Simone Manuel Is the First American 18 & Under To Break 25 Seconds In The 50 Free

On day seven of the World Championships, one day after her 17th birthday, Simone Manuel became the first 18 & under from America to swim under 25 seconds in the 50 freestyle. In prelims, her time of 24.93 broke the previous 17-18 NAG Record set by Kara Lynn Joyce in 2004 at 25.00. Because she was 16 years old at the start of the meet, but 17 at the time of her swim, we are waiting to hear back from USA Swimming to determine if her swim will count towards the 15-16 National Age Group Record or the 17-18 National Age group record.  In the semi-finals of the 5o freestyle tonight, Simone Manuel improved her time to 24.91, again breaking her own NAG Record, which ever one it is, from this morning.

Simone Manuel currently owns the 15-16 National Age group record at 25.01. She swam that time at the US World Championship Trials, where she qualified for the World Championship Team.

With Manuel’s time from the semi-finals of 24.91, she finished eighth over all. She will be the eighth seed going into finals tomorrow night.

She will be joined in the final by  Cate Campbell, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Jeanette Ottesen Gray, Francesca Halsall, Bronte Campbell, Sarah Sjostrom, and Dorthea Brandt.

UPDATE: USA SWIMMING has confirmed that her record will count towards the 15-16 National Age Group Record. She was still 16 years old at the start of the meet. 

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Fantastic!!! Now about that hair (drag)


What, she not wear a cap?

Hugest cap bun I’ve ever seen.


lol…I was wary that comment was racist…until the bun cap clarification further down. SO RIGHT. I noticed the same thing. I remember watching a speedo video where they figured out that the lower your hair is, the less drag (which is why they invented that inner cap last year..where you just tuck your hair underneath with no hair band…so it’s all smooth and more hydrodynamic…and then put that silicone/rubber second cap on top. I know schmitt and vollmer both used it in london.

It looks fantastic outside the cap… but in the coming years when medals are on the line… yeesh. Hate to get touched out by a tenth…

Simone will 100% be on the Rio team, swimming in the 50/100 and 3x relays. She’s the real deal. I’m as on board with her as I am with Ledecky.


She seriously could pick up another tenth or even two tenths in speed if she could figure out better hair management, and in her event on the world stage, that would be a huge and relatively free improvement. Something to think about with her hairdresser next time she gets her braids done- go in directions that let them lie flatter under her cap.

If all goes well, this week is the first big step to Rio for her. Always fun watching the kids on the team step it up when they get a chance.


Hulk Swim…I’m not understanding your question about the hair. What about the hair???? Are you saying that something is wrong with her hair because I don’t see anything wrong with her hair. This article is about her swimming abilities and you are taking it somewhere else.


Great for future US sprint events!


She is the future of Us sprint , no doubt there …. !!!

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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