Regan Smith Becomes First Woman to Go 49-Point in 100 Fly & 100 Back

Regan Smith‘s Sunday evening American Record in the 100 yard backstroke and second-fastest-all-time swim in the 200 yard butterfly were the undeniable history-makers among her 8 swims this weekend.

But her 100 fly best time of 49.88, which makes her *just* the 7th-best performer in history, actually made history of its own. That swim makes the 19-year old Smith the only woman in history to swim faster than 50 seconds in both the 100 fly and 100 back in short course yards.

Sub-50 Second Swimmers, 100 Yard Fly

  1. Maggie MacNeil/Louise Hansson – 49.26
  2. Erika Brown – 49.38
  3. Kelsi Dahlia (Worrell) – 49.43
  4. Claire Curzan – 49.51
  5. Kate Douglass – 49.73
  6. Regan Smith – 49.88
  7. Torri Huske – 49.95
  8. Katie McLoughlin – 49.97

Sub-50 Second Swimmers, 100 Yard Back

  1. Regan Smith – 49.16
  2. Beata Nelson – 49.18
  3. Ally Howe – 49.69
  4. Kathleen Baker – 49.80
  5. Janet Hu – 49.93
  6. Natalie Coughlin – 49.97

The closest anybody has ever come to the double sub-50 before is Natalie Coughlin, who is the former American Record holder in both the 100 yard back and the 100 yard fly. In 2002, Coughlin swam 49.97 in the 100 yard back and 50.01 in the 100 yard fly on the same day at the NCAA Championships.

Coughlin, of course, was a revolutionary in her time. She was the first swimmer to ever break several thresholds, though she didn’t get under the 50 second mark in the 100 fly. She was the first woman under 51 seconds in both races, and she was the first woman ever under 1 minute in the 100 back in long course.

A handful of other swimmers have been sub-51 in both races.

Sub-51 Club, 100 Yard Fly + 100 Yard Back

Of that group, only Smith and current 16-year old Claire Curzan (49.51 fly/50.03 back) accomplished the feat before beginning their NCAA careers. Curzan is likely the next swimmer who will join this group, having gone a best time in the 100 back of 50.03 last week.

Smith has also been under 1:50 in both the 200 yard backstroke (1:47.16) and 200 yard fly (1:49.78). She is only the 3rd woman to ever go sub-1:50 in the 200 fly, joining Ella Eastin (1:49.51) and Elaine Breeden (1:49.92), while 24 women have been under 1:50 in the 200 back.

Ella Eastin, the record-holder in the 200 fly, has also been sub-1:50 in the 200 back (1:48.53), so Smith is not the first to accomplish that.

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100flyer
6 months ago

Coughlin is also the first woman to go under 59 seconds in th 100 back LC. LEGEND

tea rex
6 months ago

Huge accomplishment. Going to be fun to see what she does this summer and in NCAA, presumably training with Ruck, Huske, and both Nordmans.

Fun note on Coughlin: she was also the first swimmer to break 52 in 100 back. She went 49.9 before anyone else broke 52.

jim
Reply to  tea rex
6 months ago

This I think is what made Natalie’s times (during her time) so incredible. Nobody was under 52 100 back, and she goes a 49. She was the ‘Adam Peaty’ of her time vs the field, at least in short course 100 back yards.

SwimFani
Reply to  tea rex
6 months ago

First female swimmer

ALEXANDER POP-OFF
Reply to  tea rex
6 months ago

Jesus.

PVSFree
Reply to  tea rex
6 months ago

Serious question: if Smith has the Olympics we’re all expecting her to at this point, it’d be the financially right decision to go pro right? Cash in on all the post-Olympic hype and she can still train with that insane Stanford group.

Sidenote: it kinda sucks that we’re not able to see pros swim in yards more often. Once a swimmer goes pro, they basically never swim yards. I understand why, but it’s fun seeing fast swimming in the bathtub

Last edited 6 months ago by PVSFree
RMS
Reply to  PVSFree
6 months ago

Maybe she wants the college experience? She mentioned before how Stanford was her dream school since she was young. Also, by the time 2024 comes around, she will probably continue to dominant several events thus allowing her to cash in off several endorsements.

Barry
Reply to  RMS
6 months ago

Also, by the time 2024 comes around, she will probably continue to dominant several events thus allowing her to cash in off several endorsements.

A lot can happen in 3 years. Look at Missy Franklin from Barcelona 2013 (6!! gold) to Rio 2016 (1 gold, swimming the 4×200 free in prelims, didn’t make the 200 free finals, didn’t qualify for the US Team in the 100m back).

Pool
Reply to  PVSFree
6 months ago

Will she benefit from the new NCAA rules especially in California?

iLikePsych
6 months ago

Eastin’s 1:48.53 is low-key one of the most impressive swims when you think about it. A non-backstroke specialist going 1 second off the best time ever in a 200 when you’d think she wouldn’t be tapered at just her conference meet

RMS
Reply to  iLikePsych
6 months ago

Does anyone know if Eastin is still swimming? She hasn’t competed in forever. I would love for her to make the team in the IM.

Kaz
6 months ago

I have looked for a long time but is there a video of Coughlin breaking :50 seconds in the 100 back anywhere out there?

Old sptinter
Reply to  Kaz
6 months ago

I saw those races. When Natalie went the 50.01 in the fly the crowd let out an enormous groan just before thunderous cheers.

Old sprinter
Reply to  Kaz
6 months ago

I saw that swim. When Natalie went the 50.01 in the fly the entire crowd let out an enormous groan followed by thunderous cheers.

Khachaturian
6 months ago

Now time to go under 50 in the 100 freestyle! What? Already done that? Now time to go under 50 in the 100 breastroke!

MX4x50relay
Reply to  Khachaturian
6 months ago

Ian finnerty who

Drewbrewsbeer
6 months ago

Ha! Coughlin immediately came to mind!

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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