Mizzou Swimmers Innovate Backstroke Start At NCAA's

Craig Bisacre NadineLaemmler.JPG

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.

2017 Art Adamson Invite | Ledecky 3:59 In The 400 IM

USATSI_10419971_168383134_lowres.jpg

Night two of the 2017 Art Adamson Invitational displayed a dominating performance by the Stanford women, even though they still trail in the points. The Cardinal women won four events, picking up five A-standard swims in the process. 

Ohio State Invite | Asia Seidt Crushes 1:53.84 200 IM

© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports Asia Seidt.jpg

The opening night in Columbus, Ohio at the Ohio State Invitational featured a smashing 200 IM from Kentucky's Asia Seidt. Crushing the NCAA A-standard, Seidt won with a 1:53.84.

Georgia Tech Invite | Tide Rolls Led By Robert Howard's 1:33 200 Free

© Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports Alabama Cap.jpg

Night two at the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia included seven event wins from Alabama despite them not leading the meets scoring. Continuing to lead are Florida State for the men and Auburn for the women.

Art Adamson Invite | Ledecky Drops 4:27, But Aggies Lead Cardinal

Pickrem.JPG

A top five battle between the No. 1-ranked Stanford women's team and No. 3 Texas A&M highlighted the opening night of finals at the 2017 Art Adamson Invitational in College Station, Texas, on Thursday.

2017 Georgia Tech Invitational | FSU, Bama Lock Down A-Cut Relays

© Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports Florida State.jpg

The 2017 Georgia Tech Invitational is underway at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta on Thursday. The Florida State men's and the Auburn women's teams lead the points after the first evening.

2017 Art Adamson Invite | Katie Ledecky Rattles Off 4:30 In Prelims

© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Katie Ledecky.jpg

The 2017 Art Adamson Invitational opened up Thursday morning at the Texas A&M Natatorium in College Station, Texas with quick swims -- especially on the women's side.

2017 Purdue Invite | Caeleb Dressel Casually Drops 1:43 200 IM In Prelims

© Sipa USA Caeleb Dressel

The 2017 Purdue Invite kicked off Thursday morning at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, IN and these teams didn't hold off until finals to swim fast.

FINA World Cup: Hosszu Might Be Iron Lady, But Sjöström Has Commanding Lead

© Sipa USA Sarah Sjostrom.jpg

The records were tumbling at the Tatsumi International Swimming Centre on night two finals of the FINA World Cup in Tokyo on Wednesday.

2017 A3 Invite Is Featured Stop On Collegiate Para Swimming Series

U.S. Paralympics Swimming Facebook Reilly Boyt

The 2017 A3 Invitational kicks off Thursday morning in sunny San Diego. The three-day meet is a stop on the 2017-18 Collegiate Para Swimming Series.

Purdue Invite Psych Sheet | Olympians, Olympians, & More Olympians

© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Lilly King.jpg

The 2017 Purdue Invite kicks off Thursday and features a slew of Olympians clashing in the pool, including a trio of United States Olympians in Caeleb Dressel (Florida), Lilly King (Indiana), and Blake Pieroni (Indiana).