LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Baker Lights Up Nationals With New World Record

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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This week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, goes to Kathleen Baker, who stunned the crowd at the Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, CA with a new world record in the 100 backstroke at the 2018 Phillips 66 US National Championships.

Baker’s swim was nothing if not aggressive, with the 21-year-old flipping an astonishing 6-tenths ahead of world record pace at the 50 in 27.90. That time would have put her third in the 50 back from earlier in the meet (which she elected not to swim) with a time that was to her feet.

While she was hugging the lane line heading into the turn, she was able to hold on with a 30.10 closing 50 split that pushed her past Kylie Masse’s world record from last summer by a tenth to become the fastest woman in history with a 58.00. If you haven’t already, you can catch Baker’s swim below:

In her post-race interview, Baker revealed that she has had a reminder on her phone since World Championships last summer. The message? 58.10. That was Masse’s old world record, set in a race where Baker finished second behind the Canadian, and according to the newly minted world record holder is now changed to 57.99 as she moves on to her next target in the event.

Baker will now have a chance at that goal at the Pan Pacific Championships in just 10 days, where she will be going up against Masse and Australian backstroke star Emily Seebohm. And based on a Twitter post from her Coach David Marsh at Team Elite following the conclusion of the meet, Baker looks to be taking every opportunity to be ready for that chance when it arrives next week.


Congratulations Kathleen Baker on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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