Regan Smith Pops American Record, No. 5 All-Time Mark in 100 Backstroke; Simone Manuel Speedy in 100 Freestyle


Regan Smith Pops American Record; Good For No. 5 All-Time Mark in 100 Backstroke

Already the owner of several impressive performances over the weekend, Regan Smith closed out the Speedo Grand Challenge with an American record in the 100-meter backstroke. Racing on Sunday night at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Smith dominated the 100 back with a swim of 57.51, which was good for the No. 5 time in history. Smith’s former American standard was 57.57, which was the world record when she delivered the outing in 2019.

Smith went out in 28.11 and came home in 29.40 to record a decisive victory over Justina Kozan, who finished second in 1:02.08. Only Australian Kaylee McKeown has been faster than the time managed by Smith. McKeown owns the world record at 57.33 and she and Smith appear headed for some showdowns in the backstroke events at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. The women still have their Olympic Trials ahead, but both athletes have been dominant throughout the year.

Smith’s American record in the 100 backstroke capped a superb weekend in Southern California, where Smith won the 200 individual medley in a personal best of 2:09.05 and took first place in the 100 butterfly in 56.26. The mark in the 100 butterfly was also a best time, as was her 1:57.23 swim in the 200 freestyle, where Smith placed third. Clearly, she is carrying major momentum in the Olympic Trials next month in Indianapolis.

While Smith cruised in the women’s 100 backstroke, her Longhorn Aquatics’ teammates went one-two in the men’s version of the event. Hubert Kos grabbed the win in 53.81, ahead of the 54.55 produced by Leon Marchand. Meanwhile, Chase Kalisz earned another win for Bob Bowman’s contingent, as he clocked 2:12.60 to win the 200 breaststroke.

Simone Manuel turned in a stellar swim in the women’s 100 freestyle, where she touched the wall in 53.10. The 27-year-old has enjoyed a strong season and is solid form on the road to the Olympic Trials, with this time her quickest in nearly five years. She went out in 25.51 and came home in 27.59. On the men’s side, Drew Kibler was the 100 freestyle winner in 49.63. Also earning wins were Lindsay Looney (2:09.60) and Jay Litherland (1:59.44) in the 200 butterfly.

In the men’s 1500 freestyle, David Johnston put together a winning time of 15:02.68, which was more than four seconds quicker than the 15:07.04 of fellow TST swimmer Marwan El Kamash.

In other action, Rebecca Diaconescu won the 800 freestyle in 8:45.39 and Isabelle Odgers topped the field in the women’s 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:26.59.

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Honest swim fan
Honest swim fan
7 days ago

Regan Smith had a wonderful meet, but while her 200 IM was a Season Best, it was NOT a Personal Best, which stands at 2:08.48 from the 2023 Sun Devil Open from early llast June.

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