Regan Smith Scratches 100 Fly Final To Avoid 100 Back Double, Kelly Pash is In

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

After placing 6th in the 100 fly semifinal Sunday night, Regan Smith has scratched the 100 fly final tonight. This puts 9th place finisher Kelly Pash into the final.

This is also Pash’s first Olympic Trials, so she may have been working through some of that nervous energy in her first event of the meet, the 100 fly. For Smith, this is her second Olympic Trials. She made the semifinals in the 100 back in 2016 at the age of 14.

There are a few reasons Smith’s decision makes sense. First, the 100 back prelims and semifinals take place today and Smith is on a mission. Her World Record in the event was broken yesterday by Australia’s Kaylee McKeown and Smith is likely going after a fast time in response.

While Smith’s entry time sets her up as the top seed, the 100 back field is deep. With the likes of 2016 Olympian Olivia Smoliga, Alabama’s Rhyan White, 2019 Pan American Games champion Phoebe Bacon, 2016 Rio silver medalist Kathleen Baker and NC State’s Katharine Berkhoff, pulling off a 100 fly final / 100 back semifinal double (successfully) tonight would be extremely tough.

Cracking the top two in the 100 fly final will be difficult, as Torri Huske set the bar at breaking an American Record the get 1st place in the semis. Smith would have to drop about a second from her semifinals time to beat Claire Curzan‘s semifinals time which earned her 2nd place. And that would be betting on Olympic veteran Kelsi Dahlia, and anyone else in the heat, not improving on their semifinal swims.

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CA Mom
11 months ago

I feel like it would be better without semi-finals, so swimmers can have a better chance of making the team in multiple events rather

MM_Swammer
Reply to  CA Mom
11 months ago

It’s weird to me that they do semi’s for some events but not all…I’d prefer just a prelims/finals format.

JCO
Reply to  CA Mom
11 months ago

They’re just following the Olympic schedule. If you can’t do multiple events at Trials, then you probably won’t be able to do them at the Games either. Why would we want someone to qualify in a bunch of events at Trials because they had more rest, and then bomb at the games due to having to do more doubles?

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  JCO
11 months ago

It’s best to mimic the Summer Olympics schedule except the finals are in the morning with the heats at night.

MTK
Reply to  CA Mom
11 months ago

As someone watching, just give me more races to watch, the more the better.

The roughest deal is definitely the 400free/400IMers having prelims and finals the same day. I know day 1 finals would be really lacking if there was a 1 day gap for the 400s, but a day off to recover for those 400 finals would probably be much appreciated.

Last edited 11 months ago by MTK
Bobo Gigi
11 months ago

Smart move by Regan Smith. She has no chances of making the team in the 100 fly. And it would destroy her 100 back chances. Swim only your best events. Save energy.
We have not learned much about her real physical form of the moment from her 2 fly races of yesterday.
She and Simone Manuel are for me the 2 biggest questions of this week regarding the stars of US swimming. Others have shown big signs of strength this year. Not the case yet for Regan and Simone. I like both swimmers a lot. I need to be reassured. And much relies on their shoulders in US women’s swimming. In terms of gold medal chances in the… Read more »

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
11 months ago

The women’s 100 meter butterfly has always been the weakest of Regan Smith’s top four events (W 100 BK, W 200 BK, W 100 FL, W 200 FL). At the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships, Regan Smith did not qualify into the “A”-Final in the women’s 100 meter butterfly (Event 17).

https://www.usaswimming.org/times/data-hub/meet-results#national-championships

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
11 months ago

I somewhat disagree. She’s capable of a double and has proven that before and she’s not far off her best time in the 100 fly. I do agree chances are slim of her making in the 100 fly so it’s a smart move to drop.

What we don’t know is if her top end speed is there. Was that 58.3 her going all out or is there another .5 or so left to go.

Also, is her endurance there for the 200 fly/ 200 back?

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Irish Ringer
11 months ago

Torri Huske has a shot at the world record in the women’s 100 meter butterfly.

Heats – 56.69
Semis – 55.78
Final – ??.??

I would hope that Regan Smith has plenty more to give in the women’s 100 meter backstroke.

Irish Ringer
11 months ago

It’s the smart move. She’s not likely to drop 1.5 – 2.0 seconds and should preserve her energy/focus for the remaining events.

Wahooswimfan
11 months ago

Smart decision, and one a few others seem to be making. The level of competition is so deep that few can be successful at the multiple event efforts, and better to make the team in one or 2 events that miss trying for 8. Will be interesting to see if Andrew and Dressel opt to drop a couple events (especially Andrew if he clinches a 100 breast spot tonight).

Hswimmer
11 months ago

Wish we could change picks if they scratch….

Mike
Reply to  Hswimmer
11 months ago

I live in Vegas, I’ll run that concept by the sport’s books.

BillyBob
11 months ago

I remember when Regan was 10 and Alex Walsh broke the 100 yard back 9-10 NAG. It was either later that same day or the next day that Regan broke Walsh’s NAG. She’s always been the type who can answer back. I don’t know that she’ll do it this week but the Olympics is going to be exciting. That Australian girl is amazing (not sure how to spell her name… Kaylee McKeown?). It’s going to be the top race for me.

Last edited 11 months ago by BillyBob
Jaguar
Reply to  BillyBob
11 months ago

When she was 10….the body changes and the psyche changes each year you age. She will do well but it is not the same as if the Olympics had been last year.

Michael
11 months ago

Yet another reason why this wave format stinks. She would have had much more time between races.

BillyBob
Reply to  Michael
11 months ago

For real. The Aussies are doing paralympics or something right? That’s giving extra rest to them between races.

JimSwim22
Reply to  BillyBob
11 months ago

The Aussies are doing a four day trials. We are following the Olympics schedule. It might change each quad but everyone has known the timeline for years at this point.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  BillyBob
11 months ago

The Aussies have so much time in between events that they were able to start their taper on Day 1 🙂

CanSwim13
Reply to  Michael
11 months ago

Even in the old format she would have had the same amount of time.. The finals time line remain unchanged (100 fly final, 100 back semis)

MM_Swammer
11 months ago

That makes sense, hope it pays off well for her 100 back! Been looking forward to this event for a long time.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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