The Cal freshman class has been the star of this meet, and after her teammate Rachel Bootsma was the second-best 100 back in history on Friday, Liz Pelton crushed the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Records in the 200 backstrokes on Friday night.
Her final time of 1:47.84 broke the old NCAA/U.S. Open Record set by Florida’s Gemma Spofforth in 2009 at NCAA’s with a 1:48.34; Spofforth is British by birth, so Pelton held the old American Record from this year’s Pac-12 Championships with a 1:48.39.
The comparative splits show that Pelton went out much faster than Spofforth did in her record-breaking swim at the 2009 SEC Championships. Whereas Spofforth actually negative-split her race, by a lot, Pelton went out very hard in 53.05. Spofforth’s impressive back-half was probably, in small part at least, a function of the suit that she was wearing. The polyurethane suits allowed swimmers to stay down for a long time at the end of their races.