Olivia Smoliga Cracks American 50 Back Record In Mesa


Georgia post-grad Olivia Smoliga won the three-round 50 back shootout at the Mesa Pro Swim Saturday night, and impressively broke Kathleen Baker‘s American Record in the third and final round. Smoliga clocked in at 27.43, lowering Baker’s record of 27.48 from the 2017 World Championships.

After going 28.01 in the prelims this morning, the 23-year-old went 28.08, 27.89 and then the 27.43 during finals to book the win. Prior to the meet, her previous best stood at 27.89 from the Austin Pro Swim, where she was the runner-up to Regan Smith. In Mesa she faced off against Ali Deloof in the final, who was ultimately well back in 28.17.

Prior to tonight, she wasn’t even in the top-10 all-time performances by Americans, and was just the 9th fastest performer, but now sits atop the heap with the American Record.

Fastest American Performers
1 Olivia Smoliga 27.43
2 Kathleen Baker 27.48
3 Natalie Coughlin 27.51
4 Hannah Stevens 27.63
5 Rachel Bootsma 27.68
6 Demerae Christiansen 27.79
7 Hayley McGregory 27.8
8 Ali Deloof 27.82
9 Regan Smith 27.85
10 Jenny Hanselmann 27.92

Smoliga also bumps Baker off the all-time top performers worldwide, taking over 10th position.

Fastest Performers Ever
1 Zhao Jing 27.06
2 Fu Yuanhui 27.11
3 Etiene Medeiros 27.14
4 Daniela Samulski 27.23
5 Alexandria Herasimenia 27.23
6 Maaike De Waard 27.27
7 Gao Chang 27.28
8 Anastasia Fesikova 27.31
9 Emily Seebohm 27.37
10 Olivia Smoliga 27.43

This comes after a disappointing 50 free prelim this morning where she missed the shootout all together with a 9th place finish. Overall she’s had a successful meet, winning both the 100 and 200 back and placing 5th in the 100 free. Her 200 back prelim time of 2:10.12 was a massive best time, with her previous best at 2:15.88 from way back in 2013.

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ACC fan
4 years ago

Those FINIS Tech suits are very fast!

Reply to  ACC fan
4 years ago

No, she is fast!

ACC fan
Reply to  JSWIM
4 years ago

Of course she’s fast! By no means am I saying that it wasn’t her own ability. It is just nice to see a pro top swimmer wearing a FINIS SUIT, which personally I think is the fastest Tech suit on the market.

Swim Fan
Reply to  ACC fan
4 years ago

She didn’t even wear a FINIS tech suit.

Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Wind-aided. But hey, I love her.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Just an observation from the deck… The wind today is definitely not anywhere near what it was the first 2 days. Barely a breeze.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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