Kathleen Baker Posts 3rd-Fastest Swim in History to Win 100 Back


Kathleen Baker posted the third-fastest swim in history to win the NCAA championship in the 100 yard backstroke tonight, swimming the event in 49.84. With that swim, she now holds two of only four sub-50 performances in history, adding another to her 49.80 relay split from yesterday (which still stands, despite Cal’s disqualification).

Baker held the lead throughout, hitting the halfway point as the only swimmer in the field to split under 24 with 23.98. Her second 50 split, 25.86, was also faster than any swimmer in the final.

Olivia Smoliga was second in 50.04 (24.07/25.97) to notch the seventh-fastest performance in history. You can see the top performances in history below:

  1. Ally Howe (2017): 49.69
  2. Kathleen Baker (3/16/17): 49.80
  3. Kathleen Baker (3/17/17): 49.84
  4. Natalie Coughlin (2002): 49.97
  5. Courtney Bartholomew (2014): 50.01
  6. Rachel Bootsma (2015): 50.03
  7. Olivia Smoliga (3/17/17): 50.04

The 100 back was Baker’s second individual title of the meet. Last night, she won the 200 IM in 1:51.69 to upset defending champion Ella Eastin. She also scored a silver medal in the 800 free relay on Wednesday. The 200 back is still to come for Baker tomorrow; she comes into the event seeded first.

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About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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