2017 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

Photo Courtesy: Rowan University Athletics

NCAA DI editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by Adidas. Visit adidasswimming.com for more information on our sponsor. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.

The 2017 NCAA Division III National Championships have finally arrived! Swimming World will be providing live recaps for all sessions of the meet taking place in Shenandoah, Texas from March 15-18. All prelims sessions begin at 11:00 am EST and all finals sessions begin at 7:00 pm EST.

You can find our individual pre-meet predictions for the women’s meet here and the men’s predictions are available as well. Stay updated throughout the meet via our 2016-17 Division III Landing Page and live results.

Women’s 100 Free

NCAA Record: 48.98 – Kendra Stern, Amherst (2010)

Top 8: 50.97

Top 16: 51.31

Men’s 100 Free

NCAA Record: 43.16 – Zachary Turk, Kenyon (2012)

Top 8: 44.80

Top 16: 45.17

Women’s 200 Back

NCAA Record: 1:56.23 – Brittany Sasser, Amherst (2008)

Top 8: 2:00.37

Top 16: 2:02.88

Men’s 200 Back

NCAA Record: 1:43.49 – Harrison Curley, Kenyon (2015)

Top 8: 1:47.84

Top 16: 1:49.17

Women’s 200 Breast

NCAA Record: 2:12.20 – Samantha Senczyszyn, UW-Eau Claire (2016)

Top 8: 2:18.26

Top 16: 2:20.65

Men’s 200 Breast

NCAA Record: 1:52.97 – Andrew Wilson, Emory (2015)

Top 8: 2:01.28

Top 16: 2:02.91

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Cannondale-Drapac rider is currently live tweeting from the Milan-San Remo breakaway

Toms Skujins (and definitely not his girlfriend or one of the Cannondale-Drapac staff members) providing lots on in-race insight

You would have though that trying to ride in the break at Milan-San Remo would be hard enough, but one of the two Cannondale-Drapac riders in the move is also managing to tweet at the same time.

At the time of writing with a lead of around two minutes and riding at 40kmh along the Ligurian coast, Toms Skujins is giving minute-by-minute updates of his time at the front of the race.

Now officially riders aren’t allowed to use their mobile phones in races (just ask Luca Paolini who found himself in a bit of hot water at the 2014 Tour de France after being snapped texting mid-race) but Skujins somehow seems to be getting away with it so far.

But one slightly unwise move by the Latvian rider is broadcasting his race tactics out on social media, like in the tweet below. Perhaps we can expect an attack soon.

This isn’t the first time that a rider has live tweeted from a race. Back at the 2016 Olympics Namibian rider Dan Craven pulled a similar stunt, providing similar insight from the midst of the peloton.

But on that occasion it turned out that Craven’s Twitter account was being run by his partner watching the race from the sidelines.

However on this occasion we’re absolutely sure that Skujins really is tweeting from the middle of Milan-San Remo, and it definitely isn’t one of the Cannondale-Drapac staff members on the team bus or in a team car. No, definitely not. It’s 100 per cent Skujins.

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2017 NCAA Women’s DI Swimming and Diving Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

Photo Courtesy: Peter Bick

NCAA DI editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by Adidas. Visit adidasswimming.com for more information on our sponsor. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.

The fourth and final day of action of the 2017 NCAA DI Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships is already here. Events on the heat sheet today are the prelims of the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay. Platform diving will be after the 400 free relay prelims and the slower seeded heats of the mile will be right before the finals session.

Hit refresh for the latest coverage as it happens.

Today’s Events:

  • 200 Back
  • 100 Free
  • 200 Breast
  • 200 Fly
  • 400 Free Relay
  • Platform Diving
  • 1650 Free

200 Back

Kathleen Baker will be looking for her third win of the meet after capturing titles in the 200 IM and 100 back at this meet. Baker is the top seed ahead of Stanford’s Janet Hu and NC State’s Alexia Zevnik. Elizabeth Pelton’s NCAA and American Record set in this pool at the 2013 NCAA Championships could be in danger today.

Event 16  Women 200 Yard Backstroke
        NCAA:  1:47.84  3/21/2013   Elizabeth Pelton, California               
        Meet:  1:47.84  3/23/2013   Elizabeth Pelton, California               
    American:  1:47.84  3/21/2013   Elizabeth Pelton, California               
   U.S. Open:  1:47.84  3/21/2013   Elizabeth Pelton, California               
        Pool:  1:47.84              Elizbeth Pelton, California                
               1:51.95  A AUTO
               1:59.19  B CONS
     Name                        Year School
  1  Kathleen Baker                SO California                1:48.33        
  2  Janet Hu                      JR Stanford                  1:49.36        
  3  Alexia Zevnik                 SR NC STATE                  1:49.61        
  4  Amy Bilquist                  SO California                1:50.06        
  5  Asia Seidt                    FR Kentucky                  1:50.22        
  6  Kennedy Goss                  JR Indiana                   1:50.95        
  7  Tasija Karosas                SR Texas                     1:51.11        
  8  Ally Howe                     JR Stanford                  1:51.16        
  9  Claire Adams                  FR Texas                     1:51.16        
 10  Danielle Galyer               SR Kentucky                  1:51.17        
 11  Clara Smiddy                  JR Michigan                  1:51.39        
 12  Hannah Stevens                JR Missouri                  1:51.41        
 13  Hellen Moffitt                SR UNC                       1:51.64        
 14  Lisa Bratton                  JR Texas A&M                 1:51.68        
 15  Allie Szekely                 FR Stanford                  1:51.76        
 16  Ali Galyer                    FR Kentucky                  1:51.82        
 17  Meghan Small                  FR Tennessee                 1:51.91        
 18  Beata Nelson                  FR Wisconsin                 1:52.31        
 19  Bridgette Alexander           JR Kentucky                  1:52.38        
 20  Hanni Leach                   SO Southern Cali             1:52.58        
 21  Nadine Laemmler               SR Missouri                  1:52.65        
 22  Matea Samardzic               JR SMU                       1:52.69        
 23  Elise Haan                    SO NC STATE                  1:52.82        
 24  Gabby Deloof                  JR Michigan                  1:52.86        
 25  Luka Szynal                   SR Akron, The Unive          1:52.94        
 26  Erin Voss                     FR Stanford                  1:53.25        
 27  Madison White                 SR UCLA                      1:53.39        
 28  Meryn McCann                  FR Georgia                   1:53.47        
 29  Sydney Sell                   SO Florida                   1:53.57        
 30  Jen King                      FR Missouri                  1:53.60        
 31  Alina Kendzior                SO Louisville                1:53.61        
 32  Alice Treuth                  SO Notre Dame                1:53.66        
 33  Chloe Hicks                   FR Virginia Tech             1:53.70        
 34  Mackenzie Glover              FR NC STATE                  1:53.72        
 35  Cameron McHugh                JR Arizona                   1:53.76        
 36  Morgan McCormick              JR Denver                    1:53.77        
 37  Vera Koprivova                SO Rutgers                   1:53.94        
 38  Jess Unicomb                  SO Wisconsin                 1:53.99        
 39  Kylie Stewart                 JR Georgia                   1:54.00        
 40  Keaton Blovad                 FR California                1:54.00        
 41  Micah Bohon                   JR Tennessee                 1:54.04        
 42  Tevyn Waddell                 FR Minnesota                 1:54.40        
 43  Erin Falconer                 SO Auburn                    1:54.40        
 44  Solie Lauglin                 SO UC Davis                  1:54.48        
 45  Reka Gyorgy                   FR Virginia Tech             1:54.57        
 46  Hannah Weiss                  JR Southern Cali             1:55.00        
 47  Melissa Postoll               SR Northwestern              1:55.09        
 48  Chantal Nack                  SO Minnesota                 1:55.15  Scr   
 49  Katherine Parker              FR Georgia                   1:55.22        
 50  Taylor Garcia                 SO Arizona                   1:55.67        
 51  Kathrin Demler                FR Ohio St                   1:55.69        
 52  Becca Postoll                 SO Michigan                  1:56.48        
 53  Ally Rockett                  JR Indiana                   1:56.63        
 54  Alexis Mitcheltree            SR Eastern Mich              1:56.74        
 55  Tess Cieplucha                FR Tennessee                 1:57.95      

100 Free

Simone Manuel will be looking to win her second title of the meet in the 100 free after winning the 50 on Thursday night. Manuel is the Olympic gold medalist in the event but it won’t be a cake walk for her. 200 co-champ Mallory Comerford of Louisville is the second seed and split a 46.1 earlier in the 400 medley relay. Georgia senior and defending champion Olivia Smoliga is the third seed at 46.95.

Event 17  Women 100 Yard Freestyle
        NCAA:  46.09  3/21/2015   Simone Manuel, Stanford                      
        Meet:  46.09  3/21/2015   Simone Manuel, Stanford                      
    American:  46.09  3/21/2015   Simone Manuel, Stanford                      
   U.S. Open:  46.09  3/21/2015   Simone Manuel, Stanford                      
        Pool:  47.17              Margo Geer, Arizona                          
               47.69  A AUTO
               49.99  B CONS
     Name                        Year School
  1  Simone Manuel                 SO Stanford                    46.36        
  2  Mallory Comerford             SO Louisville                  46.75        
  3  Olivia Smoliga                SR Georgia                     46.95        
  4  Lia Neal                      SR Stanford                    46.97        
  5  Louise Hansson                FR Southern Cali               47.03        
  6  Abbey Weitzeil                FR California                  47.22        
  7  Farida Osman                  SR California                  47.36        
  8  Liz Li                        JR Ohio St                     47.50        
  9  Siobhan Bernadette Haughey    SO Michigan                    47.70        
 10  Chantal Van Landeghem         SR Georgia                     47.74        
 11  Linnea Mack                   SR UCLA                        47.77        
 12  Anika Apostalon               SR Southern Cali               47.78        
 13  Rebecca Millard               JR Texas                       47.84        
 14  Courtney Caldwell             SO NC STATE                    47.89        
 15  Jackie Keire                  SR Cincinnati                  47.95        
 16  Caroline Baldwin              JR UNC                         47.96        
 17  Ky-lee Perry                  FR NC STATE                    47.97        
 18  Veronica Burchill             FR Georgia                     47.99        
 19  Beryl Gastaldello             JR Texas A&M                   48.02        
 20  Lotta Nevalainen              SR NC STATE                    48.12        
 21  Katrina Konopka               SO Arizona                     48.13        
 22  Megan Burns                   JR Buffalo                     48.14        
 23  Kristen Vredeveld             SR California                  48.14        
 24  Stanzi Moseley                FR Southern Cali               48.22        
 25  Letizia Bertelli              JR Florida Internat            48.32        
 26  Zoe Avestruz                  SO Minnesota                   48.33        
 27  Julie Meynen                  FR Auburn                      48.33        
 28  Sarah Hitchens                SR UNC                         48.36        
 29  Chase Kinney                  SR Wisconsin                   48.38        
 30  Lainey Visscher               FR Louisville                  48.41        
 31  Casey Fanz                    FR Louisville                  48.43        
 32  Bailey Scott                  JR Alabama                     48.48        
 33  Krista Duffield               JR NC STATE                    48.49        
 34  Kristin Malone                JR Texas A&M                   48.50        
 35  Leah Troskot                  SR LSU                         48.53        
 36  Morgan Hill                   FR Virginia                    48.53        
 37  Bryndis Hansen                SO Hawaii (W)                  48.55        
 38  Aly Tetzloff                  SO Auburn                      48.59        
 39  Anelise Diener                SO Texas                       48.60        
 40  Natalie Labonge               SR NC STATE                    48.62        
 41  Franziska Weidner             JR Hawaii (W)                  48.66        
 42  Annie Ochitwa                 SO Arizona                     48.66        
 43  Valerie Hull                  JR California                  48.66        
 44  Abigail Dolan                 FR Notre Dame                  48.70        
 45  Maddie Murphy                 FR California                  48.72        
 46  Brittany Aoyama               SR Boise St                    48.74        
 47  Ellen Thomas                  SR Virginia                    48.86        
 48  Maddy Banic                   SO Tennessee                   48.87        
 49  Miki Dahlke                   FR Harvard                     48.90        
 50  Caitlin Cooper                JR Virginia                    48.94        
 51  Katelyn Martin                SR Boise St                    48.98        
 52  Kat Simonovic                 SR Arizona St                  49.08        
 53  Elise Lankiewicz              SR Davidson                    49.11        
 54  Leah Goldman                  JR Duke                        49.29        
 55  Catherine Mulquin             SR Notre Dame                  49.29        
 56  Geena Freriks                 SO Kentucky                    49.32        
 57  Madison Myers                 SO Akron, The Unive            49.33        
 58  Claire Rasmus                 SO Texas A&M                   49.35        
 59  Kira Toussaint                SR Tennessee                   49.44        
 60  Alyssa Marsh                  FR Duke                        49.44        
 61  Sirena Rowe                   FR Marshall Univers            49.53        
 62  Erin Metzger-Seymour          JR Missouri                    49.66        
 63  Haley Hynes                   FR Missouri                    49.75

200 Breast

The big marquee matchup of the day will be between Indiana sophomore Lilly King and Minnesota senior Kierra Smith in the 200 breast. King has already won the 100 breast, while Smith finished 12th in the 100 last night. Smith is a much better 200 breaststroker as she is the third fastest performer in history behind King and Emma Reaney. UMBC senior Emily Escobedo is the third seed at 2:06.20.

Event 18  Women 200 Yard Breaststroke
        NCAA:  2:03.59  3/19/2016   Lilly King, Indiana                        
        Meet:  2:03.59  3/19/2016   Lilly King, Indiana                        
    American:  2:03.59  3/19/2016   Lilly King, Indiana                        
   U.S. Open:  2:03.59  3/19/2016   Lilly King, Indiana                        
        Pool:  2:05.41              Laura Sogar, Texas                         
               2:07.33  A AUTO
               2:15.99  B CONS
     Name                        Year School
  1  Lilly King                    SO Indiana                   2:04.03        
  2  Kierra Smith                  FR Minnesota                 2:04.37        
  3  Emily Escobedo                SR UMBC (W)                  2:06.20        
  4  Riley Scott                   SO Southern Cali             2:06.20        
  5  Silja Kansakoski              FR Arizona St                2:06.41        
  6  Sydney Pickrem                SO Texas A&M                 2:06.65        
  7  Andrea Cottrell               SR Louisville                2:06.90        
  8  Laura Simon                   SR Virginia                  2:06.94        
  9  Ashley McGregor               SR Texas A&M                 2:07.16        
 10  Madisyn Cox                   SR Texas                     2:07.21        
 11  Kayla Brumbaum                SR NC STATE                  2:07.53        
 12  Kirsten Vose                  SO Southern Cali             2:07.65        
 13  Bethany Galat                 JR Texas A&M                 2:08.09        
 14  Maria Carlson                 SR Wisconsin                 2:08.15        
 15  Marina Garcia Urzainqui       SR California                2:08.42        
 16  Taylor Vargo                  SR Ohio St                   2:08.56        
 17  Kersten Dirrane               JR South Carolina            2:08.58        
 18  Lindsey Horejsi               FR Minnesota                 2:08.89        
 19  Amanda Sanders                SR Denver                    2:09.01        
 20  Lina Rathsack                 JR Pittsburgh                2:09.06        
 21  Emily Kopas                   JR Michigan                  2:09.09        
 22  Emma Schanz                   SO UCLA                      2:09.18        
 23  Frankie Jonker                SR Texas A&M                 2:09.68        
 24  Kim Williams                  SO Stanford                  2:09.85        
 25  Blaise Wittenauer-Lee         SR Seattle U (W)             2:09.85        
 26  Stina Colleou                 SR Utah                      2:09.90        
 27  Esther Gonzalez Medina        JR Texas A&M                 2:09.99        
 28  Paloma Marrero                JR Akron, The Unive          2:10.03        
 29  Jorie Caneta                  JR Texas A&M                 2:10.10        
 30  Vendela Norrman               JR East Carolina             2:10.28        
 31  Riley Hayward                 SR Southern Cali             2:10.29        
 32  Kinga Cichowska               SR Pittsburgh                2:10.30        
 33  Genny Robertson               SO Utah                      2:10.33        
 34  Natasha Lloyd                 SR Auburn                    2:10.33        
 35  Kendra Crew                   SR Kentucky                  2:10.42        
 36  Katharine Ross                SR Missouri                  2:10.47        
 37  Rachael Bradford-Feldman      SO Louisville                2:10.49        
 38  Meaghan Raab                  JR Georgia                   2:10.54        
 39  Mary Margaret Soderberg       SR Arkansas                  2:10.54        
 40  Christina Loh Yen Ling        JR Florida St                2:10.55        
 41  Emma Sougstad                 SR Iowa                      2:10.62        
 42  Rachel Bernhardt              SR Drexel                    2:10.62        
 43  Marie-Claire Schillinger      SO Rice                      2:10.92        
 44  Natalie Pierce                JR Florida St                2:11.20        
 45  Emma Barksdale                SO South Carolina            2:11.30        
 46  Vivian Tafuto                 SO Virginia                  2:11.45        
 47  Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo    SO Texas A&M                 2:11.50        
 48  Maria Harutjunjan             JR Wyoming (W)               2:11.53        
 49  Colleen O'Neil                SR LSU                       2:11.64        
 50  Carolyn McCann                JR Michigan                  2:11.79        
 51  Meaghan O'Donnell             SO Notre Dame                2:11.80        
 52  Colleen Callahan              SR Tennessee                 2:11.81        
 53  Kelsey Kafka                  SR Southern Cali             2:12.43        
 54  Olivia Anderson               SO Texas                     2:12.66        
 55  Breanna Roman                 JR Auburn                    2:12.73        
 56  Kenisha Liu                   FR UCLA                      2:12.84        
 57  Madison Winstead              FR Kentucky                  2:12.85        
 58  Maddy Garber                  JR Central Conn St           2:13.35        
 59  Delaney Duncan                SO Eastern Mich              2:14.01        
 60  Bailey Andison                SO Denver                    2:14.13        
 61  Kennedy Lohman                FR Arizona                   2:14.21        
 62  Hannah Burns                  SO Florida                   2:14.28        
 63  Kelly Fertel                  FR Florida                   2:14.43        
 64  Savanna Faulconer             FR Florida                   2:14.57        
 65  Ellie Suek                    SR Missouri                  2:15.04        
 66  Mackenzie Rumrill             SO Arizona                   2:15.91        

200 Fly

Ella Eastin of Stanford will be looking for her second title of the meet in the 200 fly after winning the 400 IM last night. Eastin finished second last year in the event. Sarah Gibson of Texas A&M is the second seed and USC sophomore Maddie Wright is the third seed.

Event 19  Women 200 Yard Butterfly
        NCAA:  1:49.92  2/25/2009   Elaine Breeden, Stanford                   
        Meet:  1:50.61  3/19/2016   Kelsi Worrell, Louisville                  
    American:  1:49.92  2/25/2009   Elaine Breeden, Stanford                   
   U.S. Open:  1:49.92  2/25/2009   Elaine Breeden, Stanford                   
        Pool:  1:52.61              Camille Adams, Texas A&M                   
               1:54.01  A AUTO
               1:59.59  B CONS
     Name                        Year School
  1  Ella Eastin                   SO Stanford                  1:51.85        
  2  Sarah Gibson                  SR Texas A&M                 1:52.64        
  3  Maddie Wright                 SO Southern Cali             1:52.67        
  4  Chelsea Britt                 JR Georgia                   1:52.72        
  5  Kaitlyn Jones                 SR Virginia                  1:52.93        
  6  Katie McLaughlin              SO California                1:53.29        
  7  Gia Dalesandro                SR Indiana                   1:53.67        
  8  Jen Marrkand                  JR Virginia                  1:53.75        
  9  Noemie Thomas                 JR California                1:53.77        
 10  Lauren Case                   FR Texas                     1:53.85        
 11  Remedy Rule                   SO Texas                     1:53.97        
 12  Sarah Koucheki                SR UNC                       1:54.27        
 13  Klaudia Nazieblo              JR Virginia Tech             1:54.68        
 14  Megan Kingsley                JR Georgia                   1:54.80        
 15  Lindsey Engel                 JR Stanford                  1:55.16        
 16  Grace Oglesby                 FR Louisville                1:55.24        
 17  Kara Kopcso                   SR LSU                       1:55.66        
 18  Alyssa Yambor-Maul            SR Florida                   1:55.68        
 19  Vanessa Krause                FR Michigan                  1:55.74        
 20  Katie Grover                  JR UCLA                      1:55.76        
 21  Chelsea Tatlow                JR Arkansas                  1:55.82        
 22  Caitln Casazza                SO Georgia                   1:55.88        
 23  Katelyn Sowinski              SR Penn St                   1:55.97        
 24  Astrid Swensen                SO Michigan                  1:56.02        
 25  Tatum Wade                    FR Southern Cali             1:56.03        
 26  Caty Hulsey                   SR UNC                       1:56.04        
 27  Meg Bailey                    JR Ohio St                   1:56.10        
 28  Alicia Finnigan               SO Liberty Universi          1:56.15        
 29  Michelle Cefal                SR Tennessee                 1:56.18        
 30  Francesca Stoppa              SO Rutgers                   1:56.20        
 31  Christina Kaas Elmgreen       SO Florida Gulf Coa          1:56.24        
 32  Abbie Houck                   SR Louisville                1:56.25        
 33  Sharli Brady                  JR Missouri                  1:56.27        
 34  Celina Li                     SR California                1:56.35        
 35  Emily Cameron                 SR Georgia                   1:56.41        
 36  Danielle Nack                 JR Minnesota                 1:56.46        
 37  Bailey Nero                   SO Auburn                    1:56.49        
 38  Dana Grindall                 SR Wisconsin                 1:56.49        
 39  Taite Kitchel                 SO Purdue                    1:56.54        
 40  Catherine Sanchez             FR Southern Cali             1:56.60        
 41  Nicole Stafford               SR Stanford                  1:56.92        
 42  Bailey Pressey                SR Indiana                   1:56.93        
 43  Erin Sheehan                  FR Notre Dame                1:57.11        
 44  Marne Erasmus                 SR SMU                       1:57.36        
 45  Angela Algee                  SR Miami (FL)                1:58.38        
 46  Tayla Lovemore                JR Florida St                1:58.53        
 47  Nora McCullagh                SO Texas                     1:58.80        
 48  Kathryn Painter               SO Kentucky                  1:59.08  Scr   
 49  Valerie Gruest Slowing        FR Northwestern              1:59.27  Scr   
 50  Kay Sargent                   FR Florida                   1:59.31        
 51  Haley Black                   JR Auburn                    1:59.56

400 Free Relay

Stanford broke its own NCAA, American and US Open Record at the Pac-12’s last month and sit as the top seed with their 3:08.51 record. USC is the second seed as the defending champions in the relay and California is third. Relay names have not been available yet, but Stanford is expected to swim Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Janet Hu and Lia Neal as those four swam on the relay at Pac-12’s.

Event 21  Women 400 Yard Freestyle Relay
        NCAA:  3:08.51  2/25/2017   Stanford                                   
                        S Manuel, K Ledecky, J Hu, L Neal                 
        Meet:  3:08.54  3/21/2015   Stanford                                   
                        L Neal, J Hu, L Engel, S Manuel                   
    American:  3:08.51  2/25/2017   Stanford                                   
                        S Manuel, K Ledecky, J Hu, L Neal                 
   U.S. Open:  3:08.51  2/25/2017   Stanford                                   
                        S Manuel, K Ledecky, J Hu, L Neal                 
        Pool:  3:09.40              Georgia                                    
               3:15.78  A AUTO
               3:17.11  B CONS
  1  Stanford                                                   3:08.51        
  2  Southern Cali                                              3:09.57        
  3  California                                                 3:10.15        
  4  NC State                                                   3:10.31        
  5  Georgia                                                    3:11.19        
  6  Louisville                                                 3:12.12        
  7  Texas                                                      3:12.29        
  8  Wisconsin                                                  3:13.33        
  9  Texas A&M                                                  3:13.37        
 10  UNC                                                        3:13.49        
 11  Michigan                                                   3:13.59        
 12  Arizona                                                    3:13.63        
 13  Auburn                                                     3:14.84        
 14  Virginia                                                   3:15.04        
 15  Florida Int'l                                              3:15.23        
 16  Boise St                                                   3:15.85        
 17  UCLA                                                       3:15.89        
 18  Minnesota                                                  3:15.91        
 19  Notre Dame                                                 3:16.13        
 20  Duke                                                       3:16.60        
 21  Arizona St                                                 3:16.61        
 22  Kentucky                                                   3:16.70        
 23  Missouri                                                   3:16.91        
 24  Tennessee                                                  3:16.93        
 25  Ohio St                                                    3:16.99

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Haughey, DeLoof Lead Michigan Resurgence at NCAAs

Michigan’s Gabby DeLoof and Siobhan Haughey. Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

By Dan D’Addona.

When the No. 1 lit up on the scoreboard next to both Mallory Comerford and Katie Ledecky after the 200-yard freestyle, there was a collective gasp from the NCAA championship crowd in Indianapolis.

The swimmers, were shocked, too. It isn’t very often that a national championship is shared.

But despite the Stanford freshman and Louisville sophomore both touching the wall in 1:40.36, there was plenty of other drama that was completely overshadowed in that race, including a powerful performance from Michigan.

Stanford’s Simone Manuel (1:40.70) and Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey (1:41.21) also went under the pool record set by Allison Schmitt (1:41.85) when she won the national championship four years ago, just ahead of Virginia’s Leah Smith (1:42.66), another Olympian.

“A week before NCAAs, I told my coach that I feel a 1:41 in me,” Haughey said. “But before my race, I felt I would be happy if I just went a best time (1:42), but then I was like, ‘No. I was trained to do a 1:41. I know I can do it.’ I was really happy when I looked at the scoreboard and saw it.

“It means a lot to me. Just the amount of Olympic medals in that final was insane. To be able to race along those people shows all the hard work the past few months has paid off.”

Manuel, an Olympic gold medalist, was expected to be in the hunt for this race, but Haughey, a 2016 Olympian for Hong Kong, has continued to perform at an elite level, even if under the radar.

Her fourth-place finish teamed with Gabby DeLoof’s sixth-place finish of 1:43.11 to score big points for the Wolverines.

“I can’t even describe what it felt like. It was such an elite field. But (coach) kept telling me all year that I was one of the best 200 freestylers in the nation, and obviously, I just proved it. It was phenomenal. Just being there swimming with all of them was really fun.”

Michigan, the Big Ten’s back-to-back champions, finished 10th at last year’s NCAA meet and lost leading scorer Ali DeLoof, Gabby’s sister, a Team USA member who graduated.

But Haughey has become that elite leader that the Wolverines needed. Michigan swimmers were yelling at the top of their lungs for Haughey and Gabby DeLoof, who were in the first two lanes, right in front of the team area.

“Every time I breathed to the right, I saw the whole team right there. That really helped me and gave me all the power to swim fast,” Haughey said. “I was just really happy with that swim, especially swimming next to Gabby. We were talking before that race about how it was just like training because we do this every day in Michigan. That just made me really comfortable and I was just really happy.”

That comfort was a welcome feeling for DeLoof, too.

“Obviously swimming next to Siobhan it made it more comfortable,” DeLoof said. “I went from not scoring last year, being 22nd, to being an All-American in sixth place. That was amazing. I was so happy. I think what clicked was the training — and Siobhan and I train together every day. It was really the environment of being here next to her that really helped me.

“It was a really great moment. Everything just came together at that moment for both of us.”

Haughey and DeLoof were part of the 800 freestyle relay on Wednesday night that finished third, Michigan’s first All-American relay in a decade.

“Everyone trained really hard and we believed in each other and in our program,” Haughey said. “Everyone has the ability to go fast and make it to ‘A’ finals and have a good time. I think this team is going in a very good direction.”

Haughey also finished 11th in the 200 IM (1:55.09) on Thursday after sneaking into the consolation finals at 16th. That just started the motivation that has shaped her meet.

“Coming 16th wasn’t really what I was expecting, but I was pretty happy with my swim (in consolation finals),” Haughey said. “I felt really good in warm-up and knew I was going to go fast.”

This performance at NCAAs is a stepping-stone for the Wolverines, who look to make performances like this a yearly tradition.

“Every year, we just want to get better and get more people to NCAAs and more second swims,” Haughey said. “We have had a very good season — and we’ll see what happens next year.”

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Morning Splash: Lilly King Faces Her Equal But Opposite in Kierra Smith

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By David Rieder.

Never shy about her own abilities, Lilly King pointed out before the 100 breast that she expected to have no close competition and would be racing the clock. Not that it was a terribly bold prediction—she arrived in Indianapolis seeded more than two seconds ahead of anyone else in the field.

“Get ahead, stay ahead,” King said beforehand. “And hopefully go under 30 on the last 50 because it’d be kind of sad to go 55 with a 30 on the last 50.”

Of course, the race did not quite go as planned.

“The individual race, uhh, sucked,” she said. Even if she finished in 56.71, which happened to be the second-fastest time in history, but she

“It’s always kind of hard for me to get up when I don’t really have a race,” King said.

But in the upcoming 200 breast, that one won’t be so easy. King won the NCAA championship last season by more than two seconds, but returning to the fray is Kierra Smith, who skipped what would have been her senior year at Minnesota in 2015-16 to train for the Olympics.

Kierra Smith NCAA champion

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Representing Canada, Smith made the final of the 200 breast in Rio and finished seventh, and while King made the semifinals, she faded to 12th. But in short course, King doesn’t have as much time to fade, and she showed her mastery of the 200-yard distance at the NCAA championships last season, smashing the American record (2:03.59) on her way to a dominant victory.

But the two separate occasions King has raced Smith head-to-head this season have anything but dominant. At the College Challenge in the same Indianapolis pool in November, King edged out Smith, 2:05.64 to 2:05.83 but only after Smith almost erased the 28.01 to 29.11 advantage King established on the first 50.

When they met again at the B1G championships in West Lafayette, Ind., in February, King built a lead of 1.6 seconds at the halfway point and then again had to hold tough down the stretch, touching the wall in 2:04.03, while Smith came in at 2:04.37.

King’s time is the second-fastest in history, behind her own American record, while Smith comes in ranked third all-time behind King and Breeja Larson. There’s plenty of reason to think the redshirt senior will give King everything she can handle when they meet in the 200-yard final—even if Smith looks out of the race at the halfway point.

During her stunning rise to international prominence over the past year, King has shown she not only will not back down from challenges, but she embraces rivalries. Yulia Efimova can attest to that—whatever the intentions of King’s finger wagging, her tough talk on performance-enhancing drugs and even her race strategy, they paid off in Olympic gold.

“I love head-to-heads, obviously,” King said, drawing some laughter in the media room. “Yeah, I’m super excited to race Kierra. It’s like the front half vs. the back half, a perfect head-to-head race.”

*Katie Ledecky for Swimmer of the Meet? Not so fast…

Katie Ledecky anchored a meet-opening record-crushing relay for Stanford before re-stamping her dominance on the 500 free, finishing in 4:24.06 to lower the American record in that event for the fifth time. She tied for first in the 200 free with Mallory Comerford, touching in 1:40.38 to move to No. 2 all-time in the event

And in the 1650, it’s hard to imagine Ledecky not becoming the first woman to ever crack the 15-minute barrier.

Her performance this week had been exactly what we’ve come to expect from Ledecky these past few years. It’s been awhile since anything she does in the water has been considered surprising.

But how about Kathleen Baker? The Cal sophomore won the NCAA title in the 200 IM in a time just four one-hundredths off the American record, and then added a win in the 100 back, twice posting sub-50 times in the event. Now, Baker enters the 200 back as the heavy favorite and has a best time just a half-second off the American record.

Last season, no one won three individual events at NCAAs, and King got the Swimmer of the Meet nod over Ella Eastin by virtue of her American records in both breaststroke events. This meet figures to finish with two deserving candidates, but still, it’s hard to imagine that Ledecky’s records and the stunning nature of her victories don’t garner her a majority of the vote.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Tom Boonen: ‘Milan-San Remo is a seven hour race decided in two seconds’

Boonen hoping experience will help in his last Milan-San Remo

Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) says that today’s Milan-San Remo in Italy is a Classic like none other: a seven-hour race that is decided in a two-second sprint on the Via Roma.

The Belgian classics star is retiring this April 9 in Roubaix’s velodrome after Paris-Roubaix. He has won the Tour of Flanders three times and Paris-Roubaix four times, but never Milan-San Remo.

He placed third in 2007 and second in 2010. Today, the 36-year-old will try to help Colombian team-mate Fernando Gaviria sprint to victory against favourites like Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and 2016 winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ).

>>> Ben Swift ‘not under any illusions’ about chances of Milan-San Remo victory

“[Oscar] Freire beat me in a straight sprint that day [in 2007],” said Boonen. “I was on [Alessandro] Petacchi’s wheel but he just didn’t have the legs and blocked me when he needed to go. Freire went on the left and I was blocked on the right. But that’s Milan-San Remo. It’s a seven-hour race and then it’s decided in two seconds.”

The race rolls out of Italy’s financial and fashion capital this morning at 10:00 local time. The riders cover 7.4 kilometres over Milan’s paving stones and tram tracks before arriving at kilometre zero.

The 292km race rolls through the Po Valley, climbs the Passo Turchino to Liguria and has a steady crescendo as it travels west along the coastline to San Remo.

>>> ‘Milan-San Remo is not a lottery if someone can win it seven times’

The sun shines warmer in Milan than on the casino town of San Remo today. Wind will blow gently from the north and the mercury will reach 15°C later this afternoon.

“A lot of people think that there’s a lot of time, but sometimes is goes very fast. They think that from Milan we just ride to the coast, but when it’s windy, it’s hard. Some riders are dead when they hit the coast,” added Boonen.

“You have to stay focused and not use too much energy. It’s really seven hours of racing, it’s not just the last to hours you see on television.”

Watch: Tom Boonen – people are already saying goodbye

Along the coast, the riders climb the three capi, the Cipressa and Poggio. At the top of the Poggio there are six kilometres, half downhill and half along the flat, to San Remo.

“Milan-San Remo’s not a difficult race. They go up the Poggio as fast as possible and down as fast as possible, and then they sprint, but there’s always… Every five or six years, there’s something that happens that you didn’t expect, so we’ll see. We have to be prepared for everything.”

As Quick-Step showed in Tirreno-Adriatico’s sixth stage, it has men to attack and sprint. Niki Terpstra launched from far, drew out Sagan, and Gaviria waited to win the sprint.

>>> Milan-San Remo 2017 live TV guide

Gaviria fell in training on Thursday, hurting his wrist, but the team doctor said that he should be fine for today’s race.

He debuted in Milan-San Remo at 21 years old last year and seemed able to win until he crashed at 300 meters from the finish. Boonen said that Gaviria has the defining characteristics of “true champion.”

“He’s fast, he’s good and he’s one of the most talented guys in the team for his age. It’s only right that he gets a chance to win,” Boonen continued.

“Maybe in 10 or 15 years we’ll be standing here with him and asking why he never won Milan-San Remo, while everybody would have thought he’d win it five times.

“You have to take your chances you get. He’s in good shape and we can put him a good position this year, so he’s got to try to take it.

>>> Milan-San Remo 2017 start list

“There’s language barrier, he only speaks a few words in Italian and his English is improving, but is not enough to have a conversation with him. He’s improving and learning everything, including how the team works. You can see that it all flows naturally for him.

“He has the brains to make a decision on his own, as he did in the sprint when he won the stage [on Monday]. That defines a true champion.”

A Colombian, or anyone from North or South America, has never won the Italian monument. Two Brits Mark Cavendish and Tom Simpson have their names on the list of winners. Belgian cycling great Eddy Merckx holds the record with seven wins in San Remo.

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Anti-doping body ‘assessing’ Josh Edmondson’s vitamin injection claims

Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation has also been in touch with UK Anti-Doping

Cycling’s anti-doping body has confirmed that it is looking into claims by Josh Edmondson that he injected himself with vitamins, with Team Sky not reporting his actions.

The UCI confirmed to the BBC that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, an independent body which looks after anti-doping in cycling, was “assessing the matter” and had been in touch with UK Anti-Doping.

>>> Who is Josh Edmondson, and has he done anything wrong?

On Thursday Edmondson, who rode for Team Sky in 2013 and 2014, said that he had injected himself with a number of vitamins when given the chance to ride in the 2014 Vuelta a España – a clear violation of the UCI’s no-needle policy.

Edmondon also said that he had used Tramadol, a powerful painkiller that causes drowsiness and has been blamed for a number of crashes, independently and had been given it by a race doctor at the 2013 Tour of Britain. Tramadol is not a banned substance, but Team Sky has a policy of not letting its riders train or race while taking the drug.

>>> Everything you need to know about the British Cycling/Sky mystery package saga

Team Sky said that they did not report the matter to the authorities because Edmondson denied injecting vitamins that were found in his room by a team-mate.

Dr Steve Peters, a former head of medicine at Team Sky, also said that the team did not report the incident over concerns for Edmondson’s mental health, saying he could have been “pushed over the edge” by an investigation.

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Alycea Ungaro – Mixed Equipment Workout (40 mins) – Level 2

What You’ll Need:

Cadillac, Reformer, Mixed Equipment, Pilates Pole

Go for a ride with Alycea Ungaro with this flowing Mixed Equipment workout! She shares the workout she typically does when she has a last-minute cancellation or a free hour at her studio. She reminds us that it is important to take care of our bodies and revisit the apparatus so we can feel what is going on each day.

Mar 18, 2017

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Taylor Ruck Dominates 200 Free at Federal Way Sectionals

Photo Courtesy: Vaughn Ridley/Swimming Canada

Scottsdale Aquatic Club continued to dominate the team scores after day two of the 2017 Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way with a top score of 655. King’s Aquatic Club sits as second currently with a score of 547.

Women’s 200 Free

Taylor Ruck of Scottsdale Aquatic Club dashed ahead of the competition in the women’s 200 free, stopping the clock at a 1:45.18. Teammate Hayley Hill added a third place finish of 1:49.12, while Mount Hood’s Jamie Stone finished second overall with a 1:47.96.

                       === A - Final ===                         
  1 Ruck, Taylor M         16 Scottsdale Aquat  1:48.08    1:45.18  
  2 Stone, Jamie M         18 Mount Hood Aquat  1:49.34    1:47.96  
  3 Hill, Hayley B         18 Scottsdale Aquat  1:50.70    1:49.12  
  4 Berkoff, Katharine F   16 Missoula Aquatic  1:50.60    1:50.01  
  5 Milewski, Samantha R   17 Scottsdale Aquat  1:50.73    1:50.03  
  6 Nicolaisen, Shae L     16 Scottsdale Aquat  1:50.76    1:50.38  
  7 Gordon, Mckenzee M     17 Scottsdale Aquat  1:51.10    1:50.43  
  8 Wu, Joanna W           22 Central Area Aqu  1:50.72    1:50.50

Men’s 200 Free

Zhi Qian of Sun-shine Aquatics turned in the top time in the men’s 200 free, posting a final time of 1:37.93. Hillsboro’s Luke Thornbrue touched second overall with a 1:38.16, followed closely by King Aquatic’s Jose Jacome’s 1:38.36.

                       === A - Final ===                         
  1 Zhi, Qian              18 Sun-shine Aquati  1:38.76    1:37.93  
  2 Thornbrue, Luke W      16 Hillsboro Swim T  1:38.90    1:38.16  
  3 Jacome, Jose M         17 King Aquatic Clu  1:39.50    1:38.36  
  4 Luc, Ethan H           16 Tualatin Hills S  1:39.57    1:38.41  
  5 Martinez, Trenton J    16 Tualatin Hills S  1:39.89    1:38.77  
  6 Eiber, Griffin H       18 Aces Swim Club-C  1:39.31    1:39.98  
  7 Stump, Isaac C         17 Flying Fish of A  1:40.67    1:40.31  
  8 Klein, Curtis T        21 Lake Oswego Swim  1:40.48    1:40.67

Women’s 400 IM

Kelly Huffer continued Scottsdale Aquatic Club’s success with a dominant showing in the women’s 400 IM. Huffer delivered a 4:16.54 to finish more than four seconds ahead of the competition. Issaquah’s Sarah Dimeco finished second with a time of 4:20.56, followed closely by Scottsdale’s Grace Horvath’s 4:20.79.

                       === A - Final ===                         
  1 Huffer, Kelly S        17 Scottsdale Aquat  4:19.78    4:16.54  
  2 Dimeco, Sarah E        16 Issaquah Swim Te  4:25.17    4:20.56  
  3 Horvath, Grace A       18 Scottsdale Aquat  4:22.56    4:20.79  
  4 McCoy, Taylor E        17 Gold Medal Swim-  4:24.26    4:22.50  
  5 Limargo, Chloe P       16 Wave Aquatics-PN  4:24.40    4:22.57  
  6 Bradley, Christina L   16 Issaquah Swim Te  4:26.31    4:22.81  
  7 Aoki, Mari             17 Missoula Aquatic  4:22.74    4:24.85  
  8 Nguyen, Mandolin M     15 Central Area Aqu  4:25.52    4:26.93

Men’s 400 IM

King Aquatic Club posted a 1-2 finish in the men’s 400 IM, led by Daniel Roy and his time of 3:51.26. Teammate Jacome recovered quickly from his 200 free to grab second with a 3:53.55. Hillsboro’s Ethan Heasley was third overall with a 3:53.58.

                        === A - Final ===                         
  1 Roy, Daniel J          17 King Aquatic Clu  3:55.15    3:51.26  
  2 Jacome, Jose M         17 King Aquatic Clu  3:54.06    3:53.55  
  3 Heasley, Ethan T       15 Hillsboro Swim T  3:53.55    3:53.58  
  4 Cook, Jonathan S       16 West Coast Aquat  3:56.93    3:54.75  
  5 Wright, Alexander E    17 Evergreen Swim C  3:55.06    3:56.39  
  6 Stump, Isaac C         17 Flying Fish of A  3:56.04    3:56.56  
  7 Werner, Everett M      17 Evergreen Swim C  3:57.81    3:58.42  
  8 Goswitz, Anton L       14 Hillsboro Swim T  3:58.35    4:02.05

Women’s 200 Medley Relay

Bellingham Bay’s Emma Frey, Yanran Le, Emma Carlton, and Sydney Wong finished first overall in the women’s 200 medley relay with a final time of 1:42.15.

The Dolphins took second overall with a 1:42.39, just ahead of Scottsdale Aquatic Club’s 1:42.47.

 1 Bellingham Bay S-PN  'A'            1:43.41    1:42.15  
     1) Frey, Emma A 17               2) Le, Yanran 16                
     3) Carlton, Emma L 16            4) Wong, Sydney 17              
  2 The Dolphins Por-OR  'A'            1:44.03    1:42.39  
     1) Ashmore, Jordan W 17          2) Dobler, Kaitlyn M 15         
     3) Swail, Lindsay I 17           4) Connor, Alayna E 17          
  3 Scottsdale Aquat-AZ  'A'            1:43.07    1:42.47  
     1) Ruck, Taylor M 16             2) Grover, Claire R 16          
     3) Segneri, Emma C 17            4) Fagan, Gabriella A 17        
  4 Central Area Aqu-PN  'A'            1:45.03    1:43.82  
     1) Wu, Joanna W 22               2) Nguyen, Mandolin M 15        
     3) Shuhart, Kathleen A 17        4) Pressler, Madison A 18       
  5 King Aquatic Clu-PN  'B'            1:45.87    1:44.26  
     1) Zimmerman, Jamie L 14         2) Battistoni, Isabella B 14    
     3) Kim, Erin J 16                4) Ward, Emily R 15             
  6 Tualatin Hills S-OR  'A'            1:46.28    1:45.10  
     1) Cook, Emily N 18              2) Saravanan, Sahana 16         
     3) Cook, Elizabeth K 14          4) Nosack, Sofia L 16           
  7 Scottsdale Aquat-AZ  'B'            1:44.51    1:45.23  
     1) Pattison, Greer A 14          2) Courtney, Riley A 14         
     3) Edwards, Sadie M 14           4) Strouse, Ashley P 14         
  7 King Aquatic Clu-PN  'A'            1:42.87    1:45.23  
     1) Groysman, Yulia G 15          2) Johnson, Evelyn N 17         
     3) Chien, Isabel T 15            4) Kim, Eva J 17

Men’s 200 Medley Relay

King Aquatic’s Cameron King, Daniel Roy, Dillon Virva, and Ethan Dang combined for a top showing in the men’s 200 medley relay. The foursome posted a final time of 1:30.18.

Bainbridge Islan posted a second place finish of 1:32.25, followed by King Aquatic’s ‘B’ relay of 1:32.44.

 1 King Aquatic Clu-PN  'A'            1:30.68    1:30.18  
     1) King, Cameron M 17            2) Roy, Daniel J 17             
     3) Virva, Dillon R 23            4) Dang, Ethan V 15             
  2 Bainbridge Islan-PN  'A'            1:32.60    1:32.25  
     1) Waite, William G 16           2) Houseman, Kevin H 15         
     3) Ingalls, Makai Z 16           4) Wenker, Jude T 15            
  3 King Aquatic Clu-PN  'B'            1:33.00    1:32.44  
     1) Lu, Tyler Y 14                2) Hovis, Mitchell R 17         
     3) Chwaluk, Michael P 16         4) O'Haver, Zackary I 16        
  4 Missoula Aquatic-MT  'A'            1:35.33    1:32.45  
     1) Berkoff, Cale O 17            2) Zimmer, Adam R 18            
     3) Faust, Dylan T 15             4) Mahns, Darragh D 17          
  5 Tualatin Hills S-OR  'A'            1:34.37    1:32.46  
     1) Luc, Ethan H 16               2) Corbeau, Caspar J 15         
     3) Carlson, Evan H 17            4) Martinez, Trenton J 16       
  6 Hillsboro Swim T-OR  'A'            1:33.29    1:32.68  
     1) Duncan, Jerrad A 16           2) Champlin, Brett C 16         
     3) Heasley, Ethan T 15           4) Thornbrue, Luke W 16         
  7 Scottsdale Aquat-AZ  'A'            1:31.58    1:32.81  
     1) Bills, Troy F 18              2) Snoddy, Jeffrey H 18         
     3) Hudson, David C 17            4) Hughes, Parker A 15          
  8 Central Area Aqu-PN  'A'            1:36.30    1:33.11  
     1) Wayte, Emmett M 17            2) Nguyen, Dean D 18            
     3) Hall, Thomas E 19             4) Gore, Benjamin C 18

2017 Speedo Sectionals: Federal Way, Day 2 Results – Results

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Mallory Comerford’s Rise and Her Breakthrough Moment

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

NCAA DI editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by Adidas. Visit adidasswimming.com for more information on our sponsor. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.

By David Rieder.

It was billed as a showdown between Olympic gold medalists and Stanford teammates Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel, but after 150 yards, there was just one problem: Mallory Comerford would not go away.

The Louisville sophomore had arrived at the women’s NCAA championships in Indianapolis with the third-fastest seed time in the 200 freestyle at 1:41.70. That swim at the ACC championships had been impressive, even eye-opening, but Manuel and Ledecky each posted times more than a second faster the next week at the Pac-12 meet.

One day earlier, Ledecky had won the 500 free in American record-time, and Manuel had finished with the second-fastest time ever in the 50 free to win the title. Comerford, meanwhile, ended up fourth in the 500 in 4:36.16, more than 12 seconds back of Ledecky.

But perhaps not-so-quietly, Comerford had put up the quickest split in the field during each of the meet’s first three relays. When the time arrived for the 200 free, Louisville head coach Arthur Albiero believed she was capable of something special.

But a 1:40.36 and a tie with Ledecky for a national championship? Nope, even that did not surprise Albiero.

“Yes. We believed. We never set out a limit,” Albiero said. “There was nothing surprising about her race, to be honest with you. That was the plan—keep it close, make your move, and let’s see what you got.”

Comerford flipped at the 150 more than a half-second behind Manuel and a tenth behind Ledecky, but she had something left. Comerford finished in 25.53, faster than even the legendary distance ace swimming one lane over.

The duo touched the wall, and “1” flashed up on the scoreboard next to both names. Despite the obvious improbabilities of two swimmers touching at the exact same hundredth, it was the time next to Comerford’s name that was most stunning—a time only Missy Franklin has ever bettered.

“When I saw the board, it was just kind of unreal,” Comerford said. “It’s still kind of unreal. I don’t really know what to think. It’s really cool, and it’s such an honor. All my teammates were crying, but I didn’t cry until someone filmed the reaction. That was really cool and something I’ll never forget, seeing them and how proud they were of me.”


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Comerford became the second Louisville woman to win an individual NCAA championship, and the now-graduated butterflyer who was first was front and center as a witness.

Kelsi Worrell had been on deck to present the awards to the top eight in her signature event, the 100 fly, and she stood with her former teammates during the 200 free final.

“I’m watching the coaches get her splits and hearing, ‘She’s going faster than she ever has before,’ and it’s setting in,” Worrell said. “I can’t control myself, I’m shaking and crying and trying not to pee myself. Just so incredible.”

All day, Worrell had insisted that Comerford would get her hand on the wall first. Who would know better, especially since Worrell had watched the Comerford’s rapid rise to notoriety first-hand, beginning less than two years ago when Comerford arrived at Louisville.

“Arthur was just reminiscing on her first practice. During underwaters, she didn’t think she was going to make it,” Worrell said. “She has just improved exponentially.”

She did not arrive a superstar, but Comerford would not be intimidated. She proved that quickly her freshman year, first at the ACC championships, when she touched out soon-to-be Olympian Leah Smith in the 200 free, and then at her first NCAA championships, when she came from behind to finish second.

Her next step, naturally, would be the Olympic Trials in Omaha, but long course would be a different animal. Comerford arrived at Louisville with hardly any experience in the Olympic-sized pool and was not making that up overnight.

Despite that, Albiero thinks that Comerford believed she was going to make the Olympic team, but she was eliminated in the semifinals of both the 200 free and 100 free.

“She was heartbroken that she was not in the final,” Albiero said. “As a coach, you just want to give them an environment to dream big, and then it’s open ended—let’s go see what we can do. Some of those things started there.”

But even after the Trials setback, Comerford’s chance to represent the U.S. would come soon enough, when she was selected to compete at the Short Course World Championships. She finished fifth in the 200 free in Windsor and anchored two U.S. relays to gold medals.

“Worlds was an incredible experience for her to be thrown in that situation where it was not about here. It was about Team USA. And she had to digest that right away,” Albiero said. “I think just being in that environment and feeling like you belong, it’s something really unique and special.”

“In the past year I’ve learned so much. Racing at Worlds, racing against the best in the world, and even a week and a half ago racing here in Indy (at the arena Pro Swim Series) against some of the best swimmers in the world, those experiences have really, really helped me learn how to control my emotions, control my emotions and learn from them and how they race,” Comerford said.

By the time she got back to Indianapolis for her second NCAA championship, Comerford had professed plenty of respect for the big names, but the heat sheets and caps would not phase her. And now she has an NCAA championship to show for it.

“That’s really what we’ve been working for, 1:40,” Comerford said. “In practice, we’ve been pushing 25.5s, holding that consistent, just swimming the race just like that. Coming into this year I didn’t want to limit myself, just go out and have fun.”

During the awards presentation for the 200 free, Ledecky and Comerford shared the top step on the podium, with the step below vacant and Manuel one more slot below that. Ledecky accepted her award first and waved to the crowd, another box checked off in her historic run through her inaugural NCAA championship.

A few moments later, Comerford took her trophy and lifted it high in the air. Elbows locked, she froze and beamed.

She trained for it and believed in her ability, but that didn’t mean she relished the moment any less.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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