WATCH: UVA’s Madden, Walsh, And Douglass Earn Titles More From Night Two


Day 2 Finals Recap

After a whirlwind of a year, the first two days of the 2021 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships are now in the books. The evening kicked off with the 200 free relay timed finals, followed by the consolation and championship finals of the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and capping off with the 400 medley relay. Peeking at the team scores, Virginia (184) holds a 60-point lead over NC State (124). Rounding out the top three teams are Texas (119), Cal (114), and Ohio State (101.5).

During the final heat of the 200 free relay timed finals, NC State, Cal, and Virginia were all within two-tenths of each other heading into the anchor legs. Then, Cal sprinter Izzy Ivey anchored the Bears with a 21.22 to upset Virginia and NC State for the title (1:25.78). Followed by that, Virginia’s Paige Madden (4:33.61) built momentum for the Cavaliers with her dominant win in the 500 free, followed by Texas’ Evie Pfeifer and defending champion Stanford’s Brooke Forde.

After Madden’s victory, Cavalier teammate Alex Walsh dominated the 200 IM final with a 1:51.87, with Georgia sophomore Zoie Hartman and Cal junior Alicia Wilson rounding out the top three. Into the 50 free, Virginia sophomore Kate Douglass (21.13) touched out Michigan junior Maggie MacNeil by four one-hundredths, followed by Mizzou’s Sarah Thompson taking the bronze. The NC State Wolfpack closed the evening out with an NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 400 medley relay (3:24.59), contributed by Katharine Berkoff (50.07), Sophie Hansson (57.01), Kylee Alons (49.29), and Julia Poole (48.22).


  • NCAA Record: Cal (Murphy, McLaughlin, Bilquist, Weitzeil), 1:24.55 — 2019
  • American Record: Cal (Murphy, McLaughlin, Bilquist, Weitzeil), 1:24.55 — 2019
  • US Open Record: Cal (Murphy, McLaughlin, Bilquist, Weitzeil), 1:24.55 — 2019
  • Meet Record: Cal (Murphy, McLaughlin, Bilquist, Weitzeil), 1:24.55 — 2019
  • 2019 Champion: Cal (Murphy, McLaughlin, Bilquist, Weitzeil), 1:24.55
  • 2020 Top Performer: Auburn (Meynen, Fisch, Kutsch, Clevenger), 1:25.41

Top 3

  1. Cal – 1:25.78
  2. Virginia – 1:25.97
  3. NC State – 1:26.27


  • NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 4:24.06 – 2017
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 4:24.06 – 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 4:24.06 – 2017
  • Meet Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 4:24.06 – 2017
  • 2019 Champion: Brooke Forde (Stanford), 4:31.34
  • 2020 Top Performer: Emma Nordin (Arizona State), 4:33.74

Top 3

  1. Paige Madden (Virginia) – 4:33.61
  2. Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:35.02
  3. Brooke Forde (Stanford) – 4:35.22


Top 3

  1. Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 1:51.87
  2. Zoie Hartman (Georgia) – 1:53.34
  3. Alicia Wilson (Cal) – 1:54.51


  • NCAA Record: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 20.90 – 2019
  • American Record: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 20.90 – 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 20.90 – 2019
  • Meet Record: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 21.02 – 2019
  • 2019 Champion: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 21.02
  • 2020 Top Performer: Abbey Weitzeil (Cal), 20.90

Top 3

  1. Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 21.13
  2. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 21.17
  3. Sarah Thompson (Mizzou) – 21.42


  • NCAA Record: Stanford (Howe, Williams, Hu, Manuel), 3:25.09 – 2018
  • American Record: Stanford (Howe, Williams, Hu, Manuel), 3:25.09 – 2018
  • U.S. Open Record: Stanford (Howe, Williams, Hu, Manuel), 3:25.09 – 2018
  • Meet Record: Stanford (Howe, Williams, Hu, Manuel), 3:25.09 – 2018
  • 2019 Champion: Cal (Bilquist, Raijc, McLaughlin, Weitzeil), 3:25.24
  • 2020 Top Performer: NC State (Berkoff, Hansson, Alons, Perry), 3:27.22

Top 3

  1. NC State – 3:24.59 – NCAA/U.S. OPEN RECORD
  2. Virginia – 3:25.13
  3. Texas – 3:27.83


  1. Virginia 184
  2. NC State 124
  3. Texas 119
  4. California 114
  5. Ohio St 101.5
  6. Alabama 90
  7. Georgia 85ph
  8. Stanford 84
  9. Michigan 78
  10. Kentucky 65
  11. Louisville 62
  12. UNC 61
  13. Mizzou 55
  14. Florida 53.5
  15. Tennessee 51
  16. Indiana/Texas A&M 30
  17. Northwestern 28
  18. Wisconsin 23
  19. USC 21
  20. Minnesota/Miami 20
  21. Arkansas 16
  22. Arizona 15
  23. Virginia Tech 11
  24. Nebraska/Akron 3
  25. Duke 2
  26. Houston 1

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The Real Splash Brothers
1 year ago

Alex Walsh’s breaststroke kick is EXTREMELY sketchy. I’m fairly certain it should be a DQ. That’s a clear downward motion every time she finishes a breaststroke kick, and USA Swimming rules “downward dolphin kicks are not permitted” except for the one allowed on the pull out. If it’s not illegal, what is? I understand it may not give her a “clear” advantage, but a lot of illegal things don’t give swimmers advantages. I’ve never seen something like it before, and maybe I’m oblivious, but I don’t see how that could be called part of the natural stroke cycle.

tea rex
Reply to  The Real Splash Brothers
1 year ago

It’s not really propulsive, but it helps align her body position for the pull-up part of the stroke.

Chalk it up to: “Anything is legal, as long as you don’t get caught.”

The Real Splash Brothers
Reply to  tea rex
1 year ago

Seems like if there’s question to legality and the reasoning for a movements legitimacy is “officials didn’t see/care”, there should be some form of formal review over the state of the stroke. Out of all the strokes, breaststroke is definitely the most discussed when it comes to rules. I think further rule changes/additions/specifications are necessary at this point to define what’s within boundaries or not…rather than a good or bad day for an official.

1 year ago

Someone else pointed out the baby dolphin kick in every stroke cycle of Walsh. Is that legal?

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim
Reply to  Jim
1 year ago

I’ve come to realize that breast is more a state of mind than it is necessarily a stroke

Reply to  Jim
1 year ago

You know, I was watching for that bc of all the comments.. there is a slow motion underwater camera of her pullout and first strokes off the wall in the 200 IM (at the end of the race) and I don’t see anything suspect at all. I think people have a bunch of sour grapes. It looked totally legit.

Reply to  Lol
1 year ago

Exactly. Zoie Hartmann has a similar flourish at the end of her kick and no one mentions that. Lilly King does, Katie Meili did too…oh- and so do half of the breaststrokers in the world (like BK said). It’s not significant enough a motion to be considered a dolphin kick. It doesn’t create anywhere close to the amount of propulsion that an actual dolphin kick would create. It’s really just part of the whip motion of the end of her kick. People just love to hate on Walsh and UVA. Frankly, It’s probably west coast school fans who hate being dethroned or NC State fans since they often compare her kick to Hansson’s kick. Haters gonna hate.

Reply to  Jim
1 year ago

It seems to have been accepted as legal, as most of the world’s best breaststrokers are doing it.

The objectivity of legality in modern breaststroke is pretty much null. Catch an official on a bad day and I could see them disqualifying half of an Olympic final.

1 year ago

Rowdy in the 50 video: “A lot closer than anyone in this building thought.”

Rowdy, excuse me? I’ve been relatively defensive of you in the past and the excitement you bring to the sport, but my god dude, MacNeil was arguably the favorite going into that race. I don’t think anyone was EXPECTING Douglass to absolutely crush MacNeil by like four tenths or anything

Reply to  PVSFree
1 year ago

SwimSwam picked MacNeil to win and its a 50. I don’t know what rowdy was thinking.

Reply to  Huh
1 year ago

He doesn’t think much before he speaks

Reply to  PVSFree
1 year ago

142 people in the Pick ‘Em contest picked MacNeil, 136 picked Douglass.

1 year ago

Looking at the 50 free race the swimmers don’t take any breaths at all, right?

1 year ago

Am I the only one who HAD to pause the 500 video at the start so I could find Sierra Schmidt and watch her dance? I love her.

Reply to  DistanceSwimmer
1 year ago

Yea, I think it was just you.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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