Taylor Ruck Drops Canadian 200 Free Record Shortly After 2:06.3 200 BK


After missing Canada’s World Championship team in 2017, Taylor Ruck has been red hot. Throughout the summer she found a ton of success on the Mare Nostrum Tour, posted the world’s #6 200 back (2:07.3) at the Canadian Junior Champs, and finished things off with a six gold, seven medal performance at the World Junior Championships at the end of August.

After finishing out the year strong, including getting down to 2:06.8 in the 200 back and tying Brittany Maclean‘s 200 free Canadian Record in 1:56.94, she’s continued the momentum in 2018.

At the Atlanta Pro Swim on Friday night Ruck completed an insane double, winning the 200 back and 200 free in about a 20 minute span.

First, Ruck absolutely annihilated the 200 back field, winning by nearly five seconds in a time of 2:06.36. That swim lowers her best (and Canadian 15-17 NAG) of 2:06.87 set in December, and moves her past China’s Peng Xuwei (2:06.55) for the top spot in the world this year.

2017-2018 LCM WOMEN 200 BACK

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Though the 17-year-old Ruck was under Australian Kaylee McKeown‘s Junior World Record of 2:06.76, it will not count as she’ll turn 18 later this year (WJRs recognize ages as of December 31 of the year of the swim).

Even more impressively, she came back just three heats of 200s later, a 20 minute span on the timeline, to take on a daunting 200 free lineup that included 15-year-old Chinese standout Wang Jianjiahe, fellow Canadians Penny OleksiakRebecca Smith and Kayla Sanchez, and American Melanie Margalis.

The two-time Olympic medalist led from the beginning, flipping in 56.50 before extending the advantage to 1.3 seconds over Wang with 50 to go. Wang started to close on the Canadian, but Ruck held strong to touch in 1:56.85, lowering her and Maclean’s joint national record by nearly a tenth. Wang took 2nd in 1:57.60, with Smith (1:59.14) 3rd and Oleksiak (1:59.32) 4th.

Looking at the split comparison, Ruck was out much faster in Atlanta than she was in December, nearly a full half second on the first 50. Her middle 100 was virtually identical, with her last 50 about four tenths slower. Check out the splits of both of her record swims, along with Maclean’s, below:

1st 50 2nd 50 3rd 50  4th 50 Final Time
MacLean ’16 27.77 29.37 30.05 29.75  1:56.94
Ruck ’17 27.36 29.67 30.18 29.73  1:56.94
Ruck ’18 26.88 29.62 30.25 30.10  1:56.85

Ruck now has three gold medals at the meet with one day left, as she took down world record holder Sarah Sjostrom last night in the 100 freestyle, clocking a time of 53.37. She’s currently tied for #2 in the world in the event with Australian Bronte Campbell at 52.96.

Tomorrow Ruck is slated to swim the 100 back, where she’s seeded 2nd, and the 200 IM (8th).

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3 years ago

Has she committed to a school yet or is she planning to go pro (if she isn’t already)?

Reply to  sven
3 years ago

She is going to Stanford

das swimmer
Reply to  Zanna
3 years ago

why am i not surprised?

3 years ago

Still so annoyed they don’t get to set records until they are no longer juniors like with any other NAG

3 years ago

After talking about great chances of Canadian 4×200 relay for a few years already I was surprised to learn that national record at 200 was that slow.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

The Canadian relay was more about depth than having one swimmer that was way faster than the others. They don’t have anyone that can go 1:54 (right now) but they have about five or six swimmers at 1:58 or faster which is enough to be competitive on the world stage

Reply to  Dudeman
3 years ago

Penny anchored in 1:54.94 in Rio

Reply to  ooo
3 years ago

I know that and I remember great times shown by Canadian swimmers at WC SC and that’s why I was surprised with this 1:56.96 National record. The time that wouldn’t even get rank #20 last year.

3 years ago

Sometimes it takes a failure (for her missing the 2017 World’s team), to kick things up to a a new level even you didn’t know you had yet. I am very happy for a new level of success. Not everyone can turn a disappointment around. Oh and of course, I am very happy she is going to Stanford and we get to see her in NCAAs.

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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