Brooke Forde Wins Stanford’s Fifth Straight 400 IM NCAA Title

brooke--forde
Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

Stanford senior Brooke Forde gave the Cardinal something to cheer about on Friday night at the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in Greensboro as she won the fifth straight title for Stanford in the 400 IM, backing up Ella Eastin’s four straight from 2016 – 2019.

Forde was one of the big favorites to win the NCAA title last season before the meet was cancelled and also a potential Olympian in the event. In her final year swimming for a Stanford team missing a lot of pieces, Forde won her second individual NCAA title after taking the 500 freestyle two years ago.

“I am just super happy. I felt like this was kind of a long time coming with last year being canceled. The 400 IM is what I have been focusing on this whole year,” Brooke Forde said after the race. “Just to have the opportunity to let that work show itself this year is super special. It helps (my confidence) a ton. Just to prove my training is paying off and I’m in a good position heading into the summer really helps my mindset.”

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It didn’t come easy for Forde, who had her hands full early on with Kentucky’s Lauren Poole (4:02.73), who wound up third overall while Virginia’s Ella Nelson closed the gap on breast and free to take second at 4:02.33. Poole had the lead at the 200 at 1:56.40 with Ohio State’s Katie Trace in tow (1:56.88). Forde stayed poised on the breaststroke leg, taking the lead at the 300 with a 3:04.98 with Poole (3:05.68) in second and Nelson (3:06.37) gaining.

It was all decided in the end as Brooke Forde won the title, although two seconds off her best time from two years ago.

Indiana’s Josie Grote (4:05.06), Texas’ Evie Pfeifer (4:05.41), Ohio State’s Trace (4:06.49), Michigan’s Kathryn Ackerman (4:06.95) and Virginia Tech’s Reka Gyorgy (4:08.69) also swam in the championship final.

Trace’s points allowed Ohio State to temporarily move into fourth place ahead of California.

Stanford has now won 13 400 IM NCAA titles as Brooke Forde joins the likes of Michelle Griglione (1989), Janet Evans (1990), Summer Sanders (1991, 1992), Julia Smit (2008-2010), Maya DiRado (2014) and Eastin (2016-2019) as winners in the event for the Cardinal.

 Event 8  Women 400 Yard IM
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 3:54.60  3/16/2018 Ella Eastin, Stanford
         Meet: M 3:54.60  3/16/2018 Ella Eastin, Stanford
     American: A 3:54.60  3/16/2018 Ella Eastin, Stanford
      US Open: O 3:54.60  3/16/2018 Ella Eastin, Stanford
         Pool: P 4:02.47  3/20/2015 Sarah Henry, Texas A&M
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                       === Championship Final ===                        
 
  1 Forde, Brooke          SR Stanford          4:04.92    4:01.57P  20  
    r:+0.75  25.87        55.06 (29.19)
        1:26.73 (31.67)     1:57.35 (30.62)
        2:30.94 (33.59)     3:04.98 (34.04)
        3:33.67 (28.69)     4:01.57 (27.90)
  2 Nelson, Ella           SO Virginia          4:04.47    4:02.33P  17  
    r:+0.70  26.43        55.79 (29.36)
        1:27.48 (31.69)     1:58.46 (30.98)
        2:32.11 (33.65)     3:06.37 (34.26)
        3:35.23 (28.86)     4:02.33 (27.10)
  3 Poole, Lauren          SO Kentucky          4:04.54    4:02.73   16  
    r:+0.68  26.25        56.15 (29.90)
        1:26.68 (30.53)     1:56.40 (29.72)
        2:30.89 (34.49)     3:05.68 (34.79)
        3:34.89 (29.21)     4:02.73 (27.84)
  4 Grote, Josie           SR Indiana           4:05.33    4:05.06   15  
    r:+0.80  26.46        55.97 (29.51)
        1:27.25 (31.28)     1:57.24 (29.99)
        2:32.52 (35.28)     3:08.51 (35.99)
        3:37.31 (28.80)     4:05.06 (27.75)
  5 Pfeifer, Evie          SR Texas             4:06.29    4:05.41   14  
    r:+0.77  26.64        56.70 (30.06)
        1:28.20 (31.50)     1:58.11 (29.91)
        2:33.22 (35.11)     3:08.92 (35.70)
        3:38.00 (29.08)     4:05.41 (27.41)
  6 Trace, Katie           SR Ohio St           4:06.20    4:06.49   13  
    r:+0.66  25.57        54.89 (29.32)
        1:26.28 (31.39)     1:56.88 (30.60)
        2:33.39 (36.51)     3:09.96 (36.57)
        3:38.80 (28.84)     4:06.49 (27.69)
  7 Ackerman, Kathryn      FR Michigan          4:07.35    4:06.95   12  
    r:+0.78  26.61        57.17 (30.56)
        1:28.18 (31.01)     1:58.53 (30.35)
        2:33.58 (35.05)     3:09.44 (35.86)
        3:38.67 (29.23)     4:06.95 (28.28)
  8 Gyorgy, Reka           SR Virginia Tech     4:06.77    4:08.69   11  
    r:+0.70  26.49        56.32 (29.83)
        1:27.43 (31.11)     1:58.23 (30.80)
        2:34.39 (36.16)     3:10.78 (36.39)
        3:40.28 (29.50)     4:08.69 (28.41)
 
                        === Consolation Final ===                        
 
  9 Romano, Kristen        SR Ohio St           4:08.20    4:04.28    9  
    r:+0.75  25.86        55.66 (29.80)
        1:27.12 (31.46)     1:57.42 (30.30)
        2:32.27 (34.85)     3:07.31 (35.04)
        3:36.45 (29.14)     4:04.28 (27.83)
 10 Toney, Camryn          SR Texas A&M         4:08.61    4:06.30    7  
    r:+0.69  27.26        57.41 (30.15)
        1:29.63 (32.22)     2:00.88 (31.25)
        2:35.74 (34.86)     3:10.69 (34.95)
        3:38.93 (28.24)     4:06.30 (27.37)
 11 Bonnett, Bailey        SR Kentucky          4:08.26    4:06.41    6  
    r:+0.64  26.42        56.78 (30.36)
        1:28.62 (31.84)     2:00.03 (31.41)
        2:34.06 (34.03)     3:08.90 (34.84)
        3:38.37 (29.47)     4:06.41 (28.04)
 12 Moore, Kate            SR NC State          4:08.53    4:07.30    5  
    r:+0.71  26.29        56.53 (30.24)
        1:28.18 (31.65)     1:58.66 (30.48)
        2:34.26 (35.60)     3:10.32 (36.06)
        3:39.67 (29.35)     4:07.30 (27.63)
 13 Davey, Gillian         SO Kentucky          4:08.57    4:07.31    4  
    r:+0.71  27.00        57.48 (30.48)
        1:29.96 (32.48)     2:01.64 (31.68)
        2:34.90 (33.26)     3:08.12 (33.22)
        3:38.29 (30.17)     4:07.31 (29.02)
 14 Yager, Alexis          SR Tennessee         4:08.17    4:08.09    3  
    r:+0.72  26.53        56.71 (30.18)
        1:29.29 (32.58)     2:01.17 (31.88)
        2:35.74 (34.57)     3:10.27 (34.53)
        3:39.57 (29.30)     4:08.09 (28.52)
 15 Hay, Abby              SO Louisville        4:08.71    4:08.87    2  
    r:+0.72  26.28        56.59 (30.31)
        1:28.16 (31.57)     1:58.92 (30.76)
        2:33.88 (34.96)     3:09.93 (36.05)
        3:40.05 (30.12)     4:08.87 (28.82)
 16 Rice, Anna Havens      FR Kentucky          4:09.81    4:12.79    1  
    r:+0.74  27.10        58.00 (30.90)
        1:29.95 (31.95)     2:01.90 (31.95)
        2:37.70 (35.80)     3:13.82 (36.12)
        3:44.13 (30.31)     4:12.79 (28.66)
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 8                 
 
  1. Virginia                          201   2. Texas                             133
  3. NC State                          129   4. Ohio St                         123.5
  5. California                        114   6. Stanford                          104
  7. Kentucky                           92   8. Michigan                           90
  8. Alabama                            90  10. Georgia                            85
 11. Louisville                         64  12. UNC                                61
 13. Missouri                           55  14. Tennessee                          54
 15. Florida                          53.5  16. Indiana                            45
 17. Texas A&M                          37  18. Northwestern                       28
 19. Wisconsin                          23  20. Virginia Tech                      22
 21. Southern California                21  22. Minnesota                          20
 22. Miami                              20  24. Arkansas                           16
 25. Arizona                            15  26. Nebraska                            3
 26. Akron                               3  28. Duke                                2
 29. Houston                             1