Ally Howe on 200 Back: “It’s My Last Event, Last Day of Swimming”


After winning the 100 back Friday night at the 2018 NCAA D1 Women’s Championships, American record holder Ally Howe said that the 200 back on Saturday will be her “last event, last day of swimming.”

Pending the results of Saturday’s 200 back, in her time at Stanford, Howe became the second woman ever to break 50 seconds in the 100 back, was a 7-time national champion, a 16-time All-American, 11-time Pac-12 champion, and held an additional 2 American records on the 200 and 400 medley relays.

While she has not officially used the word “retire,” if this truly is the end for Howe, she went out on a high-note. In a 100 back field that featured the top four performers of all-time — Howe, Kathleen Baker, Beata Nelson, and Janet Hu — Howe came out on top in 49.70, winning her first individual NCAA title. It was the #2 performance of all-time, behind only her own American record of 49.69.

Howe is a native of Palo Alto, California, and majors in Public Policy. She was a 200 back semifinalist at both the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and was 17th in the 100 back at the 2016 meet.


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Das Swimmer

Love it when swimmers let their emotions show. She’s had an incredible career.


That’s awesome. Special athlete. So cool to see her end up on top.

Sean Sullivan

I’m always confused when swimmers say they weren’t tapered for their conference meet. She says she wasn’t tapered at all for PAC12s, but if that was the case how do you go 52s in season then 49.6 at the conference meet? I know the suits are good, but they’re not worth close to 3 seconds. I think they often ignore that the overall volume has already come way down at that point even as intensity remains very high, and practices are still a lot longer than the week before NCAAs. That doesn’t mean that you haven’t tapered at all though.


She went 49.6 at last year’s conference meet. It sounds like last year they botched the timing of the taper a bit. This year they barely backed off at all beforehand. She went 50.2 on the Relay there and dropped another half second here with more rest.


Conference meets come with a lot of emotion and that kind of converts to energy. You’re competing against rivals and sometimes you end up swimming some really fast times. There’s also a lot less pressure than NCAAs too so that can be a factor as well.

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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