Bulgarian Record-Holding Sprinter Diana Petkova Signs With Alabama


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Bulgarian 50 free record-holder Diana Petkova will join the Alabama Crimson Tide, bringing 25.5 speed in the 50 free.

The 19-year-old Petkova owns the Bulgarian record in the 50 meter freestyle, both in long course meters and short course meters. She was 25.53 (long course meters) at the Youth Olympic Games back in 2018, and last December set the record to 24.82 in the short course meter 50 free at Bulgarian Championships.

Petkova’s Top Times (LCM / SCM)

  • 50 free: 25.53 / 24.82
  • 100 free: 56.39 / 54.64
  • 100 breast: 1:09.64 / 1:07.40
  • 100 fly: 1:02.97 / 1:03.24

Converted to short course yards, Petkova should be roughly 22-low in the 50 free and 49-low in the 100 free, plus somewhere in the 1:00-high range for the 100 breast. She’s a great addition for head coach Coley Stickels‘ sprint group. Those time conversions would have her scoring at 2020 SECs in all three races, with B finals appearances in the 100 breast and 50 free.

Assuming she’s on track to arrive in the U.S. and compete by 2021 NCAAs (and that the 2021 season does indeed happen), Petkova would join a strong Alabama recruiting class that we ranked #15 nationally. Also in that class are Canadian breaststroker Avery Wiseman, freestyler Gracie Felner and flyer/IMer Reese Hazan, along with Isabella Matesa, Maddie Mechling, Selina Reil, Jada Surrell and Courtney Russo.


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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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