Lilly King was able to accomplish something this morning that American record holder Breeja Larson never did: splitting 56.82 for the 100 breaststroke. Although Larson’s 57.23 speed from a flat start would suggest that she was capable, the Texas A&M star never reached that height.
King has done it in what continues to be an incredible freshmen year. She already gave Larson’s record a scare at the B1G Championship last month when she posted a 57.35. King split just 57.65 on Indiana’s first place relay at that meet.
One of the biggest differences for King had to be that this was her first swim of the meet. The Hoosiers made a strategic decision to withhold King from what would likely have been a non-scoring 200 IM.
King shot out of the gate with a first 50 of 26.22. That alone would have been the fastest 50 breaststroke split at last year’s NCAA Championship on the 200 medley relay. King split 25.9 at the B1G Championships.
Her swim also meant a lot for the Hoosiers, who couldn’t afford much slippage if they wanted to finish in the top eight. The time was so strong that Indiana actually improved on their seed time and moved up to 3rd heading into tonight’s finals.