Phoebe Bacon Upsets Regan Smith in 100 Back at US Open With 58.6 (VIDEO)

With all the attention on Regan Smith, fellow high school senior Phoebe Bacon upset Smith in the 100 back at the US Open in Atlanta. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2019 US Open (Phoebe Bacon)

Day Three Finals (Women’s 100 Back)

With so much attention (and rightfully so) on 17-year-old Regan Smith at the US Open in Atlanta and World Championships bronze medalist Olivia Smoliga, we almost forgot completely about her 17-year-old rival Phoebe Bacon in the 100 back final. Bacon took everyone by surprise in beating the world record holder Smith with a 58.63 to Smith’s 58.68. That swim puts Bacon fifth in the world for the 2019 calendar year.

Bacon won the Pan American Games this summer in the 100 back this summer and has committed to swim at the University of Wisconsin for next fall.

Bacon comes from the same club as Katie Ledecky, albeit a different site, as both come from the Nation’s Capital Swim Club in Washington DC.

Bacon on expectations going into swim: “Yeah, I’ve been waiting to get under 59 and doing it at this meet – it’s kind of more of a mid-season race meet. I’m really happy about that and it’s definitely got me psyched for tomorrow and the rest of the season.”

On starting the 2019-2020 swim season: “I thankfully got a week or so off [following the 2019 Pan American Games]. I got to go to the beach, but right after that, it was just right back to training, right back to working hard, lifting, swimming, school, everything.

On swimming alongside friends and teammates: “I was definitely more excited than nervous because I was swimming against seven of some of my best friends that I’ve met through the sport of swimming. I just wanted everyone to do well and I’m so happy that I got to race everybody.”

Smith was heavy favorite coming into this meet after she broke the world record in this event at the World Championships, completely wiping away Kathleen Baker’s standard with a 57.5 leading off the 4×100 medley relay in Gwangju. She seemed to be invincible but this was her first meet since the Nationals in August so we did not know what kind of shape she was in.

Phoebe Bacon had a quiet 2019 when she won Pan American Games in this event and was a 59.0 in leading off the medley relay to put her in the top ten in the world for the 2019 calendar year. She lowered her best time by four tenths tonight in Atlanta as she put her name in the running in the already super deep women’s 100 back field in the United States. Add in former world record holder Kathleen Baker to this mix and it will be a race of epic proportions next summer.

Smoliga finished in third with a 59.60 as she is coming off one of her most successful years with a bronze in this event at the World Championships. She finished tonight ahead of 2019 National champ Amy Bilquist (59.96) and Ali DeLoof (1:00.34). There were two other high school seniors in the final with Isabelle Stadden (1:00.46) placing sixth and Alex Walsh (1:00.56) placing seventh.


  1. 58.63, Phoebe Bacon, USA (5th in the world for 2019 calendar year)
  2. 58.68, Regan Smith, USA
  3. 59.60, Olivia Smoliga, USA
  4. 59.96, Amy Bilquist, USA
  5. 1:00.34, Ali DeLoof, USA
  6. 1:00.46, Isabelle Stadden, USA
  7. 1:00.56, Alex Walsh, USA
  8. 1:00.70, Lisa Bratton, USA

1 comment

  1. avatar

    NCAP represent!