With 25.84, MacNeil Is The 3rd Woman To Break CAN 50 Back Record In 3 Weeks


During day 1 finals at the Berlin stop of the 2021 FINA World Cup, Maggie MacNeil dropped a 25.84 to take out Kylie Masse‘s former short course Canadian record of 25.97 from just a week prior. Masse had swum that 25.97 during the first round of the backstroke skins race at Match 9 of the International Swimming League’s third season.

MacNeil is actually the third woman in less than a month to set a new Canadian record in the event as Ingrid Wilm, swimming for the LA Current actually set a new mark of 26.08 to win the event at Match 8.

That means that between September 14, 2021, when Wilm broke it, and October 1, 2021, when MacNeil took the record for herself, the Canadian record dropped from a 26.08 to a 25.84. Prior to these 3 swims from Wilm, Masse, and MacNeil, Masse held the record at a 26.15 from February 2018 at the USports Championships.

Women’s Canadian SCM 50 Backstroke Record Progression

While Maggie MacNeil is most widely known for her 100 butterfly prowess, having won gold in that event at both 2019 World Championships and at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, she has also demonstrated her abilities in the sprint freestyle and backstrokes. MacNeil won gold, gold, and silver, respectively in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, and 50 freestyle at the 2021 NCAA DI Championships.

MacNeil is in her junior year at the University of Michigan and will be returning back to the USA after this meet in time to swim at the SMU Classic on October 8-9.

Not only does this record by MacNeil signify her own backstroke abilities, but it also speaks to the recent breakout that we’ve seen occur in the Canadian women’s backstroke field. At the current moment, 3 different women hold short course national records in the stroke, none of which are Kylie Masse.

Multi-Olympic and World Championships medalist Kylie Masse (who won silver in the 100 and 200 backstrokes in Tokyo) has had a stronghold over the stroke in Canada for half a decade but is now being joined by an elite company.

In addition to MacNeil’s new 50 record, Ingrid Wilm holds the 100 back mark with a 55.68 which she set in September 2021, while Taylor Ruck still holds the 200 backstroke mark at a 2:01.66 from back in 2017. It was Masse and Ruck who swam the stroke for Canada at the 2020 Olympics and while Masse reached the podium, Ruck was a bit further off a 9th place finish in the 100 and 6th in 200.

We haven’t seen much from Ruck since the Tokyo Olympics but will get a sense of where she stands soon as she races continue her collegiate career at Standford following a 2-year hiatus.

While Masse no longer holds any short course Canadian records, she still holds all 3 long course marks at a 27.64, 57.70, and 2:05.42. We’ll see Wilm and MacNeil transfer their short course backstroke skills to long course as they bid for the Canadian backstroke spots at the 2022 World Championships which will be held in May of next year.

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M d e
3 months ago

How much of it was because of underwater?

Not trying to diminish her record, just trying to gauge how well it will translate to LCM.

Bag mac #1
Reply to  M d e
3 months ago

She did a 29.10 way back 2018. Just speculating but 28 ish seems possible

Last edited 3 months ago by Bag mac #1
Reply to  M d e
3 months ago

for comparison, her 100 back LCM is 59.45 but didn’t race it at olympic trials

Bag mac #1
3 months ago

She could be the best ISL pick up when she does eventually join.

3 months ago

North American backstroke has been amazing the last 3 years!

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  JimSwim22
3 months ago

Australia won both backstroke golds in Tokyo.

Reply to  Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
3 months ago

That doesn’t negate the OP’s point