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
- Maggie MacNeil/Louise Hansson – 49.26
- Erika Brown – 49.38
- Kelsi Dahlia (Worrell) – 49.43
- Claire Curzan – 49.51
- Kate Douglass – 49.73
- Regan Smith – 49.88
- Torri Huske – 49.95
- Katie McLoughlin – 49.97
Sub-50 Second Swimmers, 100 Yard Back
- Regan Smith – 49.16
- Beata Nelson – 49.18
- Ally Howe – 49.69
- Kathleen Baker – 49.80
- Janet Hu – 49.93
- 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
- Regan Smith
- Natalie Coughlin
- Louise Hansson
- Maggie MacNeil
- Erika Brown
- Claire Curzan
- Hellen Moffitt
- Janet Hu
- Aly Tetzloff
- Beata Nelson
- Rhyan White
- Isabel Ivey
- Felicia Lee
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.