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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2 years ago

Simply amazing – I note that this time ranks 8th in the world this year – and it wasn’t even the Canadian Trials. A delight to follow someone so talented.

2 years ago

Awesome swim

2 years ago

So, she could plateau tomorrow and still remain an elite 400 freestyler.
Quadarella won the 2021 ECs with a 4:04 …

Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

any video / streaming links? TYVM

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

Link to results and live stream is on Swim Ontario website (Take5 event). http://www.swimontario.com/news_detail.php?id=3489

2 years ago

I have old copies of the top 25 world rankings that used to annually compiled and published by Nick Thierry going back to ’76 as my earliest. Also for some period of time, I’m guessing starting in late 70’s – i have 5 years worth in all- of what was a thin end of the year top 100 swims worldwide that were compiled and published by a man from Italy named Luigi Saini. I first learned about these for sale, including international shipping costs, from a small advertisement in the back pages of a Swimming World. What made THESE stand out-1) EVERY person who was in the rankings included birthdate- so I can compare that with the date of the… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Parker
2 years ago

Now that’s a swim nerd. Cool.

2 years ago

Just watched a video or two of her swimming, and it appears her success is due in large to her incredibly, incredddibly powerful kick…which leads to very high hips and a really easy looking stroke. I really don’t think this girl has peaked. She’s not a giant by any means

Reply to  swimfast
2 years ago

How tall is she?

Reply to  swimfast
2 years ago

Her body position was the first thing I noticed watching a video of her swimming 100fr a couple of years ago too. She’s listed as 170cm by Canadian swimmimg, so not tall (yet), but also not particularly small for a girl who isn’t a sprinter.

Reply to  swimfast
2 years ago

She is also know for immense work ethic too. She is very focused for her age. You could see that even as a 10 year old.

2 years ago

If she dropped 10 sec in 3 weeks at 400 distance then how her 800 looks like now.
When 400 was 4:15 the 800 was 8:35.
Can’t wait for tomorrow.

Go Canada!
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

Those were her 1500 splits

2 years ago

When is her birthday?

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

If I had to guess, Summer

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  PNW
2 years ago

A+ comment right there.

Reply to  PNW
2 years ago

I know a person named Autumn who was born in the summer lol 😉

Anyway, I just wanted to know her DOB and understand if she was born in 2006 or 2007

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

august 2006

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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