Summer McIntosh Reflects on First World Record: “It’s basically any athlete’s dream”


On day 1 of the Canadian world champ trials in her home pool in Toronto, 16-year-old Summer McIntosh broke the first world record of her career, clocking a 3:56.08 in the 400m freestyle. The teenage world champion reflects on the swim itself as well as her last year, specifically how moving from Toronto to Sarasota, Florida to train has impacted her. She also speaks on trying to relax after a swim like that and how she’s able to stay grounded at big meets even though there is always so much adrenalin and excitement involved.

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Sherry Smit
1 month ago

Would love to see Summer go for a 200 back. For what it’s worth, she could pop a 2:05

1 month ago

Good interview Coleman.

Interesting to hear Summer’s take on tapering as well as given the choice she would rather be racing right beside someone as opposed to being alone out front.

Summer comes across as someone who has a great understanding of her sport both technically and cerebrally speaking where nothing is done by chance.

Very impressive athlete!

Yes as well to practice and pancakes with the Sharks team!

Mr Piano
Reply to  Riser
1 month ago

I think taking it out always risks dying on the back end, so it’s just mentally harder to do that instead of hanging on with someone then blasting them away at the end (ala Thorpe, Titmus, Finke)

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Ledecky and Titmus are more muscular and have more short distance speed right now. It’s a risky tactic for Summer to conserve her energy for a final sprint. Her best bet is to ensure every ounce of her energy is expended from beginning to end. So I think her current strategy is the right one.

Mike McCormack
Reply to  M.T.
1 month ago

Absolutely. In track races of a mile or longer, everyone in the race knows who the ‘kickers’ are, and that if you may not be up to their late push, you’d better have positioned yourself to maintain your lead! And then there’s the more risky yet ‘break them’ syndrome, with early crazy speed…if…the competitor can be coerced to try to stay to pace (think Phelps, 4 IM, Beijing). Katie and Arnie, uh, no; races with them in the pool must be swum soberly honestly. As in, hang on, wild ride all the way.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Mike McCormack
1 month ago

Elite front running is not risky at all for the prodigies. It is easily their best strategy. Jakob Ingebrigtsen injects pace at 1500 that others simply can’t match. He makes it a 3:30 race while knowing very few are capable of that. His only tactical error is when he sometimes gets cocky and allows a runner to barely pass him, thinking he still has plenty of time to regather. He did that with Wightman last year in Eugene. Lesson learned. He won’t make that mistake again.

Americans are somehow fascinated with closers, dating to Billy Mills and Dave Wottle. Meanwhile it is a pathetic strategy. You can’t cede ground at highest level. That Wottle race ruined several subsequent generations of… Read more »

1 month ago

Practice and pancakes with McIntosh’s team PLEASE. Would love to see what she can throw down in training

Tracy Kosinski
1 month ago


Reply to  Tracy Kosinski
1 month ago

I think you can drop the Canadian flags. She just might be the new GOAT.

Reply to  usaswimerror
1 month ago

Maybe, but Ledecky has new life and Titmus is tough.

VA Steve
Reply to  usaswimerror
1 month ago

GOAT? Laughable. Best right now? Looking pretty good. Slow the roll.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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