Kathleen Baker: “I definitely wanted to put one in the books” (Video)

Reported by Lauren Neidigh.


  • NCAA Record: Elizabeth Pelton (Cal), 2013, 1:47.84
  • American Record: Elizabeth Pelton (Cal), 2013, 1:47.84
  • Championship Record: Elizabeth Pelton (Cal), 2013, 1:47.84
  • 2017 Champion: Kathleen Baker (Cal), 1:48.44
  1. GOLD: Kathleen Baker, Cal, 1:47.30
  2. SILVER: Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 1:49.24
  3. BRONZE: Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 1:49.27

Cal’s Kathleen Baker flipped well under record pace for the early lead in 25.17. She kept pulling ahead, still under record pace with a 52.31 halfway. She was still crushing it in 1:19.47 with 50 yards to go. She never let up, swimming to a new American and NCAA Record of 1:47.30 to win it. She was well ahead of the field, as Kentucky’s Asia Seidt finished in 1:49.24 behind her. Seidt came through on the back half to run down Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson (1:49.27) for 2nd.

Texas A&M’s Lisa Bratton (1:50.74) was 4th, out-touching Michigan’s Clara Smiddy (1:50.80) at the finish.

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tea rex

When I watch interviews at NCAAs, stars always bring up their teammates’ good swims (more so than at Worlds or Summer Nationals). Even all-stars like Ledecky and Baker are thinking about their whole team’s performance more than just their own swims.


I wondered why it was only an 83 second video compared to 3+ minutes for others. But Kathleen speaks so quickly and gets to the point rapidly so it really doesn’t need to be longer. The number of questions was the same.


She talks as fast as she swims.

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