Regan Smith Swims Fastest 200 Back Since 2019, Breaks US Open Meet Record (2:05.28)

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 16

December 04th, 2022 National, News


  • November 30-December 3, 2022
  • Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Start Times:
    • Prelims: 9 AM (ET)
    • Finals: 6PM (ET)
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results
  • Originally published Dec 3, 2022


  • World Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • American Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • U.S. Open Meet Record: 2:07.09, Regan Smith (2021)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:05.08, Phoebe Bacon (2022)
  • 2024 Olympic Trials Cut: 2:13.59


  1. Regan Smith (SUN) – 2:05.28 CR
  2. Summer McIntosh (SYS) –  2:07.15
  3. Josephine Fuller (TENN) – 2:09.77

On Saturday, Regan Smith swam a 2:05.28 200 back to break the U.S. Open meet record, shattering her previous record time of 2:07.09 from last year by nearly two seconds. She also swam her fastest time in the event since 2019, when she broke the 200 back world record with a time of 2:03.35 in the semifinals of the 2019 World Championships and then proceeded to go 2:03.69 in finals.

Had Smith swam her time tonight at the World Championships, she would have won bronze. However, she still would have been 0.15 seconds off White’s 2:05.13 that finished second at trials.

In recent years, Smith has struggled to make international teams in the 200 back following her major breakout in 2019. At the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials, she led for 150 meters of the race before fading on the final lap and finishing third in a time of 2:06.79 t0 miss the Olympic team. The same feat struck her in 2022 at the World Championships trials, when she swam over a second faster than trials (2:05.65) but still finished third to Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon, missing the team once more.

Compared to trials, Smith was much faster on her front half, being 0.2 seconds quicker on the first 50 and 0.39 seconds quicker on the second 50. However, her third 50s were nearly identical, and she was 0.37 seconds slower on her final lap than she was at trials.

Comparative Splits, 2022 Trials vs. 2022 U.S. Open:

Regan Smith, 2022 World Championship Trials Regan Smith, 2022 U.S. Open
50m 29.71 29.51
100m 31.91 31.40
150m 32.03 32.00
200m 32.00 32.37
Total 2:05.65 2:05.28

In Smith’s first meet as a pro training under Bob Bowman, she has produced spectacular results, including a 2:10.40 best time in the 200 IM, and a U.S. Open meet record time of 57.95 in the 100 back. If she continues these kinds of strong swims into 2023, she could finally reclaim an international team spot in the 200 back and potentially a gold medal.

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Mark Schubert
2 months ago

Glad to see Regan improving again, she obviously needs the challenge of tough practice like she had with her club coach, Mike Peratto. Good decision Regan!!

Honest Observer
2 months ago

Regan’s not-so-secret weapon, apart from her great underwaters, is her incredible turnover. She looks as if she’s taking one and a half strokes to her competitors’ one. (Obviously, she’s not, but it *looks* that way.) Doing that takes incredible conditioning, so for someone like Regan, Bowman’s tough workouts are key.

2 months ago

Happy to see Regan doing well now. I have a feeling that she’s going to make it back onto the US team now in the 2 back again. But it’s not going to be easy. But if she makes it at trials then she will go off at worlds.

Reply to  PFA
2 months ago

Which is the real Rhyan White? The one who posted a time of 2:05.13 in the final of the women’s 200 meter backstroke at the 2022 USA Swimming International Team Trials or the one who posted a time of 2:06.96 in the final of the women’s 200 meter backstroke at the 2022 FINA World Aqyatics Championships.

Swimswam follower
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

Isn’t obvious she used her full taper to qualify. It’s really tough to make the US Olympic and World Champs teams.
Only exceptions are people like Phelps and Ledecky who’s so far ahead of the US competition that they can semi taper for the trials and still make it.
Hardest team to make in the world

2 months ago

No thanks to Greg Meehan.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

Give it a rest

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

I don’t think you understand that the amount of stress that is put on you at being such an elite school can negatively affect your performance in the pool

Reply to  ????
2 months ago

Who picks the training schedule? Who picks the training regimen?

Reply to  ????
2 months ago

Agreed. Kudos to those who can both study and swim.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
2 months ago

She did better with Greg than she did in her last year with Mike Parratto who had coached her to a world record. That’s not because Mike suddenly forgot how to coach Regan, but because there’s a million factors that can play into athlete performance. Even more so dealing with the stress of a global pandemic.

CanSwim 13
Reply to  oxyswim
2 months ago

I genuinely think that Regan is one who just hasn’t figured out how to manage multiple stressors yet. The stressors of being NBC’s face of the olympics in 2021 and the stressors of being a freshman at an elite academic school in 2022, but hey she is young.

I think she knows what she wants to do and its working out for her

Mr Piano
2 months ago

2:03 this summer.

Reply to  Mr Piano
2 months ago


Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Eugene
2 months ago

McIntosh will swim 2:03 in 200 fly this summer

Reply to  Mr Piano
2 months ago

2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships
Women’s 200 meter backstroke

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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