Kathleen Baker Breaks Nico Sapio Meet Record by 5 Seconds in 200 Back


American Kathleen Baker, who is taking a break from the college season to compete in Genoa, Italy this weekend, and she made a splash in her first big final. She crushed the Meet Record, first with a 2:05.10 in prelims and then a 2:01.68 in finals, and now sits at 12th on the all-time top performers list, just .11 seconds from moving into the top 10. She’s also now the 3rd-fastest American in the history of the event, behind former World Record holder Missy Franklin (2:00.03) and Courtney Bartholomew (2:01.33).

In the process, Baker blew away the Italian Record holder, and national swimming hero, Federica Pellegrini. Pellegrini finished 2nd in 2:05.49, nearly 4 seconds behind Baker.

For Baker, one of the fastest short course yards swimmers in history, that is a best time – improving upon a 2:04 that she swam during the World Cup Series in 2014. She was the 2017 Worlds bronze medalist in this event in long course. Based on this result, she should make a run at Natalie Coughlin’s Meet Record, and Courtney Bartholomew’s American Record of 55.92, on Saturday.

The Meet Record coming into the day was a 2:06.36 done by Alessia Filippi in 2007.

Other Day 1 Results:

  • Ilaria Bianchi beat out American Kendyl Stewart in the women’s 100 fly by a margin of 57.35-57.78. For Bianchi, that just-missed her vintage 2015 Meet Record by three-tenths of a second.
  • In the men’s 200 fly, Matteo Rivolta beat out his younger countrymate Giacomo Carini 1:56.34-1:56.56. Rivolta made a veteran move on the last 100 meters to overcome nearly a full-second deficit.
  • Martina Carraro won the women’s 50 breaststroke in 30.78, beating out her breaststroke rival Arian Castiglioni (31.14). Carraro then came back later in the session to win the 100 breaststroke as well in a modest 1:06.36.
  • Federico Turrini won the men’s 400 IM in 4:14.79, more than a second clear of an all-Italian final.
  • Simone Sabbioni won the men’s 100 back in 51.25, with Thomas Ceccon taking 2nd in 51.70. Ceccon is only 16 years old and is already about a second from Sabbioni’s Italian Record. Italy doesn’t keep short course records for age groups.
  • Luca Dotto won the men’s 50 free in 21.61, taking out Dutchman Nyls Korstanje (22.05) in a diverse final with 6 non-Italian representatives.
  • Luca Pizzini won the men’s 200 breaststroke in dominating fashion, touching in 2:08.24. Nicolo Martinenghi, who is a World Junior Record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, was just 4th in 2:10.94.
  • Dutchwoman Kira Toussaint, who had a dominant performance in Bolzano last week, won the women’s 50 back in 26.93 to tie the Meet Record. Baker was 2nd in 27.08.
  • Alessandro Miressi won the men’s 100 free in 47.88 with Dotto taking 2nd in 48.17.
  • Italy’s Aglaia Pezzato won the women’s 200 free in 1:58.16. American Kendyl Stewart placed 5th in 2:00.02.
  • Mathys Goosen from the Netherlands broke the Championship Record in the men’s 50 fly in 23.31. The old record was his, from prelims, in 23.33.
  • The women’s 200 IM title went to Laura Letrari in 2:09.72 – in another all-Italian IM final.
  • Domenico Acerenza won the men’s 1500 free by nearly 30 seconds, swimming a 14:45.72 (2nd place was 15:15.28). That broke the Meet Record, held by Federico Colbertado, in the event by 3 seconds, but left him well short of countrymate Gregorio Paltrieneri’s World Record of 14:08.06 from 2015.

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5 years ago

Go Golden Bear Kathleen!

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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