WATCH: Pan Ams Gold Medalist Phoebe Bacon Kick 53.9 in 100 Yard Backstroke

Racing this weekend at a dual meet between club teams DC Wave and Nation’s Capital (NCAP), Pan American Games gold medalist Phoebe Bacon kicked her way to a 53.94 in the 100 yard backstroke.

Bacon’s best time in the 100 yard back is a 51.18, but in that race she had the benefit of ‘using her arms.’ In this particular meet, she opted to swim the race (almost) entirely with her legs. Unlike many of these swims, which are done almost entirely underwater and are therefore not legal times, Bacon surfaced on each length before 15 meters, meaning that the time will go down as an official swim. The only points of the race where she used her arms was in a complete stroke cycle into each turn.

In spite of going full legs in the swim, she was the fastest 100 backstroker of the day in the mixed-gender event, tying NCAP 14-year old Kris Lawson who also went 53.94.

As shown in the video below, Bacon dolphin kicked to about 15 meters off each wall, popped up while still dolphin kicking, before switching to a few meters of flutter kick going into her turns.

Bacon, a member of the US National Team, won a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in the women’s 100 meter backstroke. Bacon, who is the 6th-ranked recruit in the country in the class of 2020, is committed to the University of Wisconsin – which is incidentally the current team of the fastest 100 yard backstroker in history, Beata Nelson. While Nelson is still 2 seconds faster than Bacon in the 100 yard back (49.18 vs. 51.18), Bacon’s best time in long course is faster by almost the same margin (59.02 vs. 1:00.92).

Bacon also swam the 100 free in 50.29 – with her arms.

Phoebe Bacon‘s 100 yard backstroke kick, courtesy Neo Matsuyama:

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1 year ago

Poor kid is already traumatized having to swim next to a literal dolphin, then she goes and ties him? Brutal.

1 year ago

This is one of the dirtiest things I have ever seen

1 year ago


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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