Maya DiRado breaks down double-crown in 2Back/2IM (Video)

Produced by Coleman Hodges.

Reported by Robert Gibbs.



  • FINA A: 2:14.26
  • S. Olympic Trials: 2:18.69

Top Three:

  1. Maya DiRado, Stanford Swimming, 2:11.09
  2. Ella Eastin, Unattached, 2:11.35
  3. Melanie Margalis, Saint Petersburg, 2:12.22

Only a few minutes separated two very different races, as this one was as close as the 800 was not.  Katinka Hosszuwas in the lead after the fly leg, only to surender it briefly to Maya DiRado after the backstroke leg, then regain after breaststroker.  But DiRado outsplit Hosszu 30.23 to 31.80 over the final 50, during which it looked like any of four or five women could win the race, and DiRado took the win in 2:11.09.  Ella Eastin was in 2nd or 3rd the whole race, and touched just behind DiRado in 2:11.35.

The next three finishers were all bunched together, but it was Melanie Margalis who took 3rd in 2:12.22.  Madisyn Cox had the 2nd-fastest free split and nearly ran down Margalis, and settled for 4th in 2:12.35.  She just touched out Hosszu (2:12.37).  Caitlyn Leverenz was 2nd at the first wall, but quickly faded to 7th over the next two legs before moving up once spot to take 6th in 2:14.70, just ahead of Kirsty Coventry (2:14.76).  Sarah Henry placed 8th in 2:15.45.


  • FINA A: 2:10.60
  • S. Olympic Trials: 2:16.59

Top Three:

  1. Maya DiRado, Stanford Swimming, 2:08.61
  2. Kirsty Coventry, SwimMAC Carolina, 2:10.04
  3. Kaitlin Harty, YMCA of the North Shore, 2:10.23

We’ve gotten so used to seeing Hosszu swim faster at seemingly every meet, and often win multiple events in the same session, so it’s a bit unusual to not only see Hosszu not win either event in an evening, but to see her lose both events to the same swimmer.  Yet, tonight, it was DiRado who pulled off the double, leading from almost beginning to end and taking the win in 2:08.61.

It was Hosszu who was out first at the 50, with a 30.59, but DiRado was right being at 30.68, and quickly took the lead over the next length.  Hosszu stayed in 2nd place through the halfway point, but Kaitlyn Harty and Kirsty Coventrymoved ahead over the third length, hitting the final turn almost simultaneously.  Coventry out split Harty over that final length to take 2nd in 2:10.04 to Harty’s 2:10.23.

Matea Samardzic was dead last at the first turn, but moved up on the rest of the field from that point on to touch 4th in 2:13.46.  Hosszu plaed 5th in 2:13.91, holding off Melanie Klaren who finished 6th in 2:14.24.  Erin Earleyplaced 7th in 2:15.98, followed by Ally Howe in 2:16.57.

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5 years ago

Di Rado’s backstroke is music in the water.

Great, great swimmer and I hope she will focus upon 400im and 200 back (who knows? Perhaps also for an Olympic gold) and the 200 im (for a medal).

At OT she could add the 200 free to enter 800 free relay, but Di Rado must be confident about her chances in the individual events and not swimming too many races.

Reply to  paolo
5 years ago

Fantastic stroke – great alignment – and pretty easy speed . She is truly a Gem for Usa . She had a solid meet .

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Yes. She’s beautiful in and out of the water. 🙂
Amazing to see how her backstroke has improved in the last few years.

200 IM. She can win silver or bronze.
200 back. She can surprise everybody. Nobody knows her limits in that event right now.
400 IM. Today the gold looks very hard but if Hosszu shows some weaknesses, Maya will take her chance. She’s on track to swim sub 4.30 and Hosszu knows that very well.

5 years ago

American Record coming in the 4ooIm…2back and IM she can be on the podium in Rio and it won’t be an upset. All around best USA swimmer right now

Reply to  TA
5 years ago

Exactly .

5 years ago

Could Maya Dirado be the Stephanie Rice of 2016 and sweep both IMs at the Olympics? It’s still a stretch, but becoming more of a possibility with each meet. Even if this was only a Grand Prix meet, I think it was good psychologically for Dirado to beat Hosszu. If Dirado wins gold in the 400 IM on Day 1 of the Olympics, she could ride that momentum to more gold in the 200 IM and possibly the 200 back. After Ledecky, I think Dirado is the most exciting swimmer among American women.

Reply to  BDL SWIM
5 years ago

she can win gold in 400m IM…..but 200m IM/200m back are a long shot….in both events she will win minor medals of course….

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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