Austin Katz Becomes 10th-Fastest 200 Yard Backstroker in History


Texas freshman Austin Katz moved into 10th place on the all-time performers list (and 25th on the performances list) in the 200 yard back on Saturday to close the 2017 Texas Invitational.

Katz swam 1:38.49, which makes him the 2nd-fastest Longhorn in the history of the event, behind only the school record held by his junior teammate John Shebat at 1:37.24 from last year’s NCAA Championship meet. Katz also becomes the 4th active member of the Texas varsity squad to go sub-1:40 in the event, including Ryan Harty, who came within a tenth of his lifetime best with a 1:39.23 in Saturday’s final for 3rd place.

Coming into the weekend, Katz’s best time was a 1:41.48 from the 2016 YMCA National Championships. He dropped that to a 1:40.19 in prelims and then a 1:38.49 in finals. His swim included a very front-half-heavy 47.85, closing in 50.64. The last time he swam a best time, in 2016, the spread was only 2.04 seconds. That improved speed also showed in the 100 back – where Katz finished 3rd in 45.48. He was even faster, 45.34, leading off the 400 medley relay. His previous best was 47.06.

The only freshman to have ever swum faster in the 200 back: the current American Record holder and defending Olympic Champion Ryan Murphy, who in 2014 swam 1:37.35.

Texas’ divers will next compete from December 13th-19th at the USA Diving Winter Nationals in Greensboro;

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samuel huntington

wow, Texas 200 back is crazy good – Harty, Shebat, Roberts, and Katz could all go sub 1:38 at NCAAs


Very, very impressive performances from Katz all weekend!


would love to see a race video of this


I love that requests like this almost always get answered on here. Looking forward to it.

Fatboy Swim

I got the video dawg

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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