Women’s Pick ’em Contest: Walsh’s 200 IM Most Favored, 200 Fly Wide Open


  • When: Wednesday, March 17 – Saturday, March 20, 2021
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
  • Short course yards (SCY) format
  • Defending champion: Stanford (3x) – 2019 results
  • Streaming: ESPN3
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

The deadline for SwimSwam’s Official Women’s NCAA Pick ’em Contest is now less than 24 hours away, with about 230 fans submitting picks thus far (a few forgot to make all of their selections).

These submissions give us an early glimpse into what our readers are predicting for the big meet – who’s the biggest favorite? Which event is most likely to garner an upset? Which top seeds aren’t favored to win? Let’s dive into your picks.

Biggest Favorite: Alex Walsh, 200 IM

UVA freshman Alex Walsh garnered a whopping 223 picks as the winner of the 200 individual medley out of 229 submissions, making her easily the biggest favorite in an individual event. Walsh upset teammate Kate Douglass at ACCs in this event, leading Douglass to opt for the 50 free on Day 2 and thus giving Walsh the top seed here by more than two seconds.

Cal junior Alicia Wilson, the #2 seed, got three picks, #3 Zoie Hartman got two, and #5 Julia Poole got one.

The only other event where a winner got more than 200 picks was the 200 medley relay, where Walsh’s UVA squad picked up 218 picks. NC State was the next-highest in that race with nine.

The other big favorites in individual events were Stanford’s Brooke Forde in the 400 IM, Douglass in the 100 free, and another Virginia swimmer, senior Paige Madden, who was picked to win each of her individual events by more than 75% of people.

Among the nine events in which at least 170 picked the same winner, seven of them were for Virginia.

Most First Place Picks

Swimmer/Team Event First Place Picks
Alex Walsh (UVA) 200 IM 223
Virginia 200 medley relay 218
Brooke Forde (STAN) 400 IM 190
Kate Douglass (UVA) 100 free 182
Paige Madden (UVA) 500 free 181
Paige Madden (UVA) 1650 free 180
Paige Madden (UVA) 200 free 174
Virginia 800 free relay 173
Maggie MacNeil (MICH) 100 fly 170

Least Favored Top Seed: Olivia Bray, 200 fly

There were only three events where the top-seeded swimmer was not favored to win.

Texas freshman Olivia Bray garnered the lowest number of first place picks as a #1 seed with 62 in the 200 fly, followed by Georgia sophomore Zoie Hartman in the 100 breast (70) and Douglass in the 50 free (106).

Georgia’s Dakota Luther picked up 128 votes as the winner of the 200 fly, followed by Bray’s 62, and then Michigan’s Olivia Carter is third at 25.

In the 100 breast, readers favor the fastest swimmer in 2019-20, NC State’s Sophie Hansson, to win over Hartman. Hansson claimed 119 picks to Hartman’s 70, and then Alexis Wenger (20) and Kaitlyn Dobler (16) also got their fair share of selections.

The 50 free is projected to be more of a two-woman race, with #2 seed Maggie MacNeil receiving 115 picks to Douglass’ 106.

Fewest First Place Picks (Top Seeds)

Swimmer/Team Event
First Place Picks
Olivia Bray (TEX) 200 fly 62
Zoie Hartman (UGA) 100 breast 70
Kate Douglass (UVA) 50 free 106
Rhyan White (BAMA) 100 back 116
Sophie Hansson (NCS) 200 breast 138

Most Wide Open Race: 200 Fly/200 Breast

The 200 fly tied with the 200 breast for the highest number of unique winners picked with nine, followed by the 200 free, 1650 free and 100 breast with seven. The 200 fly leads the way with seven different women picked to win by more than one person.

Event Unique Winners Picked Unique Winners Picked At Least Twice
200 fly 9 7
200 breast 9 5
200 free 7 6
1650 free 7 5
100 breast 7 5

Most Picks, Swimmers Seeded Outside of the Top 2

The #2 seed is commonly the go-to selection when people venture outside of #1, with only four swimmers seeded third or worse getting 20 picks to win an event.

Swimmer/Team Event/Seed
First Place Picks
Maggie MacNeil (MICH) 100 Free/3rd 34
Brooke Forde (STAN) 500 free/4th 33
Olivia Carter (MICH) 200 fly/3rd 25
Alexis Wenger (UVA) 100 breast/3rd 20

Other Notable Picks For Low Seeds:

  • Walsh received three picks to win the 200 free as the 29th seed, and was also selected by 14 people to earn the victory in the 200 breast as the eighth seed.
  • Wisconsin freshman Phoebe Bacon received 10 selections to win the 100 back as the eighth seed, and 13 for the 200 back as the #5 seed.

Team Race & Relays: Virginia The Overwhelming Favorites

Virginia was picked by 204 to win the overall title, with Cal the only other school getting more than three selections with 23.

In the relays, UVA is favored to win all five. Per the picks, the closest race on paper is the 400 medley, where the Cavaliers picked up 146 picks and Cal got 61.

Relay Picks

Event Virginia Picks Next-Highest
200 free relay 169 Cal, 37
400 free relay 163 Alabama, 32
800 free relay 173 Cal, 49
200 medley relay 218 NC State, 9
400 medley relay 146 Cal, 61

Visual Look At Winners Picked

Note: some submissions were made in between the time the article was written and the graphs were made, make the two sets of data not exactly the same

Overall Team Race

Day 1

800 Free Relay

Day 2

200 Free Relay

500 Free

200 IM

50 Free

400 Medley Relay

Day 3

400 IM

100 Fly

200 Free

100 Breast

100 Back

200 Medley Relay

Day 4

1650 Free

200 Back

100 Free

200 Breast

200 Fly

400 Free Relay

If you haven’t yet, enter the pick ’em contest now! Picks can be submitted up until 4 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, March 17.

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1 year ago

Watch out for Reka Gyory in 400 IM

1 year ago

Is there a way to access our picks once we’ve submitted? or should I have saved it lol

Reply to  Swimmerj
1 year ago

You can log back in and see them. We’ll post the full chart tomorrow for those who are more technologically reluctant.

1 year ago

I didn’t know I needed this until I read it. Love this. Also, y’all can go ahead and put my prizes in the mail.

1 year ago

still will always read your username as usAUSAUSa

Reply to  Jackman
1 year ago

Agree !

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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