Cal Senior Liz Pelton Undergoes Hand Surgery, Out 4-6 Weeks

USA Swimming National Teamer, and Cal Golden Bears senior-to-be, Elizabeth Pelton, underwent hand surgery on Tuesday, according to the school’s athletics department.

Cal senior swimmer Elizabeth Pelton underwent surgery for a broken bone in her hand Tuesday. The injury occurred during practice, and doctors expect Pelton to be able to return to the pool in 4-6 weeks and be at full strength for the upcoming season.”

Pelton is a member of the 2014-2015 USA Swimming National Team, and last month took a silver medal in the 100 meter backstroke at the 2015 World University Games. Her 1:00.31 season-best in that race currently ranks her as the 6th-fastest American this year, but without a chance to improve her time in that event or in the 200 backstroke or IM races, it’s unlikely that Pelton will be able to hold a spot on the U.S. National Team next season.

Pelton finished 2nd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet in the 200 IM (behind then-teammate Missy Franklin), tied for 5th in the 100 back, and 7th in the 200 back. She just barely held on to her American, NCAA, and U.S. Open Records in the 200 back when Franklin missed by .07 seconds at Nationals.


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I wish Ms. Pelton a speedy recovery and the best of luck in her senior year. After a rocky sophomore and junior year, I hope she can have a breakthrough year again!

Michael Schwartz

Does anybody else think about how crazy it is that a 1:00.31 in the 100 back is only the 6th fastest time swam by an American this year?!? It wasn’t that long ago when Coughlin was the first woman to ever go under 1 minute in the world. Now you may have to do that just to get into the finals at US Nationals/ US Trials.

Hulk Swim

I have the exact opposite reaction.

We’ve got like 5 or 6 girls who’ve been UNDER a minute… many of them by quite a bit.

I wonder if she was holding her peak performance for Nationals… and if so… what a shame.


I think it is harder to believe that all those girls (Smoglia, Pelton, Bootsma) have gone 59 2 or 3 years ago and can’t repeat it again?! I think that is harder to figure out!


It’s called college. That’s what happens they aren’t just focused on swimming like in HS

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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