Betsy Mitchell

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Betsy Mitchell
Personal information
Full name Faith Elizabeth Mitchell
Nickname(s) "Betsy"
National team  United States
Born (1966-01-15) January 15, 1966 (age 49)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke, freestyle
College team University of North Carolina
University of Texas

Faith Elizabeth Mitchell (born January 15, 1966) is an American former competition swimmer who was a world record-holder, world champion, and Olympic silver medalist. She also was a member of the United States' 1994 Rowing World Championship team.[1]

Mitchell began competitive swimming at age 5. She competed for Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania during her high school years.

Mitchell represented the United States at two consecutive Olympic Games. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, she won a silver medal for her second-place performance in the women's 100-meter backstroke, finishing with a time of 1:02.63. She also earned a gold medal by swimming the backstroke leg for the winning U.S. team in the preliminary heats of the women's 4x100-meter medley relay.[2]

After the 1984 Olympics, she initially attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and competed for the North Carolina Tar Heels swimming and diving team during her freshman year. She then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, and swam for the Texas Longhorns swimming and diving team from 1986 to 1988. She won nine NCAA titles, and was a member of the Lady Longhorns NCAA national championship teams in 1987 and 1988. Mitchell received the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year in 1987–88.[3] She was inducted into the Texas Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2000.[4]

She set a women's world record in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1986 World Championship Trials. The record stood for five years. Swimming World Magazine named her as its American Female Swimmer of the Year in 1986.

She again competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. She received a silver medal for swimming the backstroke leg for the second-place U.S. team in the women's 4x100-meter medley relay in the preliminary heats. Individually, she also swam in the final of the women's 100-meter backstroke, finishing fourth in the final with a time of 1:02.71.[2]

She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1998.[5]

Mitchell previously served as the Director of Athletics & Recreation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.[1] She resigned in March 2011, and is currently the Director of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Because of Mitchell's self-reporting of previously undisclosed NCAA rules violations, Caltech's athletics department was punished on July 12, 2012.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Q&A with Betsy Mitchell," (October/November 2008). Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  2. ^ a b, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Betsy Mitchell. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Collegiate Women Sports Awards, Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Swimming & Diving. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  4. ^, Hall of Honor, Betsy Mitchell. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  5. ^ International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Betsy Mitchell (USA). Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  6. ^ Bill Plaschke, "Caltech is on NCAA probation. No, really," Los Angeles Times (July 15, 2012). Retrieved November 14, 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Cornelia Sirch
Women's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

June 27, 1986 – August 25, 1991
Succeeded by
Krisztina Egerszegi
Preceded by
Regina K. Cavanaugh
Charles D. Cecil
Keith J. Jackson
Gordon C. Lockbaum
Mary T. Meagher
David Robinson
Todays Top VI Award
Class of 1989
Dylann Duncan
Suzanne T. McConnell
Betsy Mitchell
Anthony P. Phillips
Thomas K. Schlesinger
Mark M. Stepnoski
Succeeded by
Vicki Huber
John Jackson
Jolanda Jones
James Martin
Virginia Stahr
Jacob Young