arena Swim of the Week: Summer McIntosh Quietly Breaks Canadian NAG In 200 IM

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

There are only a handful of swimmers who have been bigger headline-grabbers over the last 12 months than Summer McIntosh, as the Canadian teenager emerged last summer as an Olympic medal threat at the age of 14 and has had an explosive start to 2022.

Although it came one month prior to Canada’s World Championship Trials, the highlight of McIntosh’s year thus far was her jaw-dropping performance in the 400 IM, where the 15-year-old clocked 4:29.12 to become the third-fastest swimmer in history.

Having set such a high bar for herself, it’s easy to give a slight nod of approval and move on when she has a good swim that’s maybe not of the same magnitude as some of the others—one that would be a big deal if she hadn’t done what she’s done.

Such a case can be found in her swim last weekend at the final stop of the Mare Nostrum Tour in Canet, where McIntosh, after finishing eighth in the race in Barcelona, won the women’s 200 IM in a time of 2:10.75.

The swim marked a new best time, improving on the 2:12.71 she swam three days earlier in Spain, and also moved her up into a tie for 10th in the world this season.

But beyond that, it was also a new Canadian National Age Group Record, breaking the girls’ 15-17 mark of 2:11.16 set by Taylor Ruck back in 2018.

Split Comparison

Ruck, Previous NAG McIntosh, Previous Best McIntosh, New NAG
27.96 28.38 28.25
1:01.26 (33.30) 1:02.06 (33.68) 1:01.41 (33.16)
1:41.26 (40.00) 1:42.19 (40.13) 1:40.74 (39.33)
2:11.16 (29.90) 2:12.71 (30.52) 2:10.75 (30.01)

It also made McIntosh the fourth-fastest Canadian woman ever, and is also quicker than one of the Canadian entrants for the World Championships, Mary-Sophie Harvey, went at the Trials in early April (2:10.98).

All-Time Canadian Performers, Women’s 200 IM (LCM)

  1. Sydney Pickrem, 2:08.61 – 2019
  2. Bailey Andison, 2:09.99 – 2021
  3. Kelsey Wog, 2:10.21 – 2021
  4. Summer McIntosh, 2:10.75 – 2022
  5. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, 2:10.97 – 2016
  6. Mary-Sophie Harvey, 2:10.98 – 2022
  7. Sarah Darcel, 2:11.14 – 2018
  8. Taylor Ruck, 2:11.16 – 2018
  9. Erica Morningstar, 2:11.23 – 2011
  10. Julia Wilkinson, 2:11.32 – 2010

If we venture outside of Canada, McIntosh’s swim would also hold up extremely well in the all-time U.S. age group rankings.

Among 15-16 girls, she would now rank third behind Leah Hayes (2:09.99) and Katie Hoff (2:10.41), and despite being just 15, McIntosh would already be tied for fifth in the 17-18 age group. Hayes and Hoff were notably both 16 when they set those times, though McIntosh will be turning 16 in August.

Looking solely at 15-year-olds, McIntosh appears to rank fourth all-time, trailing a trio of Chinese swimmers in Ye Shiwen (2:08.90), Chen Xinyi (2:09.55) and Yu Yiting (2:09.57).

So while it may not be her specialty, and wasn’t the most eye-popping time we’ve seen her produce lately, McIntosh’s 200 IM swim stacks up extremely well and is simply another sign of her incredible talent and versatility.

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7 months ago

Wouldn’t/Shouldn’t/Couldn’t McNeil be insanely fast on the 200IM?

Reply to  NB1
7 months ago

She can’t swim over a 100

Reply to  NB1
7 months ago

She has exercised-induced asthma and so just sprints.

7 months ago

And that’s in an event described by SwimSwam last week as one of Summer’s off events. That gives Summer four 15-17 LC records (400 FR, both IMs, 200 Fly), tying her with Taylor Ruck for the most in that age group. Also sitting there to be beaten if she swims them are the 800 free (8:27:59 – Summer’s 13-14 record is 8:25.04) and 1500 free (16:07.73 – Summer’s 13-14 record is 16:15.19).

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  REL
7 months ago

I mentioned that last week, that she might as well win the 200 medley so we can get it out of the way as one of her so-called off events. Summer can get comfortably below 2:10 soon. Heck, she describes herself as a medley swimmer. Summer doesn’t have lots of standard posts on Instagram but she does include many shorts on the areas above. In the “swimswim” section there is a video in which she introduces herself and says, “I swim the IMs, the freestyles, and a little bit of fly.”

Swim, Summer, swim
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
7 months ago

Summer is coming from Etobicoke swimming (eswim). That’s her fundament. They insist on all kids swimming all strokes as long as possible, postponing specialization to a very late age

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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