Summer McIntosh Hits Fastest 15&U 200 Free In History At 14: 1:56.19


Age group stud Summer McIntosh absolutely stole the show on Night 2 of the Canadian Olympic Trials in Toronto, winning the women’s 200 freestyle over an experienced field in an astonishing time of 1:56.19 at just 14 years of age.

McIntosh’s time annihilates her previous Canadian 13-14 Age Group Record of 1:57.40, set in the prelims, having come into the day with a lifetime best of 1:57.65 from last month.

The Etobicoke Swim Club product now has, by all accounts, the fastest 200 freestyle time in history by a female swimmer aged 15 and under. McIntosh is currently 14, but will be turning 15 on August 18.

The next-fastest time on record for 14-year-olds, according to USA Swimming’s database, is a 1:56.46 from China’s Ai Yanhan in 2016.

The U.S. National Age Group Record in the 200 freestyle for 13-14 girls’ belongs to Sippy Woodhead, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 free, who clocked 1:58.53 back in 1978. The only other American women that have cracked 1:59 before their 15th birthday are Claire Tuggle (1:58.58) and Missy Franklin (1:58.67).

All-Time 14 & Under Rankings, Girls 200 Freestyle (LCM)*

  1. Summer McIntosh (CAN), 1:56.19 – 2021
  2. Ai Yanhan (CHN), 1:56.46 – 2016
  3. Franziska Van Almsick, 1:57.90 – 1992
  4. Ajna Kesely (HUN), 1:57.96 – 2016
  5. Li Bingjie (CHN), 1:58.23 – 2016
  6. Qiu Yuhan (CHN), 1:58.50 – 2013
  7. Sippy Woodhead (USA), 1:58.53 – 1978
  8. Claire Tuggle (USA), 1:58.58 – 2018
  9. Missy Franklin (USA), 1:58.67 – 2009

Making this swim even more astounding is the fact that it would rank second all-time among in the U.S. 15-16 age group, with only Franklin (1:55.06). Katie Ledecky ranks second on that list in 1:56.32.

Looking solely at swimmers aged 15 and under, Ai’s 1:56.46 is currently ranked first, so McIntosh takes over that spot as well. The only other sub-1:57 on record for 15 and unders comes from China’s Li Bingjie, who clocked 1:56.74 when she was 15.

It was previously reported that Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom swam a time of 1:57.34 at the age of 14. Upon further research, Sjostrom’s swim was actually in 2009 when she was 15.

Racing head-to-head with defending 100 free Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak, along with 2019 World Championship relay medalists Rebecca Smith and Kayla Sanchez, McIntosh sat fourth at the 100m turn, and then picked things up on the third 50, splitting 30.01 to take over the race lead.

Then coming home it was all McIntosh, as she was the only swimmer back sub-30 in 29.43 to win by over a second and go well under the FINA ‘A’ time of 1:57.28.

McIntosh Split Comparison

McIntosh, May TT McIntosh, Trials Prelims McIntosh, Trials Finals
27.86 27.47 27.26
57.62 (29.76) 57.22 (29.75) 56.75 (29.49)
1:28.02 (30.40) 1:27.12 (29.90) 1:26.76 (30.01)
1:57.65 (29.63) 1:57.40 (30.28) 1:56.19 (29.43)

The victory solidifies McIntosh’s spot on the Canadian Olympic team, though she likely booked a ticket last night in the 400 free after no one in the final hit the qualifying time. More on that here.

Oleksiak finished second in 1:57.24, already having qualified for the Games in this event by virtue of her sixth-place finish at the 2019 World Championships. Smith (1:57.76) took third and Katerine Savard (1:57.79) was fourth, which should qualify them for the 800 free relay in Tokyo.

McIntosh now ranks as the second-fastest Canadian woman of all-time in the event, trailing only Taylor Ruck, who failed to advance to tonight’s final.

All-Time Canadian Rankings, Women’s 200 Freestyle (LCM)

  1. Taylor Ruck, 1:54.44 – 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
  2. Summer McIntosh, 1:56.19 – 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials
  3. Penny Oleksiak, 1:56.41 – 2019 World Championships
  4. Brittany Maclean, 1:56.94 – 2016 Canadian Olympic Trials
  5. Genevieve Saumur, 1:56.97 – 2009 World Championships

McIntosh moves into eighth in the world for the 2020-21 season, and notably swam six-tenths quicker than the time required to individually qualify for the event in the final of the U.S. Olympic Trials a few days ago.

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3 months ago

WOOOOOOOO!!! Top job Summer!

3 months ago

Is there a video of this astounding swim?

Last edited 3 months ago by Marklewis
Reply to  Marklewis
3 months ago

this cuts it off a bit… better than nothing! It streams live each day on CBC Gem as well as the CBC Sports youtube channel.

Last edited 3 months ago by ECswims
3 months ago

Does anybody know exactly her full date of birth? What a swim.

Reply to  Nuff
3 months ago

The announcer said august 18 is her birthday.

Reply to  Nuff
3 months ago

Why does it matter? She is 14 now.

Reply to  Nuff
3 months ago

August 18, 2006 born in Toronto Canada. Mother is a former Olympian Jill Horstead.

Reply to  Nuff
3 months ago

And she turns 18 one week after the closing ceremony for Paris 2024.

Old Swimmer
3 months ago

Holey Moley! This young lady is awesome! Maybe a medal of some color at the Olympics?

3 months ago
3 months ago

I could see her going 4:00 – 4:01 in the 400m free in Tokyo

3 months ago

I think your time for Van Almsick is wrong, she went 1:57.90 that year.
Where did Sjöstrom swim that time? I couldn’t find it on the FINA website.

Last edited 3 months ago by AnEn
Reply to  AnEn
3 months ago

Swimrankings has the Sjostrom swim at age 15 in 2009.

3 months ago

With this and Joshua Liendo’s 51.40 100FL at 18 (the article for which failed to mention his age for some reason), we’ve got a couple great prospects coming up.

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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