14-Year Old Summer McIntosh Swims 4:05 in 400 Meter Freestyle


  • Toronto Pan American Sports Center, Toronto, Canada
  • May 26-28, 2021
  • Long Course Meters (50m)
  • Results on MM: “Take5 HP Event”
  • Live Results

14-year old Summer McIntosh swam a 4:05.13 on Thursday evening, smashing the Canadian Age Group Record in the event and inserting herself into serious international conversations just 2 months ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Racing as part of a Toronto High Performance Time Trial event, McIntosh lopped more than 10 seconds off her previous best time. The swim also took more than 8 seconds off the old National Age Group Record of 4:13.51 that was done by Taylor Ruck, who is also racing at this meet and is now a double Olympic bronze medalist, in 2015.

Extrapolating the impact of this drop, consider this: McInotsh’s previous best 400 free was done at the prior High Performance event just 3 weeks ago. Also at that meet, she set new Canadian National Age Group Records in the 200 free (1:57.65), 800 free (8:35.30), and 1500 free (16:15.19).

Those times made her among the fastest Canadians ever in those events, and in the case of the 1500 free gave her a FINA “A” cut.

That 400 free swim is her first race of the meet, which began on Wednesday, and she’s scheduled to race the 800 free on Friday.

While there are no reliable all-time global rankings for 14-year olds available, it is likely that her swim is the fastest ever done by a 14-year old. According to USA Swimming and FINA databases, the fastest time by a 14-year old over at least the last decade is the 4:06.83 swum by China’s Liu Zixuan at the 2014 Chinese National Championships. China’s Li Bingjie swam 4:07.16 at 14 in 2016.

There are also New York Times reports of a 4:05.75 done by Chinese 13-year old Xu Danlu at the 2012 Asian Swimming Championships, though the result doesn’t appear in FINA’s database.

The U.S. National Age Group Record in that event is a 4:07.15 done by Sippy Woodhead in 1978. The current World Record holder Katie Ledecky was 4:09.30 at 14 in 2012 – just a few months before winning her first Olympic gold in the 800 free. Ledecky was 3rd at Trials that year in the 400 in 4:05.00 – though it was just past her 15th birthday.

Splits Comparisons:

Summer McIntosh Summer McIntosh Taylor Ruck
New 13-14 Record Previous PB (3 weeks ago)
National Age Group Record – 2015
100m 58.16 1:01.54 1:00.83
200m 1:01.88 1:04.98 1:04.76
300m 1:02.50 1:04.50 1:05.25
400m 1:02.59 1:04.41 1:02.67
Final Time 4:05.13 4:15.43 4:13.51

The swim also makes McIntosh the 2nd-fastest Canadian of all-time and of all ages.

Top 5 Canadian Women, All-time 400 LCM Freestyle

  1. Brittany MacLean – 4:03.43 (2016)
  2. Summer McIntosh – 4:05.13 (2021)
  3. Emily Overholt – 4:06.27 (2019)
  4. Savannah King – 4:07.02 (2012)
  5. Brittany Reimer – 4:07.32 (2005)

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Lucy the golden
23 days ago

Watched this live today. She is quite something to watch in the pool. She isn’t competing with anyone but herself.

23 days ago


23 days ago

14 Years Old, 1:57.65 200FR and 4:05.13 400FR. Destroys both of Sippy Woodhead’s LEGENDARY 1978 World Age Group Records (by .88 and 2.02 seconds respectively) which the likes of child swim savants like Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky couldn’t even come close to touching. She came close to Becca Mann’s World Age Group Record in the 1500 FR too (16:15.19 compared to 16:11.98).

I give Ledecky 2 years before she’s dethroned by a 16 year old. This is THAT big.

And this is just freestyle. Let’s not mention her 1:01 100FL, 2:13 200FL, 1:03 100BK, 2:14 200BK, and 2:18 200IM… all last year when she was 13. And her 4:50.21 400IM at 12 YEARS OLD (former 11-12 Age Group World… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by SwimmerFan99
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
23 days ago

World Age Group Record in 200 free is held by Ai Yanhan. She swam a pair of 1:56s in Chinese Nationals and Rio Olympics both in 2016 at age 14.

Lucy the golden
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
23 days ago

Looking forward to watching summer swim the 800 tomorrow. I am guessing another fina a cut, an nag record and possibly a Canadian record.

Reply to  SwimmerFan99
23 days ago

I agree she’s quite an exciting swimmer! Certainly one now very much in the mix for this summer due to the year delay.

An aside, don’t read too much into the 11-12 “age group world records” – Beisel’s 4:55 wasn’t the fastest 400 IM, just the one recognized by USA Swimming after an arbitrary date.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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