Splashbacks: Shields, Ledecky, Worrell Down Major Records in Nov-Dec 2016


It’s been another amazing year of aquatics competition, including the long-awaited Rio Olympics, and Swimming World had our readers covered every step of the way. During the next few days, we’ll take a look back in “Splashbacks”, the most read stories of 2016.

The final two months of 2016 saw a variety of swimmers, including Tom ShieldsKatie Ledecky, and Kelsi Worrell topping the most read headlines.

1. 10 Reasons to Marry a Swimmer

Not long after Michael Phelps tied the knot and Ryan Lochte popped the question, Swimming World’s interns began to wonder what it might be like to marry an elite athlete like a swimmer.

2. Indoor Pool Air Quality: Addressing One of the Nation’s Most Underrated Issues

Indoor pool air quality is an underrated issue that most swimmers will be affected by at some point in their careers. Swimming World intern Caitlin Daday dove into the heart of the matter with a mid-December commentary on the issue.

3. [RACE VIDEO] Tom Shields Becomes First Man To Break 44 Seconds In 100 Fly SCY

Olympian Tom Shields became the first man to post a sub-44 second time in the 100 Fly SCY while swimming at the 2016 AT&T Winter National Championships. There, Shields flew to a new American and U.S. Open Record of 43.84.

4. 33 Thoughts You Have While Swimming Alone

While swimmers rejoice about being back home and getting a break from school work, they also know that their coaches expect them to stay in shape. Swimming World’s intern Chandler Brandes walked readers through 33 thoughts one might have while swimming alone.

5. RACE VIDEO: Katie Ledecky Smashes 1000 Freestyle NCAA Record

Katie Ledecky wasted no time making her mark on the NCAA record books once she joined forces with Stanford’s women’s team. Ledecky set her NCAA record in the 1000-yard free (9:10.49) in a dual meet against the University of Texas Longhorns, downing the previous time by close to ten seconds. The freshman Olympian later added NCAA records in both the 500-yard and 1650-yard frees at the Ohio State Invite.

6. How Adam Peaty Changed Sprint Breaststroke

British Olympian Adam Peaty became the first man to swim a sub-58 second 100-meter breaststroke in April 2015, and continues to be the only man to have ever done so. Since then he has lowered his own World Record to a stunning 57.13 due to a stroke rate that no competitor has been able to match so far.

7. Princeton Cancels Rest of Men’s Swimming and Diving Season

Not long after being suspended for using misogynistic and racist messages on a school listserv, the Princeton University’s men’s swimming and diving team was cancelled for the rest of the season.

8. Kelsi Worrell Uncorks 24.94 in 50 Fly SCM; Becomes First American Woman Under 25-Seconds

Kelsi Worrell capped off an exciting 2016 by becoming the first American woman to post a sub-25 second swim in the women’s 50 fly SCM. Worrell lowered the record to a 24.94 while swimming at the 2016 FINA SC World Championships.

9. Michael Phelps Has Taken Name Out of Drug Testing Pool; Officially Retired

While at the 2016 Golden Goggle Awards in New York City, Michael Phelps announced to the media that he has taken himself out of the USADA drug testing pool, thereby confirming his retirement. At that same event Phelps would go on to take home the Impact Award, Relay of the Year Award, Male Race of the Year, and Male Athlete of the Year awards.

10. Kate Douglass Downs Torres’ 34-Year-Old 50 Free NAG

Kate Douglass of Pelham High School in New York downed the oldest 13-14 short course yards NAG record on the books just before she aged up. Douglass posted a 22.32 at the New York High School Section 1 Girls’ Championships to slide past Olympian Dara Torres’ 22.44 from 1982.