Top Swimming Recruit in Class of 2020 Regan Smith Makes College Decision

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The #1 ranked recruit in the girls’ class of 2020 Regan Smith has announced her verbal commitment to the Stanford Cardinal. Her announcement comes less than 24 hours after that of the class’ #6 recruit, Lillie Nordmann, also to the Cardinal. This leaves just one swimmer, #19 Janelle Rudolph, in the top 20 in the class to announce a verbal commitment.

Smith is currently the fastest 200 yard backstroker in history thanks to a 1:47.16 done at the Cary, North Carolina Sectional Championships in March. She is the 2nd-fastest 100 yard backstroker in history, with a 49.66 from that same meet. Only the defending NCAA Champion, Beata Nelson, has been faster (49.18) and only on one occasion.

She is also a member of the USA Swimming National Team. In 2017, when she was only 15 years old, she won both the 100 and 200 meter backstrokes at the FINA World Junior Championships, and finished 8th at the senior World Championships in the 200 back. That made her the youngest swimmer since 2007 to qualify for the FINA World Championships for the US.

In 2018, she tied for 1st in the 200 back, and was 3rd in both the 100 back and 200 fly, at the US National Championships. She built off that to earn her first senior-level international championship medal: a bronze in the 200 back at the Pan Pacific Championships.

Best Times in Yards/Meters:

  • 50 free – 22.51/26.11
  • 100 free – 48.07/55.73
  • 200 free – 1:43.27/1:58.44
  • 500y/400m free – 4:37.10/4:10.33
  • 100 back – 49.66/58.45
  • 200 back – 1:47.16/2:06.43
  • 100 fly – 50.45/58.52
  • 200 fly – 1:51.24/2:07.42
  • 200 IM – 1:56.58/2:15.85

Smith will likely enter her freshman season at Stanford as the favorite to win the national title in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Her best time in the 100 and 200 fly fly would have both put her 5th at NCAAs in 2019. She will start her career penciled in for a minimum of 50 points at NCAAs for the 3-time defending champion Cardinal.

Stanford had the best freshman backstroker in the country in 2018-2019 as well, in Taylor Ruck,

This gives Stanford 2 of the top 6 commitments in the class: a rebound from 2019 when they only had 1 in the top 20 (#12 Alexandra Crisera).

Smith trains with Riptide in suburban Minneapolis

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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1 year ago

I did not see this coming.

Reply to  COOL
1 year ago

I assume you are kidding?!?

Reply to  Superfan
1 year ago


Texas Tap Water
Reply to  COOL
1 year ago

Insert *shocked Pikachu’s face*

Reply to  COOL
1 year ago

Join the discussion…

1 year ago

This is a big surprise…

1 year ago

Just crushed every other teams chance of winning a Ncaa title

Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

I don’t think so. The talent pool for this class is deep and as good as she is, one swimmer can’t win it all

Reply to  N80
1 year ago

One swimmer can’t win it but one swimmer can definitely help keep the #1 team remain #1.

Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

No doubt that Stanford will remain a great team! However, keep an eye out for Virginia. Just look at the recruits they are getting like Alex Walsh etc.. I’m not saying they are better but I’m excited for them to step up! Congratulations Regan!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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