Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Pulido swims fastest mid major backstroke ever, shines at NCAA championships

Photo provided by Saluki Athletics

In her second appearance at NCAA nationals, SIU swimmer Celia Pulido swam her way to even more appearances in the swim and dive record book, at SIU, in Illinois and nationally.

The MVC Swimmer of the Year from Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, placed seventh in the country in the 100 yard backstroke, swimming a time of 50.73 seconds. 

According to, Pulido’s time is the fastest mid-major time in women’s 100 yard backstroke ever, and is also the fastest in Illinois ever. The previous SIU record, held by her, was the 50.98 second swim that earned her a spot in the A finals. 


Nearly a second faster than her seed time in the event from the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in February, Pulido then competed in the 200 yard backstroke on Saturday.

Pulido’s prelims swim shattered her SIU record of 1:53:80, dropping over a second en route to a 1:52:44, good enough to rank her number 14 of 52 swimmers in the prelims and earn her a spot in the evening’s finals heats.

Pulido competed in the second heat, or B final, and once again broke her own record, swimming a 1:52:31 and moving up one spot to finish 13th in the nation in the 200 yard backstroke. 

Pulido, a junior, was able to score 12 points for her efforts in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke finals and helped SIU finish in 28th place of 41 teams at the NCAA championships. 

Pulido is the first of two Salukis who will compete in the NCAA championships this month; Alex Santiago will compete this upcoming week in the men’s NCAA championships. Among their individual accomplishments, Pulido and Santiago also made history for the Salukis, as it is the first time that SIU will have a male and a female swimmer competing at NCAA nationals since 1992.

For official NCAA women’s championship meet results, click here.

Sports reporter Ryan Grieser can be reached at [email protected]. To stay up to date on all your southern Illinois news, be sure to follow The Daily Egyptian on Facebook and @dailyegyptian on X.



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