Kasey Carlson Sprint Freestyle/Breaststroke
Kasey Carlson was born November 26, 1991 in Walnut Creek, California and swam competitively at Las Lomas High as well as the Walnut Creek Aquabears. As a 17-year-old, she made her way onto the US squad for the 2009 World Championships, where she grabbed a bronze medal in the 100 meter breaststroke. Before she left high school, she had earned herself the national high school record in the 100 yard breaststroke and an NAG record in the 100 meter breaststroke.
Carlson began her illustrious college career at the University of Southern California, where as a freshman at NCAAs, she finished 4th in the 100 breast (59.29) and 5th in the 50 yard freestyle (22.13), with her time in the 50 breaking the school record. She finished 14th in her other individual swim, the 100 yard freestyle (48.59), and contributed to 4 relays for the Trojans. The 200 and 400 yard medley relays earned 3rd and 2nd respectively, and combined with her swims in the 100 breast and 50 free, Carlson rounded out her NCAA debut as a four-time All-American. At the Pac-10 Champs in 2011, Carlson was 2nd in the 100 breast (59.12) which made her the 2nd fastest in that event in USC history only to the great Rebecca Soni, who would go on to break the 200 meter breaststroke world record at the 2012 London Olympics and win gold for the United States. She also racked up a 5th place finish in the 50 free (22.39) and 12th place finish in the 100 free (49.75), and was a member of the 2nd place 200 and 400 medley relays.
Carlson was a three-time All-American her sophomore year, after contributing to a 2nd place 400 medley effort and 8th in the 200 medley and 400 free relays. She swam well at the Pac-12 Champs, but her biggest meet of the season came at the Texas Invite in mid-December of 2011. She broke her own 50 free record, going 22.10 to her old 22.13, and broke the 59-second barrier in the 100 breast, going 58.46, which just missed Soni’s school record of 58.10.
As a junior, Carlson continued to swim at the top of the USC program. She earned her first conference title after taking the 100 breaststroke at the 2013 Pac 12 Champs in 59.22. Carlson also tied for 3rd in the 50 free (22.22). She was a member of the school-record setting 200 free relay, which took 2nd place. Picking up where she left off at the 2011 Texas Invite, Carlson earned herself a 2nd place finish at NCAAs in the 100 breast (58.36), which was USC’s highest finish in that event since Soni’s title in 2009. She also placed 7th in the 50 free (22.06), and was a member of the 200 free and medley relays which both took 6th place as well as broke school records. It marked the first time since 1999 that USC’s 200 free relay made finals.
In her senior season, Carlson had a very strong performance at the Texas Invite. Her time of 21.90 matched her best from the 2012 USA Winter Nationals. She posted a 58.61 in the 100 breast, but neither of these swims were her most impressive. After the 100 free being Carlson’s tertiary event behind the 100 breast and 50 free, she made a statement by putting up three different 47’s, one leading off the 400 free relay, and the other two in prelims and finals of the 100 free. She won the event in 47.22 over defending NCAA Champion Margo Geer, and after the mid season invites, she held the top time in the NCAA over Geer, as well as Olympians Lia Neal and Missy Franklin. In addition, she teamed up with Kasia Wilk, Evan Swenson, and Kendyl Stewart at the UT Invite to put up the then-nation-best 200 free relay time of 1:28.05. At her final Pac-12 Championships meet, she was a part of four top-4 relays, highlighted by a 2nd place 200 free relay. Individually, she was unable to defend her 100 breast title, as she finished 2nd in 59.44 to Katie Olsen of Stanford (59.17). Nonetheless, she swam impeccably in the 50 and 100 free, placing 4th in the 100 (47.92) and winning the 50 free title in a new personal best and school record setting time of 21.74. Carlson continued her hot streak at NCAAs, where individually she finished 6th in the 100 free (47.86/47.69p), 4th in the 100 breast (58.47), and 2nd in the 50 free (21.72). On relays, Carlson threw down some fantastic splits. As the Trojans dealt with sickness from soon-to-be national star Kendyl Stewart, Carlson proved to be a true leader. She led off the 200 free relay in prelims in school record fashion (21.63), touched at 57.94 on the breaststroke leg of the 400 medley relay in prelims, and then split a monster 25.78 as the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay in finals. The 200 free relay finished in 8th, the 400 medley in 7th, the 200 medley in 9th, and Carlson was also the 2nd leg on the 6th place 400 free relay.
2009 World Championships
Carlson charged onto the international stage before she was a legal adult in the U.S., qualifying for the 2009 World Championships in the 100 meter breaststroke, where she would finish with a bronze medal. Her time of 1:05.75 was under a second away from the world record of 1:04.84 which was set by American teammate Rebecca Soni during those World Championships. She also added a 6th place finish in the 50 meter breaststroke to her international debut.
2010 U.S. Summer Nationals
At the 2010 US National Championships, Carlson earned Olympic Trials cuts in her three best events, the 100 breast (1:08.98), 100 free (56.76) and 50 free (26.09).
2011 U.S. Summer Nationals
She swam the same schedule at the 2011 US Nationals, however she added the 200 meter breaststroke. She finished 8th in the 100 breast (1:08.81) and posted a 25.93 in prelims of the 50 free. Carlson was disqualified for a false start in the 100 free, and swam to a 2:32.07 in the C final of the 200 breast.
2012 U.S. Open/Olympic Trials
Carlson’s best 50 free time in 2012 was a 25.78 at the 2012 Speedo Grand Challenge, although she did compete in the event at the 2012 US Open and Olympic Trials. She did not break 57 in the 100 free or 1:10 in the 100 breast, and ended up 33rd in the breast at Trials.
2013 U.S. Nationals/Fran Crippen Memorial Meet
2013 saw an improvement in terms of long course times for Carlson, as she posted a 56.42 in the 100 free and 1:09.68 in the 100 breast at the 2013 US Nationals. Her bests of the year in the 100 breast and 50 free came at the Fran Crippen Memorial Meet, where she was 1:09.51 and 25.93, respectively.
2014 Santa Clara GP/Summer Nationals
While Carlson is still far from her long course breaststroke success that came during her high school career, she hit freestyle bests in the 2014 long course season. At the Santa Clara Grand Prix, she touched at 25.70 in the 50 free for 6th place, and added a 9th place in the B final of the 100 free (56.71/56.15p). Her prelims swim of 56.15 was a personal best, as was the 25.70 from finals. Carlson also had a solid showing at the 2014 US Nationals, highlighted by a 5th place finish in the 50 breast (31.02) and a 13th place effort in the 100 breast (1:09.51/1:09.35p), her best time in the 100 since 2011. In addition to her breaststroke success, she finished in a tie for 49th in the 100 free (56.59) and 24th in the 50 free (25.77).
–Originally developed by Karl Ortegon