2019 W. NCAAs: Beata Nelson Drops 2nd-Fastest 200 IM in History


Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson pulled off a stunning performance Thursday night to upset reigning American record holder Ella Eastin in the 200 IM and win her first title of the 2019 Women’s Division I NCAA Championships.

Nelson, known primarily as a backstroker, split 23.94 / 27.67 / 32.33 / 26.85 for a final time of 1:50.79. Eastin went 1:51.81, splitting 24.60 / 27.07 / 32.60 / 27.54. Nelson’s best time before Thursday night was 1:52.27, swum last month at the 2019 Big Ten Championships. As of the start of February, she had never broken 1:53.

Eastin’s American record, swum at this meet last year, is 1:50.67. Nelson is just the second swimmer ever to break 1:51.

Top 10 Performers of All Time: Women’s SCY 200 IM

Place Swimmer Time
1 Ella Eastin 1:50.67
2 Beata Nelson 1:50.79
3 Kathleen Baker 1:51.25
4 Meghan Small 1:51.62
5 Sydney Pickrem 1:51.66
6 Caitlin Leverenz 1:51.77
7 Katinka Hosszu 1:51.80
8 Missy Franklin 1:52.11
9 Louise Hansson 1:52.14
10 Julia Smit 1:52.31

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3 years ago

Remember when that YMCA killed her team when she was an age grouper. I bet they wish they had her as an alum to bring back now.

Reply to  wonkabar23
3 years ago

They’re most likely so out of touch, they’ll never know.

3 years ago

Nailed it when it counted. Wrecked my pickems too but awesome swimmin.

3 years ago

Split comparison
Eastin 2018: 24.59/27.45/32.28/26.35
Nelson 2019: 23.94/27.67/32.33/26.85

Surprisingly enough eastin out split her(albeit no by much) on the back leg of her record. One has to wonder if she had gone out a little bit slower would she had gotten the record…

What a swim!

Badger Swammom
3 years ago


3 years ago

It was an awesome swim. She started out strong and then stayed in front of Eastin, who was straining to catch her. She was pulling away at the end.

She’ll have some other tight races in the 100 back and 200 back. She might win 3 NCAA titles this year.

samuel huntington
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

She could end up being swimmer of the meet too

Reply to  samuel huntington
3 years ago

Great to see a swimmer from a team other than the “New England Patriots of swimming” win an event in the big dance! Go Ms. Nelson and Wisconsin! No astonishment to Badger faithful in Beata’s accomplishment. Hope to see 2 more! On Wisconsin!!!!!

3 years ago

I dont think anyone expected this!

Phil McDade
Reply to  ace
3 years ago

Some of us did…

Reply to  Phil McDade
3 years ago

This is the potential every Wisconsin fan was salivating over when she signed.

Reply to  ace
3 years ago

I did!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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