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.