Caitlin Leverenz Breaks NCAA/American Records

Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz didn’t want to wait until Friday’s 400 IM, the most-hyped race of this meet, to take her first NCAA Championship. She got that out of the way early by winning the women’s 200 IM in an American, U.S. Open, and NCAA Record (basically, the fastest time ever) swim of 1:51.77. That made dust of the old record of 1:52.31 set by Stanford’s Julia Smit at Pac-12’s in 2010.

It’s clear when looking at the comparative splits where Leverenz won this race and took the record – the breaststroke. She was slower than Smit (and runner-up Katinka Hosszu – whose time of 1:51.80 was 2nd-best ever) in almost every phase of this race except for the breaststroke, and Smit herself is a very good breaststroker. The gap was that big though, to still give Leverenz the record. What’s really exciting for her is the 28.47 split on the backstroke – that’s been the part of the IM’s where she’s gotten hung-up in the past, and now it’s actually a strong leg for her. She was only a 29.8 on that backstroke leg last year. It will be interesting to see if she maintains that backstroke speed in the 400, where Hosszu still has to be the favorite.

Comparative Splits:

Smit:           24.27, 52.95 [28.68], 1:25.06 [32.11], 1:52.31 [27.25]
Hosszu: 24.39, 52.29 [27.90], 1:25.01 [32.72], 1:51.80 [26.79]
Leverenz: 24.75, 53.22 [28.47], 1:24.34 [31.12], 1:51.77 [27.43]


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John Sampson
8 years ago

Its too bad beisel didnt get a chance to swim it, i think she coulda broke the record as well. These times make the 400 IM even more exciting…im predicting 4 girls under 4, 3 (you know who) under 358 (maybe even a 356 for the win). I think beisel will take the win, hosszu close second. But its hard to pick against leverenz now…im so exciting its insane!!!!

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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