Swimming World Presents “Women’s NCAA Previews: Swimming World’s Top Ten Team Predictions”

Swimming World March 2020 - May The Fourth Be With You - Stanford Cardinals - Womens NCAA Previews - Katie Drabot by PHB

Women’s NCAA Previews

By Dan D’Addona

“May the fourth be with you,”… That’s what Stanford’s swimmers could be saying to each other, as the Cardinal appear to have what it takes to win their fourth straight women’s NCAA championship!

After two years of domination, the Stanford women’s swimming and diving team held off a late-charging Cal last year to earn a third consecutive NCAA title. Many of the big names from those teams are gone, but the Cardinal still have a plethora of swimmers ready to keep their streak going.

As for the rest of the field, Swimming World predicts several schools will make big jumps in the team standings at this year’s meet, March 18-21, at University of Georgia’s Ramsey Center in Athens, Ga. The difference between third and ninth could be minimal, with one swim having big consequences in the team standings.

Here is a look at the teams that Swimming World predicts to finish in this year’s Top 10:

1. STANFORD CARDINAL
Last year: 1st (456.6 points) – Returning points: 280.5

Stanford has won three consecutive women’s NCAA championships. The first two years, the team boasted Olympians Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and Kassidy Cook as well as national champions Ella Eastin, Ally Howe and Janet Hu.

They’re all gone now, as well as last year’s freshman sensation Taylor Ruck, who is taking the year off to concentrate on training for the 2020 Olympics. But Coach Greg Meehan’s team is still loaded. Brooke Forde won her first NCAA title last year and will be a huge point catalyst for Stanford. Katie Drabot is another big name coming off of a bronze-medal performance at the World Championships.

2. CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
Last year: 2nd (419 points) – Returning points: 254.0

During the last 11 women’s NCAA Championships, Stanford has won three titles and placed second three times, while Cal’s numbers are four
and four. Since 2009, at least one of the two schools has finished either first or second. And while Stanford has been winning the last three national meets, Cal has always been No. 2. Expect the same in 2020.

Although the Golden Bears came up only 37-1/2 points short in 2019, they put together an impressive charge, led by the heroics of injured Abbey Weitzeil, who anchored the meet’s final event—an American record 400 freestyle relay—with only one fully functioning arm! Cal ended with three relay victories, finished second in the other two, and had All-America performances from seniors Amy Bilquist and Katie McLaughlin.

3. VIRGINIA CAVALIERS
Last year: 6th (188 points) – Returning points: 161.5
Virginia flew under the radar last year, finishing sixth when it seemed like a 50-50 chance that they would even make it in the Top 10.

But the Cavaliers have 10 returning scorers from last year’s team and add title-contender Kate Douglass, a freshman phenom who has been tearing up the ACC all season and who has a legitimate shot to win multiple individual events.

All-Americans Morgan Hill, Paige Madden and Megan Moroney also return for Coach Todd DeSorbo’s squad. Put that trio together with Douglass—as well as seven more athletes who scored last year on at least one relay—and the Cavaliers have a huge upside this season.

To access the full Top 10 teams of the Women’s NCAA Previews,
Check out the March issue of Swimming World Magazine- Available Now!

Swimming World March 2020 Cover - Louise Hansson
[ PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK ]

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FEATURES

016 CATCH CAL IF YOU CAN!
by Dan D’Addona
With all their firepower and depth, Cal’s Golden Bears will be extremely difficult to catch at this year’s men’s Division I NCAAs.

020 MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU
by Dan D’Addona
That’s what Stanford’s swimmers could be saying to each other, as the Cardinal appear to have what it takes to win their fourth straight women’s NCAA championship!

023 THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
by David Rieder
Swedish swimmer Louise Hansson never envisioned herself swimming in college in the United States. But as she prepares for this month’s women’s NCAAs, the University of Southern California senior says that moving to the U.S. was the best thing she’s ever done.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: “WE WILL SMASH THEM LIKE GUITARS”
by John Lohn
Before the men’s 400 freestyle relay at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, American Gary Hall Jr. proclaimed the United States would “smash (the Australians) like guitars.” However, the Aussies won the race by 19-hundredths of a second, ending the U.S. streak of seven straight Olympic gold medals in the event—and 15 straight victories, counting the World Championships! In the latest installment of our “Takeoff to Tokyo” series, we venture back 20 years to what has become known as the Air-Guitar Race.

030 UPON FURTHER REVIEW…
by Andy Ross

The battle for supremacy for this year’s NCAA Division II and Division III swimming and diving titles might not be such a foregone conclusion as in previous years when Queens dominated D-II, Emory controlled women’s D-III and Denison was the talk of men’s D-III.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: CECIL COLWIN
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: TECHNIQUE SIMILARITIES ACROSS THE FOUR COMPETITIVE STROKES
by Rod Havriluk
Although there are obvious differences in technique elements across all four competitive strokes, there are many similarities. Knowing about the similarities can help swimmers better understand specific movements and, consequently, make technique improvements more quickly.

040 Q&A WITH COACH BILLY DOUGHTY
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN LUCA URLANDO
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: STROKE STRENGTH SERIES—BACKSTROKE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

045 UP & COMERS: JACE LLOYD
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT 009 BEYOND THE YARDS

019 THE OFFICIAL WORD

032 2020 SWIM CAMP DIRECTORY 044 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

046 GUTTERTALK