Madisyn Cox Disqualified after 2:11.0 in 200 IM Prelims at U.S. Open

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 5

December 05th, 2019 National, News


After swimming a time that would have made her the 2nd seed heading into Thursday evening’s finals, US National Team swimmer Madisyn Cox was disqualified.

A USA Swimming spokesperson says that the call was for pushing off the wall on her back on the back-to-breast turn. This is a rarely-called infraction, though many swimmers push the line of “verticality” in an effort to sneak that turn in a few-tenths faster.

Cox split 37.3 on that breaststroke leg in the second-to-last heat of the A flight, which pulled her away from Tristan Ulett and Torri Huske in her heat. The younger Ulett and Huske are both very good backstrokers and butterfliers, but their breaststroke isn’t as strong as Cox’s, whose counts it as her primary stroke.

Video of the offending turn, which doesn’t have a clear angle on the USA Swimming stream, can be seen around the 2:13.00 mark on Thursday’ mornings full-session replay.

Cox touched in 2:11.01 before being disqualified, which would have made her the 2nd seed in the final behind only Melanie Margalis (2:10.71). Cox earned a bronze medal in this event at the 2017 World Championships. She missed the 2019 World Championship team after being suspended for the trials event in 2018 for a positive doping test. That suspension was originally 2 years long, but would later be reduced to 6 months after Cox showed the source was a contaminated supplement.

Update: Cox swam a Time Trial in the 200 IM mid-day on Thursday and logged a 2:12.87.

University of Wisconsin senior Beata Nelson, the defending NCAA Champion in this event in yards, was disqualified as well, racing in the heat prior to Cox. Nelson was 2nd in her heat in 2:14.15, a time that through the “A” flights of the morning heats would have snuck her in to the “A” final, but just barely (by .02 seconds). Her lifetime best in the event is a 2:13.37.

Nelson was called for the same disqualification.

Nelson was in lane 3 for her race, while Cox was in lane 4.

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Ol’ Longhorn
10 months ago

Working with Shebat on the turns.

10 months ago

Was it really for leaving the wall on their backs or was it for being past vertical toward the breast before touching the wall during the transition?? I don’t actually understand how it would be possible to actually leave the wall on your back and still pivot all the way to the breast before the pullout.

Reply to  Hmmm...
10 months ago

The current rule indicates that the swimmer can leave the wall with her shoulders past vertical towards the back but may not perform any propulsive movement (arm pull or kick) until the shoulders are at vertical or past vertical towards the breast. With the breaststroke though, there is the additional issue that all arm pulls and kicks must be parallel to the surface of the water. I agree with the first comment, this call sounds like the infraction occurred before the touch not after.

Swim Mom
Reply to  mike
10 months ago

That rule refers to the freestyle leg. On the Breaststroke portion of the IM, the body must be on the breast when leaving the wall.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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

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