SwimSwam Pulse: 55% Pick Regan Smith To Be Top US Olympian/NCAA Freshman Scorer

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick the 2020 U.S. Olympian that will score the most points in their freshman season at the 2022 Women’s NCAA Championships:

RESULTS

Question: Which female U.S. Olympian will score the most points as a freshman at the 2022 NCAA Championships?

There are four women entering their freshman season in the NCAA that are coming off of representing the United States in Tokyo, all of whom won medals. The poll asked readers which of the four would be the highest scoring swimmer at the 2022 NCAA Championships in their first season.

It’s important to point out that Torri Huske, 18, is the only one of the quartet that’s entering the NCAA directly out of her Grade 12 year of high school. Regan Smith and Emma Weyant, both 19, deferred enrollment for one year, while Erica Sullivan, 21, was first eligible to compete collegiately in 2018-19.

More than 55 percent of the voters picked Smith to be the top scorer as a freshman at NCAAs, which should come as no surprise given that she’s the American Record holder in the 100 (49.16) and 200-yard backstroke (1:47.16), and is also the second-fastest swimmer of all-time in the 200 butterfly (1:49.78).

Assuming those are the three events Smith will ultimately race at NCAAs, the incoming Stanford Cardinal will tackle a difficult double on the final night of competition, with the 200 back and 200 fly only separated by a few events.

The three-time Tokyo Olympic medalist will also have a trio of tough outs in the backstroke events, with defending 100-yard champ Katharine Berkoff of NC State, defending 200 winner Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin, and Alabama’s Rhyan White, who was the upset winner over Smith in the 200 back (with Bacon second) at the U.S. Olympic Trials, all set to take her on.

Even with the double and the tough matchups, Smith is still a favorite to potentially go three-for-three individually at NCAAs, making it easy to see why she was the leading vote-getter.

Sitting second was her new Stanford teammate Huske, who is coming off a phenomenal summer that included breaking the American Record in the 100 butterfly (long course) on multiple occasions and finishing .01 outside of an individual Olympic medal in the event.

Huske, who won a silver medal on the U.S. women’s 400 medley relay in Tokyo, took the top spot in our re-rank of the girls’ high school class of 2021 recruits, and heads to The Farm with times fast enough to make NCAA ‘A’ finals across six events.

Huske’s projected NCAA lineup would likely include the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly—though she could also be a contender in the 200 free, 200 fly and 200 IM—where she’ll face some tough matchups. If she goes with the three sprints and avoids the 200s, Huske will clash with Maggie MacNeil and potentially Kate Douglass on all three. Those two are reigning NCAA champions, and would make Huske an underdog to win any individual titles in her first season, which would appear to give the point-scoring edge to Smith.

Weyant, who won Olympic silver in the women’s 400 IM, is headed to Virginia where she’ll join an elite medley crew that includes Douglass and Alex Walsh, who both made the podium in the 200 IM in Tokyo. She’ll be a top contender in the 400 IM right off the bat at NCAAs, but probably won’t be a serious title challenger in any other events right away, diminishing her point potential.

Sullivan only received 1.6 percent of votes despite appearing to be the odds-on favorite to win the 500/1650 double this season. The University of Texas commit is coming off of winning silver behind Katie Ledecky in the first-ever Olympic women’s 1500 freestyle.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: what hypothetical swim that never happened would you most want to go back in time to see what would’ve happened:

In a dream scenario, which of these races would you go back in time to see what would've happened?

View Results

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ABOUT A3 PERFORMANCE

A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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Ervin
1 month ago

Ya forgot Lydia Jacoby

Admin
Reply to  Ervin
1 month ago

It’s going to be really hard for her to score NCAA points as a high school senior.

Landen
1 month ago

I forgot that smith was only 19

PFA
1 month ago

I think a better one would have been what would have happened if Michael swam the 2 back in Athens then it possibly could have made a bit more sense for Beijing.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 month ago

Phelps 200 IM final/100 fly semi combo is tough. Lochte 200 back final/200 IM final is insane.

Phelps 2004 OT 200 back final/200 IM final/100 fly semi is…

PFA
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 month ago

This is partially why I hate NBC’s monopoly on Olympic coverage. I feel that they get the final say on the schedule in conjunction with the IOC’s planned schedule but they have way too much influence here.

Dave
1 month ago

Smith, Huske, Ruck and several others all training together at Avery, will help them all prepare for the Big meets. Training may be more intense than the Big meets!

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
1 month ago

As fun as it would have been to see Dressel swim a tapered 200 free in SCY, got to vote for MP because the big pool (esp Olympics) takes precedence.

MP was 1:54.65 in the summer of 2007, when the WR (held by Lochte) was 1:54.32. He also came 0.03 from Peirsol’s 100 back WR.

Ofc even qualifying for the US team for the 200 back would have been really hard in 2008 (just a casual 0.02 off the existing WR). But for me MP doing backstroke in major meets will always be the “one that got away”, and I’m really intrigued to see what sort of monster time he could have dropped. 1:53 was definitely on the… Read more »

TeamRegan
1 month ago

Stanford’s 4×100 Medley Relay is gonna be massive.

Regan Smith 49.16
Zoe Bartel 58.72
Torri Huske 49.70
Taylor Ruck 46.76

That will easily win NCAA’s and considering relay splits are usually faster than actual times, could very well set an AR.

Canadianh2oooooo
Reply to  TeamRegan
1 month ago

Could’ve a possibility. However they can’t break an American record with Ruck

Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
Reply to  TeamRegan
1 month ago

Isn’t Taylor Ruck Canadian?

Willswim
Reply to  TeamRegan
1 month ago

If we say that Huske/Ruck and Douglass/G. Walsh is a wash on the back half, then it will come down to whether R. Smith can beat Tiltmann by more than Wenger can beat Bartel. And N.C. State will have something to say too.

troubadour
Reply to  TeamRegan
1 month ago

recent racing suggests BR leg may be Raab, who has a favorable trend and at OT W2, finished 10th and 7th in 100/200; Many have forgotten Rucks exceptional history of relay splits. she only has one NCAA finals in her resume, Go way back in time to early 2019 and she had a 45.8 split, the fastest of any athlete (including Weitzeil, Commerford) 2019 along with a 1:39 leg in winning 800. There were lots of doubters on this site in 2018-19, because she hadn’t had any short course swims for 18 moths, before Stanford. Have to wait til late Feb and March for the real projection. NCState and UVA have so much relay talent.

Swimfan
Reply to  troubadour
1 month ago

And nc state replaces the 48 on their relay with what will likely be 46.

troubadour
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

What do you project for backhalf swimers NCST

Barrilla
1 month ago

Regan will be out for blood this season. Watch out! Her Olympic Trials and Olympic Games did not go the way she had hoped. Her best is yet to come.

Tyler Wenfick
Reply to  Barrilla
1 month ago

Swimming: the only sport where a lack of success is viewed as a guarantee of future success.

Barrilla
Reply to  Tyler Wenfick
1 month ago

Did you watch any of the interviews with her Dad after the races? He was pissed. Right or wrong, Dad’s expectations were not met and that trickles down to Regan as well.

Keepin’ It Real
Reply to  Barrilla
1 month ago

That’s absolutely untrue. He was obviously very proud of what she accomplished. I saw multiple interviews (NBC, CBS, etc.) and he never remotely came across as upset. I think he was honest in referencing how the expectations changed from 2020, but was very proud of her success. The expectations on Regan were enormous but it didn’t come from her father. He knew what she had gone through and was so proud of her. Not sure why you would suggest otherwise.

whever
Reply to  Barrilla
1 month ago

Sadly, the pandemic really ruined her chance of becoming the darling of US like Franklin in 2012.
Her momentum was not same this year as before the pandemic. Not saying she would beat McKeown for sure, but she would have been a lot better at the Olympics had it taken place as normal in 2020.

Willswim
1 month ago

I think a 100 free final at NCAAs with MacNeil, Douglass, Ivey, Alons, Ruck, Huske, and G. Walsh would be 🔥 and amazing to watch! What’s even crazier is they all have another year of eligibility to come back and do it again in 2022 with Curzan in the last lane 😮.

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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