The 2016 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships are upon us! We’ve been fortunate to see a ton of fast swimming at this meet and this year is sure to provide the same. Let’s see what we have to look forward to this year:
NCAA Record: 4:43.37, 2011 NCAAs, Kendra Stern, Amherst
2015 Champion: 4:47.67, Sarah Thompson, Williams
The field seems to be relatively young, with only 3 seniors in the top twenty swimmers. Look for a lot of last years Championship Final to make it back. Rebecca Upton (So., Emory) looks to have a great shot to win this, she had a great meet last year, look for her drop a 4:45 and take the crown. You can expect her to be followed up by a combo of Campbell Costley (Jr.,Denison), Angela Newlon (Jr., DePauw) and Mariah Williamson (Sr., Kenyon).
- Upton 4:45.8
- Newlon 4:46.9
- Costley 4:48.7
NCAA Record: 1:58.81, 2013 NCAAs, Caroline Wilson, Williams
2015 Champion: 2:01.59, Michelle Howell, Denison
Amherst’s Emily Hyde has not lost an individual race so far this season, we expect her to continue this trend. Although it won’t be an easy victory, as Samantha Senczyszyn (Fr., UW-Eau Claire) and Emma Waddell (So., Williams) will be right on her tail. Hyde and Waddell are both under what it took to win the event last year, 2:01.59. How close will Hyde or another get to the national record of 1:58.81?
- Hyde 1:58.6
- Waddell 2:00.2
- Senczyszyn 2:00.4
NCAA Record: 22.71, 2009 NCAAs, Elizabeth Carlton, Kenyon
2015 Champion: 22.85, Ana Bogdanovski, Johns Hopkins
We predict a national record setting swim from Alison Bartlett (Sr., Keene St.), :22.60 is what we’ll say. How many women will be under :23.00 in the event? We’re going to out on a limb and say four. Joining Bartlett in the sub 23 club will be Caroline Kane (Jr., Denison), Emma Paulson (Jr., St. Thomas) and Fiona Muir (Fr., Emory).
- Bartlett 22.60
- Paulson 22.70
- Kane 22.75
200 Medley Relay
NCAA Record: 1:40.58, 2015 NCAAs, Kenyon
2015 Champion: 1:41.79, Kenyon
We have Amherst, Williams, Emory and Denison finishing in the top four. I think Denison’s relay has the best shot at the national record. Behind these four you can expect to find, in no particular order, Chicago, Kalamazoo, Kenyon and and MIT.
- Denison 1:41.4
- Amherst 1:42.1
- Emory 1:42.3
200 Free Relay
NCAA Record: 1:31.80, 2010 NCAAs, Emory
2015 Champion: 1:32.82, Denison
The top three seeds (Denison, Kenyon and Emory) may mix up amongst themselves, but should hang on to at least third. NYU will lead in the rest of the top sixteen.
- Emory 1:32.3
- Denison 1:32.4
- Kenyon 1:32.6
NCAA Record: 4:13.14, 2012 NCAAs, Caroline Wilson, Williams
2015 Champion: 4:17.88, Michelle Howell, Denison
Megan Pierce (So., Williams) looks to be the favorite. Behind her there is a very strong field of seven to eight women that will be fighting to make it into the championship final.
- Pierce 4:16.5
- Arce 4:19.7
- Edwards 4:21.8
NCAA Record: 52.64, 2014 NCAAs, Kirsten Nitz
2015 Champion: 53.65, Emma Waddell, Williams
The top seed Emma Waddell could break the 53 barrier and could challenge the national record, if she doesn’t break it this season she will in the next two years. However, the current national record holder, Kirsten Nitz (Sr., Wheaton), is swimming the event this year. You can’t count her out. Look for a 55 low to be the ticket to championship finals.
- Nitz 52.7
- Waddell 52.8
- Conklin 53.4
NCAA Record: 1:44.82, 2011 NCAAs, Kendra Stern, Amherst
2015 Champion: 1:46.69, Ana Bogdanovski, Johns Hopkins
Four from the last years championship final have graduated and another is swimming the 200 Fly instead. There’s definitely room for some newbies to make a move. The event as a whole looks a little slower than last year. There’s a handful of people that could take home title, we’ll say Abby Wilson (Fr., Emory) takes it with a 1:47.88.
- Wilson 1:47.8
- Wyer 1:48.3
- Cheng 1:48.7
NCAA Record: 515.90, 2011 NCAAs, Danica Roskos, TCNJ
2015 Champion:477.80, Maria Zarka, Kenyon
I’ll be honest, I don’t know too much about the national diving scene. However, I do know the top three finishers from last year are coming the the meet again. Sarah Sheridan (Sr., Hope), Maura Sticco-Ivins (So., Wellesley) and Maria Zarka (Sr., Kenyon) should be making top three in the event.
- Zarka 500s
- Sheridan 480s
- Sticco-Ivins 480s
400 Medley Relay
NCAA Record: 3:40.13, 2013 NCAAs, Kenyon
2015 Champion: 3:44.16, Emory
Williams will be the team to watch, finishing third in 2015 they are bring back three legs of the relay and have the top seed. They could give the national record of 3:40.13 a scare. However, you don’t want to count out Amherst and Emory, they are both less than a second away from the Ephwomen.
- Williams 3:41.7
- Amherst 3:41.9
- Emory 3:42.4
NCAA Record: 1:55.66, 2012 NCAAs, Logan Todhunter, Williams
2015 Champion: 2:00.43, McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg, Emory
Emory went one-two in this race last year, but both of those women have graduated. Also, the third place finisher, Kristin Nitz (Sr., Wheaton), is not swimming the event this year. It took a 2:00.43 to win last year and we have three women coming in with 2:01’s. A 1:59 would definitely win the event, maybe a 2:00 and there are multiple women that can do that.
- Lin 1:59.7
- Garza 1:59.8
- Pierce 2:00.0
NCAA Record: 53.46, 2013 NCAAs, Celia Oberholzer, Kenyon
2015 Champion: 54.57, Clare Slagel
The 2015 champion, Clare Slagel (Sr., Luther) is back and and you guarantee she wants to win again, but there is a tough field in her way. Emma Paulson (Jr., St. Thomas) finished third last year and holds the top seed this year with a seed time of :54.60, just above last years championship time. Olivia Jackson (Jr., Williams) and Kristin Nitz (Sr., Wheaton) should be in the mix for the title as well. The top twelve seeds are sub :56.00, so look for a :55.mid to make it back top eight.
- Paulson 54.1
- Slagel 54.7
- Nitz 54.8
NCAA Record: 1:00.54, 2006 NCAAs, Lindsay Payne, Williams
2015 Champion: 1:02.24, Brittany Geyer
This should be an awesome battle for first between Emily Hyde (Sr., Amherst) and Samantha Senczyszyn (Fr., UW-Eau Claire). The national record of 1:00.54 set in 2006, will likely be broken. Will one of these women got sub-minute? We think so.
- Senczyszyn 59.9
- Hyde 1:00.0
- Wilson 1:01.5
800 Free Relay
NCAA Record: 7:18.15, 2013 NCAAs, Williams
2015 Champion: 7:18.25, Williams
Emory returns all members of their second place relay from last year and they have the top seed. They’ll have a challenge from Kenyon who is seeded right below them. Look for Johns Hopkins to have a strong squad here too, their relay was three freshmen and a senior. If they someone can step up look for them to be in the race for first as well.
- Emory 7:17.8
- Kenyon 7:18.0
- Williams 7:18.1
NCAA Record: 16:21.44, 2015 NCAAs, Sarah Thompson, Williams
2015 Champion: 16:21.44 Sarah Thompson, Williams
Angela Newlon (Jr., Depauw) has swum many events at nationals, but not the 1650. She comes in with the top seed time only 8 seconds off the national record and ten seconds ahead of the second seed. Newlon will be challenged by Megan Pierce (Jr., Williams) who finished second in the event last year with a 16:38.05. Pierce is way ahead of where she was last year, that being said both of these women have a shot at the national record. There are seven freshmen in the event, it’ll be interesting to see how they taper down for nats.
- Newlon 16:21.2
- Pierce 16:26.8
- Arce 16:32.9
NCAA Record: 48.98, 2010 NCAAs, Kendra Stern, Amherst
2015 Champion: 49.31, Ana Bogdanovski, Johns Hopkins
Five of the top sixteen graduated last year, including the event winner. The event looks to be much deeper this year, last year there were 4 women under :51.00, This year there is ten women under that time with another 5 at :51.00 to :51.09. Fiona Muir (Fr., Emory), Carolyn Kane (So., Denison) and Emma Waddell are the top three seeds, which ever one of them goes sub-:50 will win. If more than one of them does that, we will have an awesome race on our hands.
- Kane 49.7
- Muir 49.8
NCAA Record: 1:56.23, 2008 NCAAs, Brittany Sasser, Amherst
2015 Champion: 1:57.24, Olivia Jackson, Williams
We saw a sweet race last year in finals, with four women touching at 1:57. They are all back and only one of last years top sixteen graduated, so it will be an experienced field. Olivia Jackson (Jr., Williams) and Katherine Bennett (Sr., Williams) have a great look to repeat their one-two finish from last year.
- Bennett 1:56.8
- Jackson 1:57.6
- Paulson 1:57.7
NCAA Record: 2:12.20, 2016 , Samantha Semczyszyn, Wis.-Eau Clair
2015 Champion: 2:14.66, Brittany Geyer, Stevens Institute
Another Semczyszyn, Hyde battle. Semczyszyn set the NCAA record this year and both women come in under the meet record. Can one of them go sub-2:10? That would be wicked fast and put them in the top-30 of Division I.
- Semczyszyn 2:11.6
- Hyde 2:11.7
- Wilson 2:13.3
NCAA Record: 517.10, 2010 NCAAs, Hayley Emerick, Trinity
2015 Champion: 500.35, Maura Sticco-Ivins
Sarah Sheridan (Sr., Hope), Maura Sticco-Ivins (So., Wellesley) and Maria Zarka (Sr., Kenyon) should be making top three in the event.
- Sheridan 500s
- Sticco-Ivins 490s
- Zarka 480s
400 Free Relay
NCAA Record: 3:21.28, 2013 NCAAs, Emory
2015 Champion: 3:21.49, Denison
Denison and Emory come in with very strong seed times (both 3:22.mid) and history would suggest that they’ll drop some time from that. Both will go under the national record. Kenyon and Williams could be in this mix as well. Should be a great race to finish the meet.
- Denison 3:20.9
- Emory 3:21.1
- Kenyon 3:22.5