Olivia Smoliga Becomes First HS Girl Under 22 Seconds in 50 Free

  21 Braden Keith | November 17th, 2012 | Featured, High School, News

Olivia Smoliga from Glenbrook South High School entered this weekend’s Illinois High School State Championship meet with here eyes on a possible 100 backstroke National High School Record.

But do you remember how she didn’t swim that race at last year’s meet, because she wanted to improve upon her versatility, and therefore value to a college team, by focusing on her sprinting? Mission accomplished.

Smoliga swam a 21.99 in the finals of the 50 free to become the first high school female in history to go under 22 seconds. The future Georgia Bulldog took down the old public school, and overall, record held by Kara Lynn Joyce of 22.04 from ten years ago (almost to the day – November 22nd).

Smoliga is a future Georgia Bulldog, just like Joyce once was, and with this swim really enters the conversation alongside Missy Franklin and Lia Neal, the two Olympians, for the ultra-primo recruits in this class; certainly in yards. What’s more is that this meet is being swum at Evanston Township High School, which locals decry as a “slow pool”.

She’s got the 100 back to come still, where she was a 51.8 last night that leaves her a few tenths from Rachel Bootsma’s record in that race as well. We’ll update with a full meet recap when things wrap up in Illinois.

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21 Comments on "Olivia Smoliga Becomes First HS Girl Under 22 Seconds in 50 Free"


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ilswimcoach
3 years 10 months ago

There is really no doubt that Evanston has a slow pool compared to the pools that every other state utilize for their state meets. It is a six lane pool and the far end is 3’6″ and Olivia is swimming this fast regardless. It’s too bad she probably won’t be on a full taper if she goes to Nationals as she will likely focus on Short Course Worlds.

Sam
3 years 10 months ago

With all the pools in the state of Illinois and the high level of competition, why in the h*ll would they hold the state meet in a pool that is 3.5 feet deep at one end?

That’s either nuts or the information regarding the pool’s depth is incorrect.

This is hard to fathom.

Frmswimmer
3 years 10 months ago

It’s a rule that Illinois HS state meets can only be held in pools with spectator seating on three sides of the pool. So only 2 high schools in the state – Evanston and New Trier – fit this requirement, so they typically alternate location each year.

ILSWIM
3 years 10 months ago

It is a myth that the IHSA requires the meet to be held in pools with seating on three sides. The fact is that Illinois has no pools with more seating around the competition course as NT and Evanston.

None of the collegiate pools in Illinois have adequate seating to host the meet.

ilswimcoach
3 years 10 months ago

They Illinois state meet alternates between two pools at New Trier and Evanston. The reason why those two pools are the only ones that are used is that they have seating on three sides of the pool and no other pools in the state have the same kind of seating capacity except for the University of Illinois at Chicago pool which really should be used as it is a significantly better pool but they have never considered that pool. New Trier also doesn’t have a warm down pool and the starting end is four feet deep.

ilswimcoach
3 years 10 months ago

Another national record for Smoliga 51.43 in the 100 backstroke

3 years 9 months ago

Hey Nick and Ashley! I love this site!! I’m going to miss you both dearly! It’s been great wonrikg with you Ashley and I will miss having you around and our work conversations, haha, oh and our happy hours 🙂 Hopefully Eric and I will be able to visit you guys out there!Best of luck to you guys on your new adventure!luv,akemi

Olsswim
3 years 10 months ago

The sense of tradition in illinois high school swimming has been coming into real question in recent years with far more advanced facilities being build. The Evanston and New Trier pools have been alternatively hosting the state meets for the last 50+ years in pool that were built in the 50s and 30s respectively. While the pools are undoubtedly obsolete, there is nothing in the state that can match the energy of these facilities’ atmosphere. There was an article some years ago in which Matt Grevers expressed that of all the meets he’d swum in, at all levels international or domestic, the most excited atmosphere was at the Illinois High School State meet.

liquidassets
3 years 10 months ago

I noticed in the video from last night that even the lane lines appeared smaller and outdated. With 21.99/51.43, Smoliga definitely in same convo as Neal and Franklin as top recruits!! I’m glad the 3 of them all going to different schools, to spread the talent around.

Emily Harvey
3 years 10 months ago

I agree with OLSSWIM. Yes, Evanston and New Trier are outdated, but it is an amazing place to have IHSA state. Having it at UIC just wouldn’t have the same feeling because the pool is so much larger. There is nothing more exciting than being in the crowded pool with 1,000 people, all screaming at the top of their lungs. It is electric. As a spectator, I get nervous. All my friends who swim at the state meet say they get more nervous there than at Junior Nationals. It truly is an amazing atmosphere, which sets Illinois High School swimming apart from any other state.

osd
3 years 10 months ago

Evanston and New Trier can hold about 1,200 spectators – which is far more than any other venue in the state. UIC’s pool is shaped so that far fewer spectators than that would have a good view of the 25 yard pool.
Illinois does not have any good facitlities, especially long course, as the age group and senior state long course meets are now sometimes being held in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Evanston is 6 lanes, New Trier is 8 but no warmdown pool; both are shallow.

Sam
3 years 10 months ago

If having spectators on three sides of the pool is so darn important to the powers that be in the state of Illinois, maybe they should consider building a state of the art facility with seating on three sides.

Step #1: Find someone to pay for it.

A 6 lane 3.5 or 4 foot deep pool in the 21st century for a big meet? Make it at least 8 and at least 2 meters deep all the way.

I still can’t believe this…….

ILSWIM
3 years 10 months ago

Let us know when you find someone with an extra $16 million sitting around and we’ll get right on it 🙂

Many of our new high schools had initial plans to build pools with the seating to host our state meet. But, when construction costs start to go over, the first thing to go is the second balcony and it’s 1,000 seats. It’s an easy target as those seats can cost over $1mil to build. $1mil is tough to justify for two weekends per year.

swimdixie
3 years 10 months ago

here you go— this best shows the atmosphere. insanity.

Sam
3 years 10 months ago

I gotta admit, that is a cool photo. If the NCAA thought the same way, they would be holding their championship meets at Yale every year. Yale has a very unique pool surrounded by seats, but it is outdated for NCAA championship type competitions.

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

Yes! I was right yesterday when I writed about the possibility of 2 high school records from Olivia Smoliga. And it happened. Congrats to her. I have found a great website for high school events with playon sports. I have watched this meet live and yes there was a great atmosphere in the pool.

bobo gigi
3 years 10 months ago

I was right yesterday when I wrote about the possibility of 2 high school records from Olivia Smoliga. It’s better without english faults.

swimdixie
3 years 10 months ago

as a former IHSA swimmer, i can attest, the atmosphere is truly unparalleled. grevers was definitely right in his comparison. you can hear a pin drop at the start. crazy tension in the air!

@JakeShell
3 years 10 months ago

How does the Illinois state meet compare to Ohio? I remember when the PA high school state meet was held at Penn State…Atmosphere was electric, and with the boys and girls swimming together the place was always packed.

Coach GB
3 years 10 months ago

Come to New Jersey state Championship plenty of seating available. Arrive 5 minutes before first relay plenty of seats. A 50 meter complex on entering the first section is virtually empty and can go right down to finish line and stand against rail at top of seating. The capacity is 500 but we have no hassle getting in or getting a seat. They way you accomplish this is not to score the meet as this is the only State to do so. They think they have the right idea.

John
3 years 10 months ago

Nostalgia and fond memories don’t justify defending these silly pools, nor does the completely subjective notion of “atmosphere” being so important.

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