A year ago, Yale’s Alex Righi cruised to a fairly easy win in the 100y Backstroke, even as seven competitors registered sub-50 second times. Righi went 47.95 in Harvard’s Blodgett Pool and it seemed as though hardly anybody noticed. His closest competitor was then-Harvard freshman Jordan Diekema who finished in 49.12. Ho-hum, another win for the Eli.
However, in the year that has passed, Righi has worked to get better at the discipline that he readily admitted was not his strongest race. And a funny thing happened on the way to the Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships…
Righi widened the gap in his “worst” event and blew the doors off of the competition.
Qualifying first with a comfortable 48.30 preliminary race, Righi really went for it in the finals. After all, it was his last chance at the discipline to go after any of Harvard’s David Cromwell’s meet (46.99), Ivy/former EISL (46.76) or pool (47.51) records. All it would take would be the race of his life.
All Righi did was just that — to the tune of a record-breaking and NCAA “A” qualifying time of 46.32.
… and suddenly this notion of this being his “worst” event seems laughable.
To view the race in its entirety, head to FloSwimming.com.