During the Women’s NCAA Swimming Championships last week, UofL’s Mallory Comerford secured two national titles, including her third straight 200 freestyle win in as many years. Comerford was also the 100 freestyle champion at the meet, leading the Cardinals to a fourth place finish overall, the team’s highest finish in program history.
The Cardinals secured fourth place with 235 points, which was also the most points scored by a Louisville team at the NCAA Championships in history.
“We battled so many different things this season, but this group continued to find different ways to perform,” said UofL head coach Arthur Albiero. “Grace Oglesby put together an incredible performance in the 200 fly, Mallory Comerford won the 100 free. If I remember correctly, the last time the 100 and 200 free were won together was by Joao de Lucca in this pool. I’m so proud of this group and this staff, it starts with all of them and the support we have from the administration.”
Albiero noted that the team first qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2008 and scored just one point.
“Now, 11 years later, to be here and to be standing with the elite of the elite is incredible. I’m honored to be a part of this, it has been a great journey,” he said.
With the fourth NCAA championship of her career, Comerford ties Olympian Kelsi Worrell Dahlia for the most NCAA titles won by a UofL swimmer. In the final individual race of her collegiate career, she secured the gold medal with a time of 46.26, three-tenths of a second over Arkansas freshman Anna Hopkin.
After capturing gold medals in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle and a bronze medal in the 50 freestyle, Comerford has now won a medal in each of her individual NCAA events for the first time in her career, a feat that only Worrell Dahlia had accomplished when she won two golds and a bronze at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Junior Grace Oglesby earned the first top-three NCAA finish of her career in the 200 fly, running down the field over the final 25 to capture the bronze medal in a time of 1:50.80. Oglesby’s time also solidified her as the fifth-fastest performer in history.
In the B final of the 200 fly, freshman Alena Kraus finished sixth for 14th overall, earning the first Honorable Mention All-American honors of her career.
In the 1650 free, Sophie Cattermole finished fourth in her heat to finish 30th overall with a time of 16:15.18.
The Cardinals’ 400 free relay team wrapped up the historic NCAA Championships with a fifth place finish as Comerford (46.78), Arina Openysheva (48.32), Casey Fanz (47.89) and Lainey Visscher (48.23) registered a time of 3:11.24.
NCAA Championships notables
- Mallory Comerford won her third straight NCAA championship in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:40.26, becoming the first UofL swimmer in history to win three titles in a single event.
- With Comerford’s win, the Cardinals extend their streak to eight consecutive seasons with an NCAA champion.
- Comerford also won her first career title in the 100 free on the final night of NCAAs, earning her fourth NCAA championship, which ties the program record for most titles won by a Cardinal.
- As a team, the Cardinals recorded their highest finish in program history, placing fourth with 235 points, also the most points scored at an NCAA Championships in UofL history.
- Junior Molly Fears made history as the Cardinals’ first diver to earn Honorable Mention All-American Honors with a 12th place finish on platform.
- Junior Grace Oglesby won her first NCAA bronze medal with a time of 1:50.80, becoming the fifth-fastest performer in history.
- The Cardinals broke a total of four records at the NCAA Championships.
- In the 200 free relay, Louisville recorded its best finish in program history, placing fourth with a school record time of 1:26.71.
- The Cards’ 800 free relay team of Sophie Cattermole, Comerford, Arina Openysheva and Alena Krausmatched the best finish in program history with a sixth place showing in a time of 6:56.07.
- Five Cardinals earned All-American honors in a combined eight individual events.
- Comerford (50, 100, 200 free)
- Fears – (HM Platform)
- Kendzior (HM 100 back)
- Kraus – (HM 200 fly)
- Oglesby – (100, 200 fly)
- All five UofL relays qualified for the A final for the second consecutive NCAA Championships.
- In the 800 free relay, Comerford split a 1:39.19, the second fastest 200 free split in history to her 1:39.14 from last year’s NCAAs.
- Comerford won a medal in each of her individual NCAA events for the first time in her career, a feat that only Olympian Kelsi Worrell had accomplished previously.