LSU Gold

MacNeil Qualifies for World Championships; Joins Varga for Pan American Games

MacNeil Qualifies for World Championships; Joins Varga for Pan American Games

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU swimmer Maggie MacNeil and Ella Varga qualified for the 2023 Pan American Games following their performances at the Bell Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto. The pair was nominated to represent Canada in Santiago, Chile when the Pan Am Games get underway in October.

MacNeil, in addition to her nomination for the Pan Am Games also qualified for World Championships with the No. 1 time in the country. Worlds will be held in Fukuoka, Japan from July 14 through July 30.

Varga, a product of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, earned her spot in the 200-backstroke after closing out the Canadian Trials with a time of 2:11.12. At the beginning of April when she clocked her time, she held 15th place in the world.

At the 2023 SEC Championships, Varga made program history with a victory in the 200-yard backstroke, winning gold in the event. It marked the first time an LSU swimmer has taken home gold in the event. She swam a school record time of 1:51.74.

MacNeil, a product of London, Ontario, Canada, had a final year of college eligibility to remember. From breaking four school records by the month of November to lowering to world records and an NCAA mark, she made an incredible impact on the LSU swimming and diving program.

At the SEC meet, MacNeil won three individual conference titles and led the Tigers to two relay victories, the first in program history since 1986. When she arrived at the NCAA Championships, she had the opportunity to win three national titles in the 50-free, 100-fly and 100-free. She won the 50-free with an NCAA record time of 20.79, earned silver in the 100-fly with a 48.51, and bronze in the 100-free with a time of 46.58.

MacNeil will continue to train under head coach Rick Bishop in preparation for Worlds and the Pan Am Games, but also looking forward to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Varga, who is only a freshman headed into her second season at LSU, is ready to make strides from year one to year two.