Regan Smith Churns Out Solid Rebuttal to Kaylee McKeown En route to 100 Backstroke Win in Indy


Regan Smith Churns Out Solid Rebuttal to Kaylee McKeown En route to 100 Backstroke Win in Indy

A little less than 24 hours after Australian Kaylee McKeown threatened her world record in the 100-meter backstroke, American teenager Regan Smith delivered a strong rebuttal on the final day of the TYR Pro Series in Indianapolis.

On the back of McKeown clocking 57.63 at the Sydney Open, the second-fastest performance in history and just .06 shy of Smith’s global standard, Smith put together her response. The reigning world champion in the event, Smith notched a time of 58.77, a strong performance given where she stands in her training. Smith was out in 28.25 and came home in 30.52. Phoebe Bacon was second in 59.62, with Catie Deloof claiming third in 59.71.

For Smith, it was her second victory of the weekend, as she previously won the 100 butterfly. She has also managed second-place finishes in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke. Provided she successfully negotiates the United States Olympic Trials next month in Omaha, Smith and McKeown figure to engage in some epic backstroke battles at the Olympics in Tokyo. McKeown revealed that she and Smith have a friendly relationships and Smith actually sent her a text message after the Aussie went 2:04 in the 200 back earlier at the Aussie Open.

“I’m pleased with that swim,” Smith said. “I would have wanted to be a little faster at night, but I can’t complain with it. I did the best that I could do and that is great. I think I’m definitely making my way and am getting ready for Trials, so this meet has been good for my confidence.”

The Results

  1. Regan Smith – 58.77
  2. Phoebe Bacon – 59.62
  3. Catie Deloof – 59.71

Ohio State’s Hunter Armstrong, the surprise top qualifier, followed through on his stellar morning by dipping into the 53-second range. Armstrong went wire-to-wire to prevail in 53.69, easily defeating 2012 Olympic champion Matt Grevers, who was second in 54.27. While Armstrong is unlikely to contend for a Tokyo bid, the speed he showed in Indy puts him in the discussion for a spot in the final of the 100 backstroke, not an easy achievement considering the American depth in the event.

“I wasn’t expecting to get my hand on the wall first,” Armstrong said. “In the morning, I was out a little bit too slow, so my coach told me to take it out and trust my training and you’ll get back where you need. The last 20 meters, my legs started to give out and I saw Dean Farris on my hip, and I knew I had to just push through it to get my hand on the wall first.”

The Results

  1. Hunter Armstrong – 53.69
  2. Matt Grevers – 54.27
  3. Will Grant – 54.28

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