Summer McIntosh Breaks Winter Juniors East Meet Record In 500 Free Debut – 4:34.15


It’s safe to say that there hasn’t been much of an adjustment period for Summer McIntosh in short course yards.

After anchoring Sarasota’s 800 free relay with a blistering 1:40.19 split on Wednesday night, the 16-year-old Canadian shattered the meet record in the girls’ 500 freestyle during Thursday morning prelims at the 2022 Speedo Winter Championships – East in Greensboro, N.C.

In her first-ever official 500-yard swim, McIntosh put up a time of 4:34.15 to cut more than three and a half seconds off the previous Winter Juniors – East record of 4:37.82, set by Hannah Cox in 2015. Note that the listed meet record of 4:37.10 from Regan Smith in 2018 was actually done at the West meet.

Entered with a long course time, McIntosh found herself in the fifth of nine heats in the event, but ultimately she would be swimming on her own regardless, as she qualified first into the final by more than 10 seconds.

She opened up in 24.97 before holding 27 mid-to-high splits the rest of the way, dipping over 28 just once on the penultimate 50.

McIntosh’s Splits:

  • 24.97
  • 52.13 (27.16)
  • 1:19.75 (27.62)
  • 1:47.48 (27.73)
  • 2:15.26 (27.78)
  • 2:42.80 (27.54)
  • 3:10.54 (27.74)
  • 3:38.42 (27.88)
  • 4:06.65 (28.23)
  • 4:34.15 (27.50)

15-year-old Lynsey Bowen from Carmel Swim Club qualified second into the final in 4:44.36, while McIntosh’s training partner with the Sarasota Sharks Michaela Mattes (4:45.15) sits third.

McIntosh is the second-fastest swimmer of all-time in the women’s 400 free in short course meters (3:52.80) and the fourth-fastest ever in long course meters (3:59.32). Her time in the 500 this morning ranks her 23rd all-time.

If she was an American, McIntosh would rank fourth in the girls’ 15-16 age group, trailing only Katie Ledecky (4:28.71), Bella Sims (4:32.13) and Katie Grimes (4:32.97). Both Sims and Grimes will race the event this morning at the West Junior meet in Austin, Texas.

Sims set the overall Winter Juniors record last year in 4:32.28.

McIntosh’s decorated 400 free resume includes silver medals at the 2022 World Championships, 2021 Short Course World Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and as one of only four women who have ever been sub-4:00 in the LCM event, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her get under 4:30 in tonight’s final. If she manages to do so, she would become just the third swimmer ever, with Ledecky (4:24.06) and Leah Smith (4:28.90) the others.

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1 month ago

McIntosh: 4:27.6
Sims: 4:29.8
Grimes: 4:31.7

Reply to  Eli
1 month ago

So far so good …

1 month ago

If she breaks 4:30, I don’t think she’ll be the only one to do so tonight.

IU Swammer
1 month ago

Anyone know if she’s considering an NCAA career? No idea if it would make any sense for her. Just curious.

Reply to  IU Swammer
1 month ago

People said she is considered pro since she swam in ISL

Reply to  IU Swammer
1 month ago

My question is, what class is she in technically? I know she’s 16 but is she technically a sophomore or junior? I think she said herself that the NCAA isn’t for her but that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to attend a school like UF and swim pro.

1 month ago

Warm up swim for tonight. Gonna be a scorcher

Tracy Kosinski
1 month ago

Nice job, Summer! Keep breaking those records!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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