The Week That Was: Regan Smith Sets American Records in 100, 200 Yard Backstroke

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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This week was the second stop of the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa, with some of the best swimmers around the United States and the world converging to shuffle around the world rankings for 2019, but it was ultimately teenager Regan Smith who made the biggest waves this week at Cary Sectionals in North Carolina. Check out all of the biggest news in a busy week of racing below in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Adam Peaty Announces Formation of ISL London Team

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Adam Peaty, 24, announced this week his official role as an Ambassador for the newly formed International Swimming League (ISL). Peaty the ambassador agreement with Konstantin Grigorishin, the Head Advisor of the ISL, at a media conference in London where they detailed the founding of a London team. Other names announced today, joining Adam to represent team London, are fellow Olympic and world champions Kyle Chalmers, Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, and Emma McKeon. The London team will be one of the 8 teams across Europe and the US that will compete in ‘matches’ (ISL events) in Europe and America in October, before hosting an event in London in November. You can read more about the London team and the ISL here.

The Week That Was #4 – Cal Sweeps All Five Relays En Route To Pac-12 Championship


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The men’s swimming and diving team from Cal won their second straight Pac-12 Conference Championship title this weekend. Andrew Seliskar was a big winner for the Golden Bears, as the senior finished his career with 11 individual Pac-12 titles, tying Jenny Thompson for the most ever in conference history. The senior won the 200 free (1:31.07) and 200 breast (1:49.80) in meet record time, while also winning the 200 IM (1:40.53) on the opening night of finals. Seliskar was also named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight year at the conclusion of the meet. The Golden Bears also swept all five relays at Pac-12’s, something that Cal’s women’s team accomplished at their Pac-12 Championships just last week. You can see a full recap of all four days of the meet on the Pac-12 conference landing page.

The Week That Was #3 – Oregon State Cutting Swimming & Diving At End Of Season


Photo Courtesy: Oregon State University

Oregon State University announced this week that they will be cutting the women’s swimming & diving program effective at the end of the 2018-19 season. The announcement was made on Monday, immediately after the conclusion of the 2019 Women’s Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships. The decision was announced by Director of Athletics Scott Barnes, who said the that financing the program would have a negative impact on the athletics department as a whole: “Investing in competitive swimming program facilities would negatively impact the ability to serve facility requirements for all sports and all OSU student-athletes.” Oregon State has had nine All-Americans in program history and finished as high as 20th at NCAA’s in 2004.

The Week That Was #2 – Michael Andrew Grabs Five Wins At TYR Pro Series In Des Moines


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The second stop of the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series kicked off this week in Des Moines, Iowa with a loaded field that put up some of the fastest times in 2019. Michael Andrew came away from this meet with five wins after taking the 50 back (24.94), 100 back (53.98), 50 fly (23.36), 100 breast (59.70), and 50 free (21.94). Kathleen Baker also had a strong meet, completing a backstroke sweep of the 50, 100, and 200 back. Her time in the 100 back (59.17) was the fastest time in the world for 2019. And China’s Wang Jianjiahe got the meet off to fast start with a new Asian record in the 1500 free (15:46.69). Other swimmers who improved their world leading times at the meet included Annie Lazor in the 100 (1:06.66) and 200 breast (2:22.99), Hali Flickinger in the 200 fly (2:07.01), and Kelsi Dahlia in the 100 fly (57.86). You can see all results (including race videos) from the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines on our meet landing page here.

The Week That Was #1 – Regan Smith Smashes American Records In North Carolina


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

While many of the top swimmers in the country were in Iowa shuffling the world rankings, high schooler Regan Smith was busy re-writing the short course record books at the 2019 Speedo Sectionals in Cary, North Carolina. Smith left the meet with two new American records, shattering the previous marks in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Both records came on the final day of the meet, with Smith first breaking the 200 back record in finals with a stellar 1:47.16. That took down Kathleen Baker’s 1:47.30 from last year’s NCAA Championships. Smith then was able to close her meet by taking down the American record in the 100 back leading off the 400 medley relay. Smith touched in 49.66,  improving on her 49.74 from Day 2 prelims that had already taken down Amy Bilquist’s 17-18 NAG record of 50.50. You can catch up on all the results from 2019 Sectionals meets here.