Georgia Bulldogs Take Bite Of Seventh NCAA Team Title; Lilly King With Another AR

Georgia Olympian Olivia Smoliga took the 100 freestyle to cap off her home invitational meet - []

Olivia Smoliga’s win in the 100 freestyle helped Georgia capture its seventh team title at the NCAA Championships.

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Olivia Smoliga’s win in the 100 freestyle helped Georgia capture its seventh team title at the NCAA Championships.


paolo rubbiani

In a LC perspective, Lilly King performances (above all her 2.03.59 in 200 y breastroke) are the most intriguing. She has the potential to swim a great 100 LCM breastroke.

Two “naive” considerations

1) Arriving at these Ncaa finals, Cal was generally seen as the favorite and has finished third.

2) If Stanford next year we’ll have Ledecky and Manuel, no chances it won’t win the title.., perhaps the titles for the next two or three years.



CAL was actually not the favorite to win the nationals this year, if you read the predictions in top us swimming sites. They lost Franklin, Runge,Pelton had surgery, Weitzeil redshiring, and Mclaughlin is injured.

Actually in most predicted Stanford to win this year. But a combination of relay DQ, Georgia truly rise to the occasion and several swimmers from other colleges upended Stanford’s favorite caused the loss.


McLaughlin… another sad story of young promising swimmer who got injured at Cal. Many remember the drama of third leg at W4x200 final in Kazan where Katie ( Mclaughlin) beat Michelle Coleman. She did it having practically no rest after setting new NAG record at 200m fly.
That raised a lot of expectations about this young swimmer. She got home now and I don’t think she will be back to Cal.


Was there any explanation, that anyone heard of, as to how Katie McLaughlin sustained her neck injury?


At first couple years back, I totally rejected those who criticized CAL especially Teri McKeever on issues of injuries and fast swimmers getting slower by the years.

But now it’s hard not to see that the detractors has a little bit of grounds to base their criticism, even if those facts can be either random or pure bad luck on CAL’s part.

Yes, there were swimmers who kept getting faster while in CAL, the most prominent examples are Coughlin and Leverenz. There were also swimmers who got faster after they graduated from CAL, most famous are Dana Vollmer and Lauren Boyle. But there were swimmers who seemed destined for great things when they started their commitment with CAL, only to get their swims slower and slower. Most notable in this category is Sara Isakovic. Now, we have to be fair also, for a Marina Garcia who was world championships finalists yet could never got into NCAA final, there’s a Farida Osman who is swimming faster than before.

Boostma and Pelton are the most often cited case; Boostma already swam in London before starting college while Pelton missed qualifying for London by just a hair in two events. But after 4 years in CAL, I doubt anyone has the confidence that either of the girls will qualify for Rio in any event. I can’t take Missy Franklin as an example for anything as she was there only for 2 years.

As for injuries, I can’t comment because I don’t know anything about what caused them etc.

As a lay person, it seems to me that colleges like Georgia which didn’t get the superstars recruits like CAL were able to develop their swimmers more.


I agree with Paolo about Lilly King’s potential in 100 LCM breast. She’s fast off the block and she has enough endurance.
She can spoil Ruta’s plan to defend her Olympics gold, just like Ruta spoiled Soni’s plan to sweep both breast events in London. Just like Soni spoiled Jones’ plan in Beijing and so on.

Craig Lord

asf, in the midst of those many comments (and most seem good on the topics I know about, so not criticising here), I note the reference to Sara Isakovic … it is my understanding that the drop in form post 2008 rested in reasons far beyond her preparation at CAL and, indeed, swimming. (I don’t know enough of the detail to write – or want to write about it but I’ve been told enough to know not to rest the blame on the change of swim program as has been the case, I believe, elsewhere … and is why I note it). The real reasons include some that have applied to a fair few who have travelled to college programs in the US and have not prospered (at least not in the water) down the years. There is a tendency to put all bad results down to coaches (and mention great results without mentioning coaches at all), when in fact, a downturn in results often reflects a change in level of commitment, dedication and so forth, the choices a swimmers makes in new circumstance and environment. Just a a great result comes down to swimmer and coach, so does a bad one.


The 100 breast is shaping up to be very competitive at the U.S. trials; King, Meili, Hannis, Larson, Hardy……….not easy to pick the likely qualifiers. It’s looking in better shape than last year when there was no finalist in the World’s.

paolo rubbiani

Aswimfan, I’ve read score predictions by Price Fishback (based on outcome and psych sheet entries)
Georgia + 53
Mizzou + 22
Louisville + 9
Cal – 25
NC State -37
Texas -22

Anyway, it doesn’t matter predictions, but final results.

@Craig: all true that there are many factors than just one to explain a failure or a success, but I’ve followed the story of Isakovic and she, at least in the first years at Ncaa, was really committed toward swimming and declared to have the best trainer in the World because she’ve trained Natalie Coughlin…

Anyway, also in this case it doesn’t matter.., swimming is joy and is way, way far from soccer: I’ve absolutely no will to be polemic

Craig Lord

Thanks Paolo (a bit of an edit there – your point still made in full, I believe..: I don’t encourage folk to cite great chunks of the work of others – it would mean more work for me monitoring it all and esp when it comes from community exercises that run material I simply would not touch, for legal reasons – I realise that does not apply on this particular story but would not wish to encourage the practice in general – not my responsibility and if I thought the story worth covering, we’d cover it 🙂 Thanks for understanding.
As for Sara I, as I said: I understand there was more to the story – from early on.


What interesting in information posted by aswimfan is that we can clearly observe some pattern. Good things that he refers to have happened in the past ( Coughli:1982, Vollmer:1987, Boyle:1987), and noticeable bad things occurred recently. It may mean nothing but if I am forced to give an explanation under assumption that such trend reflects some real dependencies then I would say ( on a hunch): Well, maybe we are dealing with the conflict of interests. The coach is getting older. We do witness that club coach became a college coach. Do we often see the move in opposit direction as a sign of blooming career? The third place in NCAA competition is not what the coach will be praised for by college officials. The coach’s focus is a team success, not success of individual swimmer. Sure the first thing cannot happen without second one, but if it happens that something has to be sacrificed then the choice between team’s or individual interest is obvious in college.

paolo rubbiani

Understood, understood Craig.

I’m a great swimming passionate but not so much to follow closely the picks/predictions for the winning team at Ncaa finals, but I was quite sure to have read (in Us swimming sites) many predictions in favour of Cal to repeat last year win, and I wanted to show that at Aswimfan.

It won’t happen again because I’m quite sure of my swimming Knowledge, so it’s useless proving that (again: it doesn’t matter..).


While I wouldn’t expect too much out of Worrell’s 200 fly in terms of translation to the long course form in that event, I do think that it’s another signal there’s more improvement on the curve for her in the sprint fly events.


Beach mouse,

I don’t think Worrell will be a factor in 200 LCM fly. She is going to be a potential medalist in 100 fly in Rio, though, if passed the trials.
She is clearly a sprinter, and remember, 200 fly LCM is a galaxy apart from 200 fly SCY. Coughlin easily dominated 200 fly in NCAA for years, but she was never a factor in 200 fly LCM.


Which is exactly what I was saying about Worrell.

As for Coughln, I’m not sure she every really did a 200 fly LC seriously as a senior, but, given her talent across the board, suspect she would have done nicely in the event if she was interesting in training for it for a season or two.

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