Janet Hu Becomes 4th-Fastest 100 Butterflier and Backstroker Ever


Stanford swimmer Janet Hu has broken the Pac-12 Championship, and Stanford school, record in the 100 yard backstroke, swimming a 50.29 on Friday in prelims at the 2017 Pac-12 Championships.

That swim is the 7th-fastest performance in history and makes her the 4th-best performer. Also in the race, her teammate Ally Howe swam a 50.47, which makes her the 7th-best performer in history.

For Hu, that was her second swim of the day after swimming a 50.38 in the 100 fly earlier in the session, which also makes her the 4th-best performer in history. Cal’s Noemie Thomas was a 50.44 in the 100 fly prelims, which ties her with Dana Vollmer as the 5th-best in history.

The only other swimmer to rank in the top 10 performers of all-time is the legendary Natalie Coughlin, who swam 50.01 in the 100 fly and 49.97 in the 100 back on the same day in 2002. That 100 back time is still the fastest in history, and Coughlin has gone on for one of the most impressive careers by any American woman in history, winning a total of 12 Olympic medals in her career.

Of the 6 performances faster than Hu in the 100 back, 4 of them have been done by Pac-12 swimmers – Natalie Coughlin’s record, and 3 swims by another former Cal Bear Rachel Bootsma.

The results from both races caused huge re-shuffles of the all-time top 25, with 3 swimmers under 51 in the 100 fly (including USC’s Louise Hansson at 50.70) and 4 in the 100 back (Linnea Mack in 50.76 and Kathleen Baker in 50.80).

Top 10 100 butterfliers in history:

  1. Kelsi Worrell, 49.43
  2. Natalie Coughlin, 50.01
  3. Rachel Komisarz, 50.10
  4. Janet Hu, 50.38
  5. Dana Vollmer, 50.44 (TIE)
  6. Noemie Thomas, 50.44 (TIE)
  7. Amanda Sims, 50.49
  8. Farida Osman, 50.53
  9. Sarah Gibson, 50.61
  10. Hellen Moffitt, 50.67

Top 10 100 backstrokers in history:

  1. Natalie Coughlin, 49.97
  2. Courtney Bartholomew, 50.01
  3. Rachel Bootsma, 50.03
  4. Janet Hu, 50.29
  5. Cindy Tran, 50.31
  6. Gemma Spofforth, 50.46
  7. Ally Howe, 50.47
  8. Amy Bilquist, 50.50
  9. Olivia Smoliga, 50.58
  10. Ali Deloof, 50.59

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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