Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
In history, just seven women have broken 50 seconds in the 100 back, and just ten have broken 50 in the 100 fly.
This week, a quartet of women went 49 in five separate swims, with more likely coming tonight.
Here’s a look at all the 49-second brilliance so far:
Regan Smith, Riptide: the world record-holder and international standout became the first-ever member of the 49/49 club over the past week, hitting times of 49.88 in the 100 fly and 49.16 in the 100 back. The latter was an American record.
Maggie MacNeil, Michigan: at NCAAs, the butterfly superstar MacNeil led off Michigan’s 400 medley relay, joining Smith as just the second person ever to go 49 in both the 100 fly and 100 back. MacNeil led off in 49.76. MacNeil cruised a smooth 50.2 in the 100 fly this morning and is widely expected to go under 50 again tonight. She’s the co-U.S. Open record-holder at 49.26.
Kate Douglass, Virginia: starring for the Virginia Cavaliers (and well on her way to leading that program to its first-ever NCAA team title), Douglass went 49.94 in the 100 fly this morning, with a shot to go even faster tonight.
Torri Huske, Arlington Aquatic Club: high school senior Huske cracked the 50-barrier for the first time ever in the 100 fly, swimming at the Potomac Valley Championship meet in Virginia. Huske went 49.70, lowering her own National Age Group record and moving to #6 all-time, pending the results of tonight’s NCAA meet.
There are several more candidates ready to make this the most 49-heavy week we’ve ever seen. That includes Alabama’s Rhyan White (50.16 this morning and 50.17 last night at NCAAs in the 100 back, plus 50.75 in the 100 fly this morning), NC State’s Katharine Berkoff (50.07 last night and 50.16 this morning at NCAAs in the 100 back), and Kylee Alons (49.29 fly split on the medley relay at NCAAs last night, 50.86 this morning)