World Champ Regan Smith Explains Taking Gap Year: GMM presented by SwimOutlet

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

Two-time World Champion and three-time World record holder Regan Smith is shouldering her way through the pandemic remaining positive. She even swam a 52 100 yard fly and a 1:54 200 yard fly during an intrasquad meet at her club, Riptide, July 24th 2020. Considering she raced in a practice suit and dropped those swims in the morning, that’s promising.

In this GMM takeover of the SwimSwam Podcast, the big news is Regan’s recent announcement to take a gap year from college. Regan opens up about her decision. She clearly wanted to go to Stanford this fall, but with the recent announcement that the PAC 12 is postponing all fall sports, Regan’s looking like a prophet.

Regan gets her swim nerd cap on in this episode. We cover a lot of topics, and I selfishly dive deep on butterfly. We talk about backstroke, but after her 100-200 LCM butterfly swims at the Pro Swim Series early this year, I wanted to get inside her head a bit about butterfly.

Regan said she would come back on the show again. If you have questions, share them here.

Follow Regan Smith on Instagram here (@ReganSmith4).

Follow Gold Medal Mel Stewart on Instagram here

RECENT EPISODES

This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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Swimfan
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
2 months ago

Is she going to go out to the 100 fly at the Olympic trials? Personally I think with another year training she could be a frontrunner for that event

Admin
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

I think you’re right that she could be the front runner, but so far they’ve been generally very conservative with her competitions in general.

100 fly final conflicts with 100 back semi. Which is not a deal breaker. But that adds up to a lot of swims on the first 3 days of the meet if she tries to make the 800 free relay as well.

She could probably get away with it at Trials. But to what end – the Olympics are not going to be as forgiving in that regard.

Swimfan
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

The final of the 100 fly is the first event on day 2 while the semi-final of the 100 back is the second to last event to me there seems to be more than enough time to tackle both events, my only concern/dilemma is the 200fly is she gets down to a 155 in the 200 free next year will the coaches put her on the 800 relay? Or will coaches use her in the prelims still giving her 7 gold medals potentially 🤔🤔 (8 gold medals If she improves on her 100 free to a mid/low 53 and she is put on the 400 free relay even In the prelims)

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

That’s a helluva drop from a personal best of 1:58.44 in the women’s 200 meter freestyle.

Aquajosh
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

That would be a brutal turnaround. Between the 200 fly final and the 800 FR, there is only the men’s 100 free final, the semis of the women’s 200 breast and men’s 200 IM. The 800 FR is right after the 200 fly medal ceremony.

Swimfan
Reply to  Aquajosh
2 months ago

Well they could use her in the prelims and not use her in the final (they could use 4 seperate women in the final, a complete swap) like when Australia did in Beijing when they won in world record

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

The following morning is the final of the women’s 200 meter butterfly. No need to expend energy for the heats of the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.

https://tokyo2020.org/en/schedule/swimming-schedule

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
2 months ago

Erika Brown and Paige Madden both posted faster times in the women’s 200 meter freestyle at the 2019 Toyota U.S. Open than Regan Smith’s personal best.

2019 Toyota U.S. Open
Women’s 200 meter freestyle
Brown – 1:57.68
Madden – 1:58.09

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

DiRado and Ledecky swam three individual events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
2 months ago

Is there any technical aspect of Regan Smith’s butterfly stroke that Regan Smith needs to improve? Would you need USA Swimming’s Russell Mark to set an underwater camera system and analyze the tape?

Ragnar
2 months ago

Curious if she’ll swim the 100 free in trials to just get a relay slot, or if she’d be put on anyway. By next summer I’d suspect a 52 relay split would be very reasonable for her

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  Ragnar
2 months ago

Whoa, slow down there. I haven’t seen anything to suggest she will be splitting 52. Although this is mainly because she does not swim the 100 free regularly. But I doubt she swims it.

Trainer
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
2 months ago

Slow down there is right. She may be fortunate just to make Team USA in one event. She faces enormous domestic competition. K. Baker, O. Smoliga, H. Flickinger, K. Drabot and many others not disappearing, and there are other young, non-intimidated stars emerging (P. Bacon beat her in a pre-pandemic race, K. Berkoff, etc). Remember great hs backstrokers with great coaches who missed Oly teams by slight margins? And there were Trials collapses of other hyped stars amidst big 2016 expectations in multiple events.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Trainer
2 months ago

If I recall correctly, Regan Smith swam the women’s 200 meter freestyle prior to the women’s 100 meter backstroke in December. With the anticipated schedule for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials (100 BK, 200 FL, 200 BK), Regan Smith is not expected to swim any doubles in the morning or the evening.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Trainer
2 months ago

Yeah, right. Regan Smith set the TYR Pro Swim Series record in the women’s 100 backstroke with a time of 58.26 in January only to reset the TYR Pro Swim Series record in the women’s 100 meter backstroke with a time of 58.18 in March. The only record that Regan Smith does not own in the women’s 100 meter backstroke is the U.S. Open Record which should fall no later than the final of the women’s 100 meter backstroke at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Furthermore, I don’t remember Missy Franklin missing the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team after winning the women’s 200 meter backstroke at the 2011 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Water
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 months ago

Not sure what Missy Franklin has to do with Regan Smith, except that MF should probably come out of retirement and take her on.That being said, imho, R Smith should be focused on 200 Back alone as Baker-Bacon-Smoliga are breathing down her neck. Baker had a rough time of things for a bit physically, but when healthy she is beastly. Bacon is extremely strong and more athletic. Ditto Flickinger. With wrong multi-event focus, overconfidence, and OT variables, Smith could be swimming one Tokyo event or watching the Olympics on TV or internet.

Hank Monroe
Reply to  Water
2 months ago

Can you imagine….Hi Reagan, I know you hold the WR in the 100m back and are the only woman to have swam under 58 seconds in the event, but WATER, a commenter on SwimSwam, feels you should focus on the 200m backstroke.

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Hank Monroe
2 months ago

Yeah, does seem a bit odd to give that advice to a young WR holder that’s still swimming best times year over year.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
2 months ago

It is more likely that Regan Smith breaks the U.S. Open record (58.00) in the women’s 100 meter backstroke at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials than finish outside of the top two.

Charlotte
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
2 months ago

Having watched Kathleen Baker swim in North Carolina for many years, I happen to agree that Regan Smith has her work cut out for her, and the advice of Water might actually be good advice. Baker was 0.3 secs off the top of the podium in 100 Back at 2016 Rio against an extremely strong, experienced opponent. The Olympic experience of Baker and Smoliga will mean something at crunch time.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Charlotte
2 months ago

Oh please! Kathleen Baker was a major disappointment in the women’s 100 meter backstroke (individual, medley relay) at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Kathleen Baker was nowhere to be found at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

SeasonedCoach
Reply to  Charlotte
2 months ago

Regan Smith has competed successfully in two World Championship meets (2017/2019) and the Pan Pac meet in 2018. She also swam at Olympic Trials in 2016. To suggest that Smoliga and Baker’s experience will trump hers is wishful thinking. No disrespect to either of them. They are very talented. But acting like the world record holder, by a LOT, needs to be fearful is wishful thinking. When has she EVER been afraid of this challenge? I don’t understand this thinking at all. If Regan Smith takes care of Regan Smith, she’ll be VERY hard to beat. Can she be beat when tapered and ready? Possibly. But should she exit stage left to focus on the 200? Obviously not. Just stop… Read more »

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  SeasonedCoach
2 months ago

To even suggest that Regan Smith will not qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is a complete joke. It’s funny how no one mentions Regan Smith’s time in the women’s 100 meter backstroke at the 2019 Counsilman Classic which (1) would won the gold medal in the women’s 100 meter backstroke at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships, (2) would have tied for the gold medal in the women’s 100 meter backstroke at the 2016 Rio Olympics, (3) was faster than any time posted by Kathleen Baker in the women’s 100 meter backstroke in calendar years 2019, 2020.

https://swimswam.com/smith-lowers-wjr-again-in-finals-iu-breaststroke-sweeps-at-counsilman-classsic/

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Water
2 months ago

What!!!!!!!!!

2019-2020 TYR Pro Swim Series – Knoxville
Women’s 100 meter backstroke
Smith – 58.26
Bacon – 58.86

https://youtu.be/bCPhKUhoTf4

The aforementioned time posted in women’s 100 meter backstroke is less than thirty minutes after swimming the women’s 200 meter butterfly.

Meanwhile, Olivia Smoliga’s personal best time in the women’s 100 meter backstroke is 58.73.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Water
2 months ago

What!!!!!

2019-2020 TYR Pro Swim Series – Des Moines
Women’s 100 meter backstroke
Smith – 58.18
Baker – 58.56
Smoliga – 59.25

https://youtu.be/ufshCHyxqBg

Baker bounced, Smoliga smoked in the women’s 100 meter backstroke. Just like bowling pins, line ’em up and knock ’em down.

Kathleen Baker better worry about a sizzling Bacon in the women’s 100 meter backstroke.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
2 months ago

The individual to watch in the women’s 100 meter freestyle going forward is Claire Curzan.

Personal Best Times
Women’s 100 meter freestyle
Manuel, Simone – 52.04
Comerford, Mallory – 52.59
Weitzeil, Abbey – 53.18
Brown, Erika – 53.42
Walsh, Gretchen – 53.74
Curzan, Claire – ??.??

The women’s 4 × 100 meter freestyle relay desperately needs a refresh with Brown, Walsh, and another teenager.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 months ago

great potential for a Us squad that can put the Aussies in danger ….

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Ragnar
2 months ago

With the emergence of Erika Brown and Gretchen Walsh in the women’s 100 meter freestyle, I doubt Regan Smith is even needed on the women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay.

Taa
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 months ago

They have the silver medal on lockdown. That is what your saying?

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Taa
2 months ago

You do realize that a 16 year old Gretchen Walsh split a 53.01 on the anchor leg in the women’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay at the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships? Meanwhile, Kelsi Dahlia split a 53.46 in the women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Taa
2 months ago

If Mallory Comerford returns to her form at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships, the women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay has tremendous potential.

Mallory Comerford
Women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay
Lead-off leg
2017 – 52.59
2019 – 52.98

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Taa
2 months ago

Personal Best Times
Women’s 100 meter freestyle
Brown – 53.42 (07 Dec 2019)
Walsh – 53.74 (22 Aug 2019)
Schmitt – 53.80 (05 Mar 2020)
Dahlia – 53.87 (27 Jun 2017)

Taa
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 months ago

Oh sorry you meant the bronze medal? The aussies laugh at those times.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Taa
2 months ago

Speaking of bronze medals, neither C1 or C2 has even won an individual bronze medal in the women’s 100 meter freestyle at the Summer Olympics. Goose eggs galore!

Wahooswimfan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 months ago

And don’t forget about Ledecky – last year’s illness aside, she has swum some pretty fast 100 free times also.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Ragnar
2 months ago

2020 TYR Pro Swim Series #3 Des Moines
Women’s 100 meter freestyle
Heats
Smith – 55.64

Regan Smith did not even make the “B” cut.

http://www.swmeets.com/Realtime/Pro Series/2020/DesMoines/

RollTide18
2 months ago

There is another intrasquad meet tomorrow at her club but I don’t see her on the list in Meet Mobile 😰

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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