2020 Swammy Awards: Age Group Swimmer of the Year – 17-18

To see all of our 2020 Swammy Awards, click here.

2020 Honorees: Regan Smith and Josh Matheny

17-18 Girls

Regan Smith – Riptide, Apple Valley, MN

In an age group with a plethora of talent, Regan Smith stood out again in 2020. Smith followed her extraordinary 2019, in which she broke World Records in the 100m back and 200m back, with a pair of National Age Group Records in the 100m fly and 200m fly at Pro Swim Series Des Moines in March. She first took down Katie McLaughlin’s 200 fly NAG (2:06.95) with 2:06.39. It was a PB by nearly a second and her first time under 2:07, and it moved her to #7 on the all-time list of American women in the event. The next day she lowered her own NAG in the 100m fly twice. In prelims, she went 57.75. In finals, she took another .41 off the NAG to settle it at 57.34. It was the third time she had rewritten that record this year. She first broke Katie McLaughlin’s 2015 mark of 57.87 in January, going 57.86 at PSS Knoxville.

NAGs:      
100 fly LCM 57.86 1/17/2020
100 fly LCM 57.75 3/5/2020
100 fly LCM 57.34 3/5/2020
200 fly LCM 2:06.39 3/4/2020

In addition to her 100/200 fly performances, Smith improved her lifetime bests in the 100m free and 200m IM in Des Moines. The only other racing Smith did in 2020 was at a Riptide intrasquad in October and at U.S. Open-Des Moines in November. She finished the year with #1 performances in the 17-18 age category in the LCM 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly. With two months left in the age group, she owns all-time 17-18 rankings of #21 in the 100y free, #27 in the 200y free, #1 in the 100y back, #1 in the 200y back, #4 in the 100y fly, #27 in the 200y fly, #49 in the 100m free, #13 in the 200m free, #31 in the 400m free, #1 in the 100m back, #1 in the 200m back, #1 in the 100m fly, #1 in the 200m fly, and #19 in the 200m IM.

Smith is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100/200/400 free, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM. In 2020, she achieved 18&U World Rankings of #23 in the 100m free, #7 in the 200m free, #2 in the 100m back, #2 in the 200m back, #3 in the 100m fly, #1 in the 200m fly, and #5 in the 200m IM.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 FR LCM 17 1:58.67 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/17/2020 RIPT MN 974
1 100 BK LCM 18 58.18 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Swim – Des Moines 3/7/2020 RIPT MN 1111
1 200 BK LCM 17 2:05.94 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/19/2020 RIPT MN 1064
1 100 FL LCM 18 57.34 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Swim – Des Moines 3/6/2020 RIPT MN 1029
1 200 FL LCM 18 2:06.39 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Swim – Des Moines 3/5/2020 RIPT MN 1001
2 50 BK SCY 18 24.07 “Slower than B” 2020 MN RIPT RELAY & LAST 3/10/2020 RIPT MN 1101
3 200 IM LCM 18 2:13.18 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Swim – Des Moines 3/7/2020 RIPT MN 975
5 200 FR SCY 18 1:44.15 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 MN RIPT RELAY & LAST 3/10/2020 RIPT MN 975
5 100 FR LCM 18 55.64 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Swim – Des Moines 3/5/2020 RIPT MN 927
7 200 FL SCY 18 1:54.80 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 MN RIPT JULY INTRASQUAD 7/24/2020 RIPT MN 961
10 100 FR SCY 18 48.78 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 MN RIPT RELAY & LAST 3/10/2020 RIPT MN 927
10 100 FL SCY 18 52.16 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 MN RIPT JULY INTRASQUAD 7/24/2020 RIPT MN 955

Runner-Up

Torri Huske – Arlington Aquatic Club (Arlington, VA)

Already one of the best butterflyers in the U.S., with a 15-16 NAG record in the 100m fly and NISCA high school record in the 100y butterfly, Huske showed off her prowess in freestyle this year, too. Beginning in January when she scored a pair of PBs in the 500/1000 free, she ended the year with the fastest times in the nation for 17-18 girls in the 200y free and 100m free. In between, she updated her PBs in the 50/100y free, 100/200y back, 100y breast, 100/200y fly, 200y IM, 50m free, 100m back, 100m fly, and 200m IM. At 18&U Winter Championships in December, she won the 50/100/200 free, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM in Sterling, Virginia. Her 200 free and 200 IM times were the fastest of all the combined meets and she finished 2nd in the 50 free and 100/200 fly and 3rd in the 100 free.

Huske now has all-time U.S. rankings for 17-18 girls of #3 in the 50y free, #7 in the 100y free, #11 in the 200y free, #2 in the 100y fly, #13 in the 200y fly, #15 in the 200y IM, #17 in the 50m free, #4 in the 100m free, #2 in the 100m fly (.02 behind NAG record-holder Smith), and #6 in the 200m IM.

Huske has Olympic Trials cuts in the 50/100/200m free, 100/200m fly, and 200m IM. She finished 2020 with 18&U World Rankings of #11 in the 50m free, #5 in the 100m free, #4 in the 100m fly, #37 in the 200m fly, and #3 in the 200m IM.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 FR SCY 17 1:43.23 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV 18&U Winter Championships 12/4/2020 AAC PV 1012
1 100 FL SCY 17 50.29 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV 18&U Winter Championships 12/3/2020 AAC PV 1035
1 100 FR LCM 17 54.04 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Richmond 11/14/2020 AAC PV 1004
2 50 FR SCY 17 21.43 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV 18&U Winter Championships 12/3/2020 AAC PV 1029
2 200 FL SCY 17 1:54.04 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV 18&U Winter Championships 12/5/2020 AAC PV 974
2 200 IM SCY 17 1:54.50 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV 18&U Winter Championships 12/6/2020 AAC PV 1022
2 100 FL LCM 17 57.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Richmond 11/13/2020 AAC PV 1028
2 200 IM LCM 17 2:11.18 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Richmond 11/13/2020 AAC PV 1024
3 100 FR SCY 17 47.6 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV 18&U Winter Championships 12/6/2020 AAC PV 992
3 50 FR LCM 17 25.34 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 PV AAC Summer LC Splash & Dash 9/6/2020 AAC PV 950
9 200 FL LCM 17 2:14.03 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Richmond 11/14/2020 AAC PV 881

Honorable Mention

  • Gretchen Walsh – Nashville Aquatic Club-SE: At only 17 years old, Walsh was the undisputed sprint queen of the age group in 2020. She kicked off the year at the TISCA Championships in February, eclipsing Abbey Weitzeil’s national high school records in the 50 free (21.59) and 100 free (46.98) and becoming the first girl to break 47 seconds in high school competition. Walsh ended the year at U.S. Open in Huntsville and the 18&U Winter Championships. In both meets she posted the overall top time in the 50 free. At U.S. Open she was 2nd in the 100m free and 6th in the 100m back. In the 18&U virtual meet combined results, she also won the 100y free, was runner-up in the 200y free and 100y back, and came in 4th in the 100y fly.
    An Olympic Trials qualifier in the 50/100/200m free, 100m back, 100m fly, and 200m IM, she ranks #2 on the all-time U.S. performers list for 17-18 girls in the 50y free (.09 away from Simone Manuel’s NAG record), #3 in the 100y free, #18 in the 200y free, #18 in the 100y back, #22 in the 100y fly, #2 in the 50m free (also .09 away from Manuel’s NAG), #7 in the 100m free, and #29 in the 100m back. She was #1 in the 18&U World Rankings for 2020 in the 50m free, #8 in the 100m free, #16 in the 100m back, and #28 in the 100m fly.
Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 50 FR SCY 17 21.41 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 SE NAC Music City Invite 12/5/2020 NAC SE 1031
1 100 FR SCY 17 46.98 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 SE TISCA State High School 2/8/2020 NAC SE 1027
1 50 FR LCM 17 24.65 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Huntsville 11/13/2020 NAC SE 1013
2 100 FR LCM 17 54.37 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Huntsville 11/14/2020 NAC SE 988
3 100 BK SCY 17 51.5 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 SE NAC Music City Invite 12/5/2020 NAC SE 1058
4 200 FR SCY 17 1:43.75 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 GA Speedo Southern Premier 3/6/2020 NAC SE 996
4 100 FL SCY 17 51.73 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 SE NAC Music City Invite 12/6/2020 NAC SE 973
5 100 BK LCM 17 1:01.01 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Huntsville 11/13/2020 NAC SE 993
  • Emma Weyant – Sarasota Sharks-FG: Weyant started the year with PBs in the LCM 100 free, 100 back and 200 fly and ended with a slew of PBs in November and December that put her at the top of the age group in the 500y free, 400/800m free, and 400m IM and runner-up in the 400y IM and 200m free. At 18&U Winter Championships, she posted the overall fastest times of the meet in the 500y free and 400y IM. At U.S. Open in Sarasota, she won the 200/400/800m free, 200m back, and 200/400m IM and was runner-up in the 200m breast. She had the fastest time of the nine meets combined in the 400m free and 400m IM.
    Weyant has Trials standards in the 200/400/800/1500m free, 200m back, and 200/400m IM. She is #11 on the U.S. 17-18 all-time list in the 400y IM, #12 in the 200m free, #25 in the 400m free, #21 in the 800m free, and #3 in the 400m IM. In 2020, she had 18&U World Rankings of #7 in the 800m free, #19 in the 200m back, #16 in the 200m IM, and #3 in the 400m IM.
Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 500 FR SCY 18 4:38.39 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 FL Virtual Champs Site 1 12/12/2020 SYS FL 961
1 400 FR LCM 18 4:10.38 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Sarasota 11/13/2020 SYS FL 945
1 800 FR LCM 18 8:34.93 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Sarasota 11/12/2020 SYS FL 941
1 400 IM LCM 18 4:40.79 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 FL Swimming OT Qualifier 2/15/2020 SYS FL 968
2 400 IM SCY 18 4:04.48 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 FL Virtual Champs Site 1 12/11/2020 SYS FL 990
2 200 FR LCM 18 2:00.32 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 FL Swimming OT Qualifier 2/15/2020 SYS FL 918
5 1650 FR SCY 18 16:09.74 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 FL Virtual Champs Site 1 12/13/2020 SYS FL 949
5 200 BK LCM 18 2:13.77 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Sarasota 11/14/2020 SYS FL 928
5 200 IM LCM 18 2:15.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Sarasota 11/13/2020 SYS FL 934
8 200 BK SCY 18 1:54.69 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 FL Virtual Champs Site 1 12/13/2020 SYS FL 964
8 100 IM SCY 18 57.66 “Slower than B” 2020 FL SOFL vs. SYS – Sarasota 10/2/2020 SYS FL 793
10 200 FR SCY 18 1:45.28 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 FL Virtual Champs Site 1 12/11/2020 SYS FL 942
  • Phoebe Bacon – Nation’s Capital Swim Club: Like Walsh, Bacon kicked off 2020 with a national high school record, this time in the 100 back. Swimming at DC Metros, she lowered her own mark to 50.89, making her the first girl to clear 51 seconds in high school competition. Bacon finished the year at U.S. Open. She went head-to-head with World Record-holder Regan Smith, touching second in the 100m back but winning the 200m back by 2.6 seconds. Hers was the #1 overall 200m back time (2:09.16) from the 9 sites combined. She was also 3rd in the 100m back.
    Bacon is qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100/200m back, 100m fly, and 200m IM. With most of 2021 left to improve her positions, she is 5th all-time in the 100y back among U.S. 17-18 girls, 22nd in the 200y back, 71st in the 100y breast, 24th in the 100y fly, and 18th in the 200y IM. In LCM, she ranks 3rd in the 100m back, 8th in the 200m back, 62nd in the 100m fly, and 40th in the 200m IM. In 2020, her 18&U World Rankings included #4 in the 100m back, #4 in the 200m back, #32 in the 100m fly, and #11 in the 200m IM.
Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 50 BK SCY 17 23.86 “Slower than B” 2020 PV OB Metro Championships 2/8/2020 NCAP PV 1124
1 100 BK SCY 17 50.89 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV OB Metro Championships 2/8/2020 NCAP PV 1088
2 100 BK LCM 17 58.86 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/18/2020 NCAP PV 1082
2 200 BK LCM 18 2:09.16 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Des Moines 11/14/2020 UN PV 1007
4 200 IM SCY 17 1:55.39 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 PV OB Metro Championships 2/8/2020 NCAP PV 1003
4 200 IM LCM 17 2:14.87 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/19/2020 NCAP PV 954
10 100 FL LCM 17 1:00.39 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/17/2020 NCAP PV 915

17-18 Boys

Josh Matheny – Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics (Pittsburgh, PA)

Of the four 17-18 NAG Records that were broken in 2020, only one was swum by an age-grouper; the other three performances came from 18-year-old college students David Johnston (University of Texas, 1000y free), Luca Urlando (University of Georgia, 200y fly), and Carson Foster (University of Texas, 400y IM). Matheny took just over 7/10 off his personal best time in the 200y breast at 18&U Winter Championships in Carlisle, PA to win in 1:51.35. That was .05 under the NAG mark set by Reece Whitley in 2017.

NAGs:      
200 breast SCY 1:51.38 12/10/2020

Matheny posted the top times in both the 100 breast (52.02) and 200 breast for the 18&U combined virtual championships. He also won the 100m breast and 200m breast at the U.S. Open in Richmond; those times translated to 8th and 12th, respectively, in the combined results from the nine sites.

Matheny currently holds the #8 time in the 100y breast, #1 time in the 200y breast, #12 time in the 100m breast, and #62 time in the 200m breast among 17-18 boys, all-time. He had the #8 100m breast performance and the #23 200m breast performance in the world for 18&U boys in 2020. He is qualified for Olympic Trials in the 100/200m breast.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 BR SCY 18 1:51.38 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 MA Winter 18 & Under Champs 12/10/2020 PEAQ AM 1041
1 100 BR LCM 18 1:01.26 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Richmond 11/13/2020 PEAQ AM 993
3 100 BR SCY 18 52.02 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 MA Winter 18 & Under Champs 12/11/2020 PEAQ AM 1020
6 200 BR LCM 18 2:16.26 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Toyota Richmond 11/14/2020 PEAQ AM 954

Runner-Up

Carson Foster – Mason Manta Rays (Mason, OH)/ University of Texas

Swimming for the University of Texas in his first outing as a Longhorn, Foster broke Andrew Seliskar’s 2015 National Age Group Record for 17-18 boys in the 400 IM (3:37.52). Foster dropped 3.1 seconds from his previous PB to etch his name in the 17-18 record book with 3:35.27. Moreover, he became the second-fastest performer of all-time in the event, trailing only Chase Kalisz whose American Record from 2017 stands at 3:33.42.

NAGs:      
400 IM SCY 3:35.27 10/15/2020

Foster, an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100/200/400m free and 200/400m IM, left the age group in October with all-time 17-18 rankings of #3 in the 200y free, #19 in the 100y back, #5 in the 200y back, #46 in the 100y breast, #64 in the 200y breast, #43 in the 200y fly, #4 in the 200y IM, #1 in the 400y IM, #12 in the 100m free, #6 in the 200m free, #11 in the 200m back, #23 in the 200m fly, #2 in the 200m IM, and #4 in the 400m IM. He had 2020 18&U World Rankings of #4 in the 200m free, #27 in the 400m free, and #3 in the 200m IM.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 400 IM SCY 18 3:35.27 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 ST TEX First Chance Invit 10/16/2020 TEX ST 1078
1 200 FR LCM 18 1:47.74 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/17/2020 RAYS OH 990
1 200 IM LCM 18 1:58.83 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 OH MAKO Senior Meet 2/28/2020 RAYS OH 1038
1 400 IM LCM 18 4:18.85 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/17/2020 RAYS OH 972
2 200 FR SCY 18 1:33.41 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 ST TEX First Chance Invit 10/17/2020 TEX ST 986
4 400 FR LCM 18 3:55.76 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/18/2020 RAYS OH 901
5 200 FL LCM 18 2:00.42 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 Pro Series – Knoxville 1/18/2020 RAYS OH 918

Honorable Mention

  • David Johnston – Rockwall Aquatic Center of Excellence-NT: Despite losing half of 2020 to the coronavirus shutdown, Johnston had an incredible year. He began with PBs in the SCY 50/100 free at North Texas Senior Championships in early February, added lifetime bests in the SCY 200 back and 200 breast and LCM 200/400 free, 200 back, 200 breast, and 400 IM at College Station Sectionals in late February, and finished with the fastest-ever 1000y free for 17-18 boys in October. Just like Foster, Johnston took down a NAG Record in his first at-bat with the Longhorns, just before aging out of the 17-18s. Johnston swam a leadoff 1000 split of 8:45.38 during his 1650 free race at Texas First Chance Invite. His final time in the mile was 14:47.75, which was a PB by 3.7 seconds.
NAGs:      
1000 free SCY 8:45.38 10/15/2020

Johnston has qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400/800/1500m free and 400m IM. He aged out of the 17-18s ranked #1 all-time in the 1000y free, #17 in the 1650y free, #78 in the 500y free, and #86 in the 400m IM. His swims from College Station Sectionals gave him 18&U World Rankings of #76 in the 200m free, #34 in the 400m free, #26 in the 1500m free, and #18 in the 400m IM.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 1000 FR SCY 18 8:45.38 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 ST TEX First Chance Invit 10/16/2020 TEX ST 1014
1 1650 FR SCY 18 14:47.75 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 ST TEX First Chance Invit 10/17/2020 TEX ST 970
3 400 IM LCM 18 4:23.40 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 GU AGS Speedo Sectionals 2/29/2020 RACE NT 929
6 1500 FR LCM 18 15:40.36 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 GU AGS Speedo Sectionals 3/1/2020 RACE NT 894
7 500 FR SCY 18 4:19.07 2019 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2020 GU AGS Speedo Sectionals 2/28/2020 RACE NT 920
7 400 FR LCM 18 3:56.20 2020 Olympic Trials 2020 GU AGS Speedo Sectionals 2/28/2020 RACE NT 896

Past Winners

Year 17-18 Girl 17-18 Boy
2020 Regan Smith Josh Matheny
2019 Regan Smith Luca Urlando
2018 Erica Sullivan Drew Kibler
2017 Olivia Carter Michael Andrew
2016 Katie Drabot Michael Andrew
2015 Katie Ledecky Andrew Seliskar
2014 Katie Ledecky Andrew Seliskar
2013 Missy Franklin Caeleb Dressel
2012 Missy Franklin Jack Conger

 

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Riccardo
3 months ago

Amazing set of swimmers to choose from on the girls side, especially when you consider that they could all end up on the Olympic team.

Bruh
3 months ago

Not trying to bash on josh but Carson the second fastest 4imer and multiple Olympic trials and top times overall in many strokes got beat by a breast specialist? I think he got robbed but I don’t know SwimSwams criteria

Last edited 3 months ago by Bruh
Swimfan
Reply to  Bruh
3 months ago

Bruh I am with you. Just look at Carson’s rankings! #1 in 4 events!? He absolutely deserved this honor. All 4 mentioned are amazing swimmers but should not be penalized that 3 of 4 are in college. Many past winners were as well. It’s about what you accomplished as a 17-18 year old throughout the year.

VA Steve
3 months ago

I love when standards report “slower than B” on events like 50BK and 100IM. Yes, i know why, but funny.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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