
6 Deniz Ertan 23rd
7 Emma Weyant 5th
8 Rachel Stege 17th
Moving In Anna Kalandadze (4th), Mariah Denigan (7th), Gena Jorgenson (8th) 5/8

200 Back

Picks Finish
1 Bella Sims 3rd
2 Phoebe Bacon 1st
3 Isabelle Stadden 4th
4 Josephine Fuller 5th
5 Kennedy Noble 2nd
6 Reilly Tiltmann 10th
7 Miranda Grana 6th
8 Paige Hetrick 12th
Moving In Caroline Bentz (7th), Catie Choate (8th) 6/8

100 Free

Picks Finish
1 Gretchen Walsh 1st
2 Camille Spink 10th
3 Isabel Ivey 3rd
4 Katharine Berkoff 2nd
5 Jasmine Nocentini 4th
6 Gabi Albiero 8th
7 Anna Peplowski 7th
8 Stephanie Balduccini 9th
Moving In Amy Fulmer (5th), Christiana Regenauer (6th) 6/8

200 Breast

Picks Finish
1 Alex Walsh 1st
2 Mona McSharry 2nd
3 Ella Nelson 3rd
4 Anna Elendt 5th
5 Lydia Jacoby 9th
6 Caroline Bricker 21st
7 Kaelyn Gridley 4th
8 Kaitlyn Dobler 6th
Moving In Emelie Fast (7th), Anna Keating (8th) 6/8

200 Fly

Picks Finish
1 Emma Sticklen 1st
2 Kelly Pash 2nd
3 Lindsay Looney 7th
4 Rachel Klinker 3rd
5 Olivia Bray 5th
6 Hannah Bellard 11th
7 Charlotte Hook 13th
8 Abby Harter 6th
Moving In Tess Howley (4th), Lillie Nordmann (8th) 6/8

400 Free Relay

Picks Finish
1 Virginia 1st
2 Florida 2nd
3 Tennessee 5th
4 Louisville 3rd
5 Michigan 4th
6 Texas 10th
7 USC 6th
8 Stanford 7th
Moving In Indiana (8th) 7/8


  • The 1650 free being the toughest event to predict is no surprise given that it’s a race swimmers only race a handful of times throughout a season, sometimes only once before NCAAs at their conference championship meets. On top of that, it’s a race where taper makes a massive difference over 16 minutes, give or take. If a swimmer goes all-in on taper at SECs, it’s not outside the realm of possibility they add 10+ seconds at NCAAs.
  • We went 15/18 in terms of picking winners, though of course most of the events had massive favorites. Ten of those 15 winning picks came from either the Virginia relays or one of the Walsh sisters, and two more were Bella Sims.
  • The winners we missed were Florida in the 800 free relay, Jasmine Nocentini in the 100 breast and Phoebe Bacon in the 200 back.
  • The team underestimated the most was Stanford, which had four swimmers make the ‘A’ final of an event we didn’t predict: Lucy Bell (200 IM), Gigi Johnson (100 fly), Kayla Wilson (200 free) and Lillie Nordmann (200 fly). They also got bumped up to eighth in the 200 medley relay after NC State’s DQ.
  • Virginia also had its depth underestimated with four swimmers cracking the top eight we didn’t pick: Cavan Gormsen (500 free), Maxine Parker (50 free), Anna Keating (200 breast) and Tess Howley (200 fly).
  • There was no team clearly overestimated or who obviously missed their taper based on the event predictions. Texas, Ohio State, Stanford, USC, Cal, Virginia, ASU, Louisville, Tennessee and Michigan all had multiple swims miss the top eight that we predicted to hit.
  • Overall, we’re looking at 114 of 144 top-eight finishers correctly picked (or 30/144 misses), a 79.16% batting average.

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1 month ago

This is quite impressive considering hundredths of a second may have been the difference between 8th and 10th in many of these events.

1 month ago

Now, try making the predictions before the 2024-2025 NCAA Season commences.

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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