Kathleen Baker Erases Natalie Coughlin’s 50 Back American Record


Kathleen Baker took down Natalie Coughlin‘s 50 back American record tonight in Budapest during the 50 back semifinals. Swimming in heat 2, Baker popped a 27.48, much faster than her 27.94 from prelims. That is just .03 ahead of Coughlin’s old record, a 27.51 from the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series – Santa Clara.

The record, before Coughlin broke it rather unexpectedly at a mid-season meet in June of 2015, was held by Rachel Bootsma at 27.68, set at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. That means the record has belonged to the Cal Bears since 2013, and it’ll stay with them for at least a little while.

Baker’s previous best in this race was a 27.69 from the U.S. Worlds Trials a month ago in Indianapolis, and this is only her third time under 28 seconds. In that semifinal, where Baker qualified third to the 50 back final in Budapest, Hannah Stevens went a 27.63 to tie her lifetime best, which ranks her as the third-best U.S. performer behind only Baker and Coughlin.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!