Regan Smith turned 15 in February, 2017. Neither of her parents had a swimming background so they signed Regan up for swim lessons, and she took to it, well, like a fish to water.
13-14 Year Old
In December 2016, Smith was honored as the 13-14 year old female swimmer of the year. Smith was first honored by being named to the U.S. National Junior Team. Additionally, at the 2016 Sammy Awards, Smith was named 13-14 year old Age Group Swimmer of the Year. She placed in the top three in 14 out of 28 possible events. She set Short Course National Age Group Records in the 100 Yard Back, 51.09 and 100 Fly, 51.73. She also set a Long Course National Age Group Record in the 100M back, 1:00.26.
15 Year Old
Smith continued her record breaking performances by becoming the 7th 15 year old to break one minute in the 100m Backstroke with the time of 59.74.
See race video here:
2017 US World Championship Trials
Regan made the US Team by placing second in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:08.55, losing out the winner, Kathleen Baker.
2017 FINA World Championships
Smith broke a junior world record in semifinals of the 200 backstroke at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. Smith, the youngest member of the U.S. World Championships team, put up a gutsy swim in a heat full of seasoned international veterans. Swimming next to Olympic silver medalist Katinka Hosszu, Smith went out patient and swam by Hosszu in the back half. Though both fell behind Russia’s Daria Ustinova down the stretch, Smith still took second in the heat in 2:07.19, and moved on to the finals. In the final heat, Regan put up a time of 2:07.42, just off her semi’s time, which got her 8th place overall.
2017 World Junior Championships
Coming off of her first senior international meet, Regan was slated for a big schedule at the world junior championships, competing in the 50m, 100m, and 200m back as well as the 50m and 100m fly. Regan placed 13th in prelims in the 50 fly, but scratched to focus on the 100 back. She went on to win the 100 back in the world junior record time of 59.11. As the meet progressed she captured gold in the 200 back (2:07.45) and 4th in the 50 back (28.12, .01 away from bronze), as well as helped team USA to a silver in the mixed 4×100 medley relay (58.95 on the back split).