SwimSwam Pulse: 100 Fly Edges Out 200 IM For Most-Anticipated Women’s NCAA Matchup

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which showdown at the Women’s NCAA Championships they’re looking forward to the most next week:

Question: Which women’s NCAA matchup are you most excited for?


  • 100 fly – 44.2%
  • 200 IM – 43.6%
  • 100 back – 7.5%
  • 100 free – 3.4%
  • Other – 1.3%

The impending showdown in the 100 fly at the Women’s NCAA Championships has been on everyone’s radar all season—we were hyping up the event as early as September—with the four-fastest swimmers of all-time set to clash.

Headlining the field are Kate Douglass and Maggie MacNeil , the only two women who have broken 49 seconds in the event, along with reigning Long Course world champion Torri Huske.

Supplementing the lineup is Stanford’s Claire Curzan, who entered her freshman season with a lifetime best of 49.24, which ranks her fourth all-time behind Douglass (48.84), MacNeil (48.89) and Huske (49.17).

Entering the 2022-23 season, only nine women had ever broken 50 seconds in the event. Now, there are 11, as Gretchen Walsh (49.34) and Emma Sticklen (49.79) have joined the club.

Walsh won’t race the event at NCAAs, but still, the field will have five women who have been sub-50 in the event this season, with Louisville’s Gabi Albiero (50.04) not far behind.

With that absolutely loaded lineup, the 100 fly was seemingly a lock to be the most anticipated race of Women’s NCAAs, but things changed when the psych sheets dropped last week.

Douglass opted to enter the 200 IM over the 50 free on Day 2, setting her up for an epic showdown with Virginia teammate Alex Walsh.

In our latest poll asking readers which race they’re most anxiously anticipating, the 100 fly (44.2 percent) edged out the 200 IM (43.6 percent), though it was razor-thin and everyone’s clearly excited for both showdowns, with Douglass at the center of both of them.

The 100 back, which will feature G. Walsh, Curzan and defending champion Katharine Berkoff, was third in the poll with 7.5 percent, followed by the MacNeil/G. Walsh clash in the 100 free.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which matchup are you most looking forward to at men’s NCAAs?

Which men's NCAA matchup are you most excited for?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...



A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 days ago

Leaving the defending NCAA champ off the 100 free showdown is disrespectful

9 days ago

Imma be real and say that the matchup I’m most excited for at men’s NCAAs is Marchand vs the clock

Sherry Smit
9 days ago

1650 free is also going to be fun to watch. can Sullivan get back to form, after a promising season? Can McMahon grab an NCAA title after a worlds bronze medal? Can McKenna execute a perfect 2nd 500?

Reply to  Sherry Smit
9 days ago

Not sure I’d call a 15:30ish race as “fun to watch.” But I suppose it will be interesting and could have an exciting finish.

9 days ago

I voted for the 2IM because we have seen that 100 fly race before. I get it though…MacNeil had an off year last year.

Douglass v. A. Walsh has been highly anticipated for awhile and nobody was sure if we would even get it. I anticipate multiple lead changes throughout the race.

Also, I think for the first time I am more excited for the women’s NCAA meet rather than the men.

Reply to  RealSlimThomas
9 days ago

i didnt see the poll but i would’ve voted 2IM for sure, I think the lead changes and the long awaited matchup will make things much more interesting. The fly will be fun to watch of course but it feels like the last 37 or so yards is gonna be what’s interesting, when we see someone kill the last turn to take the win.

Andy Johnson
9 days ago

olivia bray is not racing it

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 …

Read More »