Maggie Mac Neil captures women’s 50-yard freestyle event in record fashion at NCAA meet

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KNOXVILLE, TENN. – Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil captured the women’s 50-yard freestyle event in record fashion Thursday night at the NCAA swimming championship.
Mac Neil, of London, Ont., won the event 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 at 20.83 second 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.”

Mac Neil was also part of Louisiana State’s fifth-place 200-yard free relay Thursday.

Mac Neil will be looking to regain her NCAA crown in her signature 100-yard butterfly Friday. The 2021 champion took bronze at last year’s event in Atlanta.

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.

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