How Focusing on Fly/Breast Has Improved Kathleen Baker’s 200 IM (Video)


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • PSS Record: 2:08.66, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 2:17.39
  1. Kathleen Baker, TE, 2:10.30
  2. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 2:11.22
  3. Beata Nelson, WA, 2:15.21

Kathleen Baker made her move on the backstroke leg of the women’s 200 IM, giving her over a second buffer on Madisyn Cox that she was able to maintain the rest of the way. Looking at the splits, the two were very close on all the other strokes, but Baker’s 32.49 back leg made all the difference.

The 23-year-old Baker finished in a time of 2:10.30, moving past Cox to become the second-fastest swimmer in the world this year, with only Australian Kaylee McKeown (2:08.23) ahead of her. It’s also Baker’s third-fastest performance ever, having been 2:08.32 in the summer of 2018 and 2:08.75 in February of last year.

Cox had a strong swim to finish in 2:11.22, less than a second off her 2:10.49 from the U.S. Open.

In a close race for third, Beata Nelson‘s front-half was just a little bit better than Evie Pfeifer‘s back-half, as Nelson edged her out by a tenth in 2:15.21, her second-fastest swim ever.

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2 years ago

Funny how working on other strokes makes a well rounded, better swimmer – said no coach ever.

Mr Piano
2 years ago

Focusing on weak strokes of your IM tends to make your IM stronger

2 years ago

Shocked! working on the other %50 of the race improved her overall event.

Reply to  Rap
2 years ago

Still can’t wrap my head around why that worked! She must be some kind of genius to have figured that out damn 😮

Reply to  Rap
2 years ago

Steroids also help improve your 200 IM time. A proven fact.

2 years ago

Great time for now! Hope to see A. Walsh swim soon will be interesting how her new training at UVA translates to LC. Will be close between Margalis, Baker, Walsh, and Cox

Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

The OT schedule falls nicely for Baker. Nevertheless, backstroke/200 IM are brutal places to try to make the Olympic team on the women’s side.

Reply to  usaswimerror
2 years ago

Idk if she’ll even make 100 back again this time it seems her chance is better in 200 IM.

honest observer
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

You should probably add Douglass and Huske to that mix. Neither has the same level of 200 LCM times, but both have shown enough brilliance elsewhere to qualify as legitimate contenders.

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Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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