Grant Smith Breaststroke/IM
Grant Smith was born July 8, 1994, in Wilmette, Illinois to parents Kaci and Chris Smith. He swam club for the YWCA Flying Fish and swam for New Trier High School, both with his brother CJ, who swam for the University of Minnesota. After just barely getting under a minute in his 100 yard breaststroke (59.99) as a high school junior after the actual high school season, he swam very well in his breakthrough senior year season at New Trier. Because of New Trier’s incredible depth year in and year out, Smith had been blocked from making an IHSA state meet appearance, as Illinois rules only allows two entrants per team, per event. He got his chance in 2012, qualifying in the 100 breast and swimming the breast leg for the Trevians’ 200 yard medley relay. He went 58.78 in prelims to make finals, and finish 11th for the Trevs. He was also on the winning 200 medley relay, which blew away the field. The 2nd place team finished over a second behind them.
Before college, Smith continued to drop time in an impressive manner. Although not considered a freestyler, he broke the 22 and 47 second barriers in the sprint freestyle races, going 21.90 and 46.92 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, respectively, at the 2012 SunKissed Invitational in Charlotte, NC. He posted a strong 57.88 in the 100 breast, and added to that a 1:52.86 in the 200 yard IM as well as a 2:05.32 in the 200 yard breaststroke (which was a winter junior national cut).
Smith has further developed his breaststroke and IM under the swim program at Davidson College. His addition to the Wildcats’ lineup immediately impacted the team positively, as he racked up three top individual finishes as a freshman at the CCSA Championships. He was 6th in the 200 IM (1:52.56), 3rd in the 200 breast (2:04.64), and 2nd in the 400 IM (3:57.64), and also swam a leg on the Wildcats’ winning 800 free relay, where he split 1:41.94.
Smith continued to make big improvements in his three best events at the 2014 CCSA Champs. He finished 5th in the 200 IM (1:51.01), 4th in the 200 breast (2:01.11), and 2nd in the 400 IM (3:56.97). Smith’s times in the 200 IM and 200 breast were less than two seconds off of NCAA ‘B’ cuts, while his 400 IM was within 3 seconds of the B cut. In addition to his individual swims, Smith swam the third leg on the 800 free relay again, which would go on to finish 3rd overall. He split 1:41.21, and added a 45.78 split as the third leg of Davidson’s third place 400 free relay.
Davidson moved to the Atlantic-10 conference, where Smith had an excellent finish in the 400 IM (3:57.19) to place fifth in the new conference. He also grabbed 11th in the 200 IM (1:51.13). Smith flexed his muscles in the freestyle, providing a 21.15 anchor leg to the Wildcats’ 4th place 200 medley relay. He also was a member of Davidson’s 800 free relay, which would finish sixth overall.
Smith has yet to compete at the national level, although he has qualified for Winter Jr Nationals in the past. At the 2012 Speedo Champions Series (Central Zone Meet), Smith hit a best time, one which still stands, in the 200 meter breaststroke. His time of 2:24.96 was a Winter Jr Nationals cut, as was his 4:36.99 in the 400 meter IM from that meet.
Both of his current bests in the SCY IM races (1:51.01 and 3:56.97, in the 200 and 400, respectively) are Winter Nationals cuts.
Originally developed by Karl Ortegon