When determining the top five women's swimmers and divers in program history, it's difficult to not factor in the athletes' performances on a global scale and remain solely focused on their time with the Crimson Tide.
So that's exactly what today's list evaluates.
Since the 1972 Olympic Games in Moscow, Alabama swimming and diving has produced over 100 Olympians representing a plethora of countries around the globe.
Today's list takes into account both current and past female swimmers and divers for the Crimson Tide. While four of the top five are former, one current swimmer for Alabama has been making waves and simply could not be left out of the list when taking her current impact on the program into consideration.
And with that, here's the Crimson Tide Top 5: Women's Swimming and Diving edition:
5. Rhyan White
It's not often in our Crimson Tide Top 5 series that you see a current athlete make the cut on our top-5 lists.
However, Rhyan White most definitely deserves a spot. While still just a junior White has set no less than four program records in four respective races — the 100 backstroke (50.80), 200 backstroke (1:55.78), 100 fly (50.02) and 200 fly (1:48.06). She also boasts the sixth-fasted time in the 100 IM (1:59.15) in Crimson Tide history.
After being named to the 2019 Freshman All-SEC Team, White also made First Team All-SEC in 2020 and was named First Team CSCAA Scholar All-American. To conclude here 2020 season, White was an All-American in these categories: 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 400 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay.
4. Betsy Saunders
Betsy Saunders was inducted into the Alabama Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2011 as pioneer for the women’s program. In addition to being a member of the Crimson Tide’s inaugural women’s swimming and diving team, she was also the Crimson Tide’s first national championship scorer and its first All-American, earning the honor in the 50 and 100 freestyles in 1974.
3. Anne Poleska
At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Poleska won bronze in the 200-meter breaststroke. In total, Poleska competed in three Olympics (2000, 2004 and 2008).
Hailing from Germany, Poleska competed for the Crimson Tide through 2006 at the same time she was training for her appearances in the Olympics to represent her home country.
In addition to her Olympic experience, Poleska also placed second at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
2. Susan Bartholomew Williams
While she competed as a triathlete at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, former Crimson Tide swimmer Susan Bartholomew Williams made history. In just the second Olympic triathlon, Williams was the first representative of the United States to medal in the event, earning a spot on the podium with a bronze finish.
Overall, Williams' third-place time totaled 2:05:08.92. Her split times were 19:02 for the swim, 1:08:58 for the cycling, and 0:37:08 for the run.
1. Lane Bassham
Lane Bassham was inducted into the Alabama Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2004 after a career that saw her become the Crimson Tide’s first NCAA diving champion that same year. She won the 2004 NCAA 3-meter title and was the NCAA runner-up off the 1-meter that same year. She was named the 2004 NCAA Championship Diver of the Meet and Southeastern Conference Diver of the Year.
A member of the U.S. National Team, she went undefeated off both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards during the regular season as a senior in 2004.
She finished her career as a three-time SEC champion and posted eight top-three finishes at the SEC Championships.
The Crimson Tide Top 5 will appear every day during the month of June on BamaCentral.