On night three of the 2013 World Championship Trials, Rachel Bootsma won the 50 backstroke in record time. The 19 year-old from California Aquatics took advantage of a great start and touched the wall first with a time of 27.68. Bootsma missed the records this morning during prelims by a small margin of .02. The previous record, set by Hayley McGregory of Longhorn Aquatics in 2008, was 27.80. McGregory was a very talented swimmer. In some circles, she is considered the best swimmer to never qualify for the Olympics.
At the 2012 Olympic Trials, Bootsma earned a spot on the Olympic team in the 1oo meter backstroke after finishing second to Missy Franklin. Tonight, she came out on top, touching out Franklin by .30. Bootsma is coming off a very successful college season, under the direction of Cal Berkeley Head Coach, Teri McKeever. She was the 2013 NCAA champion in the 100 yard backstroke.
Bootsma’s swim tonight does not guarantee her a spot on the World Championship Team heading to Barcelona in July. However, with several doubles on the women’s side already, she’s just about sealed it, and on Friday that should become official with serious doubling opportunities in every women’s event.
Note that she, Missy Franklin, and Liz Pelton are not only World Championship teammates, they will also be teammates at Cal next year. Bootsma (a great short course swimmer) showed that she’s still able to hold onto spots in the medley relay among an incredible group (though, McKeever will probably decide that Cal’s relays are better with Bootsma on the fly leg).
Tony Carroll is a swimmer at IUPUI and a SwimSwam contributor.