Lilly King Becomes Outright American Record Holder in 50 Breast at ISL Final

Lilly King Cali Condors ISL (photo: Mike Lewis)
Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

Lilly King continues to step up to the occasion when the lights get bright and the atmosphere thickens. Even when it seemed like an upset was possible with Energy’s Benedetta Pilato and London’s Alia Atkinson in the field, King answered any doubts – breaking the outright American record of 28.77 to take sole possession of the mantle of fastest American in history in the women’s 50 breaststroke.

King held the ratified American record at 28.86 with her efforts from earlier this ISL season in Budapest, but Jessica Hardy’s 28.80 from 2009 had stood as the *unofficial American record.

USA Swimming decided that American records set in shiny suits after Oct. 1, 2009 – when USA Swimming implemented the shiny suit ban domestically – would not be ratified. This is the case even for times swum legally in international events where ban was not in effect yet.

This was Lilly King’s second American record of the day as she broke the 200 breast earlier in the session with a 2:15.56, although she is still behind Rebecca Soni’s 2:14.57 from 2009 that was also in the shiny suit era.

Pilato of Energy Standard and Italy also broke her own world junior record with a 28.81 to tie her for fourth all-time with Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte. Pilato lowered her best time from 28.86.

Race Results:

  1. 28.77, Lilly King, Condors
  2. 28.81, Benedetta Pilato, Energy
  3. 28.88, Alia Atkinson, Roar
  4. 29.06, Molly Hannis, Condors
  5. 30.01, Annie Lazor, Roar
  6. 30.12, Breeja Larson, Energy
  7. 30.27, Julia Sebastian, Current
  8. 31.47, Kierra Smith, Current

All-Time Rankings:

  1. 28.56, Alia Atkinson, JAM, 2018
  2. 28.77, Lilly King, USA, 2020
  3. 28.80, Jessica Hardy, USA, 2009
  4. 28.81, Benedetta Pilato, ITA, 2020
  5. 28.81, Ruta Meilutyte, LTU, 2014