After chipping away at the American Record for the better part of two years, it was almost inevitable with how well she’s been swimming the Cal freshman Liz Pelton was going to get the NCAA/U.S. Open Records in this 200 backstroke. Afterall, she was seeded only .05 away from it.
She not only broke the record, she blew it away. Her 1:47.84 made her the fastest 200 backstroker of all-time by half-a-second. Cal continues to reign as the champs of short course swimming, as current Golden Bears or alums hold the U.S. Open Records in 8 out of 19 recognized events.
Missouri’s Dominique Bouchard had a great back-half to her race as she was wont to do, but even she couldn’t touch Pelton. She finished 2nd in 1:50.06. That time moves her to 7th on the all-time list in this event (at any level), and makes her the highest NCAA finisher in Missouri Swimming & Diving history.
Elizabeth Beisel, the defending National Champion in this race, took 3rd in 1:51.17; USC’s Kendyl Stewart was 4th in 1:51.28.
The four freshmen in this final were impressive, though they didn’t quite match what we saw in the 100 backstroke, where they took the top three spots, but getting so many into the A-Final is great for that class.
Maya DiRado from Stanford was 5th in 1:51.34, giving up her top-three position only on the last 50 yards; Florida’s Sinead Russell came in 6th in 1:51.87.
Brooklyn Snodgrass from Indiana was 7th in 1:52.12, and Texas’ Sarah Denninghoff rounded out the A-Final in 1:53.72.
Freshmen did go 1-2 in the B-Final. Arizona’s Bonnie Brandon won in 1:51.41, followed by Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew in 1:52.72: a time that ranks her 2nd in Virginia history in the event.