Mizzou Swimmers Innovate Backstroke Start At NCAA's

Thursday night in the consolation final of the 400 medley relay at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships, the eight backstrokers jumped into the water. All the girls grabbed the backstroke bars and placed their feet, all but one.

From lane four, Nadine Laemmler of the University of Missouri reached a little higher than the girls on either side of her. She placed her hands on the white plastic edges of the starting block.

At the starter's cue Laemmler rose higher than her counterparts, coming almost entirely out of the pool. She then rocketed herself backward and to her fastest time ever. Laemmler swam the second fastest time in the field, 50.54 seconds, setting a University of Missouri record.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BR1fjmQgBpQ/?taken-by=floswimming&hl=en" hide_caption="0"]

The University of Missouri brought a strong core of backstrokers to NCAA's and they are all adapting to the IUPUI natatorium and changing the way they do their backstroke start.

Haley Hynes, a freshman at Missori, was the first girl to make the switch.

Hynes and her coach Greg Rhodenbaugh decided on this new form on Wednesday, the day the meet started.

While practicing starts Hynes mentioned she felt crunched, and too small using the handles. Rhodenbaugh suggests Hynes just grab the block instead. Her immediate reaction to his suggestion was skeptical.

"I was like what I'm not doing that." Hynes said. "That's insane."

A change of heart came almost immediately, though. After just one practice start, Hynes felt the difference.

"It feels great. I am able to extend so much faster and have so much room. " Hynes said. "I just fly off."

The new technique has been met with relative early success. Friday, in the 100 back finals, both Laemmler and teammate Hannah Stevens used the new start and finished seventh and third respectively. Saturday, in the 200 backstroke, the girls again used the technique and Laemmler finished in ninth and Stevens in eleventh.

The change has not gone unnoticed from other teams. The Missouri girls can hear murmurs of confusion and interest every time they forgo the traditional bars. They are still the only ones using the start as of now, but with convincing early success, others may soon try it.

By Anthony Ashley

--

FloSwimming's best content, delivered to your inbox!

Don't miss breaking news, feature stories, event updates, and more. Sign up for the FloSwimming mailing list today.

Swimmers Are Nerds

If you haven’t realized it by now, swimmers are some of the nerdiest athletes in the world of sports. From the sets we do, the counting, the times we go, etc., etc., there’s a lot that goes into becoming a high-level swimmer, and a good portion of it comes down to being just plain nerdy. We’re going to break down the nerdiness of our sport into three categories, counting, data and more data.

Preview | Big Ten Men's Championship

What to know before the 2019 Big Ten Men's Swimming & Diving Championship

Preview | 2019 Big 12 Championship

When: Feb. 27 - Mar. 02, 2019

Preview | Big Ten Women's Championship

When: Feb. 20 - 23, 2019

FloSports to Live Stream 2019 Big 12 Winter and Spring Championships

AUSTIN, Texas — February 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Big 12 Conference announced that fans can access live and on-demand coverage of the Swimming and Diving Championship on FloSwimming.com, the Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championship on FloTrack.com, the Wrestling Championship on FloWrestling.com, and the Softball Championship on FloSoftball.com.

Swammers: When Should You Get Back In?

At the end of your career, it makes sense to step away from the pool for a bit. If you come back too quickly you might find yourself with your toes curled over the edge staring at the water for a good 10-15 minutes. You might build up the courage to jump back in with no expectations and swim a 25 just get out, like I did, or maybe you’ll just hit the hot tub. 

COMING SOON: Live Events Like Never Before

Prepare for a new immersive live experience that will transform the way you watch swimming. You shared your live stream dreams with us and we're making them all come true with fan-driven features that you've been craving.

Preview | OSU Vs. Pitt

What better way to start off a preview is to take a look at the most recent dual meet performances from each squad and pick out some swimmers to watch? Let’s do just that. 

Five Swammer Swimming Regrets

I’m not someone who likes to live in the past, but the purpose of this is to keep swimmers from making the same regrettable mistakes as this swammer. Some may seem simple and some more complex, but each of them just as easily done as the rest. Hope you enjoyed that accidental rhyming sentence as much as I did. Poetry aside, let’s get into it.

My Three Favorite Workouts: 1000 IMs and All Out 200s

Practice #1