Regan Smith Clips American Record in 100-Yard Backstroke; Moves to No. 2 in 200 Butterfly (RACE VIDEO)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Regan Smith Clips American Record in 100-Yard Backstroke; Moves to No. 2 in 200 Butterfly

18-year-old Regan Smith of Riptide in Minnesota broke the American record in the 100 backstroke on Sunday at the Aquajets March Invite in Minneapolis with a 49.16. Smith took a smidge off of Beata Nelson’s American record of 49.18 from the 2019 NCAAs as Smith got her American record back that she originally set two years ago before Nelson set the standard two weeks later. Smith lowered her own best time of 49.66 as she now holds the American records in the 100 and 200 backstroke in both yards and in long course meters.

Smith was out in 23.78 and back in 25.38, in near identical splits to Nelson’s record setting effort when she flipped at 23.76 and came back in 25.42. She is currently in a gap year as she is staying home for a year to prepare for the delayed Olympic Trials and Games with coach Mike Parratto in her home state of Minnesota. After the Games, Smith will head west to Palo Alto to train with head Olympic coach Greg Meehan as her long-awaited debut will make Stanford a very dangerous team next season in the NCAA race.

Regan Smith also nearly broke American records in the 200 butterfly (1:49.78) and 200 backstroke (1:47.81) at this meet as she is now second all-time on the 200 fly all-time list behind Ella Eastin (1:49.51) and neared her own American record in the 200 back (1:47.16) that she set two years ago.

In the 200 butterfly, Smith took it out in 52.97, ahead of Eastin’s record pace of 53.51, and was a 1:21.28 at the 150 that was still slightly ahead of Eastin’s pace at 1:21.38. Regardless, Smith became the third women to break 1:50 in the 200 butterfly as she put up the third fastest performance of all-time in the event.

All-Time Rankings (Women’s 100 Backstroke)

  1. Regan Smith, Riptide, 49.16, (2021)
  2. Beata Nelson, Wisconsin, 49.18 (2019)
  3. Ally Howe, Stanford, 49.69 (2017)
  4. Kathleen Baker, Cal, 49.80 (2017)
  5. Janet Hu, Stanford, 49.93 (2018)

All-Time Rankings (Women’s 200 Butterfly)

  1. 1:49.51, Ella Eastin, Stanford, 2018
  2. 1:49.78, Regan Smith, Riptide, 2021
  3. 1:49.92, Elaine Breeden, Stanford, 2009
  4. 1:50.28, Louise Hansson, Southern California, 2019
  5. 1:50.61, Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, 2016
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2 years ago

World rankings more relevant!