Produced by Coleman Hodges.
Reported by Jared Anderson.
100 BACK – FINALS
- NCAA Record – 49.97, Natalie Coughlin, 2002, Cal
- American Record – 49.97, Natalie Coughlin, 2002, Cal
- U.S. Open Record – 49.97, Natalie Coughlin, 2002, Cal
- Championship Record – 49.97, Natalie Coughlin, 2002, Cal
Pool Record – 50.58, Courtney Bartholomew, 2015, Virginia
- Defending Champion – 50.03, Rachel Bootsma, Cal
- Rachel Bootsma, California – 50.28
- Courtney Bartholomew, Virginia – 50.73
- Ally Howe, Stanford – 50.86
Cal’s Rachel Bootsma used a big opening split to earn her third NCAA 100 backstroke title, knocking off top seed Courtney Bartholomew of Virginia.
Other than a rough sophomore campaign, Bootsma finishes her career all but untouchable in this event, winning national titles in 3 of 4 seasons. Her 50.28 tonight was just off her best of 50.03 from last year, but still registers as the 5th-best swim of all-time. Bootsma now owns the #3, #4 and #5 swims on that list.
Bartholomew was second in 50.73, adding a tenth from her prelims swim. Continually among the top contenders, the Virginia senior has always been just a tick behind Bootsma in this event, but will have one more chance for an individual NCAA title in tomorrow’s 200 back, where she’s among the favorites.
Stanford’s Ally Howe joined that duo under 51 seconds. The sophomore was 50.86, staying consistent with her 50.85 from prelims.
Amy Bilquist, the Cal freshman who is perhaps the biggest threat to Bartholomew in the 200 tomorrow, finished fourth in 51.01, touching out Pac-12 rival Janet Hu of Stanford (51.06).
NC State’s Alexia Zevnick provided the Wolfpack their first A finalist of the night with a 51.31 for 6th, followed by Mizzou’s Nadine Laemmler (51.82) and Tennessee’s Kira Toussaint (51.86), both of whom transferred out of mid-major programs this year and wound up as All-Americans with their new teams.
Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga had one of the biggest disappoinments this morning, missing the A final after lighting up the 50 free to the tune of a new NCAA record a night earlier. She responded in a big way, winning the B final tonight in 50.58, a time that would have earned her 2nd overall in the championship heat.