Beata Nelson Breaks 2nd Big Ten Backstroke Record of the Week


The concept of a ‘sophomore slump’ has been absent across the college swimming landscape this weekend. The latest example is Wisconsin sophomore Beata Nelson, who has now broken her 2nd Big Ten backstroke record of the week at the 2018 Big Ten Championships.

The latest conquest came in the 200 backstroke, where she swam a 1:49.59. That broke the Big Ten record of former Indiana Hoosier Kate Fesenko, who swam 1:49.92 in 2010 when she won the NCAA Championship.

Combined with her 49.78 in the 100 back, which broke Brooklynn Snodgrass’ 2014 record by more than a second, she’s now taken out the 2 oldest Big Ten women’s swimming records on the books.

Nelson was a highly-touted swimmer coming out of high school, and was SwimSwam’s #2-ranked swimmer in the class of 2016. During her freshman season, however, she didn’t swim any lifetime bests in yards.

Over the summer, however, her times began to turn around in long course. She swam best times in the 200 free (2:04.5), 100 back (1:01.5), an 200 back (2:12.4) in what has always been her weaker of the two main courses raced in the U.S.

She broke through mid-season with a 50.79 in the 100 yard back, her first best time in that event in 3 years; and a 1:51.21 in the 200 yard back, her first best time there in almost 2 years.

Even those swims, though, didn’t really give much of a peak into what was in store for her Big Ten Championships. She now ranks as the 2nd-fastest 100 yard backstroker in history (just .09 seconds from the record), and the 9th-fastest 200 yard backstroker in history.

Nelson was named the 2018 Big Ten Swimmer of the Championship for her efforts.

Race Video (Highlights):

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3 Comments on "Beata Nelson Breaks 2nd Big Ten Backstroke Record of the Week"

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What was that thing on her face at the end of the video? A weird microphone?

She was 50.79 at midseason, not 51.21.

About Braden Keith

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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