2020 US Open: Regan Smith Tops Phoebe Bacon in 100 Back Duel; Madisyn Cox Earns 200 Free Win


2020 US Open: Regan Smith Tops Phoebe Bacon in 100 Back Duel; Madisyn Cox Earns 200 Free Win

When the psych sheets were released for the various sites of the US Open, one of the matchups that immediately stood out was the duel between Regan Smith and Phoebe Bacon in the 100-meter backstroke in Des Moines. Well, the meeting proved to be the highlight of the night in Iowa, as Smith fended off Bacon down the stretch and won in 59.95. Bacon checked in with a time of 1:00.18.

The world-record holder in the 100 backstroke, off her leadoff leg from the 400 medley relay at the 2019 World Championships, Smith built a lead on Bacon over the first lap. Smith turned in 28.80 at the 50-meter mark, with Bacon at 29.24. While Bacon closed the gap on the return lap, Smith did enough to get her hand on the wall first. In addition to her efforts in the 100 backstroke, Smith was an easy winner in the 100 butterfly, going 58.09.

Smith and Bacon are headed toward a more-important meeting next year at the United States Olympic Trials. The women’s 100 backstroke is on track to feature one of the best fields of the meet, perhaps the best. In addition to Smith and Bacon, veterans Olivia Smoliga and Kathleen Baker will be vying for berths to the Tokyo Games.

Micah Slaton touched the wall first in the men’s 100 butterfly in 53.71 and Olivia Anderson was quickest in the women’s 100 breaststroke, going 1:09.14.

In San Antonio…

Madisyn Cox backed up her impressive victory in the 200 medley in the morning session by leading three women under the two-minute barrier in the 200 freestyle. Cox won the race in 1:58.97, but was followed closely by Joanna Evans (1:59.26) and Kelly Pash (1:59.58). In the 100 breaststroke, Anna Elendt and Lydia Jacoby dueled to the wall, with Elendt earning tight triumph, 1:07.50 to 1:07.57. Other wins went to Olivia Bray in the 100 butterfly in 58.95 and Genevieve Pfeifer in the 400 IM in 4:45.14.

In Huntsville…

Auburn product Luis Martinez, the silver medalist in the 100 butterfly at the 2019 Pan American Games, dropped a meet-record time of 51.50 in his prime event. The 2016 Guatamalan Olympian needed that type of outing as he was followed in second by Kayky Mota (52.73), with Ryan Held taking third in 53.08.

Gretchen Walsh won the women’s 100 backstroke in 1:01.01 and Jack Aikins won the men’s 100 back in 54.59. Letitia Sim (1:09.17) and Michael Houlie claimed victories in the 100 breaststroke.

In Irvine…

Arabella Sims stayed on a hot streak as she won the 200 freestyle in 1:59.93, ahead of the 2:00.58 by Justina Kozan. Kaitlyn Dobler was tops in the 100 breaststroke as she finished ahead of Emma Weber, 1:08.77 to 1:08.83, with Isabelle Odgers going 1:09.38 for third.

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