Regan Smith Aces 200 Back-200 Fly Double on Final Night of NC State Invitational

Jul 28, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Regan Smith (USA) in the women's 200m butterfly semifinals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Regan Smith -- Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports

Regan Smith Aces 200 Back-200 Fly Double on Final Night of NC State Invitational

In the college swimming championship program, two of Regan Smith’s premier events fall on the final night, the 200 back and 200 fly. In long course, Smith is the world-record holder in the 200-meter back and the Olympic silver medalist in the 200-meter fly. In short course yards, Smith has the American record in the 200 back and ranks second all-time in the 200 fly. So if she is to swim both events for the Stanford Cardinal at the NCAA Championships, she will have to pull a painful, grueling double, one that Florida’s Teresa Crippen accomplished during her career but few others have attempted.

At the NC State Invitational, Smith practiced that back-to-back and ended up with two victories. First, she won the 200 back in 1:48.91, well off her own record time of 1:47.16 but faster than rival Rhyan White swam at the Tennessee Invite (1:49.73). At last year’s NCAAs, only national champion Phoebe Bacon was faster than Smith’s mark Saturday (1:48.32). Stanford teammate Lucie Nordmann took second in 1:51.16, and NC State’s Katharine Berkoff grabbed third in 1:51.62. 200-meter back Olympic finalist Taylor Ruck, also of Stanford, placed fourth in 1:52.09.

Smith had less than an hour of rest before she returned for the 200 fly. She won that event by almost two seconds in 1:52.48, while teammate Lillie Nordmann (younger sister of Lucie) placed second in 1:54.43, one hundredth ahead of NC State’s Kylie Alons (1:54.44). Smith’s time would have placed second at NCAAs last year behind Olivia Carter’s 1:51.33, but Virginia’s Alex Walsh had a faster mark earlier Saturday with her 1:51.83 in Knoxville.

In between those two swims, fellow Stanford freshman Torri Huske put up the country’s fastest time so far in the 100 free at 47.39, which only four swimmers (Maggie MacNeilKate Douglass and Isabel Ivey) beat at NCAAs last year. Finishing second was Stanford’s Emma Wheal, and North Carolina’s Grace Countie placed third in 48.73. Previously, Huske recorded an impressive 200 IM-50 free double Thursday before winning the 100 fly Friday.

Another national-title contender competing this weekend in Greensboro was Arizona State’s Emma Nordin, who will be in the mix in the 500 free, 200 free and 1650 free come March. After swimming the top time in the nation in the 500 free Thursday, Nordin stopped the clock at 15:47.15 in the 1650 free, a time that would have been good for third at the 2021 NCAA meet. Stanford’s Aurora Roghair (16:10.55) and NC State’s Yara Hierath (16:13.42) rounded out the top three.

In the women’s 200 breast, reigning NCAA champion Sophie Hansson swam a 2:05.10 to win by more than three seconds, but she fell short of the 2:03.58 Douglass swam earlier in the evening in Knoxville as the country’s top time. Duke’s Sarah Foley finished second in 2:08.30, and NC State’s Heather Podmanikova placed third in 2:09.02.

Stanford’s women completed the meet with a win in the 400 free relay. The team of Emma Wheal (48.94), Ruck (47.49), Anna Shaw (48.02) and Huske (46.27) swam a time of 3:10.72 to storm past NC State’s team of Bertkoff, Abbey Webb, Alons and Annabel Crush. NC State was clocked at 3:12.12. Stanford’s B-team which included Smith splitting 48.06 on the second leg, took thrid in 3:15.74.

Stanford’s time would have placed fourth at last year’s NCAAs. Stanford actually ended up 12th in that race, and coincidentally, Wheal led off that squad in the exact same time, 48.94. However, the other three swimmers were not on Stanford’s roster last season, with Ruck returning from an Olympic redshirt and Shaw and Huske both arriving as freshmen.

On the men’s side, Arizona State’s Leon Marchand continued his incredible meet that has seen him post the nation’s top times in both the 200 IM and 400 IM. In the 200 fly, he took the win in 1:40.86, and teammate Alexander Colson finished just behind in 1:41.38. NC State’s Aiden Hayes grabbed third in 1:42.02.

Stanford freshman Andrei Minakov out-paced Arizona State’s Grant House to win the men’s 100 free. Minakov broke 42 with his 41.89, while House put up a 42.06 after recording a pair of 1:31s in the 200 free on Friday. ASU’s Carter Swift took third in 42.44.

NC State’s Will Gallant led a trio of sub-15:00 performances in the men’s 1650 free. He won in 14:49.10, followed by ASU’s Mason Gordon (14:53.88), Stanford’s Grant Shoults (14:56.07) and NC State’s Ross Dant (14:59.04). Next, in the men’s 200 back, Stanford’s Leon MacAlister edged out NC State’s Kacper Stokowski for the win, 1:40.30 to 1:40.71, while NC State’s Hunter Tapp placed third in 1:41.49.

Stanford’s Daniel Roy, the fifth-place finisher at NCAAs last year in the men’s 200 breast, dominated his signature event. Roy put up a strong time of 1:52.54 to win by two seconds over ASU’s David Schlict (1:54.57) and Penn State’s Daniel Raisanen (1:54.58).

Arizona State won the men’s 400 free relay by a second over NC State with a 2:47.43, a time which would have placed third behind only Cal and Florida at NCAAs last year. Jack Dolan (42.26), Swift (41.78), Cody Bybee (42.31) and House (41.08) competed for the Sun Devils. NC State took second in 2:48.46, with Tapp anchoring in 41.44. Stanford got a 41.69 leadoff leg from Minakov before placing third in 2:49.09.

Live results

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.