Erika Braun Swims 52.55 in the 100 Yard Free at 50-Years Old, Breaks American Record

At the 2023 TAC Titans Polar Plunge, the home team’s Erika Braun torched a new USMS record in the women’s 50-54 100 freestyle. The 50-year-old ripped 52.55, finishing seventh overall. She owned the previous record as well, which stood at 52.77 from May 2022.

In fact, this is the third time that Braun–who qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials at age 40–has lowered the age group’s 100 freestyle record. She first took the record over in February 2022, beating Fall Willeboordse‘s time of 53.60, which had stood since April 2016. Braun also owns the age group’s 50 freestyle record in 24.19.

Split Comparison – Braun January 2023 vs. May 2022

Braun – January 2023 Braun – May 2022
50 25.61 25.85
100 52.55 (26.94) 52.77 (26.92)

At the Polar Plunge, Braun was out much faster than she was in May at USMS Nationals. That’s what made the difference for her, as she was .02 seconds off her old record’s pace here, coming home in 26.94 as opposed to 26.92.

Braun wasn’t done breaking records though. Less than a week later at the 48th Annual Sunbelt SCY Championships, Jennifer Mihalik (27.58 back), Sharon Taylor (29.32 breast), and Hannah Caron (24.34 fly) teamed with Braun (23.73 free) to break the women’s 25+ 200 medley relay record. They clocked a 1:44.96, getting under the previous record, held by Southern Methodist Masters since 2008, by .05 seconds.

You can watch the record breaking relay race below, courtesy of Mark Rubacky.

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13 days ago

Didnt she go past the red marker under water?

Reply to  Bonnie
13 days ago

In the medley relay? I didn’t see anyone who was anywhere near 15 meters. There is a red marker at both ends of the pool, so maybe you were looking at the close one?

13 days ago

Und das heißt

Asher Green
13 days ago

I was a grad assistant where Erika first went to college. She has no reason to remember me but it’s great to see her continued remarkable success.

Werner Swimzog
13 days ago

The formula for fast freestyle is your age plus two minutes. At 52 seconds she is in a class of her own.

Reply to  Werner Swimzog
13 days ago

I don’t think that’s the formula.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Mark
13 days ago

It makes me feel better

Derek Albertson
14 days ago

This is so positive. Good for her and all the other masters. Great, great to see. What an example she sets for everyone.

14 days ago

Wonder if dara Torres could get this one

Reply to  Meathead
13 days ago

Erika is amazing however, Dara Torres is a whole new talent level. No comparison between the two athletes.

14 days ago

I love how rather ordinary masters swimmers can be seen in that race. The lead swimmer, doing butterfly, laps another swimmer doing breaststroke (125 yards vs 75 yards) into the race. That’s the beauty of masters swimming. Some get the limelight, but everyone is having fun, I hope.

14 days ago

Awesome butterfly leg on that relay.

Reply to  NoFastTwitch
14 days ago

I don’t think she took a breath except on the turn. Freestyle swimmer also no breaths? maybe she snuck one in.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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