Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Campbell Shatters 50-Point Territory


Disclaimer: Blueseventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The blueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Australia’s Cate Campbell has had her share of historic swims. She’s also faced her share of criticism for disappointing swims. But her 2018 Pan Pacs meet was an exercise in both overcoming demons and adding to her already sterling career accolades.

Campbell won 5 golds in Tokyo last week, bringing her career total to 9 Pan Pacs gold medals, with zero silvers or bronzes. In Ledeckian fashion, Campbell remains pure gold at Pan Pacs.

But for our Swim of the Week, we’re focusing in on one of those golds: the 4×100 mixed medley relay.

Now, before we get the typical flood of comments passionately expressing how little they care about mixed relays and calling them made up events, remember this: the 4×100 mixed medley relay is a real event. It’s an Olympic event that will be swum in Tokyo in two years for an Olympic gold medal that is as real as the one given to the 200 free champ. You can treat it like that, or you can get left behind the times.

It’s clear which of those choices Australia chose. The Australian team put forward their absolute best lineup, and all four swimmers showed up to compete. Mitch Larkin was 53.08, close to his best 100 back of the meet. Jake Packard split 58.68, a good half-second faster than he was individually in the 100 breast. Emma McKeon was 56.22, three tenths faster than her individual 100 fly.

And Campbell became the first female swimmer in history to go 50-point in a 100 free relay split at 50.93.

That’s a blistering time that torched the Pan Pacs field. In fact, Campbell was facing the author of one of her biggest disappointments: American Simone Manuel, who upset Campbell for Olympic gold in 2016, anchored the American relay. Campbell outsplit Manuel by almost two full seconds.

Campbell was good all week, but this swim was clearly her finest, more than a second faster than her world-leading 52.03 from the individual race. She backed up this swim with several other massive performances, too:

  • 100 free (individual): 52.03
  • 50 free (individual): 23.81
  • 100 free (medley relay split): 51.36
  • 100 free (free relay split): 51.19
  • 100 free (mixed medley split): 50.93


There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy aren’t thinking about you. How you eat, breathe, train, play, win, lose, suffer and celebrate. How swimming is every part of what makes you tick. Aptly named because 70% of the earth is covered in water, blueseventy is a world leader in the pool and open water. Since 1993, we design, test, refine and craft products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. This is where we thrive. There is no substitute and no way around it. We’re all for the swim.

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Kind of looking forward to short course season now. Could this be the year a woman breaks 50??


If Sarah Sjöström and Cate Campbell is in form, one of them, if not both, could break 50 seconds.

Jim C

SCM relay easy. SCM doable. LCM relay very unlikely. LCM and maybe Ledecky will break 3 minutes and 50 seconds….


It really wasn’t much of a season again for Cate, disappointing. Didn’t really get it done in the 50 Free, only able to muster a third-in-the-world ranking in the 50 LCM Free despite use of inhaler and cortisone shots. Really just her first good 100 Free and swim since she won at Worlds five years ago in Barcelona, sadly the standard has been set pretty low for what is considered a good performance by her.


What about when she broke the workd record in 2016?


And the short course world record this year…


Cate C one of the most off-putting swimmers in terms of attitude and sportsmanship currently in the sport of swimming today, quite full of herself with little justification since her performances have really paled since 2013.

He said What?

Ok, I read the article. It has already been established on this forum that the Americans came in with a disadvantage of jet lag and a nationals which allowed for a short training camp – basically trying to hold onto the tapers aimed for Irvine. Taking all of that in, I would say that the American swimmers performed well but not great. But it was certainly enough to control the medals table. So, what happens next year when the mistakes made this summer are rectified and avoided leading into next summer at the World Championships? I expect a better prepared American team. So, let’s stop all the huffing and puffing and let the performances in the pool do the “trash… Read more »


Just let her say what she is feeling. No need to slam her. BTW she whipped her US opponent by almost 2 seconds in the relay 😂😂

Jim C

There is no need to slam her, but there was also no need for her to say some of things she said. The Australians and Americans both speak English. If Cate were Japanese and she said the same thing in Japanese the Americans wouldn’t know what was said, but if you are going to give an interview in the same language the Americans speak, you should expect that what you say will get back to the Americans. If the Australians found incentive in the Americans cheering USA, the Americans will find an incentive in Cate’s comments. Right now it looks like Cate is so good she can afford to give the Americans extra incentive to try to beat her, but… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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