2022 PHILLIPS 66 INTERNATIONAL TEAM TRIALS
- April 26-30, 2022
- Greensboro, NC
- Greensboro Aquatic Center
- LCM (50m)
- FINA Qualifying Criteria
- SwimSwam Preview Index
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results
Women’s 200 Back
- World Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith (USA) – 2019
- American Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith – 2019
- US Open Record: 2:05.68, Missy Franklin (USA) – 2013
- 2019 World Champion: Regan Smith (USA) – 2:03.69
- FINA ‘A’ Standard: 2:11.08
One of the biggest shocks and upsets at last year’s Olympic Trials could be considered to have been in the women’s 200 backstroke, but don’t expect things to pan out the same way here.
Regan Smith is the world record holder in the event after going a 2:03.35 back at the 2019 World Championships, having roared to a dominant gold medal victory in Gwangju by more than two and a half seconds.
Although Smith may have missed the Olympic team in this event last year, she still had a very strong showing in Tokyo, earning a silver medal in the 200 butterfly and bronze in the 100 backstroke. She had a perfect dual meet record as a freshman at Stanford and had a solid showing at NCAAs where she won the yards version of the 200 backstroke and then had a quick turnaround to tie for second in the 200 butterfly. She had a very consistent season, the biggest question mark here is how well she will adapt and fit in her first long course taper in such a tight turnaround (but many of her competitors are in the same boat).
Phoebe Bacon was second at the Olympic Trials last year (2:06.49) before finishing 5th at the Olympics in a 2:06.40. Bacon had a solid sophomore year at Wisconsin highlighted by a second place finish (behind Smith) in the 200 backstroke at NCAAs. She has competed in the 200 backstroke LCM once this season in San Antonio where she finished second in a 2:09.52 behind Rhyan White.
White was the other Olympian in this event last year as she won the event at Trials in 2:05.73. She went on to finish fourth at the Olympics in 2:06.39, and followed up by claiming gold in the event at the Short Course World Championships in a time of 2:01.58. The University of Alabama swimmer has contested the LCM 200 backstroke at one meet this season, clocking a very strong 2:07.92 at San Antonio.
Isabelle Stadden was fourth at last year’s Olympic Trials in a 2:07.86. Stadden had a solid year at Cal and dropped 0.21 off of her 200 yards backstroke best time to finish fourth at NCAAs in a 1:49.45. Like White, Stadden represented the US at Short Course Worlds where she finished third in the 200 SCM backstroke, touching in a time of 2:02.20.
Claire Curzan has entered a whopping seven events in Greensboro, including both the 200 backstroke and 50 butterfly, which come back-to-back on Day 2. Curzan has the fastest time in the US this year in the 200 back, recording a time of 2:07.31 in her win at Westmont Pro Swim. That was a huge best time for her, as prior to that meet she was a 2:10.16 back in summer of 2019.
Given that there’s only one selection spot up for grabs in the 50 fly, and Curzan is no stranger to doubles, we’re betting she takes on this race next week, especially if she already has a World Championship slot solidified after the opening day of competition in the 100 freestyle.
Reilly Tiltmann entered Virginia mid-way through the 2020-2021 school year and made great improvements upon her best times this year. She dropped over a second with a 1:50.66 to a 1:49.63 from last year to this year’s NCAAs. She didn’t swim this event last year at Wave I Trials, but went on to swim it at Wisconsin’s State Championships last July where she went a 2:12.84. If she is able to continue her improvements from NCAAs, she has a solid shot at making the A final here.
Olivia Smoliga made the Olympic team last year as a member of the 400 freestyle relay. She raced this event at the Pro Swim in Westmont where she finished behind Curzan in a time of 2:09.35. That was her fastest 200 backstroke since 2018 where she went a best time of 2:08.58.
Smoliga has entered six events at Trials, including the 200 freestyle, which falls on the same day as the 200 back. While neither race is Smoliga’s specialty (50/100 back), she may opt for the 200 free given that the path to a World Championship berth is much clearer there.
Jo Jo Ramey, only a junior in high school, was 7th at the Olympic Trials last year in a time of 2:09.90, though she was a full second faster in the semis (2:08.90). She is still training at home which may be nice to hit the proper taper. She represented Team USA at the World Cups in the fall and had a nice second place finish in the SCM 200 backstroke with a time of 2:04.41. She went a 2:12.07 at Sectionals in March.
15-year-old Teagan O’Dell had a huge drop in this event at Summer Juniors – West last August, clocking 2:09.57 to move into second all-time in the girls’ 13-14 age group. She brought her SCY best down to 1:53.2 in December and has already gotten five LC swims under her belt this season.
Other names in contention for a top-eight finish include the Tennessee duo of Summer Smith and Josephine Fuller, and Phoenix Swim Club’s Kennedy Noble. Smith hit a PB of 2:10.31 at the Olympic Trials last year, while Fuller and Noble both hold bests in the 2:11 range.
17-year-old Kiley Wilhelm is another name to watch out for, though it may be a year or two before she’s contending for a top-five position at this level.
TOP 8 PICKS
|6||Jo Jo Ramey||2:12.07||2:08.90|
Darkhorse: Maggie Wanezek – Wanezek is only a sophomore in high school but has a best time of 2:11.56 from 2021 Summer Juniors. She dropped over a second in the yards 200 backstroke from last season to this season and if she repeats that here, she could slip into the A final.