2023 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- March 15-18, 2023
- Allan Jones Aquatic Center–Knoxville, Tennessee
- SCY (25 yards)
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results
- Live Stream
- SwimSwam Preview Index
- Pick ’em Contest
- Day 1 Finals Live Recap
- Day 2 Prelims Live Recap
TOP 10 TEAMS THRU DAY 1
- Virginia – 80
- Texas – 64
- Cal – 56
- Stanford – 52
- NC State – 44
- es vcasTennessee/Louisville – 40
- Ohio State – 38
- Indiana – 34
- Georgia – 30
It’s the first full session of finals at the 2023 Women’s Division I NCAAs. There’s a full slate of individual events, relays, and diving in store during the session. That includes the finals of the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and 1-meter diving, along with timed finals of the 200 freestyle relay to close out the night.
Teammates Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh cruised to the first and third seeds in the 200 IM during prelims. 2022 runner-up Torri Huske sits between them as the second overall qualifier in 1:52.38, but expect this race to be all about the duo from Virginia. At ACCs, Douglass scared Walsh’s NCAA and American records with a 1:50.15, and will take another run at claiming the records for herself tonight. Walsh won’t just hand it to her though, and it should be a great race between them for the title.
In the 50 free, their teammate Gretchen Walsh is the top qualifier by .38 of a second. She cruised to 21.00 in prelims, with Maggie MacNeil sitting second in 21.38. Both have been sub-21 before, and it looks like it will take that to win the title. We’ll still be on record watch in this event, as Walsh lowered the NCAA and American records to 20.83 at ACCs. Speaking of the ACC, they dominated the 50 free this morning; six out of the eight finalists swim in that conference.
A. Walsh swam on both relays yesterday, so Virginia is going to have to leave her off one, and it could be the 200 freestyle relay. However, Douglass and G. Walsh will be back in action there, along with Lexi Cuomo. Last month, they reset their NCAA record in the event, and they’ll look to bring it even lower tonight.
After a quiet morning in the 500 freestyle, Erica Sullivan is the favorite to claim the title. She’s the top seed in 4:36.51. Wisconsin’s Abby Carlson had a great back half during prelims though and ate into a large part of the gap between her and Sullivan. She could surprise in the final, as could Rachel Stege, Kensey McMahon, or Sullivan’s own teammate Olivia Bray.
500 YARD FREESTYLE – FINALS
- NCAA Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) 4:24.06 — 2017
- Meet Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) — 2017
- American Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) — 2017
- US Open Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (Stanford) — 2017
- Pool Record: 4:33.09, Paige Madden (Virginia) — 2020
- 2022 Champion: Lia Thomas (Penn) — 4:33.24
- Kensey McMahon (Alabama) – 4:36.62
- Abby Carlson (Wisconsin) – 4:36.96
- Olivia Bray (Texas) – 4:37.02
- Erica Sullivan (Texas) – 4:37.28
- Rachel Stege (Georgia) – 4:37.32
- Emma Weyant (Florida) – 4:38.46
- Ching Hwee Gan (Indiana) – 4:38.91
- Dune Coetzee (Georgia) – 4:40.58
Fifth-year Kensey McMahon came into the meet as the 23rd seed and now she is the national champion. It was an exciting race to start off the session as the lead changed hands several times and there were five swimmers bunched together heading into the touch.
Olivia Bray led the field through the first 200, flipping at 1:48.38. Then, the SEC champion Rachel Stege took control for Georgia, and lead for about a 100 yards before McMahon took over. Once she grabbed the lead, McMahon didn’t surrender it again, holding off pushes from Bray, Erica Sullivan, Abby Carlson, and Stege.
After posting a lifetime best to qualify sixth, McMahon dropped another 1.19 seconds off her best to win the event in 4:36.62. Wisconsin sophomore Carlson used a strong back half to take second, while Texas teammates Bray and Sullivan finished third and fourth. Bray, who only began to really swim this event collegiately this year, swam another lifetime best for third with a 4:37.02. Sullivan was .26 seconds behind her in 4:37.28. Her prelims time would have been fast enough to win.
Last year’s runner-up Emma Weyant was sixth, a bit behind the main bunch in 4:38.96.
Tennessee sophomore Julia Mrozinski won the ‘B’ final for the second straight year in 4:37.34.
200 YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – FINALS
NCAA Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022 Meet Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022 American Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022 US Open Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 2022 Pool Record: 1:50.92, Kate Douglass (Virginia) — 2020
- 2022 Champion: Alex Walsh (Virginia) — 1:50.08
- Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 1:48.37 (NCAA and American Record)
- Torri Huske (Stanford) – 1:50.06
- Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 1:50.07
- Ella Nelson (Virginia) – 1:53.13
- Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:53.56
- Emma Sticklen (Texas) – 1:54.09
- Abby Hay (Louisville) – 1:54.62
- Sarah Foley (Duke) – 1:54.96
Well, that certainly lived up to the hype. The women’s 200 IM was one of the marquee events of the meet and the swimmers delivered, with Kate Douglass, Torri Huske, and Alex Walsh all getting under the old NCAA and American records.
It was Douglass right from the start though, as she left no doubt about who the winner was going to be. She led from wire-to-wire, out-splitting Huske on the butterfly, 23.51 to 23.56. She kept the pedal down on the backstroke with a 27.40 split, then splitting 31.38 on breast and bringing it home in a blistering 26.08. Post-race, she said that she really wanted to break 1:50 and she certainly did that, blowing past that barrier with a 1:48.37 and smashing the NCAA and American records by 1.71 seconds.
Huske lost her grip on second place to Walsh during the breaststroke leg, but roared home in 26.42 to repeat as the NCAA runner-up. As we said, she was also under the old record and the swim is also a massive personal best for her, as her old mark was 1:51.81. She out-touched Walsh by one-hundredth, which is a big upset as Douglass and Walsh were heavily favored to go 1-2; the defending champion grabbed third in 1:50.07, also under her old record.
Virginia got a 1-3-4 finish, as Ella Nelson took fourth in 1:53.13. That’s a personal best for the senior, bettering the 1:53.69 she swam last month at the Cavalier Invite. It’s a big improvement for her in the standings as well; last year she finished eighth.
Fifth-place Phoebe Bacon and sixth-place Emma Sticklen also notched personal best times. Bacon touched in 1:53.69, which is a .83 second drop from the best time she recorded at this meet last year. Like Nelson she also vaulted up the standings from last year, where she finished 10th overall.
This is a new event for Sticklen at the collegiate level; she raced the 50 free in 2022. She established herself as a threat for three ‘A’ finals earlier this season and lived up to that with her sixth-place finish here. She posted 1:54.09, shaving another nine-hundredths from her lifetime best. Coming into the meet, her best was a 1:54.70, so she’s taken .61 seconds off her best over the course of the day.
50 YARD FREESTYLE – FINALS
NCAA Record: 20.83, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) — 2023 Meet Record: 20.84, Kate Douglass (Virginia) — 2022
- American Record: 20.83, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) — 2023
US Open Record: 20.83, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) — 2023 Pool Record: 20.94, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 2022
- 2022 Champion: Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 20.84
- Maggie MacNeil (LSU) – 20.79 (NCAA Record)
- Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 20.85
- Gabi Albiero (Louisville) – 21.30
- Teresa Ivan (Ohio State) – 21.46
- Katharine Berkoff (NC State) – 21.54
- Grace Countie (UNC-Chapel Hill) – 21.67
- Christina Regenauer (Louisville) – 21.68
- Lexi Cuomo (Virginia) – 21.71
Make that back-to-back NCAA records. Maggie MacNeil wiped out the NCAA record that Gretchen Walsh swam just last month, putting up a blistering 20.79. She bettered the record by .04 seconds and blew away her personal best of 20.98, which she swam to win at SECs.
Coming into the race we knew that it would be a battle between MacNeil and Walsh, with the Cavalier establishing herself as the favorite thanks to her 21.00 in prelims. Here in the final though, it was MacNeil all the way and what really made the difference for her was her start. MacNeil had a +.64 reaction time, while Walsh was the slowest in the heat to get off the blocks, a tenth back from MacNeil in +.74. Walsh tried to stage a comeback, pushing MacNeil into the flags, but she ended up repeating as the NCAA runner up in 20.85–nine-hundredths behind MacNeil.
Louisville’s Gabi Albiero held onto her third place seed, securing 16 points for the Cardinals. She clocked a new personal best of 21.30, getting under the 21.36 she swam at ACCs. Her teammate Christina Regenauer earned seventh, hitting her prelims time exactly in 21.68.
Ohio State’s Teresa Ivan jumped up from eighth to finish fourth in 21.46. It’s the second time she’s lowered her personal best today. She came into the meet with a 21.78, which she lowered to 21.71 in prelims. With her 21.46 here, she’s taken .32 seconds off her fastest time today.
Senior Katharine Berkoff moved up from her seventh place finish in 2022, earning fifth tonight in 21.54. That knocks a hundredth off her personal best.
1-Meter Diving — FINALS
- NCAA Record: 365.75, Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) — 2022
- Meet Record: 365.75, Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) — 2022
- Pool Record: 364.30, Lauren Reedy (Missouri) — 2017
- 2022 Champion: Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) — 365.75
- Aranza Vazquez Montano (UNC-Chapel Hill) – 358.75
- Delaney Schnell (Arizona) – 340.05
- Mia Vallee (Miami (FL)) – 338.10
- Hailey Hernandez (Texas) – 321.05
- Chiara Pellacani (LSU) – 318.55
- Carolina Sculti (USC) – 312.90
- Kyndal Knight (Kentucky) – 304.55
- Joy Zhu (Minnesota) – 297.35
At ACCs, Aranza Vazquez Montano swept the 1-meter, 3-meter, and platform. She’s kept that momentum going here, becoming the 2023 national champion on the 1-meter board with 358.75 points. A UNC junior and an Olympian, this is her first national title as she’s finished second and third on this board in her two previous meets.
She led after every round, but it was tight for a while; at the halfway point, the top three divers (Montano, Mia Vallee, and Kyndal Knight) were separated by less than half a point.
Arizona’s Delaney Schnell climbed up during the later rounds to finish second, improving on her fifth-place finish from 2022. Mia Vallee set an NCAA record en route to her title last year, and this year she finished third. Texas’ Hailey Hernandez moved up a place from prelims, earning fourth with 321.05 points.
200 Freestyle Relay — TIMED FINAL
- NCAA Record: 1:23.87, Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) — 2023
Meet Record: 1:24.55, California (M. Murphy, K. McLaughlin, A. Bilquist, A. Weitzeil) — 2019
- American Record: 1:23.87, Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) — 2023
- US Open Record: 1:23.87, Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, A. Walsh) — 2023
Pool Record: 1:26.38, Alabama (K. Antoniou, M. Scott, K. Winter, C. Dupre) — 2021
- 2022 Champion: Virginia (K. Douglass, A. Walsh, L. Cuomo, G. Walsh) — 1:24.96
- Virginia (K. Douglass, G. Walsh, L. Cuomo, M. Parker) – 1:24.51
- Stanford (T. Huske, C. Curzan, T. Ruck, A. Tang) – 1:25.70
- Louisville (G. Albiero, C. Regenauer, J. Dennis, E. Welch) – 1:25.73
- Ohio State – 1:25.80
- LSU – 1:27.04
- Texas – 1:27.11
- Florida – 1:27.31
- Indiana – 1:27.48
They were off their NCAA record from ACCs, but Virginia is now 3-for-3 at relays so far at these 2023 Championships. They got it done in meet record fashion, taking down Cal’s meet record of 1:24.55 from 2019. 200 IM champion Kate Douglass led off in 21.01, before handing things off to Gretchen Walsh, who split 20.59. Lexi Cuomo threw down a 21.33 split, and Maxine Parker, the new addition to this relay from ACCs (replacing Alex Walsh), brought things home in 21.58.
Stanford out-touched Louisville by three-hundredths, 1:25.70 to 1:25.73. Torri Huske opened for the Cardinal in 21.57, then Claire Curzan swam 20.98 on the second leg. After missing 50 free finals, Taylor Ruck rebounded with a 21.39 split, and Amy Tang clocked 21.76 to hold off a charging Ella Welch for Louisville.
On the first three legs for the Cardinal, Gabi Albiero opened in 21.62, Christina Regenauer split 21.23, and Julia Dennis clocked 21.39. All three swam in finals of the 50 free, with Albiero and Regenauer in the ‘A’ final and Dennis in the ‘B’ final.
Swimming second for LSU, newly crowned 50 free champion (and NCAA record holder) Maggie MacNeil ripped 20.37, which is the third fastest split of all-time. The Tigers added time from SECs, but still finished fifth in 1:27.04.
Ohio State dropped nine-tenths off their seed time to collect fourth place. Katherine Zenick, who scratched the individual 50 free, led off in 21.74. Amy Fulmer split 21.24, Nyah Funderburke 21.63, and Teresa Ivan 21.19 to combine for 1:25.80.
Notably, NC State was disqualified for an early take-off. They would have finished fifth, which is a big blow for them in the team standings. Auburn was also disqualified and would have finished 13th.
Top 20 Teams Thru Day 2
- Virginia – 208.5
- Texas – 162
- Louisville – 117
- Stanford – 106
- Ohio State – 93
- Indiana – 83
- Florida – 76
- Cal – 74
- UNC-Chapel Hill – 73
- Georgia – 66.5
- NC State – 66
- LSU – 62
- Tennessee – 61
- Alabama – 56
- Wisconsin – 49
- USC – 37
- Kentucky – 26
- Virginia Tech – 18
- Arizona – 17
- Miami (FL) – 16