Claire Adams Explodes for a New World Junior Record in the 100 Back at U.S. Nationals

The Carmel Swim Club has produced a plethora of elite talent, and it looks like a new star has developed for the team based in Carmel, Indiana. While Amy Bilquist might be the biggest name from Carmel over the last two years or so, Claire Adams has certainly put up some eye-catching times in her young career, and tonight’s 100 backstroke final at the U.S. National Championships saw her swim the best race of her life.

Adams is a very good 100-200 freestyler, but she is an even better 100-200 backstroker. The 17-year-old goes 51.99 in SCY in the 100 back, and she was really able to convert to long course, which is a big problem for a lot of young American swimmers used to swimming SCY for most of their lives as they develop their skills. Adams swam a 59.58 tonight, which eclipsed the old World Junior record of 59.78 set in 2014 by Russia’s Daria Ustinova.

Adams’ splits:

Prelims: 29.30/30.78 = 1:00.08

Finals: 29.26/30.32 = 59.58

Her personal best coming into this meet was a very respectable 1:01.12, but she blew that out of the water in prelims with her swim of 1:00.08. Adams thrived in the intense atmosphere of a finals session at a U.S. National Championship, pushing her 2nd 50 very hard for a huge new personal best as well as the new World Junior record, which she bettered by two tenths.

This swim puts Adams as the 9th fastest female 100 backstroker in the world this year, as well as the third fastest American behind only Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin, two of the biggest names in the history of swimming. Her time would have also placed 6th in the final of the World Champs, right behind 5th place finisher Franklin.

2014-2015 LCM Women 100 Back

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Adams has put herself on a growing list of young Americans (especially in the women’s 100 back) who will look to add new blood to a stagnating American national team as Rio is less than a year away. She’ll also swim in the 200 back later in the meet, among other events.

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Steve-O Nolan
6 years ago

She should have to have a name not so similar to Camille Adams. I’m gonna get confused, you guys.

(But srsly that’s a fantastic swim and how cool is “This swim puts Adams as … the third fastest American behind only Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin this year” as a sentence.)

Reply to  Steve-O Nolan
6 years ago

At least Kristen Caverly swam for a different country than Kirsty Coventry.

I think the most confusing lane ever has to be a NBAC group containing Cierra Runge, Sierra Schmidt, and Allison Schmidt.

Always fun to see new fresh faces start to emerge like this the year before an Olympics.

Lazy Observer
6 years ago

Poor Claire. An amazing night for her and we are all so overwhelmed by Phelps we aren’t paying attention. Well, good for her, good on her, and I hope she is taking it in, feeling amazing, and just continues to grow from here.

6 years ago

It was pointed out to me on another post that Hannah Stevens swam the 100 meter back in a time of 1:00.04. Would that not make the top 25 times in the 2014-2015 LCM WOMEN 100 BACK above?

6 years ago

Also…Ms. Adams is a stud! Get swim tonight!

6 years ago

Carmel Swim Club is cranking them out!

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Didn’t see that coming.
The pool is really crazy fast.

In one week we have seen the future (and the present) of US women’s backstroke swim in San Antonio.

At US juniors:
14-year-old (since August 7) Alex Walsh 1.00.84/2.10.55!
13-year-old Regan Smith 1.01.32!

At US nationals so far (still the 200 back to come):
17-year-old Claire Adams 59.58 i the 100 back NEW WORLD JUNIOR RECORD!
15-year-old Grace Ariola 1.00.62 And look at her 200 back later! She was in 2.11.14 last week at US juniors when she swam 1.01.38 in the 100 back. If swimming is logical, a sub 2.10 is possible!

bobo gigi
6 years ago

And congrats to Carmel coaches. We almost never talk about the coaches here. Impressive job in the past few years.

I’m sure Amy Bilquist will follow in the footsteps of her teammate Claire Adams with also a big breakout 100 back swim under the minute at next olympic trials. But maybe his recent injuries have affected more her bakstroke than her freestyle which looked amazing 2 or 3 weeks ago (PB in the 50 free in 25.04). Just a matter of time.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

We have to be accurate on swimswam.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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