Lilly King Goes Sub-56 in 100 Breaststroke at Big Tens


  • When: Wednesday, February 20th to Saturday, February 23rd | Prelims 11am | Finals 6:30pm (6pm Saturday)
  • Where: Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center, Bloomington, IN (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Michigan Wolverines (3x) (results)
  • Live Results
  • Streaming: Big Ten Network
  • Championship Central: here

After Thursday’s foreshadowing with the fastest 100 yard breaststroke on a relay split in history, Indiana senior Lilly King fulfilled the prophecy with a new NCAA, U.S. Open, and American Record in Friday’s event final. Her time of 55.88 is the new fastest-ever in the event, breaking her own record of 56.25 set at NCAAs last season.

Removing reaction times, King’s individual swim was even better than her relay split by an off-the-blocks margin of .28 seconds.

Comparative Splits, fastest 100 breaststrokes in history.

  • King – 2019 Big Tens – 26.11/29.77 = 55.88
  • King – 2018 NCAAs – 26.32/29.93 = 56.25

King improved both her front-half and her back-half in the new record-setting swim by similar margins. She’s managed to drop time from Big Tens to NCAAs in this event in 2 of the previous 3 seasons.

All-Time Top Performances, Women’s 100 Yard Breaststroke:

  1. Lilly King – 55.88, 2019 Big Tens
  2. Lilly King – 56.25, 2018 NCAAs
  3. Lilly King – 56.30, 2017 Big Tens
  4. Lilly King – 56.43, 2018 IU Invitational (this season)
  5. Lilly King – 56.46, 2018 Big Ten Championships
  6. Molly Hannis, 56.64 – 2017 Tennessee Invitational
  7. Lilly King, 56.71 – 2017 NCAAs
  8. Lilly King, 57.15 – 2016 NCAAs
  9. Breeja Larson, 57.23 – 2014 NCAAs
  10. Breeja Larson, 57.28 – 2014 SECs

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tea rex
3 years ago

Ridiculous. Half frog, half bulldog.

She even hit the first turn short, but she has a pretty short stroke anyway.

3 years ago

Can’t wait to see what she will bring up this summer at the WC

3 years ago

She is amazing !!!!

3 years ago

Unreal. Seems pretty comparable to Dressel’s 42.8 fly, which was hard to process. Excited to see what happens in March.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

Except no one in the country is within nearly 2 seconds of Lily’s swim, and only a dozen or so were within 2 seconds of Dressel’s swim. She’s going to win NCAAs by body-lengths, not strokes.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Sophie Hansson, Miranda Tucker, Lindsey Kozelzki (sp). All have been within 2 seconds of King’s Best Time.

It seems pretty comparable to me.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Yeah, I didn’t do a full comparison of the top 10 or anything, just thinking of it terms of other top female breaststrokers going in the 57s while King is 55.8. Seems similar to the top male flyers going in the 44s while Dressel was 42.8. But yes, this is probably even more impressive if you actually crunch the numbers.

Bruce Griffin
3 years ago

Way to go, Lilly! Your hometown of Evansville is so proud of you!

sane swim parent
3 years ago

Here’s the video. You know you want to see that!

Reply to  sane swim parent
3 years ago

The commentators were way off with the time

IU Swammer
Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

Way off with just about everything.

Reply to  sane swim parent
3 years ago

Holy crap that was a bad call at the end, 56.38, then 56.88, and also thought the time to beat was 56.30. Woof.

3 years ago

Incredible swim. Crazy how she’s taken women’s breaststroke this far so quickly. Excited to see what she does at NCAAs!

Ice Age Swimmer
3 years ago

holy cow!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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, …

Read More »