Stanford dominated women’s swimming and Diving National Championships this weekend. They won 13 of the 18 swimming events and every single one of the relays. They won by 220 points, unusual and dominating. They led from the first event on, only moving farther away from the competition as the events transpired. Quite extraordinary. (If you would like a full breakdown of how NCAA’s are scored and the events offered click here).
Stanford has some big stars who earned themselves names in the Rio Olympics. Of course, Katie Ledecky the Sophomore for Stanford is the biggest name in swimming right now. She is a distance swimming phenom. Of the three events she swam in she won 2 of them. In the 500 freestyle, she was 2 seconds slower than last year at this time but was still able to beat out her teammate, Katie Drabot by 8 seconds. In her specialty the 1650 she was 5 seconds slower than last year but almost 30 seconds faster than Ally McHugh of Penn State who finished second. At the Rio games, Ledecky swam all freestyle events including the 200 free. But at NC’s she swam the 400 IM versus the 200 freestyle. She finished second in the 400 IM to her teammate Ella Eastin.
Eastin swam the event in a record time of 3:54. Ledecky was 2 seconds back. Ella Eastin also won the 200 IM in record time, sweeping the Individual Medley Events. (It is important to note here for non-swimming experts, that NCAA and all collegiate swimming is done in a 25-yard pool. This is unique to the United States, this meet is the fastest short course-what a 25-yard format is considered-meet in the world. Though it has American, NCAA and pool records there are not World Records in this event. The Olympics and all other international level meets have competed in a 50-meter pool. Katie Ledecky is the World Record Holder in all of the distance events in the long course of 50-meter events. For a full look at NCAA Championships click here).
Another Olympic Gold Medalist from Rio, Simone Manuel, swam her last meet as a collegiate athlete. As a Stanford Senior and sprint specialist she had a great meet. She was part of three of Stanford’s perfect relays while also winning individual championships in the 100 freestyle and the 50 free. She swam the 200 freestyle but only finished 3rd, the highest of the Stanford swimmers but well behind the individual champion from Louisville, Mallory Comerfo.
Lilly King dominated the breaststroke events out of Indiana. She made a name for herself for being critical of the Russian swimmer who was allowed in despite the widespread cheating within that organization at the 2016 Olympics. King won both the 200 and 100 breastrokes with records in both of them. She is a Junior this year. We shall see what she brings next year.
An athlete from this meet to keep an eye on going forward is Abbey Weitzeil. She is a sophomore from California who has the National Records in the 50 freestyle. She finished a disappointing 4th in that event this year. But she will be a senior when the Olympics come back around.
The Final Results were
- Stanford (593 points)
- University of California (373)
- Texas A&M (299)
- Michigan (267)
- Louisville (232)