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NCAA Day Four Prelims: Simone Manuel Leads Way In 100 Freestyle With 46.30

NCAA Day Four Prelims: Simone Manuel Leads Way In 100 Freestyle With 46.30
Photo: © Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

200 BACKSTROKE

NCAA Record: 1:47.84 (Elizabeth Pelton - California, 2013)
Meet Record: 1:47.84 (Elizabeth Pelton - California, 2013)
American Record: 1:47.84 (Elizabeth Pelton - California, 2013)
US Open Record: 1:47.84 (Elizabeth Pelton - California, 2013)

​Alexia​ ​Zevnik​ of NC State is the lone wolf atop of the pack this morning at the 2017 NCAA Women's Championships in Indianapolis, taking the top seed with a solid 1:49.71 -- only a tenth slower than her time from ACCs. The big story here is the Galyer sisters of Kentucky taking second and fourth. ​Danielle Galyer​, a senior and defending NCAA champion in this event, took second with a 1:49.73 while her younger sister ​Ali Galyer​, a freshman, took fourth with a 1:50.53. It was a great moment for them as they shared a long hug upon seeing they both made it in the A-final. Sitting in third place is ​Kathleen Baker​ of Cal, who is still the favorite going into tonight based on her 1:48.33 from Pac-12s. But as we saw Friday night in the 200 freestyle, races are not swum on paper, and anything can happen in a championship final.

1.) Alexia Zevnik (NC State): 1:49.71
2.) Danielle Galyer (Kentucky): 1:49.73
3.) Kathleen Baker (California): 1:49.96
4.) Ali Galyer (Kentucky): 1:50.53
5.) Kennedy Goss (Indiana): 1:50.62
6.) Tasija Karosas (Texas): 1:50.85
7.) Asia Seidt (Kentucky): 1:50.86
7.) Clara Smiddy (Michigan): 1:50.86
16.) Nadine Laemmler (Mizzou): 1:52.52


100 FREESTYLE

NCAA Record: 46.09 (Simone Manuel - Stanford, 2015)
Meet Record: 46.09 (Simone Manuel - Stanford, 2015)
American Record: 46.09 (Simone Manuel - Stanford, 2015)
US Open Record: 46.09 (Simone Manuel - Stanford, 2015)

This morning's 100 freestyle was not packed with many surprises. As expected, ​Simone Manuel ​of Stanford, the NCAA and American record-holder in this event, claimed the top seed with a 46.30. Manuel split a solid race with a 22.44 going out and 23.86 coming home. ​Olivia Smoliga ​of Georgia, the defending NCAA champion in this event, snagged the second seed with a 46.87, and Friday night's 200 freestyle co-champion, ​Mallory Comerford​, touched for the third seed with a 46.89. At face value, Manuel is certainly the favorite, but something to keep in mind is the fatigue factor -- Manuel and Comerford have both swum 10 races thus far at these championships, while Smoliga has swum 11.​ That's a heavy load for all three of these women and will play a role in who gets their hand on the wall first. Don't count out Friday night's 100 butterfly champion, ​Farida Osman​ of Cal, either as the senior is the fourth seed with a 47.18.

​1.) Simone Manuel (Stanford): 46.30
2.) Olivia Smoliga (Georgia): 46.87
3.) Mallory Comerford (Louisville): 46.89
4.) Farida Osman (California): 47.18
5.) Lia Neal (Stanford): 47.22
6.) Abbey Weitzeil (California): 47.28
7.) Beryl Gastaldello (Texas A&M): 47.34
8.) Chantal Van Landeghem (Georgia): 47.37
16.) Linnea Mack (UCLA): 48.10


200 BREASTSTROKE 

NCAA Record: 2:03.59 (Lilly King - Indiana, 2016)
Meet Record: 2:03.59 (Lilly King - Indiana, 2016)
American Record: 2:03.59 (Lilly King - Indiana, 2016)
US Open Record: 2:03.59 (Lilly King - Indiana, 2016)

​Tonight's 200 breaststroke is going to be a battle of strategy. ​Lilly King​, the NCAA record-holder in this event and Friday night's champion in the 100 breaststroke, will be out like a bat out of hell. This morning, King took it out in an aggressive 59.08 -- merely four -hundredths of a second off of her record pace and the only one in the A-final who was under 1:00 at the 100. However, she will have a slew of competitors who will be playing catch-up on the back half --most notably, ​Kierra Smith ​of Minnesota. Smith out-split King 1:04.75 to 1:06.82 over the last 100 yards. So the name of the game will be: how much of a lead can King build to hang on? Don't count out ​Sydney Pickrem ​of Texas A&M or ​Emily Escobedo​ of UMBC, either. These two women have a strong back half as well and will be gunning for the defending champion and record-holder.

1.) Kierra Smith (Minnesota): 2:05.50
2.) Sydney Pickrem (Texas A&M): 2:05.69
3.) Emily Escobedo (UMBC): 2:05.72
4.) Lilly King (Indiana): 2:05.90
5.) Kayla Brumbaum (NC State): 2:06.23
6.) Madisyn Cox (Texas): 2:06.45
7.) Ashley McGregor (Texas A&M): 2:06.86
8.) Andrea Cottrell (Louisville): 2:07.45
16.) Riley Scott (USC): 2:09.79


200 BUTTERFLY

NCAA Record: 1:49.92 (Elaine Breeden - Stanford, 2009)
Meet Record: 1:50.61 (Kelsi Worrell - Louisville, 2016)
American Record: 1:49.92 (Elaine Breeden - Stanford, 2009)
US Open Record: 1:49.92 (Elaine Breeden - Stanford, 2009)

Ella Eastin of Stanford, last year's runner-up in this event, claimed the top seed in this morning's 200 butterfly with a strong 1:52.58. Eastin split the race very consistently in (25.46)(28.81)(29.10)(29.21) for her 1:52 and will look to drop each of those 50s into the 28 mid-range tonight. With last year's champion, ​Kelsi Worrell​,​ gone to graduation, Eastin has a big opportunity to claim the title. She was 1:51.04 in 2016, so look for her to be in the 1:50 range tonight. In second place was ​Kaitlyn Jones​ of Virginia with a 1:52.93. Jones missed out on the A-final last year, finishing 10th, so she will look to push the pace tonight through the 150 and see if she can hold off Eastin on the last 50. ​Sarah Gibson ​of Texas A&M snagged the third seed with a 1:53.32, but the Aggie has a legitimate chance to win this race. The key for her will be staying in sight at the 100 and using her strong closing speed to overtake the field.

1.) Ella Eastin (Stanford): 1:52.58
2.) Kaitlyn Jones (Virginia): 1:52.93
3.) Sarah Gibson (Texas A&M): 1:53.32
4.) Lauren Case (Texas): 1:53.44
5.) Katie McLaughlin (California): 1:53.92
6.) Jennifer Marrkand (Virginia): 1:54.12
7.) Remedy Rule (Texas): 1:54.34
8.) Madison Wright (USC): 1:54.41
16.) Klaudia Nazieblo (Virginia Tech): 1:55.52

​400 FREESTYLE RELAY

NCAA Record: 3:08.51 (Stanford, 2017)
Meet Record: 3:08.54 (Stanford, 2015)
American Record: 3:08.51 (Stanford, 2017)
US Open Record: 3:08.51 (Stanford, 2017)

​The final event of the NCAA Championships has been set. Georgia leads the way in prelims of the 400 freestyle relay with a 3:10.54, led by a strong 47.28 leadoff from ​Olivia Smoliga​. This was Smoliga's 12th race at this meet, and she showed a lot of grit to put the Bulldogs in a strong position going into finals. Stanford is second with a 3:10.83 thanks to a monster 46.18 from ​Simone Manuel ​on the anchor. If the Cardinal can make up a few tenths on the middle legs of this relay, they will have a great shot at the title. USC finished third with a 3:11.28 with a very consistent relay -- ​Louise Hansson​ was 47.48 on the leadoff and was followed by a 48.34, 47.54, and 47.92 from her Trojan teammates. NC State and California have to be considered contenders as well, as they sit fourth and fifth with a 3:11.56 and 3:11.75, respectively. 

1.) Georgia: 3:10.54
2.) Stanford: 3:10.83
3.) Southern Cal: 3:11.28
4.) NC State: 3:11.56
5.) California: 3:11.75
6.) Texas A&M: 3:12.43
7.) Louisville: 3:12.61
8.) Wisconsin: 3:12.91
16.) UCLA: 3:15.09
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