Increased Focus On 200 Back Leads Masse To Success

2019 CANADIAN SWIMMING TRIALS

2016 was the breakout year for Kylie Masse. She made the Olympic team and broke the Canadian Record in the 100 back at the Trials, and then followed up with a bronze medal in Rio.

But while she found great success over the 100, she placed fourth in the Trials in the 200. After that, she started putting more of an emphasis on training for the longer event.

“I definitely started training 200 more over the last (few years). I didn’t make the 200 for the Canadian team (in 2016), so it’s pretty recent to have been training for the 200,” she said after setting a new Canadian Record in 2:05.94 at the Canadian World Trials in Toronto.

“Training more for the 200 can only help my 100, and that’s kind of what I’ve seen.”

“I think for the 200 too it’s kind of playing around with your strengths and where in the race you kind of make your move,” she said. “Playing around with that throughout the opportunities I’ve had to race the 200, and just really putting it all together.”

The 23-year-old did employ a different strategy in this race than she has in the past, putting an increased emphasis on the last 50 (splitting 31.64). She now has gone 2:05.9 on three separate occasions, also doing so at the 2017 World Championships (2:05.97, the old Canadian Record) and at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (2:05.98). In those two swims, she was particularly faster on the second 50 and slower (32.62 and 32.59 respectively) coming home.

Check out the full splits below (as seen in the record article):

MASSE, 2017 WORLDS MASSE, 2018 CG MASSE, 2019 TRIALS
29.55 29.66 29.89
1:00.92 (31.37) 1:01.39 (31.73) 1:02.20 (32.31)
1:33.35 (32.43) 1:33.39 (32.00) 1:34.30 (32.10)
2:05.97 (32.62) 2:05.98 (32.59) 2:05.94 (31.64)

She now ranks first in the world for the 2018-19 season, and runner-up in the race Taylor Ruck (2:06.70) sits second. The Windsor native also finished the 2017-18 season as the #1 ranked swimmer in the world.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 200 BACK

2Kylie
MASSE
CAN2.05.9404/05
3Taylor
RUCK
CAN2.06.7004/05
4Regan
Smith
USA 2.07.5301/12
5Kathleen
BAKER
USA2.08.0803/08
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Yozhik

Who in clear mind goes for the personal best at 200 distance with negative splits? The best balanced and optimal splits I’ve ever seen in women 200 race was shown by Allison Schmitt. I think that freestyle and backstroke 200 events are not that much different in regards to the speed distribution along the distance. I have a feeling that yesterday’s splits were pretty much affected by the presence of Taylor Ruck. She with her coaches have a lot to do still in finding the best strategy for her in this very tricky event. Her best three almost identical by final result races look like they were done by three completely different swimmers. She potentially can be under 2:05 if… Read more »

NJones

I think she is already trying to do that… Hence the entire article.
As the premier 100 Backstroker in the world, winner of every title except Olympics (bronze on her rise up), owner of most of the top 10 swims ever, former world record holder and that close to reclaiming, I would think the 100 is justified as the #1 focus….

Yozhik

So let’s treat her as Cate Campbell who can do respected 1:58. And don’t try to think of her Sarah Sjostrom.
It is just a coincidence that 200 distance doesn’t see any progress for seven years already and even regressed. So, Dirado, Hosszu, Masse, Ruck, Panziera and some others have found suddenly themselves on the top of world ranking with their 2:06. So even pure sprinters can join now the contest for the 200 crown.

Bruh

As someone who’s better at the 100 her splits are a little weird but normally I would say there’s nothing wrong with this

Yozhik

Have you ever seen 100 race at elite level with negative splits? How 200 is different?

NJones

Because there are 3 50s after the dive 50, just just 1… And the backstroke start not as explosive/impactful as any dive start…

Ecoach

Why do you keep saying negative split. She’s not negative splitting. Do the math. If anything she should be faster on her middle 50’s. 29, 31, 31, 30.7 would seem to be the goal splitting.

Yozhik

Her each 50 but not the second one were faster than the previous one. It is not simple to charge the speed of the first 50 because the beginning of it is different than the turn. Moreover swimmers don’t swim the entire pool with the same speed. Sometimes they are resting or accelerating at some point in the middle depending on sudden feelings or racing condition. It would be better to use a speed distribution meter by meter instead of averaging it by four numbers. If you don’t consider Masse’s splits negative then call it “camel”. Usually sprinters have very short period of acceleration and then are trying to maintain this maximum speed losing it continuously with the exception of… Read more »

Dr. Buky Chass

YOU CAN CORRECT YOUR ARTICLE ONLINE /AS YOU GO ALONG. SINCE TODAY SUNDAY APRIL 7TH MASSE IS NO LONGER THE NO. 1 200 BACK SWIMMER IN THE WORLD. PANZIERA THE ITALIAN SWIMMER SWAM A BIT FASTER FOR THIS EVENT.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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