2012 Olympian Rachel Bootsma Misses Semifinals of 100 Back


This morning in day 2 prelims of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, 2012 Olympian Rachel Bootsma missed the semifinals of the 100 back, clocking 1:01.34 to finish 18th with a spot as the second alternate.

At the 2012 Olympic Team Trials, Bootsma unseated Natalie Coughlin in her signature event, finishing second with 59.49. At the London Olympics, she made it into semifinals, finishing sixth in the second semi and failing to make it into finals. She also swam the backstroke leg in the prelims of the gold medal 400 medley relay.

Bootsma won NCAA championship titles in the 100 yard back in both 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Olivia Smoliga of Georgia leads the field going into semifinals tonight after clocking 59.65 in prelims this morning. Amy Bilquist of Cal is second (59.67), followed by Hannah Stevens of Mizzou (59.72), and Ali Deloof of Michigan (1:00.09).

See full results of the women’s 100 back prelims here.

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So sad – really wanted to see her do well! She said after this OLY she was done & going to retire, so I guess she’s done.????

Hint of Lime

Correction to the article — she won the 100 back title in 2016 as well! Although perhaps a disappointment, kudos to her on a great career nevertheless. I wish her nothing but the best in her future!

bobo gigi

Really disappointing to see Rachel finish her career like that.
What happened at Cal ? Since 2012 and her breakout summer she has moved backward and her long course has disappeared.
I will miss her smile. Best wishes for the future.


cal coaches are overrated. she could have been so much better elsewhere. still had an amazing collegiate career but it was due to her talent and hard work… not coaching.


Agreed. Cal women’s coaching is physically injurious and abusive to the psyche. Don’t get it. They recruit the best, then treat the best swimmers in an unprofessional manner. Swimmers do well despite the coaching. It has been noticed that many Swimmers fled from cal to train with other coaches for Trials.


Pelton has not done well either. 3 rd in 200IM in 2012 trials. Don’t see her making team this time around!

Stay Human

Interesting. Who are the swimmers who fled Cal? I wish Bootsma the best in whatever she does going forward, though a part of me is secretly hoping she’s one of those swimmers who takes a year off after getting burned out, and then realizes she misses it too much (same with DiRado, also retiring young) and then comes back and flourishes in a post-grad program, either at Cal, or more likely, wherever fits her best. I remember McKeever making a comment a year or two ago during an interview once that Bootsma had made improvements in her attitude and behavior outside the pool but was still maturing. I also witnessed an argument between the two of them at a dual… Read more »


Cierra Runge, Missy Franklin, Katie Mclaughlin all left in the last year and a half. Those are 3 pretty big names. Natalie Coughlin doesnt train with the women either I think I read that somewhere..


Is this really a question who fled Cal? The last one was Cierra Runge. After setting NCAA!


Meant to say NCAA record. Over the last 6 years (and well before) at least one woman per year left the team or quit swimming. Some of them full ride swimmers.

Scott Morgan

Why single out Cal? Lots of other teams are looking worse already. Bilquist had a blinder, Vollmer is kicking ass. I’d be worrying about MAC!


Its a little early to evaluate the teams. Bilquist def has a breakthrough and Texas and Georgia appears to be killing it. Realistically only need 1 or 2 swimmers to pop to make a claim of success.

Scott Morgan


Irish Ringer

Hulk’s old lady coming out swinging ????

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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