2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Championship: Katharine Berkoff, Rhyan White Tie For Top Seed in 100 Backstroke

katharine-berkoff-ncaa-nc-state
Katharine Berkoff. Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

The 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships continued with the second preliminary session of the meet on Friday.

Friday’s prelim events are the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 3-meter diving. The relays are all timed finals and will take place during the finals session.

Virginia leads the meet after winning the 800 free relay on opening night of the NCAA Championships, then claiming all three individual titles on Day 2, while also taking runner-up in both relays. The Cavaliers have plenty of fire power in today’s events as well.

NCAA Championships: Women’s 100 Backstroke

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson holds the NCAA record in 49.18, set when she won the title in 2019. After 15 years where Cal’s Natalie Coughlin was the only swimmer under 50 seconds (49.97), Nelson, Regan Smith, Ally Howe, Kathleen Baker and Janet Hu have all been sub-50 since 2017. Cal has dominated the event with 11 titles in history, including Coughlin’s four-year sweep from 2001-04. Rachel Bootsma won three in a four-year span from 2013-16 and Cindy Tran was a repeat winner. North Carolina’s Sue Walsh, Texas’ Betsy Mitchell, Stanford’s Lea Loveless and Florida’s Gemma Spofforth have all won three titles in the event.

In an event with several title contenders, it seemed fitting that the top seed in the 100 backstroke was a tie. NC State’s Katharine Berkoff and Alabama’s Rhyan White each swam the prelims in 50.16 to tie for the top seed.

Wisconsin freshman Phoebe Bacon took the third seed in 50.58, just ahead of Cal’s Isabel Ivey (51.09), who made the top eight in both of her events, also reaching the final in the 100 butterfly.

Ivey’s Cal teammate Isabelle Stadden took the fifth seed in 51.18, followed by Texas junior Julia Cook (51.19).

Rounding out the top eight were North Carolina’s Grace Countie (51.42) and Virginia senior Caroline Gmelich (51.43), giving the Cavaliers another finalist for tonight.

Event 12  Women 100 Yard Backstroke
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 49.18  3/22/2019 Beata Nelson, Wisconsin
         Meet: M 49.18  3/22/2019 Beata Nelson, Wisconsin
     American: A 49.16  3/14/2021 Regan Smith, Riptide
      US Open: O 49.16  3/14/2021 Regan Smith, Riptide
         Pool: P 49.76  3/18/2021 Maggie MacNeil, Michigan
    Name                 Year School               Seed    Prelims        
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 White, Rhyan           JR Alabama             50.20      50.16  
    r:+0.62  24.11        50.16 (26.05)
  1 Berkoff, Katharine     SO NC State            50.40      50.16  
    r:+0.55  24.33        50.16 (25.83)
  3 Bacon, Phoebe          FR Wisconsin           51.32      50.58  
    r:+0.59  24.48        50.58 (26.10)
  4 Ivey, Isabel           JR California          51.12      51.09  
             24.54        51.09 (26.55)
  5 Stadden, Isabelle      FR California          50.86      51.18  
    r:+0.66  24.79        51.18 (26.39)
  6 Cook, Julia            JR Texas               51.14      51.19  
             24.56        51.19 (26.63)
  7 Countie, Grace         JR UNC                 51.46      51.42  
    r:+0.73  24.71        51.42 (26.71)
  8 Gmelich, Caroline      SR Virginia            51.96      51.43  
    r:+0.57  24.95        51.43 (26.48)
 -----------------------------------------------------------------
  9 Lindner, Sophie        JR UNC                 52.27      51.56  
    r:+0.64  25.08        51.56 (26.48)
 10 Thompson, Sarah        SR Missouri            51.27      51.72  
    r:+0.68  24.66        51.72 (27.06)
 11 Atkinson, Emma         FR Virginia Tech       51.86      51.84  
    r:+0.78  24.90        51.84 (26.94)
 12 Shuppert, Emma         SO Duke                52.76      51.89  
             24.96        51.89 (26.93)
 13 Tiltmann, Reilly       FR Virginia            51.50      52.08  
    r:+0.72  25.51        52.08 (26.57)
 14 Crane, Emily           JR Ohio St             51.38      52.25  
    r:+0.72  25.27        52.25 (26.98)
 14 Rees, Meredith         SO Missouri            52.22      52.25  
    r:+0.74  25.37        52.25 (26.88)
 16 Bray, Olivia           FR Texas               51.04      52.26  
             25.18        52.26 (27.08)