Just like the American men shattered the 4×50 medley relay record yesterday, the women followed in suit by taking down a 14 year-old record held by the Arizona Wildcats from the 2000 NCAA Div. 1 Championships. The foursome of Felicia Lee, Emma Reaney, Claire Donahue, and Amanda Weir combined to post a 1:46.82 to post the 2nd fastest time in preliminary action.
Comparative splits for the old and new records:
2000 – Arizona Cardinals – Beth Bothford (27.64), Amanda Beard (30.77), Amy Bouta (26.52), Denali Knapp (24.78) – 1:49.71
2014 – United States – Felicia Lee (26.83), Emma Reaney (30.61), Claire Donahue (25.34), Amanda Weir (24.04) – 1:46.82
There are two things we can immediately take away from this:
- Amanda Beard’s split from 2000 was exceptional in its own right, and really could hold up on its own against many competitors today.
- The fact that the record persisted since 2000 really shows how infrequently the Americans have competed in this event since those NCAA championships.
Regardless, the swim this morning has got to have the ladies feeling good for tonight’s finals. Similar to the men’s race yesterday, national and world records can be absolutely crushed when teams put their optimal line-up in for finals. In this case, the United States has the opportunity to use Natalie Coughlin on either the back or free legs if necessary, while Abbey Weitzeil, Kathleen Baker, and Shannon Vreeland are amongst the possible replacements that could be used.