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Final Thoughts on Women’s Division 1 Swimming Championships

Final Thoughts on Women’s Division 1 Swimming Championships

Another week of mesmerizing, inspiring, and unbelievable swimming. Par for the course for Women’s Division 1 Swimming Championships.

Overall, 8 NCAA records went down as superstars Katie Ledecky (200/500/1650 Free), Simone Manuel (50/100 Free), Ella Eastin (400 IM, 200 Fly), Lilly King (100/200 Breast), and Kathleen Baker (200 IM/100 Back/200 Back) stole the show, accounting for 12 of 13 individual event victories. Farida Osman (100 Fly) was the only other individual event winner. Olivia Smoliga pulled off the Bridesmaid’s Hat Trick: 2nd place in all three of her events (50 Free, 100 Back, 100 Free). 

The biggest names at the Rio Olympics were on stage destroying records in SCY. Women’s Division 1 swimming has found its happy place. Though, the promotion continues to be sub par. The meet was plagued with bad audio, loss of video stream, and lack of working results. It’s still impossible to know who is swimming and what they are splitting. Minuscule amounts of interviews leave some of the most marketable swimmers and coaches out of the limelight. 

Stanford did end up sweeping the freestyle events, though Mallory Comerford of Louisville stole the story-line by tying Ledecky in the 200 Free. The Cardinal Tree won the 800 FR, 400 MR, and 400 FR — got 2nd in the 2 FR and 3rd in the 2 MR. Stanford swimmers won 53.8% of all individual events. 

No team swam perfectly — far from it — look no further than in the 500. All teams missed opportunities to score more points. I’m interested to see some metrics:

  • what the overall % of PB’s were
  • who improved from their seed time
  • who improved their times from Prelims to Finals, and
  • what teams missed out on the most points/what teams maximized their opportunities

One last thought.

I was constantly reminded during NCAA’s that the majority of swimming’s fan base is at swim practice or a swim meet.