Regan Smith Wins Phillips 66 Performance of the Year

regan-smith-200-back-semifinal-2019-world-championships_2
Regan Smith won the Phillips 66 performance of the year at the USA Swimming Awards banquet. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Regan Smith was awarded the Phillips 66 Performance of the Year at the USA Swimming House of Delegates meeting on Friday night in St. Louis as part of the USAS Convention. Smith received the award for her 200 backstroke world record from the 2019 World Championships, where the 17-year-old swam a 2:03.35 in the 200 back semi finals. Smith would go on to win the gold medal in the final with a 2:03.69, the second fastest swim in history in the event.

Original Report

Regan Smith of the United States looked impressive in the women’s 200 back prelims when she broke her own world junior record with a 2:06.01, but as it turns up, that was just the beginning. Smith looked like a world title contender, but few expected she would shatter Missy Franklin’s world record. Smith did just that, recording a monumental 2:03.35 to take down the 2:04.06 Franklin set on her way to Olympic gold in 2012.

Smith’s splits: 29.06, 1:00.37, 1:31.84, 2:03.35
Franklin’s splits: 
29.53, 1:00.50, 1:32.16, 2:04.06

The outcome of the semifinal was never in doubt, as Smith stormed ahead of the field just as she had in the preliminary round. And what resulted was the fastest swim ever recorded by a whopping seven tenths, after Smith had entered the race ranked No. 9 all-time in the event.

“I’m in shock. I really don’t believe it. I didn’t think I’d ever do that. It’s crazy but I am very happy with what I was able to do,” Regan Smith said. “I really just wanted to get myself in a good lane for tomorrow night’s final and I just hoping to slip under 2:06, that was my goal. If I (went) 2:05-mid or something, that would (have been) amazing. I exceeded my expectations and I’m super super happy.”

Previously, Smith won just a single senior-level international medal, a bronze in the 200 back at Pan Pacs in 2018. Smith made her international debut at the 2017 World Championships, where she finished eighth in the 200 back, and she later took down the world junior record in the 100 back. Smith didn’t have the opportunity to swim the 100 back in Gwangju, but she recorded a 58.45 last month that was faster than the gold medal-winning time in the event this week.

Smith was one of ten award winners on Friday night at the meeting.

Other Award Winners:

  • Safe Sport Impact Award: John Ingram
  • Open Water Achievement Award: Ron Aitken
  • Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Haley Anderson
  • Fran Crippen Memorial Open Water Male Swimmer of the Year: Jordan Wilimovsky
  • Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Dr. Danny Mistry
  • Disabled Swimming Service Award: Robin Heller, head coach of SeaStars
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award: Chicago Park District
  • Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Melissa Hellervik-Bing
  • Development Coach of the Year Award: Ron Aitken, head coach of Sandpipers of Nevada
  • Van Donkersgoed Athlete Distinguished Service Award: Claire Letendre
  • Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Travis Tygart

2 comments

  1. Elie Grace

    Im very happy