Olivia Smoliga Becomes 3rd-Fastest American in History in 100 Back

2016 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS

Olivia Smoliga of Georgia and the Athens Bulldogs Swim Club became the third-fastest female American 100 backstroker in history today with her win in the women’s 100 back. Smoliga took the event in 59.02.

With this swim, she bypassed Hayley McGregory‘s suit-era 2008 59.11 swim for the number three American in history rank. Below are the top seven American performers in history:

  1. Missy Franklin: 58.33 (2012)
  2. Natalie Coughlin: 58.94 (2008)
  3. Olivia Smoliga: 59.02 (2016)
  4. Hayley McGregory: 59.11 (2008)
  5. Margaret Hoelzer: 59.21 (2008)
  6. Elizabeth Pelton: 59.27 (2013)
  7. Kathleen Baker: 59.29 (2016)

At the 50, it was actually Kathleen Baker of SwimMAC who held the lead with 28.68 to Smoliga’s 28.86, but Smoliga made a huge charge into the finish, capping off the race with 30.16. Baker’s final split was 30.61 for a total of 59.29.

Baker’s performance ranks her the seventh-fastest American all-time.

Both pulled out a victory over a packed field, including the number one and two Americans in history, Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin, who finished seventh (1:00.24) and eighth (1:00.48), respectively.

Smoliga now sits fourth in the world rankings.

2015-2016 LCM Women 100 BACK

EmilyAUS
SEEBOHM
11/03
58.34
2Katinka
HOSSZU
HUN58.4508/08
3Mie
NIELSEN
DEN58.7305/19
4Kathleen
BAKER
USA58.7508/08
5Kylie
MASSE
CAN58.7608/08
View Top 26»

This will be both Smoliga and Baker’s first Olympic Games.

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Queen of denial

Franklin looked like she was just flailing around in the last 50. Rowdy sure did get it right about her starts and turns…why would she not taper for this meet? Smoligia looked tough.

iLikePsych

Wasn’t Rachel Bootsma 59.10 during semis at trials in 2012?

Swammer

She was.

breaststrokeisthebeststroke

I had the privilege of swimming against Olivia a few times in high school (her high school was in the same league as mine), and it was always exciting getting to see her swim. So proud of her for making it to Rio! Good luck, Olivia!

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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