March 29, 2023

NCAA Girls’s Championship Breakdown: The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Prime Groups in Knoxville

For the whole thing of this faculty swimming season, the College of Virginia girls had been thought-about the favourites, successful a 3rd consecutive nationwide championship—because the Cavaliers would count on to return 2022 winners from seven particular person occasions and 4 relays. The present finally month’s ACC Championships that included record-breaking swims Gretchen Walsh 50 free plus Kate Douglass At 100 butterflies, it solely bolstered that concept.

Now that we’re just a few days away from assembly, let’s have a look at how Virginia can rating the required factors for an additional crown, and the way she will be able to rack up the factors for Texas and Stanford, the 2 finest contenders for that throne. This is what we have realized about every crew over the previous six months:

Virginia: The Guiding Stars

Sturdy: It’s nearly sure that this crew will handle to win many wins and place within the high three all through the match. The three stars of the crew, Douglass, Gretchen Walsh and Alex Walshevery threatening to win all three of their particular person occasions, and for these girls, any end aside from the highest three could be an important disappointment. Ella Nelson most likely a three-time A finalist and enters the meet as the very best seed in 400 IMs and the brand new addition Aimee Canny He’ll compete in 200 freestyles. Reilly Tiltmann one other doable multi-event A-finalist and Lexi Cuomo And Maxine Parker It will likely be too massive for the dash depth. Due to the massive three, all of Virginia’s 200- and 400-yard relays are closely favored.

weaknesses: If we’re nit-picking right here, Virginia is unlikely to attain any dive factors, they usually lack star energy in 500 and 1650 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 backstroke. sturdy floating Maddie Donahoe (distance free), Emma Weber (100 chests) and Tiltmann (200 backs) will help make up for these swimmers, or perhaps Parker, and get excessive B-finals and even A-finals, Anna Keating or Abby Harter it will take away any bits of doubt.

Texas: Depth and Few Holes

Texas’ Kelly Pash — Photograph Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Sturdy: Longhorns as soon as once more Kelly Pash, has by no means been an NCAA champion thus far in his profession, however is a dependable power in particular person occasions (three high 5 finishes final yr) and relays. Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby joins Anna Elendt for the nation’s finest breaststroke duo and high three within the Texas 200 fly with bourgeoning star Emma Sticklen plus veterans Pash and Dakota Luther. Olympic medalist Erica Sullivan It has the very best seeding time at 500 free plus the third finest entry time at 1650 free and Olivia Bray After exhibiting spectacular consistency in his junior season, he will probably be requested to attain large in his occasions (500 free, 100 again, 200 again). And naturally Texas is the one contender more likely to rating large in diving. Haley Hernandez, Jordan Skilken And Janie Boyle all returning A finalists.

weaknesses: Texas, which completed surprisingly second final yr, didn’t enter a single high two till the ultimate day of the match, when Sullivan completed second in 1650 free races and Elendt took second place in 200 breasts. The Longhorns can have some championship probabilities this yr, nevertheless it’s nowhere close to the extent of a Virginia crew that would fairly declare first place in eight of the 13 particular person occasions and 4 relays. Concerning weaker occasions, Texas is unlikely to have any scorers within the 50 and 100 freestyles (which may also block the dash flags, though Pash will play a job there), and no Longhorns will contest a 400 IM.

Stanford: Huske, Curzan and Ruck

Torri Huske of Stanford — Photograph Courtesy of Peter H. Bick

Sturdy: If not for the Douglass and Walsh brothers trio, the Stanford band tori huske, Claire Curzan And Taylor Ruck could be essentially the most star-studded band within the nation. All are Olympians and all have gained medals in worldwide competitions. Ruck is the defending nationwide champion within the 200 free, whereas Huske was second within the 100 fly and 200 IM final yr. Curzan will probably be favored for the 200 again particular person crown. One other freshman, Charlotte Hookenters as fourth seed at 200 flies, and Stanford ought to rating large within the relays, taking the highest three locations in all however the 200 medley. The Cardinal will probably be favored to win the 800 free relay with out Curzan on the roster, and presumably simply one in all Huske or Ruck.

weaknesses: No swimmers locked out at Stanford besides Huske, Curzan, Ruck and Hook finishes in the top eight. Lillie Nordman He’s coming back from a powerful freshman season the place he was an A-finalist on the 200 free and a B-finalist on the 200 fly, however didn’t repeat these instances as a sophomore. first-year college students like Kayla Wilson (200 free) or Lucy Bell (400 IM) can have an impact Morgan Tankersley (200 and 500 free) and Lucie Nordmann (200 again) They returned as fifth-year swimmers after making A-finals in 2022. If Stanford has higher-than-third-place end hopes, the crew wants quite a bit from their less-proven supporting roster.

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