Rhyan White Upsets World Record-Holder To Win 200 Back; #3 American All-Time

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Alabama’s Rhyan White upset world record-holder Regan Smith to win U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 back. Her time moves her to #3 all-time among Americans.

White was second to Smith earlier this week in the 100 back, and even that was considered an upset for White. Tonight, though, White surged over the back half, running down Smith and taking over as the only female two-distance backstroker on the U.S. Olympic team.

White’s time of 2:05.73 dropped 1.3 seconds off her career-best set earlier this year at the Atlanta Classic. White blasted a 2:07.07 at that meet to enter the top 10 Americans all-time. Here at Trials, the 21-year-old was pretty controlled through heats (2:08.92) and semifinals (2:08.39), placing third behind Smith and Phoebe Bacon in both rounds.

Tonight, White swam by both of them late, and she and Bacon earned the two Olympic entry spots for Team USA. Bacon went 2:06.46, improving her personal best by four-tenths of a second, though she actually slips to #9 all-time among U.S. swimmers with White passing her.

White trails only the two most-recent world record-setters in this event:

Top U.S. Performers All-Time, Women’s 200 Back

  1. Regan Smith (2019) – 2:03.35
  2. Missy Franklin (2012) – 2:04.06
  3. Rhyan White (2021) – 2:05.73
  4. Maya DiRado (2016) – 2:05.99
  5. Margaret Hoelzer (2008) – 2:06.09
  6. Kathleen Baker (2018) – 2:06.14
  7. Elizabeth Beisel (2012) – 2:06.18
  8. Elizabeth Pelton (2013) – 2:06.29
  9. Phoebe Bacon (2021) – 2:06.46
  10. Isabelle Stadden (2021) – 2:07.28

Bacon improves her standing as the #3 U.S. swimmer of all-time in the 17-18 age group. Bacon, who just finished her freshman year at Wisconsin, is 18. Both Smith and Franklin set their world record swims (#1 and #2 above) while in the 17-18 age group, and Bacon trails only those two.

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Little Mermaid
1 month ago

You go Girl! Well deserved and all the respect!

N80m80
1 month ago

What do the times look like this year? What are the odds of both/either of them getting on the podium?

Rafael
Reply to  N80m80
1 month ago

Mckeown 2:04 low
Panziera 2:05:55 then both americans

Rafael
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

So not impossible but will be tough for bacon. An upset of top 3 could come from bacon sebhom and there are the canadians to go yet

Jackman
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

Seebohm faster than Bacon here

Troyy
Reply to  N80m80
1 month ago

2:04.28 McKeown
2:05.56 Panziera
2:05.73 White
2:06.38 Seebohm
2:06.46 Bacon

Masse hasn’t swam the 200 yet but you’d think she’ll be in the 2:05-2:06 range.

N80m80
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

So McKeown is a heavy favorite but outside of that it’s anyone’s race to be on the podium

SwimFan NU
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Based on her 57.7, Masse could be in the 2:05 low range. Serious contender

guy
1 month ago

Makes the Olympic team but doesn’t break the nag 😦

SwimFan NU
Reply to  guy
1 month ago

That’s tough luck. You gotta break the world record to get the nag 🥵

ZH.
1 month ago

Regan had no legs at the end of the 2fly, same tonight. Too many events? Not tapered enough for trials? A world of second guessing. You can’t take anything for granted, sometimes it bites you. Braden your thoughts??

MX4x50relay
Reply to  ZH.
1 month ago

If she isn’t fully tapered I suspect parrato thought she could de well with less rest. Maybe that is the case and we will see some fast swims in tokyo

Coach
Reply to  MX4x50relay
1 month ago

We all saw this after Regan won the 100 back. Instead of being excited to be a first time Olympian, she looked relieved. Carrying that much pressure for two years takes a toll. Now that Trials are over for her, I hope she’s able to take a deep breath and enjoy the road to Tokyo.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

But…but… SwimSwam peanut gallery ALWAYS say American swimmers THRIVE under pressure??

Last edited 1 month ago by Texas Tap Water
CA Mom
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Another thing for Regan that’s different for someone like K. Ledecky is that the backstroke events are packed!!! Ledecky’s 800 Free is 8:04, and nobody in history besides her has been under 8:10 for that matter. I’m the backstroke events however, it’s 1. More stacked and new stars pretty much come and go every year, but 2. a small add can lead to not making the team. Regan Smith is an amazing athlete, and same with Phoebe and Rhyan. All should be so proud that they made Tokyo 2020 in any event!

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  CA Mom
1 month ago

No one has been under 8:14.63 in the women’s 800 meter freestyle since the 2012 Summer Olympics aside from Katie Ledecky.

Last edited 1 month ago by Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Texas Tap Water
Reply to  MX4x50relay
1 month ago

NO ONE IS FULLY TAPERED FOR TRIALS!

let excuses rolling out. There’s been deluge of excuses in this trials.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  ZH.
1 month ago

I don’t think so. I believe this is a matter of her not being able to train as much as she did in 2019. She had admitted that there had been interruptions to her training this year because of Covid and we’ve seen slow in-season times from her this year as well compared to prior years.

I think the stress and relief of making the 100 is from her knowing that she wasn’t 100% prepared for this and she’ll be fine once she can put in the same work as before.

Last edited 1 month ago by Irish Ringer
Coach
Reply to  Irish Ringer
1 month ago

Valid point. I know MN had a few shut downs.

Nancy Pulham
Reply to  Irish Ringer
1 month ago

Huh, nobody knows shutdowns like the Canadian swimmers. No excuses here. Still a few national records being broken.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  ZH.
1 month ago

Regan Smith has been off in calendar year 2021 not matter which event.

2021 Olympic Team Trials
W 100 FL 0:57.73 vs 0:57.34 PB
W 200 FL 2:06.99 vs 2:06.39 PB
W 100 BK 0:58.35 vs 0:57.57 PB

https://www.swimcloud.com/swimmer/290470/

PanPacs99
Reply to  ZH.
1 month ago

On NBC’s coverage, it looked like Smith moved before the start. Was that just the camera as I see she wasn’t DQ’d?

ZH.
Reply to  PanPacs99
1 month ago

I saw that also….

Bob
Reply to  ZH.
1 month ago

Does she still get to swim the 200 back at Olympics due to a faster time?

SUNY Cal
1 month ago

I have thought Regan Smith looks very gaunt, all week, with dark black circles under her eyes. I hope she is ok?.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

She hasn’t seemed on since 2019 in the backstrokes.

I posted weeks ago I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets beat or even fails to make it in one event beside she has seemed off. Most thought I was crazy but more and more females were rapidly dropping time and Regan was adding time.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 month ago

Regan is very good but her reputation is based on three races from two years ago, an event she didn’t participate in until the final days. Yet somehow that standard was assigned as her norm, if not something she could improve upon. Made no sense whatsoever. Every time I see the word taper around here I’m thinking it should be accompanied by a laugh track. Everyone assigns massive time drops as if it’s push-button guaranteed.

swimer
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

I agree every time I have seen photos of her recently she doesn’t look very well (I get it’s mainly right after races but still) I hope she’s okay.

CINCOKAT
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

Agree. The shadows under her eyes look like maybe she’s getting little rest. Its definitely NOT mascara bleeding from getting wet.

Joel
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

I think her dark circles is just the way she is ( I have similar dark circles).

Troyy
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

I’ve noticed them before as well even as far back as 2019.

NoFlyKick
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

I agree. My whole family noticed it. I’m concerned about her mental health impacting her physical health. The expectation on her for the past 2 years have been extreme, and couple that with interrupted training and you have a recipe for not sleeping well.

Coach
1 month ago

Shout out to her coach, Ozzie Quevedo!

Wow
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Isn’t Barber her primary coach at Bama?

Itsyaboi
Reply to  Wow
1 month ago

Lol no

JCO
Reply to  Wow
1 month ago

Barber was her coach freshman year. She switched to Ozzie sophomore season

SwimFan NU
1 month ago

That’s not the backstroke double we were expecting lol. Feel for Smith. She looks like being top dog has gotten to her mentally. Might be a hot take but I feel like Missy Franklin could actually help her here

deepblue
Reply to  SwimFan NU
1 month ago

Help her retire at 23 you mean?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  deepblue
1 month ago

Try a bursitis diagnosis instead.

Anonymoose
Reply to  SwimFan NU
1 month ago

why, because franklin learned to strive under that pressure? /s

Oliver Patrouch
1 month ago

Congratulations Rhyan, Roll Tide!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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