Maggie MacNeil Blasts 48.89 to Smash NCAA Record in 100 Butterfly

maggie-macneil-ncaa
Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

Michigan junior Maggie MacNeil finally, finally broke through to become the first woman to break 49 seconds in the 100 butterfly with a 48.89 as she smashed the NCAA & US Open record that she co-held with Louise Hansson at 49.26. Those two were expected to be on a collision course heading into the 2020 NCAAs that ultimately never happened, leaving swimming fans deprived of one of the greatest races never to be swum. MacNeil last year was expected to challenge for that 48 between Hansson, Tennessee’s Erika Brown and Virginia’s Kate Douglass.

In 2021 however, MacNeil and Douglass were able to line up head to head and produce one of the best 100 butterfly races in history. After going head to head in the 50 freestyle with Douglass coming out on top, MacNeil took round two between arguably the two best swimmers in the NCAA with a 48.89 to Douglass’ 49.55, which puts her sixth all-time in the 100 butterfly.

“Definitely not (expecting that fast). It has been a goal of mine for a while, so it was amazing to achieve that, especially at NCAAs,” Maggie MacNeil said after the race. “Kate is such a great racer, so I knew she would be out fast, so my focus was challenging the first 25 and first 50. That is definitely showing that my front-end speed has improved. We have been through such a crazy year. Whatever happens this summer will be a miracle.”

Also in the race were two of the best swimmers in the NCAA, with NC State’s Kylee Alons in third at 50.35, fresh off a 49.2 relay split last night in the 400 medley relay, and Cal’s Izzy Ivey in fourth at 50.68, as she is fresh off a blistering anchor leg in the 200 free relay last night. Ivey will also be swimming in the 100 back final later on alongside Alabama’s Rhyan White, who placed fifth here at 50.99.

Michigan picked up big points with Olivia Carter in sixth at 51.19, to put the Wolverines in sixth place overall, just a half point behind Ohio State.

Texas freshman Olivia Bray (51.44) and Virginia’s Lexi Cuomo (51.80) also placed in the championship final.

This is Maggie MacNeil’s first NCAA title in her career and the first for Michigan on the women’s side since Emily Brunemann won the 1650 in 2008.

All-Time Rankings:

  1. 48.89, Maggie MacNeil, Michigan, 2021
  2. 49.26, Louise Hansson, USC, 2019
  3. 49.38, Erika Brown, Tennessee, 2018
  4. 49.43, Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, 2016
  5. 49.51, Claire Curzan, TAC Titans, 2021
  6. 49.55, Kate Douglass, Virginia, 2021
  7. 49.70, Torri Huske, Arlington, 2021
  8. 49.97, Katie McLaughlin, California, 2019

Listen to MacNeil’s audio interview via Zoom below. Due to technical difficulties, questions were written down in the Zoom chat bar so only MacNeil’s voice is heard.

 Event 9  Women 100 Yard Butterfly
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 49.26  3/22/2019 Louise Hansson, USC
         Meet: M 49.26  3/22/2019 Louise Hansson, USC
     American: A 49.38  2/20/2020 Erika Brown, Tennessee
      US Open: O 49.26  3/22/2019 Louise Hansson, USC
         Pool: P 49.81  3/20/2015 Kelsi Worrell, Louisville
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                       === Championship Final ===                        
 
  1 MacNeil, Maggie        JR Michigan            50.23      48.89N  20  
    r:+0.63  22.67        48.89 (26.22)
  2 Douglass, Kate         SO Virginia            49.94      49.55P  17  
    r:+0.66  23.07        49.55 (26.48)
  3 Alons, Kylee           JR NC State            50.86      50.35   16  
    r:+0.64  23.35        50.35 (27.00)
  4 Ivey, Isabel           JR California          50.75      50.68   15  
    r:+0.74  23.45        50.68 (27.23)
  5 White, Rhyan           JR Alabama             50.75      50.99   14  
    r:+0.67  23.80        50.99 (27.19)
  6 Carter, Olivia         JR Michigan            51.29      51.19   13  
    r:+0.64  24.05        51.19 (27.14)
  7 Bray, Olivia           FR Texas               51.44      51.44   12  
    r:+0.69  23.81        51.44 (27.63)
  8 Cuomo, Lexi            SO Virginia            51.49      51.80   11  
    r:+0.72  23.90        51.80 (27.90)
 
                        === Consolation Final ===                        
 
  9 Gati, Izzy             JR Kentucky            51.85      51.81    9  
    r:+0.68  24.28        51.81 (27.53)
 10 Wheal, Emma            SO Stanford            52.06      51.83    7  
    r:+0.69  23.89        51.83 (27.94)
 11 Sticklen, Emma         FR Texas               52.03      51.91    6  
    r:+0.64  23.94        51.91 (27.97)
 12 Harter, Abby           FR Virginia            51.82      51.93    5  
    r:+0.71  24.49        51.93 (27.44)
 13 Guevara, Miriam        JR Northwestern        51.90      51.99    4  
    r:+0.64  24.08        51.99 (27.91)
 14 Gillilan, Coleen       SO Notre Dame          51.60      52.14    3  
    r:+0.58  24.28        52.14 (27.86)
 15 Nava, Jessica          JR Virginia            52.13      52.15    2  
    r:+0.68  24.14        52.15 (28.01)
 16 Rothrock, Trude        JR Tennessee           51.95      52.20    1  
    r:+0.65  24.15        52.20 (28.05)
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 9                 
 
  1. Virginia                          236   2. Texas                             151
  3. NC State                          145   4. California                        129
  5. Ohio St                         123.5   6. Michigan                          123
  7. Stanford                          111   8. Alabama                           104
  9. Kentucky                          101  10. Georgia                            85
 11. Louisville                         64  12. UNC                                61
 13. Missouri                           55  13. Tennessee                          55
 15. Florida                          53.5  16. Indiana                            45
 17. Texas A&M                          37  18. Northwestern                       32
 19. Wisconsin                          23  20. Virginia Tech                      22
 21. Southern California                21  22. Minnesota                          20
 22. Miami                              20  24. Arkansas                           16
 25. Arizona                            15  26. Notre Dame                          3
 26. Nebraska                            3  26. Akron                               3
 29. Duke                                2  30. Houston                             1