Regan Smith Honored with 2019 Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award

17-year-old Regan Smith of Riptide was honored with the Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award on Saturday during the USA Swimming House of Delegates meeting at the 2019 United States Aquatic Sports Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Smith earned the award for her World Record-breaking performance in 200-meter backstroke at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Having lowered her own World Junior Record in heats of the women’s 200 back in the morning with 2:06.01, Smith fired off a 2:03.35 in the semi-final to break Missy Franklin’s 2012 world mark by .71. Smith now holds the World Record, World Junior Record, American Record, and 17-18 NAG for Americans in the event.

Three awards were handed out in open water swimming on Saturday. Hayley Anderson (Trojan Swim Club) and Jordan Wilimovsky (Team Santa Monica) repeated their 2018 honors of Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year and Fran Crippen Memorial Open Water Male Swimmer of the Year, respectively. Sid Cassidy, Aquatic Director and head coach at Saint Andrew’s School, won the Open Water Achievement Award.

The Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award went to Dr. Danny Mistry, a USA Swimming National Team Physician and Chair of the Concussion Task Force for USA Swimming. The recipient of the Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award, chosen by the Officials’ Committee, was Melissa Hellervik-Bing who served as the official chair for Florida Swimming, where she supervised the training and certification of more than 350 officials.

Robin Heller, head coach of SeaStars, won Disabled Swimming Service Award. Ron Aitken, head coach of Sandpipers of Nevada, was named Development Coach of the Year Award.

Chicago Park District was recognized with the Diversion, Equity and Inclusion Award. Claire Letendre earned the Van Donkersgoed Athlete Distinguished Service Award. John Ingram of the Colorado Springs Police Department won the Safe Sport Impact Award. And Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, took home the Athletes’ Appreciation Award.

Complete List of Award Winners:

  • Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award: Regan Smith
  • Safe Sport Impact Award: John Ingram
  • Open Water Achievement Award: Ron Aiken
  • Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Haley Anderson
  • Fran Crippen Memorial Open Water Male Swimmer of the Year: Jordan Wilimovsky
  • Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Dr. Danny Mistry
  • Disabled Swimming Service Award: Robin Heller, head coach of SeaStars
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award: Chicago Park District
  • Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Melissa Hellervik-Bing
  • Development Coach of the Year Award: Ron Aitken, head coach of Sandpipers of Nevada
  • Van Donkersgoed Athlete Distinguished Service Award: Claire Letendre
  • Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency


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3 years ago

She has both the 100 and 200 back world records. That’s a rare feat. I think only a few women have achieved that.

3 years ago

Minor correction, it was in semifinals that Regan broke the world record, and she was just a bit slower in finals.

Reply to  Ferb
3 years ago

Good catch, thank you. This has been updated.

3 years ago

Sid Cassidy presented the award, Ron Aiken (sandpipers coach) was the recipient of the open water award (along with the dev coach award)…. he won both. Great Job Ron!

3 years ago

Congrats Regan, jaw dropping swim, bright future ahead!

3 years ago

Complete no brainer for the award. Congrats Regan!

Jim C
Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

Considering the fact that the 100s are more competitive, and the fact that she broke the 100 record by a larger percentage, a good case could be made that she should have gotten the award for the 100.

Knows Nothing
Reply to  Jim C
3 years ago

Maybe they picked the 200 record because it was older, and thus conceptually a more difficult feat. (Also that relay lead-off thing again–ouch!)

3 years ago

Totally well deserved . That was the swim Monument of the Year ( 2 unbeleivable swims ) without a doubt

Coach Mike 1952
3 years ago

Well deserved Regan! Congratulations to you & a all the others too.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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