Powerhouses Cal, Michigan, and Georgia begin 3-day battle at the UGA Invite.
They may not have the depth to challenge Stanford for a title, but with their sprint talent, they should be challenging for several relay titles and should get multiple individual titles with Baker alone.
Olivia Smoliga and Simone Manuel pose with their second and first place trophies after the 50 free. Smoliga went with black, while Manuel’s nails embrace the Stanford cardinal.
Tonight, the two fastest swimmers in history, Ally Howe and Kathleen Baker, will battle in the 100 back, while Stanford and Olympic teammates Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky duel in the 200 free.
With three and a half of the five relay races now complete at women’s NCAAs, relay lineups are becoming more clear for the teams who entered the meet with multiple options.
The 2017 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships continue this morning with prelims of the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 400 medley relay, and 1-meter diving.
After setting the American Record this morning, Stanford is the favorite to win the 200 free relay, but Cal was just 5 tenths back without star sprinter Abbey Weitzeil and freshman sprint standout Maddie Murphy, who will both likely be on the finals relay.
The Stanford swimmers are two-for-two for American records in their relay swims after putting up 1:26.15 in prelims of the 200 free relay this morning to take down Arizona’s 2009 suit-era mark.
If Stanford aims to complete a sweep of all five relays at NCAAs, the 200 free relay might be their toughest test. In a way, that’s good for the Cardinal, as it comes at the beginning of day 2, just the second swimming event of the meet. On the other hand, it could mean a big momentum swing that affects the remainder of the meet for every team in contention for the title.
With the returning group, Cal has no lack of depth in the sprints and several potential individual scorers. Now add Abbey Weitzeil, Maddie Murphy, and Keaton Blovad to the mix and you’ve got a dangerous looking sprint free group for the Golden Bears.
Allison Schmitt won the Perseverance Award at the Golden Goggles.
Key Additions: Kathleen Baker (NC – back/IM), Katie McLaughlin (CA – fly/free), Amy Bilquist (IN – free/back), Jennifer Campbell (CA – free/fly), Madi Hurst (NV – breast/IM), Phoebe LaMay (TX…
Luxembourg National Record Holder Julie Meynen has given her verbal commitment to the Auburn Tigers, bringing world-class sprint freestyles to an already top-notch group.
Katie McLaughlin and Kathleen Baker are two of many reasons why the Cal Bears class sits at the top
Sophomore-to-be Valerie Hull will transfer to Cal this fall after an All-America freshman season at Auburn.