Lilly King Downs 100 Breaststroke American Record, Moves To #3 All-Time


Lilly King has finally taken claim of the American Record in the women’s 100 breaststroke, and did so definitively.

King won the event by over a second in a time of 1:02.50 on the final day of the 2020 ISL Final, taking over four-tenths off of the U.S. National Record of 1:02.92 set by Katie Meili in 2016.

Meili was the bronze medalist in the women’s 100 breast at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where King won gold.

While King has set personal best times in both the 50 and 200 breast multiple times this season, including resetting the 50 AR twice, this is her first PB in the 100. Her previous lifetime best stood at 1:03.00, set just over a year ago during the ISL’s American Derby during the 2019 campaign.

The 23-year-old King’s fastest swim inside the bubble prior to the final was 1:03.15 from Match 10.

Split Comparison

King was actually out slower compared to her best time from 2019, but made up almost a full half-second coming home. Compared to Meili, her front-half speed was the difference-maker.

Meili, Old AR King, Old Best King, New AR
29.72 29.29 29.38
33.20 33.71 33.12
1:02.92 1:03.00 1:02.50

In the historical rankings, King moves up from tied for fifth to third all-time in the event, trailing only joint world record holders Ruta Meilutyte and Alia Atkinson. Meilutyte set the WR at 1:02.36 in 2013, and Atkinson has actually matched it twice, doing so at the 2014 SC World Championships and at the 2016 FINA World Cup stop in Chartres, France.

King’s Cali Condor teammate Molly Hannis also swam a personal best time in the final, clocking 1:03.57 to take over ninth place all-time in the event.

All-Time Performers, Women’s 100 Breaststroke (SCM)

Rank Swimmer Time Year
T-1 Alia Atkinson (JAM) 1:02.36 2014/2016
T-1 Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 1:02.36 2013
3 Lilly King (USA) 1:02.50 2020
4 Yuliya Efimova (RUS) 1:02.91 2016
5 Katie Meili (USA) 1:02.92 2016
6 Leisel Jones (AUS) 1:03.00 2009
7 Jessica Hardy (USA) 1:03.30 2009
8 Benedetta Pilato (ITA) 1:03.55 2020
9 Molly Hannis (USA) 1:03.57 2020
10 Sarah Katsoulis (AUS) 1:03.73 2009

King is now the owner of the 50 and 100 breaststroke American Records in both short course and long course meters, while also owning the 100 and 200 breast national marks in short course yards. The only two American women’s breast records that still elude her both belong to Rebecca Soni: the SCM 200 (2:14.57, which remains the world record) and the LCM 200 (2:19.59, which was a WR at the time).

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6 months ago

Everybody lift up your glasses and sing because I’m standin’ on the table and proposing a toast to the King, LILLY KING!!! #rayloozeGOATcoach

Last edited 6 months ago by Guerra
Reply to  Guerra
6 months ago

Does she ever congratulate/ acknowledge swimmers like Atkinson – I have never seen that at the end of a race? Or is it the cameras?

Coach Mike 1952
6 months ago

Congratulations to Lilly, know she wants that WR for sure. Also goes to show how tough & superb those WR swims by Ruta & Alia really are.

6 months ago

Again. Ray looze program.

Reply to  Johnson
6 months ago

That’s right! You notice how quiet the “so called” experts are that hate on “The GOAT” Ray Looze and the Indiana University program? #loverayloozegoatcoach, #honorrayloozegoatcoach and #cherishrayloozegoatcoach

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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