‘Shocked’ Coleman Stewart Sets 100 Backstroke World Record at ISL Match 2 (Video)

Coleman Stewart breaks WR 100 backstroke Cali Condors ISL (photo: Mike Lewis)
Coleman Stewart; Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

‘Shocked’ Coleman Stewart Sets 100 Backstroke World Record at ISL Match 2 (Video)

When Coleman Stewart got the text from Braden Holloway Saturday night, he didn’t really have a good answer.

Stewart had just set the American short-course record in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, the NC State grad clocking in at 48.91 seconds off the men’s medley relay. And his Wolfpack coach had a valid question: “Dude, what just happened?”

If Stewart didn’t have an answer Saturday, the Cali Condor was even more at a loss for words Sunday when he blasted the world record in the event, going 48.33 seconds.

Stewart was all-around sensational for the Condors, who dominated ISL Match 2 with a league-record 707 points to get the victory over the LA Current, Tokyo Frog Kings and NY Breakers. Stewart helped the cause at every turn, including a 47-point output in the men’s backstroke skins to clinch the win.

Against the clock, though, Stewart was even more impressive. The debut season of ISL in 2019 yielded three world records. That was upped to nine individual world records (in six events) in 2020, but all came in the semifinals and final. A world record in the preliminary matches is stunning; to do it in the opening match of the season is utterly gob smacking.

“Short-course meters is kind of my bread-and-butter, just because I kick off the wall a lot,” Stewart said in a virtual mixed zone. “It’s a little different than short-course yards, but I’m glad to be back my wheelhouse. It was pretty cool to get that record.”

No less an authority on setting world records than Caeleb Dressel offered the context on just what his fellow Condor achieved.

“This is the fastest person in history for a moment of this sport,” Dressel said. “This is a very big deal, and to do it in the first meet after coming off of Trials, where the goal of Olympic Trials is to make the team, there’s probably a little bit of a downfall there. And to take a break and get back in your groove that quick, it just speaks volumes to this team.”

The swim downs the ISL and world record set last November by Energy Standard’s Kliment Kolesnikov at 48.58. The splits:

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov, Nov. 21, 2020: 23.80, 24.78 – 48.58
  2. Coleman Stewart, Aug. 29, 2021: 23.45, 24.88 – 48.33

Stewart had gone 48.91 on Saturday to clip .01 off Matt Grevers’ American record from 2015. Sunday, the mustachioed Stewart trounced that, taking it out at a savage pace of 23.45 and holding on to make history and take a full jackpot over the field at 37 points.

Like most swimmers, Stewart wasn’t sure what ISL would bring. His summer journey was quite different than most, missing out on the Olympics thanks to the depth of the American field. He was fourth in the 100 butterfly, eighth in the 100 freestyle and just 10th in the 100 back at Trials in Omaha.

So to set a best time in the first go-round of the season – that wasn’t on Stewart’s radar.

“I had absolutely no idea what to expect,” he said. “This was a complete shock. I was not expecting to go best times, really. Obviously super happy with it.”

1 comment

  1. avatar
    David Abineri

    I am not sure why we are interested in only the winners at ISL meets. Who else participated and what their times were are also of interest. Where are the complete results of ISL meets?

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