Indiana freshman Lilly King beat her own prelims swim to hit what is believed to be the fastest 100 breaststroke split in history with a 56.74 at finals of the 2016 NCAA Championships.
King went 56.82 on the relay in prelims, becoming the first woman to break 57 in a 100 breaststroke relay split. She topped that in the final with her 56.74 despite actually hitting the 50 turn with a slightly slower split – she was out in 26.22 this morning and turned at 26.23 at night.
Before King, the fastest 100 breast split in NCAA history was believed to be a 57.09 from Minnesota’s NCAA champ and two-time Canadian Olympian Jill Tyler in 2011.
King’s big split helped Indiana finish 7th overall in the final tonight. King outsplit most of the other breaststrokers in the field by more than a full second in a huge stroke advantage for the Hoosiers.
Also of note in that race was Stanford’s Sarah Haase, who went 57.02 on her leg to also pass up Tyler’s previous mark. Haase, the defending NCAA champ in the individual 100 breaststroke, is expected to show down with King for this year’s title. That race looked like King’s to lose, and though she’s still the clear-cut favorite after tonight’s historic split, Haase’s split is one full second faster than she’s ever been in a flat-start 100 breaststroke, meaning she’s likely to push into the 57s individually tomorrow as well.