Born June 24, 1994 Courtney Bartholomew is a backstroke and IM specialist originally from Holland, Mich. A former U.S. National Team member, Bartholomew is a multi-time NCAA All-American for the University of Virginia, and was the 2015 NCAA runner-up in both the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes. In Dec. 2015 Bartholomew broke Natalie Coughlin’s American Record in the 100-meter backstroke, going 55.92, which was the sixth-best time in history of the event.
Holland High School
Bartholomew graduated from Holland High School in Michigan in 2012. She was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team in high school, and a member of the Junior National World Team in 2010. She was a three-time Michigan state Division 2 Swimmer of the Year, and was a six-time Junior National Champion — 3x in the 100-meter back and 3x in the 200-meter back.
University of Virginia
Bartholomew graduated in 2012, and immediately went to swim for the University of Virginia. In her first year, she was named the team’s MVP after winning the ACC Championship in both the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes. She advanced to the NCAA Championships, where she swam both backstrokes at the 200-yard IM. She won her first Honorable Mention All-America honors with a 10th place finish in the 200 back and a 9th place finish in the 100. She also finished 37th overall in the 200 IM.
To summarize year two at Virginia, Bartholomew had 11 dual meet wins, set UVa and ACC Records and earned All-America honors. At the Ohio State Invite in fall, Bartholomew broke the UVa and ACC Record in the 100-yard back, going 50.71, which was the sixth-fastest time in the history of the event. At the same meet, she went 1:50.55 in the 200, breaking the record, which was the 11th-fastest time in history.
At the NCAA Championships Bartholomew started the meet off with the 200-yard IM — she went a best time, but finished 20th overall. On day two, she finished 5th in the 100-yard back, earning her first All-America honor and dropped a 1:50.84 in the 200 back to finish 3rd on the last day of the meet. She also swam the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay, which ended up 7th overall.
Bartholomew was seen as a favorite going into the 2015 NCAA Championships. Battling Cal Berkeley’s extreme group of backstroke talent, Bartholomew started off with the 200-yard IM. Typically not her best event, Bartholomew dropped loads of time in the event. Although she’s extremely versatile, she used her backstroke ability to get ahead, and was able to pull off a 5th place finish in the event. The following day she went head-to-head with Rachel Bootsma in the 100 back. Both swimmers went sub-51 second swims, with Bootsma touching in 50.03 and Bartholomew finishing in 50.51. She then had the 200-yard back, this time being challenged by Cal’s Missy Franklin and Liz Pelton. Bartholomew used a strong first 100 yards to set up a great swim, where she would finish in 1:49.35, a new best time. She was also a member of three relays, the 400-yard medley, the 200-yard medley and the 400-yard free relay. She earned All-America honors in the medleys, and an Honorable Mention nod in the free relay.
2015 Duel in the Pool
At the 2015 Duel in the Pool Bartholomew broke the American Record in the 100 SCM backstroke. The record was previously held by none other than Natalie Coughlin, which she set back in 2011. At the same meet she teamed up with Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell and Simone Manuel for the 4×100-meter medley relay, which she led off in 56.08. The team was in 3rd before the last 100 meters, but Manuel chased down Ranomi Kromowidjojo for the win, and the World Record.