Regan Smith Breaks 15-16 National Age Group Record Without Best Time


  • Saturday, October 21-Sunday, October 22
  • Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • 25 yards
  • USA Roster
  • Pac-12 Roster
  • Live Results
  • Results on Meet Mobile as “2017 College Challange” (sic)

While most of the participants at this week’s USA vs. Pac-12 College Challenge meet are just ramping up their new seasons, 15-year old Regan Smith is already in mid-season form. As an encore to her spot as the youngest member of the United States’ team at the World Championships last summer, Smith swam a 51.30 in the 100 yard backstroke on Sunday.

While not a personal best for her, it is the fastest she’s been since her 15th birthday, and is the fastest swim ever done by an athlete in the 15-16 age group. The old record was done by a fellow Minnesotan, and eventual Olympic gold medalist, Rachel Bootsma in 2010. That year, she swam a 51.53.

Smith was already #2 in the age group – having been 51.66 on a relay leadoff on Saturday. This is her first competitive meet since Worlds, though she did race at a Riptide intrasquad event in September.

Smith’s best time is a 51.09, which is the 13-14 record. In spite of only being a high school sophomore, Smith is already swimming times even at early-season meets that would have qualified her for the A-final at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.

Smith’s other results in this meet:

  • 400 medley relay (leadoff) – 1st place
  • 200 backstroke (1:51.30) – 2nd place
  • 800 free relay – 2nd place
  • 100 back (51.30) – 2nd place
  • 200 fly (1:55.02) – 2nd place


In This Story


  1. paloozas says:

    just a hypothetical question, as of right now, would you rank regan smith or alex walsh #1 in the 2020 top high school recruits list?

    • SW SwimMom says:

      Alex Walsh is a Class of 2019 recruit.

    • Caleb says:

      I know they’re in different classes, but Smith is way ahead of Walsh and every other U.S. junior right now.

    • Rachel says:

      It’s a harder question than it looks. Walsh’s backstroke migh have stagnated, but she actually has A-final qualifying times in the 100 breaststroke now, not to mention the 200 IM. Honestly, I might rank Walsh above Smith. While they both have great scoring potential, Walsh has some incredible freestyle times (22.4, 48.9, 145.2) and a touch more versatility. It’s early days yet, though.

      • Swimm says:

        I’d say Walsh is slightly more versatile in terms of short course and scoring ability. If long course times were factored into the ranking I think smith would be the clear favorite.

        • Caleb says:

          I don’t think it’s really that close… no knock on Walsh or anyone else but Smith is in another league right now. If she swims a few big SC meets her SC times will reflect it just fine.

      • Dan says:

        They’re both so talented. Smith is equal to Walsh in 100/200 free (just went 1:45.2 on relay at college challenge) and hasn’t swam either in a long time. Walsh faster in 50 Free. Smith faster in 500/1000 Free. Walsh better in 200im due to much superior breaststroke but Smith still strong (2nd to Walsh all time in 13-14 age group). I think Walsh could be a great 400im’er. But I don’t agree Walsh is more versatile. Smiths back and fly are too good to say that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What’s the 200 back NAG?

  3. Jennifer says:

    What about her 2nd place in the 200 fly today?

  4. tea rex says:

    She’s fast.

  5. Zanna says:

    She’s so good long course and short course. Any college will be lucky to have her.

    • coach says:

      Smith already wanna goto Stanford
      its been her dream school foreva

      u can ask her bffs Nordmann Bartel & Forde
      game over everybodys ? ? ?

      • CALSWIMGUY says:

        I thought Stanford didn’t admit students who are home schooled? Or is that not the case?

      • sccoach says:

        I’d love it so much if the swimswam poster “Coach” is Greg Meehan

        • Domino says:

          Haha that would be awesome. Just trolling us all.

          • coach says:

            i only wish i can be coach like da Greg Meehan lol
            he da best coach eva 4 develop recruits 2 Olympians

            h8ters will always h8te
            go check my old posts

            told ya long ago Ruck Bartel Tankersley Raab Nordmann Goeders Fackenthal
            they da best all comin 2 da best school & top swim program in da hole country

            Merell & Lee wanna come 2 Stanford
            but da AO 2 tough on da 2 recruits

            anotha huge tip 4 u all & u can thank me l8ter
            Raab already talkin 2 Walsh & its lookin good

          • Sccoach says:

            Thanks for the info Greg

          • GoCard says:

            Smith and Walsh coming to the Farm? This is really great news! There I was thinking nothing could top our incredible 2018 class 🙂 All hail Greg and Tracy!

    • SwimmerSam says:

      Any college would be lucky to have either athelete on their squad. Super talented individuals.

  6. Steve Swims says:

    I called it. She peaked.

  7. tea rex says:

    Another notable swim from the College Challenge:

    Molly Hannis 25.51 breaststroke split.
    The fastest-ever 50 br split I can find is Lilly King, 25.55 2017 B1G Champs.

  8. djalbertson says:

    That is incredible!

  9. OG Swimmer says:

    Walsh versus Smith. Bottom line is, who gets the job done on the big stage? A lot of swimmers do really great times at State and local meets. But, who did the job at the World Championship Trials, who races the best in the USA? NCAA’s D1 is no State or local meet.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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