Baker Goes 2nd-Fastest 100 Back All-Time, Time Stands Despite Relay DQ


The Cal team suffered major disappointment tonight when their 400 medley relay team DQed due to a fast exchange between third swimmer Noemie Thomas and anchor leg Abbey Weitzeil. However, they did still see a record out of the event. In the first leg, Kathleen Baker swam 49.80 to take down Natalie Coughlin‘s 15-year-old team record of 49.97 from 2002. With that swim, Baker becomes the second-fastest swimmer in history and one of only three swimmers in history to break 50 in the 100 yard back.

After combing through the NCAA guidebook, we can confirm that Baker’s new school record will stand, despite the disqualification. Page 105 under Rule 9: Bona Fide Competition states:

  • A time that has been achieved by a competitor over an initial distance within a regularly scheduled and scored race shall be nullified if that competitor subsequently is disqualified in that race; however, a time achieved by a competitor during the first leg of a relay race shall not be nullified by the subsequent disqualification of a different member of the same relay team.

Baker is now only the third swimmer in history under 50 seconds in the 100 backstroke. So, here are the new fastest times in history in the 100 yard backstroke:

  1. Ally Howe, Stanford: 49.69 (2017 Pac-12s)
  2. Kathleen Baker, Cal: 49.80r (2017 NCAAs)
  3. Natalie Coughlin, Cal: 49.97 (2002 NCAAs)
  4. Courtney Bartholomew: 50.01 (2014)
  5. Rachel Bootsma: 50.03 (2015 NCAAs)

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Marty DeBruhl
3 years ago

Great for Kathleen even though tough pill to swallow for the team DQ’d. Hope they all put it behind them because they are swimming fast and plenty of more races to win. It happens to everyone who has ever won anything, time to move on. Stay positive.

Mr G
3 years ago

Cal would have come in 2nd if Abby had made a safe exchange (e.g :0.20), so I can’t blame her ambition (hard to hold the big picture in mind on the blocks during the frenzy of a super close relay).

3 years ago

She is having the meet of her life other than the Olympics of course, second fastest IM and back on the same day.

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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