Ryan Murphy Demolishes 100 Back American Record With 43.51 Relay Split


Leading off the Cal Golden Bears’ 400 Medley Relay at the 2016 Men’s NCAA Championships, junior Ryan Murphy made history once again with his 100 backstroke leg. Murphy was in a league of his own, jumping to a clear lead for Cal to become the first man ever under 44 seconds. He hit the wall in a time of 43.51, setting a new American, U.S. Open, and NCAA Record.

Murphy swam a lifetime best by over half a second, breaking his own NCAA Record of 44.17 and Nick Thoman’s American and U.S. Open Records of 44.07. That 44.17 was Murphy’s time from his 400 medley relay split last season. The 100 backstroke takes place tomorrow, meaning Murphy has 2 more chances to lower the record he set tonight.

Split Comparisons:

Swimmer 1st 50 2nd 50 Time
Ryan Murphy 2016 20.90 22.61 43.51
Ryan Murphy 2015 21.36 22.81 44.17
Nick Thoman 21.60 22.47 44.07

Murphy came out with a scorching 20.90 to the feet at the 50, and brought it home in a 22.61. That’s by far the fastest time Murphy or Thoman has been on the front half. That bodes well for his 50 back on Cal’s 200 medley relay tomorrow.

After tonight, Murphy now has 4 of the 10 fastest times in history. He also sits on top of the All Time fastest performers, leading a list that includes the likes of Thoman, Matt Grevers, and Ryan Lochte.

All Time Top Performers, Men’s 100 Backstroke:

  1. Ryan Murphy, 2016- 43.51
  2. Nick Thoman, 2013- 44.07
  3. Matt Grever, 2013- 44.49
  4. Ryan Lochte, 2006- 44.60
  5. Ben Hesen, 2008- 44.72
  6. Eugene Godsoe, 2012- 44.75
  7. (T-8) Shane Ryan, 2014- 44.78
  8. (T-8) David Nolan, 2015- 44.78
  9. Albert Subirats, 2007- 44.83
  10. Tom Shields, 2012-44.86

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Oak Lawn
6 years ago

Just saw the signs in front of his grandma’s house while walking the dog. We have an Olympian in the neighborhood…. congratulations and good luck!

Andrew Chadeayne
6 years ago

Wow – He sure did “demolish” the old record. He beat it by about 1.5% !! That’s huge.
See what I mean: http://www.swimspray.com/blogs/chlorine-hair-and-skin/110731463-measuring-dominance-in-swimming

bobo gigi
6 years ago

That time of 43.51 by Mr Murphy is pretty amazing. Especially after swimming a 200 IM in 1.40!

I expected a sub 44 but not a time like that.

A few thoughts about projections for the summer.

He’s a monster underwater swimmer and is objectively slightly better in short course
It’s clear he has improved a lot since last year. Physically and technically.
But I’m gonna stay wise because last summer at worlds he swam a crazy fast lead-off leg in the useless mixed medley relay in 52.18 and was unable to break 53 later in the men’s medley relay. Why I’m saying that? Because I’ve remarked so far in his career, that he can swim amazing times… Read more »

6 years ago

I don’t think it works like that Joel. For one thing, the nature of the 200 IM is that you use different enough muscles in each of the 4 strokes that you can essentially sprint each 50, which is different than how you swim a straight 200 of a stroke.

Plus if you watch Murphy’s 200 IM, it looks like he took it out especially controlled on the first 75. His flu was, surprisingly, quite a bit behind his teammate’s, and he even looked like he was barely inching up on them the first 25 of his 50 back. Then he totally turned on the Jets the second 25 and smoked them all. That’s not how you swim any… Read more »

Joel Lin
6 years ago

One of the pitfalls of these meets is the instinct to take a result from a relay split or one event and then skew very little data into an irresponsible forecast of what it will mean in another event. Sigh.

Anyway, let’s skew very little data into an irresponsible forecast for Ryan Murphy’s 200 back. His 50 split to the feet in his 100 back tonite was 20.90. His 50 split in the back leg of the IM was 24.13.

Assuming he takes a 200 out 0.70 sec slower than the 100 first 50 split, which would be 21.6 and then if he can average his back split time for each of the last three 50s, this calculates out… Read more »

6 years ago

Oh my god. I don’t even know how to react to that. Watch your back Larkin and Grevers. No pun intended.

Reply to  Pvdh
6 years ago

Even unintended, it was a very good pun lol

6 years ago

Does anyone know if this is the first year that they are using the backstroke wedge at this meet?
I have noticed that this has provided an improvement in times all around. ..but obviously still an incredible time from Murphy. Certainly would have taken down Thoman’s time without it!

6 years ago

He makes very VERY good swimmers look completely pedestrian next to him. That race was a dominance that I would *normally* say is completely unparalleled in the NCAA’s had I not watched Dressel just minutes before. Excited to see how he fairs this summer, but for now I am completely content with the jaw-dropping disbelief that I’m experiencing currently.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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