Elizabeth Pelton Breaks 1:48 Barrier for American Record in 200 Back

Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 23. CALIFORNIA's Elizabeth Pelton came through with the swim of the meet, becoming the first swimmer to clear 1:48 in the 200-yard backstroke as she went out calm and brought it home fast at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships.

Pelton went out in 25.93, and 53.05, 1:20.46, and had enough left to put up a final 27.38 split to race to a sizzling time of 1:47.84. That's the first 1:47 in the history of the event, blasting Gemma Spofforth's NCAA and U.S. Open record of 1:48.34 set back in 2009 during the techsuit era. The time also bettered Pelton's American record of 1:48.39 set earlier this month at the Pacific 12 Championships. The crowd welcomed the swim with a standing ovation.

California has now won the 200-yard backstroke five times. Natalie Coughlin won in 2001, 2002 and 2003, while Helen Silver took home the 2006 title as well.

Missouri's Dominique Bouchard took home second-place honors with a 1:50.06 to move to seventh in event's history. That time bettered her preliminary effort of 1:50.94. Florida's Elizabeth Beisel wound up taking third in 1:51.17 after going out with Pelton at the 50-yard mark. Beisel already stands fifth in the event's history with a sterling 1:49.82.

USC's Kendyl Stewart (1:51.28), Stanford's Maya DiRado (1:51.34), Florida's Sinead Russell (1:51.87), Indiana's Brooklyn Snodgrass (1:52.12) and Texas' Sarah Denninghoff (1:53.72) also competed in the historic championship heat. Arizona's Bonnie Brandon raced to a 1:51.41 to win the B final, bettering her personal best of 1:51.49 and moving to 14th all time in the event.

Georgia remained in the lead with 329 points, while California cut the gap a bit with a second-place tally of 311. Tennessee (263.5), Arizona (255) and Texas A&M (249) made up the rest of the top five.

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Author: Archive Team

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