Performance of the Week: Beata Nelson Cracks American Record In Austin

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

ZUMO IS PROUD SPONSOR OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK. For more information about Zumo, visit their website

This week’s Performance of the Week goes to Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson for breaking the American record in the 100 backstroke this weekend at the Texas Invitational.

The Wisconsin junior touched the wall in 49.67 to break Ally Howe’s 2017 record of 49.69 that she set at the Pac-12 Championships. Nelson was out about a tenth under Howe’s record pace, flipping at 24.02 before coming home in 25.65 to break the record.

Nelson had previously been the second-fastest 100 backstroker of all-time with a 49.78. That swim came during Big Ten’s last year and was a huge breakout swim for the then-sophomore, dropping nearly a second from her best and becoming just the third woman to swim under 50 seconds in the 100 back. She would go on to finish second at NCAA’s in the event behind Howe, who is now graduated.

You can see the race video of Nelson’s swim below:

All-Time Rankings:

  1. Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 49.67 (2018)
  2. Ally Howe, Stanford, 49.69 (2017)
  3. Kathleen Baker, California, 49.80 (2017)
  4. Janet Hu, Stanford, 49.93 (2018)
  5. Natalie Coughlin, California, 49.97 (2002)
  6. Courtney Bartholomew, Virginia, 50.02 (2014)
  7. Rachel Bootsma, California, 50.03 (2015)
  8. Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, 50.04 (2017)
  9. Cindy Tran, California, 50.31 (2012)
  10. Elise Haan, NC State, 50.42 (2018)

Nelson also posted a best time in the 100 fly in the prelims (50.80) on the same day as the 100 back before scratching the event at night. That was her first best time in that event since November of 2014, when she was still in high school.

Congratulations Beata Nelson on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!


  1. Charlene Tallen

    She’s always a thrill to watch