Coming out of prelims, this women’s 100 breaststroke, this race was wide-open. In finals, though, Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson closed the door on her second 50 with a total time of 57.23, splitting 27.0/30.2 en route to her 3rd-straight title in this event.
Right with her at the turn, though, was a crew of the best women’s breaststrokers we’ve ever seen at the NCAA level, certainly if you take time without context at least. Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Emily McClellan placed 2nd in 57.76, Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney was 3rd in 57.79, and USC’s Kasey Carlson took 4th in 58.47. Note that the swim for the senior McClellan would have broken the NCAA Record as it stood when she enrolled at UW-Milwaukee, which is a significant milestone for her.
Stanford’s Katie Olsen took 5th in 58.70, leaving her as only the second Cardinal swimmer in history under 59 seconds (behind only the great Tara Kirk). Tennessee’s Moly Hannis placed 6th in 59.66, Alabama’s Kaylin Burchell was 7th in 59.84, and SMU’s Tara-Lynn Nicholas was 8th in 1:00.44.
With 7 under a minute in the A-Final, plus 6 more under a minute in the B-Final (led by Indiana’s Bronwyn Pasloski in 59.39), we’re creeping ever-closer to a point where all finalists go under a minute in this event. In fact, only one of the 16 finalists didn’t break a minute in either round.