Regan Smith Swims Lifetime Bests in 200 Free, 100 Fly at Grand Challenge; Paige Madden Continues to Surge

Regan Smith -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Regan Smith Swims Lifetime Bests in 200 Free, 100 Fly at Grand Challenge

The women’s 100 butterfly sets up as one of the most competitive events of next month’s U.S. Olympic Trials, with five of history’s top-20 performers among the possible entrants in the event set to race for two spots on the Olympic team. Regan Smith is currently a question-mark for the 100 fly, with the 200 fly plus the backstroke events setting up as her higher priorities for Trials, but she is in strong form in the event after swimming a best time Saturday evening at the Speedo Grand Challenge.

Smith clocked 56.26, a tenth quicker than her previous best time of 56.36 from March. She jumped ahead of Claire Curzan to No. 14 on the all-time list in the event, and she remains ranked fourth in the world behind fellow Americans Torri Huske (first) and Gretchen Walsh (third), with world champion Angelina Kohler of Germany sitting second globally.

That butterfly performance came just over an hour after Smith dropped her best time in the 200 free by almost a second while racing training partners Paige Madden and Simone Manuel plus defending U.S. national champion Claire Weinstein. An excellent race between the quartet saw Weinstein establish slight leads over Smith and Manuel for the first half of the race before Madden took over on the third lap. Down the stretch, Madden held on to beat Manuel by three hundredths, 1:57.00 to 1:57.03.

Smith, meanwhile, clocked 1:57.23 to demolish her previous top mark of 1:58.14, thereby announcing herself as a possible contender for a spot on the U.S. women’s 800 free relay. Weinstein, meanwhile, faded down the stretch to fourth in 1:59.14.

Katie Grimes passed on swimming her best event, the 400 IM, but she did swim in the 200 free final before winning the 200 back in 2:10.51, a second clear of Teagan O’Dell (2:11.58). The longer medley went to Justina Kozan in 4:49.67.

On the men’s side, world-record holder Leon Marchand skipped the 400 IM as well as he zeroes-in on the upcoming French Olympic Trials. After scoring wins in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM Friday, he won the 100 fly in 52.56. Three other members of the Bob Bowman-led training group occupied the top spots in the men’s 200 back. Hubert Kos, the world champion in the event last year, clocked 1:56.46 for the win, beating out the men who went 1-2 in the 400 IM at the Tokyo Olympics, Chase Kalisz (1:59.69) and Jay Litherland (1:59.95).

Luke Ellis took the win in the 400 IM (4:24.28) while David Johnston, the winner of the 400 free at last year’s U.S. Nationals, scored a close win in that event over Marwan Elkamash, a native of Egypt who is his training partner with The Swim Team. Johnston clocked 3:48.06 ahead of Elkamash’s 3:48.21, with Drew Kibler back in third place (3:51.47).

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 days ago

The Women’s Backstroke is heating up! Be interesting what Kaylee throws down at thd Aussie Trials and MOC plus Ilona too!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x