2018 WOMEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 14th – Saturday, March 17th
- McCorkle Aquatic Pavillion — Columbus, OH
- Prelims 9AM/Finals 5PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Stanford (results)
- Live stream: Wednesday/Thursday Prelims & Finals, Friday/Saturday Prelims / Friday/Saturday finals on ESPNU
- Championship Central
- Event-by-Event Previews
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
Prelims of the 200 medley relay at the 2018 Women’s NCAA Championships had an odd result. The Tennessee Volunteers, who were seeded 5th, missed the top 16. The most puzzling part of that result was Erika Brown‘s 22.97 anchor split. Brown has proven to be more than 2 seconds faster than that in her best anchor split (a 20.81 from the SEC Championships).
When she dove in for the free leg, Brown swam butterfly on the first lap. She did an open turn, and then switched to freestyle on the 2nd lap. The unintentional stroke mix up didn’t lead to a disqualification, but the Volunteers now won’t earn any medley relay points at this meet. Last night, they were disqualified for a Lochte Rule violation in the 400 medley relay final.
Officials told coaches they didn’t notice Brown swimming fly, so they couldn’t call it a DQ. The stroke rules of freestyle in a medley relay clearly state that freestyle means any style other than fly, back, or breast. Had they caught it, they would have called a DQ.
“Stroke — In an event designated freestyle, the swimmer may swim any style,
except that in a medley relay or an individual medley event, freestyle means
any style other than butterfly, breaststroke or backstroke. Some part of the
swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it
shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the
turn and for a distance of not more than 15 meters (16.4 yards) after the
start and each turn. By that point the head must have broken the surface.
Before the free leg, Tennessee was certainly on track to make the final. They touched in 1:14.69 with 50 yards to go. It took a 1:37.04 to get 8th, so Brown would’ve needed to go a 22.35 or faster for them to get in, which is easily doable for her. There was a re-swim announced in the 200 medley relay, but it was Virginia Tech, not Tennessee. No explanation was given as to why there was a re-swim. Virginia Tech swam next to Tennessee in their prelims heat.
Brown will compete in tonight’s 100 fly final. She’s the fastest woman in the nation this year and will go head-to-head with USC’s Louise Hansson, who dropped a 49.90 this morning to become the 3rd fastest performer ever behind Brown.