Friday, March 24, 2017

Final report on the women's NCAA swimming championships of 2017

As I write this, the men's NCAA swimming championships are underway*, but I didn't finish checking on the women. Looking forward to seeing this on the "big screen" TV.

* With some BIG races

Stanford, featuring Katie Ledecky, won the team championship.

Highlights of Day 3:

Ella Eastin (also of Stanford) set an NCAA and American record in her 400 IM win. This meet is the first I've heard of her; will she move on to bigger things?

The 200 yard freestyle was won by Katie Ledecky, of course; the surprise is that she tied for first, with Louisville's Mallory Comerford tracking her down in the final 50. Simone Manuel was third.

100 fly winner was Farida Osman of Cal.

Lilly King, as expected, was way out in front in the 100 breast. King set all the records at the Big Ten championships, and was 0.4 seconds slower here. Wow.

Kathleen Baker of Cal, who had a very good meet, won the 100 backstroke, but didn't quite get the American record.

Cal finished the night with an NCAA-record win in the 200 Medley Relay.

Highlights of Day 4:

Ledecky won the 1650, but was a bit slower than her times in 2016. Long meet. Leah Smith was second and everybody else finished about a time zone back.

Cal's Kathleen Baker won the 200 backstroke, too.

Simone Manuel was the first woman ever under 46 seconds for the 100 freestyle, winning by nearly a second over Smoliga and Comerford, who TIED for second. What is going on with Comerford that she has to finish in a tie with someone?

Who do you think won the 200 breast? Lilly King, naturally, but Kierra Smith of Minnesota hung in there with her, less than 0.3 back. Emily Escobedo of the University of Maryland - Baltimore County, not a big school by any means, was third. She finished third last year, too.

Ella Eastin won the 200 butterfly; not supremely fast, unfortunately, as the USA needs more butterfly swimmers.

Stanford finished the meet with the top spot in the 400 freestyle relay (and another American record).

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