No 200 Free For Regan Smith at U.S. Olympic Trials; Enters 100/200s of Fly/Back


19-year-old world record-holder Regan Smith will focus in on backstroke and butterfly at U.S. Olympic Trials. She will not go after a 4×200 free relay spot.

2019s world breakout star, Smith is the world record-holder in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and the reigning world champ in the 200 back.

Smith swill swim the 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly at Olympic Trials, holding top-5 seeds in all four events. She’s the runaway #1 seed in both the 100 back and 200 back, though those fields are considered among the toughest of any event at U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021. Smith is also the #2 seed in the 200 fly and the #5 seed in the 100 fly.

Here’s a look at what her event schedule would look like, session-by-session:

Morning Evening
Day 1 (Sun. 6/13) 100 fly (heats) 100 fly (semis)
Day 2 (Mon. 6/14) 100 back (heats) 100 fly (final)
100 back (semis)
Day 3 (Tue. 6/15) 100 back (final)
Day 4 (Wed. 6/16) 200 fly (heats) 200 fly (semis)
Day 5 (Thu. 6/17) 200 fly (final)
Day 6 (Fri. 6/18) 200 back (heats)
200 back (semis)
Day 7 (Sat. 6/19) 200 back (final)
Day 8 (Sun. 6/20)

The only potential conflict comes on day 2, when the 100 fly final and 100 back semifinals share a session. Smith had hinted at this exact event lineup in a SwimSwam interview last summer. At the time, she noted the potential 100 fly/100 back conflict, but said “if there’s a way I can fit them both in there, I’d really like to do that.”

As doubles go, this one is actually one of the more doable. The 100 fly final is the very first event of the session, and the 100 back semifinal is the very last event. In between are five events comprising eight total heats, plus plenty of awards ceremonies and commercial breaks. In addition, Smith would be able to go all-out to make the top 2 Olympic qualifying spots in the 100 fly, and would only have to finish in the top 8 in the 100 back to move on to the final the next day.

On the flip side, Smith will not contest the 200 free, which would have had heats on Tuesday (an empty session for Smith), but semifinals just two events prior to her all-important 100 back final. Smith ranks #22 among Americans over the Olympic Trials qualifying period in the 200 free, and some saw this event as a sneaky way to add another potential Olympic medal to Smith’s lineup. But the teenager is looking to make her first-ever Olympic team, and securing that bid – one of the premier goals of any young swimmer – is clearly taking precedence over trying to take on too many events.

Smith was one of the younger competitors at Olympic Trials in 2016. At age 14, she made the 100 back semifinals, taking 13th. She was also 33rd in the 200 back and 81st in the 100 fly.

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12 days ago

Smith isn’t the reigning world champ in 100 Back, she didn’t even swim it at world champs!! Relay lead off only. Might want to update your story before the vultures set in.

Reply to  Socaladvracer
12 days ago

Also pretty sure she’s not 17 anymore

Reply to  Splash
11 days ago


Reply to  Socaladvracer
12 days ago

Regan Smith is the reigning world champion in the W 200 BK.

12 days ago

Regan Smith – DOB 09 Feb 2002

12 days ago

Just a quick typo that she’s 19, not 17. Interesting to see the events she plans to swim.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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