2017 NCAA Women’s Championships: Stanford Smashes Relay Record

Photo Courtesy: Chuckarelei / Pac-12

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By Dan D’Addona.

The addition of Katie Ledecky and return of Olympians who took the previous college season off was sure to add a boost to the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships.

The added firepower was on display in the meet’s opening event as Stanford’s Simone Manuel, Lia Neal, Ella Eastin and Ledecky demolished the NCAA, American and U.S. Open record in the 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

The Cardinal finished in a stunning 6:45.91, beating the previous records by nearly two seconds — set by Stanford at the Pac-12 Championships.

“It was kind of an unsaid thing. We just knew coming in that we could put together something special,” Ledecky said. “(Coach) put that lineup together so we could get out and hopefully inspire our teammates on Day 1.”

It worked.

“Every once in a while, you get the opportunity to do something really special, and that presented itself today,” Stanford coach Greg Meehan said. “We utilized Pac-12s to see what relays Simone was going to be on and Lia was going to be on. Those were the two who had the most room to maneuver. We had an opportunity to put those four together and do something historic and get rolling for the rest of the meet.”

Manuel led off for Stanford and held off Cal’s Kathleen Baker (1:42.66, a personal best), USC’s Louise Hansson. Virginia’s Leah Smith, Texas’s Madisyn Cox and Michigan’s Gabby DeLoof.

Her 1:41.41 split gave Stanford a comfortable lead.

Neal dove in second, going up against Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem, USC’s Tatum Wade, Cal’s Kristen Vredeveld, Texas’s Claire Adams and Michigan’s Rose Bi, keeping the lead with a 1:42.15 split.

“I feel like the older I get the more anxious I get, so it was really nice to start off the meet with that swim,” Neal said. “We are all very proud of that swim and that time.”

Neal gave way to Eastin, who went head-to-head with Cal’s Amy Bilquist, Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey and Virginia’s Jen Markkand. Eastin’s split was 1:41.89 to hand the relay over to the fastest female in the world.

“Having everything be familiar is a good confidence boost for me,” Eastin said. “I was excited to be on the relay where I was potentially going to be the slowest one. That is really fun, and obviously something that no group has done before. It was an honor for me.”

Ledecky dove in with a two-body lead over Cal’s Katie McLaughlin and Michigan’s G Ryan. It quickly opened to a three-body-length lead. Ledecky’s split was 1:40.46.

“Going last, I could see everyone going so fast and that calmed the nerves,” Ledecky said.

But Ledecky’s split wasn’t the fastest of the night.

Mallory Comerford swam the second leg with a 1:40.2 split for Louisville in the second heat, leading the Cardinals to second in the heat (6:58.41) and eighth overall (6:58.41).

Cal finished second (6:51.42), followed by Michigan (6:53.63), Texas (6:54.83) and Virginia (6:55.97).

Event 1  Women 800 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
         NCAA: N 6:49.42  2/22/2017 Stanford
                          L Neal, K Drabot, E Eastin, K Ledecky
         Meet: C 6:52.69  3/20/2009 California
                          S Isakovic, H Wilson, L Jensen, D Vollmer
     American: A 6:49.42  2/22/2017 Stanford
                          L Neal, K Drabot, E Eastin, K Ledecky
    U.S. Open: O 6:49.42  2/22/2017 Stanford
                          L Neal, K Drabot, E Eastin, K Ledecky
         Pool: P 6:54.43            Georgia
    School                           Seed     Finals NISCA Points
==================================================================================
  1 Stanford                      6:49.42    6:45.91N        40  
    r:+0.69  23.17        48.57 (48.57)
      1:14.72 (1:14.72)   1:41.41 (1:41.41)
        2:04.67 (23.26)     2:30.46 (49.05)
      2:56.88 (1:15.47)   3:23.56 (1:42.15)
        3:46.98 (23.42)     4:13.08 (49.52)
      4:39.36 (1:15.80)   5:05.45 (1:41.89)
        5:28.80 (23.35)     5:54.42 (48.97)
      6:20.34 (1:14.89)   6:45.91 (1:40.46)
  2 California                    6:53.37    6:51.42C        34  
    r:+0.68  23.87        49.59 (49.59)
      1:15.79 (1:15.79)   1:42.66 (1:42.66)
        2:05.71 (23.05)     2:31.51 (48.85)
      2:58.79 (1:16.13)   3:26.63 (1:43.97)
        3:49.86 (23.23)     4:15.76 (49.13)
      4:42.20 (1:15.57)   5:08.71 (1:42.08)
        5:32.07 (23.36)     5:58.08 (49.37)
      6:24.83 (1:16.12)   6:51.42 (1:42.71)
  3 Michigan                      6:55.34    6:53.63P        32  
    r:+0.68  24.65        50.77 (50.77)
      1:16.86 (1:16.86)   1:43.27 (1:43.27)
        2:07.39 (24.12)     2:33.48 (50.21)
      3:00.31 (1:17.04)   3:27.24 (1:43.97)
        3:49.99 (22.75)     4:15.52 (48.28)
      4:42.27 (1:15.03)   5:09.05 (1:41.81)
        5:33.35 (24.30)     6:00.19 (51.14)
      6:27.23 (1:18.18)   6:53.63 (1:44.58)
  4 Texas                         6:56.52    6:54.83         30  
    r:+0.72  24.35        50.67 (50.67)
      1:17.09 (1:17.09)   1:43.53 (1:43.53)
        2:06.83 (23.30)     2:33.06 (49.53)
      3:00.27 (1:16.74)   3:27.52 (1:43.99)
        3:51.25 (23.73)     4:17.25 (49.73)
      4:44.55 (1:17.03)   5:11.97 (1:44.45)
        5:35.64 (23.67)     6:01.80 (49.83)
      6:28.27 (1:16.30)   6:54.83 (1:42.86)
  5 Virginia                      6:56.21    6:55.97         28  
    r:+0.73  24.08        49.49 (49.49)
      1:15.83 (1:15.83)   1:42.46 (1:42.46)
        2:06.48 (24.02)     2:32.97 (50.51)
      2:59.16 (1:16.70)   3:26.12 (1:43.66)
        3:49.88 (23.76)     4:16.23 (50.11)
      4:42.57 (1:16.45)   5:09.52 (1:43.40)
        5:34.07 (24.55)     6:00.07 (50.55)
      6:27.66 (1:18.14)   6:55.97 (1:46.45)
  6 Kentucky                      6:59.33    6:57.51         26  
    r:+0.69  24.79        51.46 (51.46)
      1:18.34 (1:18.34)   1:45.03 (1:45.03)
        2:08.92 (23.89)     2:35.12 (50.09)
      3:02.06 (1:17.03)   3:29.32 (1:44.29)
        3:53.03 (23.71)     4:19.11 (49.79)
      4:46.00 (1:16.68)   5:14.19 (1:44.87)
        5:37.29 (23.10)     6:04.13 (49.94)
      6:31.09 (1:16.90)   6:57.51 (1:43.32)
  7 Georgia                       7:00.44    6:58.18         24  
    r:+0.74  24.55        50.76 (50.76)
      1:17.29 (1:17.29)   1:44.12 (1:44.12)
        2:07.31 (23.19)     2:33.58 (49.46)
      3:00.80 (1:16.68)   3:28.31 (1:44.19)
        3:52.38 (24.07)     4:19.02 (50.71)
      4:46.20 (1:17.89)   5:13.49 (1:45.18)
        5:38.09 (24.60)     6:04.33 (50.84)
      6:31.29 (1:17.80)   6:58.18 (1:44.69)
  8 Louisville                    7:00.62    6:58.41         22  
    r:+0.74  24.86        51.17 (51.17)
      1:18.07 (1:18.07)   1:45.35 (1:45.35)
        2:08.51 (23.16)     2:33.94 (48.59)
      2:59.77 (1:14.42)   3:25.56 (1:40.21)
        3:49.97 (24.41)     4:17.01 (51.45)
      4:44.65 (1:19.09)   5:11.97 (1:46.41)
        5:36.43 (24.46)     6:03.73 (51.76)
      6:30.89 (1:18.92)   6:58.41 (1:46.44)
  9 Texas A&M                     6:57.90    6:58.62         18  
    r:+0.72  24.22        50.76 (50.76)
      1:17.45 (1:17.45)   1:43.85 (1:43.85)
        2:08.10 (24.25)     2:35.10 (51.25)
      3:02.17 (1:18.32)   3:29.44 (1:45.59)
        3:53.28 (23.84)     4:20.98 (51.54)
      4:48.11 (1:18.67)   5:14.91 (1:45.47)
        5:39.24 (24.33)     6:06.03 (51.12)
      6:32.57 (1:17.66)   6:58.62 (1:43.71)
 10 Wisconsin                     7:00.05    6:59.18         14  
    r:+0.80  24.68        51.12 (51.12)
      1:17.90 (1:17.90)   1:44.91 (1:44.91)
        2:08.88 (23.97)     2:35.55 (50.64)
      3:02.59 (1:17.68)   3:30.26 (1:45.35)
        3:54.63 (24.37)     4:21.32 (51.06)
      4:48.45 (1:18.19)   5:15.86 (1:45.60)
        5:39.60 (23.74)     6:05.87 (50.01)
      6:32.51 (1:16.65)   6:59.18 (1:43.32)
 11 Southern Cali                 6:54.24    6:59.47         12  
    r:+0.74  23.40        48.97 (48.97)
      1:15.51 (1:15.51)   1:42.48 (1:42.48)
        2:06.42 (23.94)     2:32.50 (50.02)
      2:59.76 (1:17.28)   3:27.34 (1:44.86)
        3:50.29 (22.95)     4:16.80 (49.46)
      4:44.90 (1:17.56)   5:14.17 (1:46.83)
        5:37.42 (23.25)     6:03.94 (49.77)
      6:31.43 (1:17.26)   6:59.47 (1:45.30)
 12 Indiana                       7:04.50    6:59.91         10  
    r:+0.60  24.41        50.45 (50.45)
      1:16.63 (1:16.63)   1:43.37 (1:43.37)
        2:07.26 (23.89)     2:33.77 (50.40)
      3:00.96 (1:17.59)   3:27.88 (1:44.51)
        3:52.99 (25.11)     4:20.26 (52.38)
      4:46.89 (1:19.01)   5:13.53 (1:45.65)
        5:37.82 (24.29)     6:04.67 (51.14)
      6:32.40 (1:18.87)   6:59.91 (1:46.38)
 13 Arizona                       7:01.08    7:00.26          8  
    r:+0.74  24.37        50.98 (50.98)
      1:17.40 (1:17.40)   1:43.53 (1:43.53)
        2:07.58 (24.05)     2:33.86 (50.33)
      3:00.79 (1:17.26)   3:28.30 (1:44.77)
        3:53.04 (24.74)     4:19.64 (51.34)
      4:46.17 (1:17.87)   5:13.12 (1:44.82)
        5:37.36 (24.24)     6:04.12 (51.00)
      6:31.84 (1:18.72)   7:00.26 (1:47.14)
 14 Minnesota                     7:00.61    7:00.73          6  
    r:+0.71  24.17        50.62 (50.62)
      1:17.46 (1:17.46)   1:44.39 (1:44.39)
        2:08.69 (24.30)     2:35.41 (51.02)
      3:02.84 (1:18.45)   3:30.14 (1:45.75)
        3:54.77 (24.63)     4:22.08 (51.94)
      4:49.01 (1:18.87)   5:15.64 (1:45.50)
        5:39.57 (23.93)     6:06.24 (50.60)
      6:33.51 (1:17.87)   7:00.73 (1:45.09)
 15 Missouri                      7:04.22    7:01.02          4  
    r:+0.71  24.56        51.11 (51.11)
      1:18.19 (1:18.19)   1:45.60 (1:45.60)
        2:09.82 (24.22)     2:36.36 (50.76)
      3:03.22 (1:17.62)   3:30.32 (1:44.72)
        3:54.86 (24.54)     4:21.45 (51.13)
      4:48.47 (1:18.15)   5:15.30 (1:44.98)
        5:39.93 (24.63)     6:06.52 (51.22)
      6:33.40 (1:18.10)   7:01.02 (1:45.72)
 16 Virginia Tech                 7:04.63    7:03.10          2  
    r:+0.72  24.48        50.53 (50.53)
      1:17.22 (1:17.22)   1:43.79 (1:43.79)
        2:08.48 (24.69)     2:35.59 (51.80)
      3:02.61 (1:18.82)   3:29.47 (1:45.68)
        3:53.72 (24.25)     4:20.45 (50.98)
      4:48.06 (1:18.59)   5:16.46 (1:46.99)
        5:40.73 (24.27)     6:07.22 (50.76)
      6:34.51 (1:18.05)   7:03.10 (1:46.64)
 17 Auburn                        7:04.29    7:04.29        
    r:+0.67  24.77        51.49 (51.49)
      1:18.52 (1:18.52)   1:45.74 (1:45.74)
        2:08.81 (23.07)     2:35.31 (49.57)
      3:02.94 (1:17.20)   3:31.28 (1:45.54)
        3:55.52 (24.24)     4:22.36 (51.08)
      4:49.55 (1:18.27)   5:16.92 (1:45.64)
        5:42.55 (25.63)     6:09.35 (52.43)
      6:36.59 (1:19.67)   7:04.29 (1:47.37)
 18 UCLA                          7:04.84    7:04.59        
    r:+0.71  23.87        50.41 (50.41)
      1:18.06 (1:18.06)   1:46.79 (1:46.79)
        2:11.68 (24.89)     2:39.32 (52.53)
      3:06.80 (1:20.01)   3:34.18 (1:47.39)
        3:57.86 (23.68)     4:24.21 (50.03)
      4:51.19 (1:17.01)   5:18.08 (1:43.90)
        5:42.46 (24.38)     6:09.44 (51.36)
      6:37.15 (1:19.07)   7:04.59 (1:46.51)
 19 NC STATE                      6:59.73    7:04.65        
    r:+0.70  24.81        51.65 (51.65)
      1:18.94 (1:18.94)   1:45.75 (1:45.75)
        2:08.84 (23.09)     2:35.67 (49.92)
      3:02.88 (1:17.13)   3:29.30 (1:43.55)
        3:53.91 (24.61)     4:21.42 (52.12)
      4:49.27 (1:19.97)   5:16.08 (1:46.78)
        5:40.82 (24.74)     6:08.52 (52.44)
      6:36.60 (1:20.52)   7:04.65 (1:48.57)
 20 Tennessee                     7:05.48    7:04.73        
    r:+0.71  24.42        50.87 (50.87)
      1:17.85 (1:17.85)   1:45.14 (1:45.14)
        2:08.99 (23.85)     2:35.50 (50.36)
      3:03.00 (1:17.86)   3:30.17 (1:45.03)
        3:55.14 (24.97)     4:22.51 (52.34)
      4:50.09 (1:19.92)   5:17.74 (1:47.57)
        5:42.07 (24.33)     6:09.14 (51.40)
      6:36.96 (1:19.22)   7:04.73 (1:46.99)
 21 Florida                       7:05.26    7:06.85        
    r:+0.67  24.49        51.24 (51.24)
      1:18.48 (1:18.48)   1:46.26 (1:46.26)
        2:11.36 (25.10)     2:38.41 (52.15)
      3:05.85 (1:19.59)   3:33.23 (1:46.97)
        3:57.45 (24.22)     4:25.07 (51.84)
      4:52.82 (1:19.59)   5:21.33 (1:48.10)
        5:45.13 (23.80)     6:12.36 (51.03)
      6:40.13 (1:18.80)   7:06.85 (1:45.52)
 22 Ohio St                       7:06.53    7:07.08        
    r:+0.70  25.33        52.35 (52.35)
      1:19.36 (1:19.36)   1:46.29 (1:46.29)
        2:10.95 (24.66)     2:38.45 (52.16)
      3:06.05 (1:19.76)   3:33.34 (1:47.05)
        3:58.12 (24.78)     4:24.83 (51.49)
      4:51.91 (1:18.57)   5:19.02 (1:45.68)
        5:44.25 (25.23)     6:11.55 (52.53)
      6:39.12 (1:20.10)   7:07.08 (1:48.06)
 23 Boise St                      7:03.96    7:07.63        
    r:+0.71  24.58        51.26 (51.26)
      1:18.55 (1:18.55)   1:45.79 (1:45.79)
        2:09.52 (23.73)     2:35.94 (50.15)
      3:03.70 (1:17.91)   3:40.33 (1:54.54)
        3:56.26 (15.93)     4:23.33 (43.00)
      4:51.73 (1:11.40)   5:30.22 (1:49.89)
        5:44.78 (14.56)     6:12.02 (41.80)
      6:39.60 (1:09.38)   7:07.63 (1:37.41)
 24 UNC                           7:06.97    7:09.05        
    r:+0.77  24.80        51.83 (51.83)
      1:19.47 (1:19.47)   1:47.58 (1:47.58)
        2:11.49 (23.91)     2:38.47 (50.89)
      3:06.49 (1:18.91)   3:34.74 (1:47.16)
        3:59.11 (24.37)     4:26.08 (51.34)
      4:53.73 (1:18.99)   5:22.03 (1:47.29)
        5:46.34 (24.31)     6:13.27 (51.24)
      6:41.08 (1:19.05)   7:09.05 (1:47.02)
 -- Notre Dame                    7:06.88        SCR        
 -- Arizona St                    7:07.06        SCR        
 -- Florida Internat              7:08.44        SCR        
 
                      Combined Team Scores - Through Event 1                      
 
  1. Stanford                           40   2. California                         34
  3. Michigan                           32   4. Texas                              30
  5. Virginia                           28   6. Kentucky                           26
  7. Georgia                            24   8. Louisville                         22
  9. Texas A&M                          18  10. Wisconsin                          14
 11. Southern Cali                      12  12. Indiana                            10
 13. Arizona                             8  14. Minnesota                           6
 15. Missouri                            4  16. Virginia Tech                       2
5 Comments

5 comments

  1. avatar
    Eric

    Small correction. Comerford didn’t lead off for Louisville. She was the second swimmer.

    • avatar
      Eric

      Or, at least I should say, it was the second swimmer who went the 1:40.2. I can’t tell from the results if it was Comerford or not.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Buky Chass

    1. In the second (or so) paragraph it says (stunning beating the old record……by nearly 2 sec…..). In fact the diff. between 6:45.9 to 6:49.4 is 3.5 sec. Pls. correct.
    2. S. Manuel’s time was disappointing!! She already swam this year a 1:40.+ I would expect a champ like her to improve and not swim 1 sec. slower……..
    3. K. Ledecky already swam this year a 1:40.5 flat start. I would expect the best swimmer in the world to go sub 1:40 relay start and not 1:40.46. In a way a bit disappointing.
    4. The Stanford quartet should have been at around 6:44+ if they all swam their best!!!

Author: Daniel D'Addona

avatar
Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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