Cal’s Weitzeil Downs Pac-12 Meet Record with 21.09 in Prelims, 4th Fastest Ever


Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil has been having a historic season. In December, Weitzeil became the first woman to ever break 21 in the 50 free, setting a new American and NCAA Record in 20.90. That lowered her own former mark of 21.02 from the 2019 NCAA Championships. On Thursday morning at the Pac-12 Championships, Weitzeil raced to a dominant 21.09, outpacing any other swimmer by nearly a second. That was the 4th fastest swim in history and took down her Pac-12 Meet Record of 21.16 from 2019.

This came after a fast start for Weitzeil on day 1. She anchored Cal’s 400 medley relay to victory. Her 45.77 split was her fastest ever by a tenth, and was nearly 2 seconds faster than the rest of the field.

When we take a look at her collegiate progression in the 50 free, we can see that Weitzeil has consistently been faster at conference than she’s swum at midseason. After setting the American Record in 2016 as a teenager prior to joining Cal, Weitzeil was off her best for a couple of years. We saw Weitzeil at her best as a junior, however, as she set the American Record to win NCAAs in 21.02. Her NCAA Record from midseason is definitely on notice in tonight’s final.

Weitzeil’s Collegiate 50 Free Trajectory

Year Midseason Pac-12 NCAA
2017 21.64 21.40 21.58
2018 21.44 21.41 21.49
2019 21.46 21.16 21.02
2020 20.90 21.09 (prelims) TBD

Below are the 10 fastest swims ever in history in the women’s 50 free. Weitzeil now owns 6 of them. The 3rd fastest performance ever came from Tennessee’s Erika Brown at the 2020 SEC Championships last week. She owns 2 of the top times in history. Weitzeil and Brown will have a chance to face off next month in Athens at the NCAA Championships.


Place Swimmer Time
1 Abbey Weitzeil 20.90
2 Abbey Weitzeil 21.02
3 Erika Brown 21.03
4 Abbey Weitzeil 21.09
5 Abbey Weitzeil 21.12
6 Erika Brown 21.15
7 Abbey Weitzeil 21.16
8 Abbey Weitzeil 21.16
9 Simone Manuel 21.17
10 Simone Manuel 21.18

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2 years ago

Is her turn a big factor? Like, do we see this translating to this summer?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  IRO
2 years ago

She sure translated for OTs in 2016.

2 years ago

How tall is Weitzeil? Anybody know?

Reply to  Armchair
2 years ago

Nevermind, just found it on the Cal website–5’10.”

jj graham
Reply to  Armchair
2 years ago

long arms, not always height, is what makes the difference!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  jj graham
2 years ago

If you want to know the full details, check this out: The making of an Olympic athlete segment on her.

Reply to  jj graham
2 years ago

Yes, and a lot of top swimmers have both height and long arms, not surprisingly.

Reply to  Armchair
2 years ago

List height is 5’10” on the Cal roster.

2 years ago

I predict 20.87 tonight
Like if you think under
Dislike if you think over

Too cool for the pool
2 years ago

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Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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