Maggie Mac Neil sets NCAA record in women's 50-yard freestyle at NCAA swimming championships
3-time Olympic medallist from London, Ont., wins national title for LSU in 20.79 seconds
Canada's Maggie Mac Neil captured the women's 50-yard (45.72-metre) freestyle event in record fashion Thursday night at the NCAA swimming championships in Knoxville, Tenn.
Mac Neil, a 23-year-old from London, Ont., won the event for Louisiana State University in an NCAA-record time of 20.79 seconds at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center. That broke the previous mark of 20.83 seconds, set by Gretchen Walsh last month.
Mac Neil's swim was also a U.S. Open record.
However, Walsh retains the American mark as Mac Neil, a three-time Olympic medallist, is Canadian.
"It feels so good," Mac Neil said. "I definitely wanted to go a best time tonight.
"The 50 free is kind of a fun event for me and I don't feel a lot of pressure. I think I just went in with a clear head and was ready to see what I could do."
The fastest 50 free in history 😤<br><br>20.79 ‼️ <a href="https://t.co/4hJpo8cSIr">pic.twitter.com/4hJpo8cSIr</a>—@LSUSwimDive
Mac Neil was also part of Louisiana State's fifth-place 200-yard (182.88-metre) free relay Thursday.
Mac Neil will be looking to regain her NCAA crown in her signature 100-yard (91.44-metre) butterfly Friday. The 2021 champion took bronze at last year's event in Atlanta.
She joined the Baton Rouge school this season, reuniting with LSU head coach Rick Bishop, her primary coach for three seasons with the Michigan Wolverines.
Also on Friday, Canadians Taylor Ruck and Brooklyn Douthwright will go head-to-head in the 200-yard freestyle field. Four-time Olympic medallist Ruck, of Kelowna, B.C., is the defending champion, while Douthwright, of Riverview, N.B., enters as the fastest seed fresh off her SEC title.
With files from CBC Sports
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