Smoliga Gets a 2nd: 100 Backstroke High School National Record Goes Down

Glenbrook South’s Olivia Smoliga has nudged up the bar on the 100 backstroke National High School Record ever so slightly today in Illinois, as she swam a 51.43 to nip a tenth off of the old mark held by Minnesotan Rachel Bootsma from 2010. This was Smoliga’s 2nd record on the day, and again breaking one from a fall championships: Bootsma’s previous swim was set on November 20th.

This was the event that everyone was targeting for her to break a record on, and though most of the crowd thought that she had done it last night (the IHSA official records still have Cindy Tran’s 51.85 as the all-time best), she put a wow into an already juiced-up crowd on Saturday.

What’s even more impressive is that Smoliga did this swim in a pool that is only 3.5 feet deep on one end. With modern backstroke relying so much on underwaters, a pool that shallow can make a significant impact on a swimmer’s ability to take full advantage of the 15 meter rule.

Now, it will be up to Missy Franklin to see if she can break this record in the spring when she swims the Colorado State Championship meet. Last year she wasn’t even able to break her private school record (52.30), but she had a big-time Olympic focus. At the Minneapolis Grand Prix a few weeks ago, she showed that she’s capable of swimming under 51 in-season.

We’ll run a full recap of what has become an incredibly fast meet this evening; as a teaser: Smoliga’s two record-setting performances weren’t the only historical achievements on the day.

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Russ Davis

Imagine swimming a fantastic time in a slow pool for a HS record and realizing that Missy Franklin will have one last shot at it.


Who would you rather have: Missy for 2 years or Olivia for four years?


I’d take either. Missy was above board with a 2 year commitment especially with the $$ she’s turned down. Smoliga is going to put points for UGA and I’m already looking forward to the 100 back Trials final. It has the potential of being epic,





Mirror Traffic

Both of them at once for two weeks…

Wait, what is this discussion about?


Olivia’s a great girl and a terrific swimmer, but Missy is a legacy recruit whose presence will make an impact on Cal swimming long after she stops swimming for the Golden Bears. Missy, Bootsma, Pelton, and Driscoll have all said their initial attraction to Cal and Teri was Natalie Coughlin. Teri’s still relatively young and will conceivably coach at Cal for another10 to 15 years. She’ll continue to recruit well because of her association with Natalie, Vollmer, and Missy.

bobo gigi

What a fantastic period for swimming records! Last week the Bolles swimmers were amazing. This week Yannick Agnel, Camille Muffat, Breeja Larson and Olivia Smoliga are in the headlines. In 2 weeks I think it will be Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky. Braden the machine has much work to do with all these records.

Three Fly Jet

Commas. Use them.

bobo gigi

What commas? Where is the problem? I put commas when it’s useful. And if there’s a problem excuse me. But I’m not American. I write as I can and I try to do efforts. I didn’t know we had english teachers here but if you are a spelling specialist you will have much work to do with many comments on swimswam.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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