2020 US Open: Phoebe Bacon Tops Regan Smith in 200 Back; Ryan Held Claims 100 Free Win

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2020 US Open: Phoebe Bacon Tops Regan Smith in 200 Back; Ryan Held Claims 100 Free Win

Coming off a runnerup finish to Regan Smith in the 100 backstroke on Friday night, Phoebe Bacon reversed the finished order on Saturday morning, when the rising teenage stars clashed in the 200 backstroke at the Des Moines site of the US Open. This time, it was Bacon who got her hand on the wall first, courtesy of a winning time of 2:09.16.

Bacon and Smith, who are clearly in the middle of heavy training, went through the first lap in identical times of 30.20. But Bacon took a slight lead on the second lap, and took command on the third 50, when she outsplit Smith, 32.69 to 34.00. Bacon was also faster on the last lap, with Smith touching for second place in 2:11.74.

While Smith is regarded as a favorite to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year in multiple events, Bacon is expected to be in contention in both backstroke disciplines. The backstroke events figure to be among the most hotly contested finals at the United States Olympic Trials in Omaha.

Smith came back later in the session to win the 200 butterfly in 2:08.61, a solid marker for this point in the season.

Day 3 combined results

In Huntsville …

Following up on her victory from the 50 freestyle, 17-year-old Gretchen Walsh blew away the field in the 100 freestyle, as she touched in 54.37. Walsh is one of a number of teenagers who could end up on the Team USA roster for the Tokyo Games, her best chances in the sprint-freestyle events. She was joined by a winner in Huntsville by Ryenne Ulett (2:13.41.) in the 200 backstroke.

Ryan Held headlined the men’s action with a winning mark of 49.00 in the 100 freestyle. A 2016 Olympic, Held finished well ahead of the 50.43 by Jack Aikins.

3 comments

  1. HJ Oxie

    Regan Smith isn’t a favorite to qualify for Tokyo, she’s the overwhelming favorite to win gold in both events. In fact no one is really anywhere close to her.

    • avatar
      John Lohn - Associate Editor-in-Chief

      I understand and follow your thought process. However, a measured approach is best taken. Jenny Thompson (1996) and Pablo Morales (1988) serve as proof.