Ella Eastin, Bethany Galat DQ’d in 400 IM Final


It looked as though Leah Smith and Ella Eastin were set to compete in Budapest for the United States in the 400 IM after they finished 1-2, Smith at 4:33.86 and Eastin at 4:36.96.

It was announced shortly after, however, that Eastin had been disqualified for “swimming more than a quarter of the race in the style of backstroke.” We’ve heard that many times at this meet so far, and it’s been called the ‘Lochte Rule’ after Ryan Lochte did his kickouts for non-freestyle on his back, only to have FINA later rule that as illegal. Stanford’s Abrahm Devine was also called for this DQ this morning, after it looked like he had a spot in the 400 IM A final tonight.

It’s heartbreaking for Eastin, who finally beat her 2013 lifetime best of 4:38.97, and by over two seconds. This would’ve also been her first chance to compete for the USA at a long course World Championships.

Right after Eastin’s DQ announcement, it was announced that 8th place finisher Bethany Galat had also been called for the same reason. Boos could be heard from the crowd after both women were DQ’d.

With that, Elizabeth Beisel moves up to 2nd place with her 4:38.55, pretty much securing her spot on the 2017 Worlds team. That means Beisel has qualified for her sixth-straight World Championships.

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Jim Erlinger
5 years ago

Did these women turn the same way in the prelims and it was not called?

5 years ago

Isn’t this meet run under USA Swimming Rules? doesn’t that require that the official raise her hand? Since that definitely didn’t happen, shouldn’t the Chief Judge/Deck Referee or Meet Referee overturn it?

5 years ago

This rule needs to be changed. The whole reason it exists is to prevent someone from swimming the same stroke on freestyle that they already swam in the IM. Pushing off on your back for freestyle doesn’t make it backstroke. If you apply the same logic to the underwater streamline, the dolphin kick should also be illegal in the IM becuse it’s part of fly…and while your at it no dolphin during the breaststroke pull out during the IM either…This rule doesn’t make sense.

MT Coach
5 years ago

I dislike the rule. It is ticky-tack and silly (can’t be on your back in FREEstyle? Really??). But, we all know the rule. I watched the replay on my phone knowing Ella had been dinged and picked it out on the first viewing. It’s a shame and my heart hurts for her…I hope she takes her vengeance in the 2… but if it was easy to see on a 2″ x 3″ screen, it had to be called.

5 years ago

Not being on deck at this meet, I can still assure you that the DQs are correct because the officials are right there with the best angle and are skilled at their volunteer job. I can also assure you that there were many other infractions in the same race. Finally, I can also assure you that the two officials who made the calls will never be back on a National deck. This will not be by their choice, but by the choice of USA Swimming to arbitrarily apply and/or ignore the rules of the sport.

The dirty little secret is, to be an official at Nationals you must be a long-term official and willing to keep your hand DOWN when… Read more »

Reply to  AntiOfficalsCabal
5 years ago

Then why has this infraction not been enforced on medley relays? Its the EXACT same rule.

Are you saying none of these IM swimmers getting disqualified know how to do a freestyle flip turn?

5 years ago

Stupid rule. This trend of DQs at this level for technicalities is a blemish on the sport. If it’s not blatant and can literally be debated, it shouldn’t be a DQ. “Let em play/swim ref”. Amazing swims by all girls.

5 years ago

Well that was completely unexpected… Shield/Conger both didnt make it

5 years ago

This is ridiculous…. coming from an age group swimmer who has also been DQed for this “Lochte Rule” on a national level, I think at the smaller meets officials are neglecting to call this error which screws them over on the big scale.

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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