Regan Smith explodes late to crush foes for 200 backstroke title

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NCAA Women’s Championships: Regan Smith explodes late to take down foes for 200m backstroke title

The day Regan Smith committed to Stanford University, the countdown to her success in the NCAA has begun. But there was a delay in the process, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympiad led Smith to postpone enrolling in the Pac-12 school.

On Saturday night, Smith’s wait for an individual college title ended when she won the 200 backstroke at the NCAA championships in Atlanta. And it was a title that came with flair and drama.

Initiating a grueling double in the final session, Smith used phenomenal turns at the 150 and 175 marks and clocked a time of 1:47.76 to win over Wisconsin. Phoebe Bacon, the defending champion. Bacon touched down in 1:49.29 while Alabama Rhyan White finished third in 1:49.36. Bacon and White were Olympic teammates at Smith’s in Tokyo.

Smith was fourth halfway through the run and was half a second behind White with 50 yards to go. But Smith was untouchable on the stretch and closed in 26.72, which was more than anyone on the court. Additionally, Smith covered the back half of the race in 54.25.

Smith’s choice to stay in Minnesota and postpone the start of his career at Stanford paid off. Although Smith missed qualifying for the Olympics in the 200 backstroke at the US trials, she earned invitations to Tokyo in the 100 backstroke and 200 butterfly. Each of these events resulted in a podium finish, with Smith winning bronze in the backstroke and silver in the volley. She also won a silver medal in the first leg of the USA 400m medley relay.

Now she has the chance to represent Stanford and lives up to the expectations that were attached to her engagement.

“It’s definitely difficult at times, and that’s something I’ve struggled with,” Smith said of the pressure she faces. “But I’m grateful to have a great team behind me and that supports me. I just go out there and do what I know how to do. People told me that (the NCAAs) were just different, and I didn’t know what that meant until I got here. This competition was different from any competition I’ve been in, but it was so much fun.

Prior to the NCAA Championships, Smith had several options for his program. At the Pac-12 Championships, she doubled in the 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke on the third day of competition. But for the NCAA championships, she opted for a more demanding request, competing in two 200-yard runs under a tight deadline. It was a decision made in the best interest of his team, and training a Smith could sustain.

After the 200 backstroke, Smith returned for the 200 butterfly. For the majority of the race, it looked like Smith would finish eighth, or near the bottom of the field. But Smith again tapped into his closing speed and guts and gradually took out most of the opposition, eventually tying Michigan. Olivia Carter for second place. from Virginia Alex Walch won the race for his third title of the competition.

Smith’s first NCAA encounter had been an up-and-down competition since day one, when the rookie missed a turn in the first leg of the 200 medley relay, but bounced back impressively an hour later to help the Cardinal win an 800m freestyle title. relay. She also added a third-place finish in the 100m backstroke, an event in which North Carolina State Catherine Berkoff set an American record and became the first woman to break the 49-second barrier in the event.

 Event 16  Women 200 Yard Backstroke
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:47.24  3/23/2019 Beata Nelson, Wisconsin
         Meet: M 1:47.24  3/23/2019 Beata Nelson, Wisconsin
     American: A 1:47.16  3/10/2019 Regan Smith, Riptide
      US Open: O 1:47.16  3/10/2019 Regan Smith, Riptide
         Pool: P 1:49.22  3/19/2022 Regan Smith, Stanford-PC
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                       === Championship Final ===                        
 
  1 Smith, Regan           FR Stanford          1:49.22    1:47.76P  20  
    r:+0.55  25.89        53.51 (27.62)
        1:21.04 (27.53)     1:47.76 (26.72)
  2 Bacon, Phoebe          SO Wisconsin         1:50.08    1:49.29   17  
    r:+0.71  25.87        53.53 (27.66)
        1:21.40 (27.87)     1:49.29 (27.89)
  3 White, Rhyan           SR Alabama           1:50.36    1:49.36   16  
    r:+0.64  25.48        52.91 (27.43)
        1:20.61 (27.70)     1:49.36 (28.75)
  4 Stadden, Isabelle      SO California        1:49.94    1:49.45   15  
    r:+0.65  25.71        53.09 (27.38)
        1:21.20 (28.11)     1:49.45 (28.25)
  5 Tiltmann, Reilly       FR Virginia          1:50.34    1:49.63   14  
    r:+0.69  25.98        53.76 (27.78)
        1:21.88 (28.12)     1:49.63 (27.75)
  6 Atkinson, Emma         SO VT                1:50.34    1:49.86   13  
    r:+0.62  26.03        53.43 (27.40)
        1:21.38 (27.95)     1:49.86 (28.48)
  7 Muzzy, Emma            SR NCSU              1:51.06    1:51.18   12  
    r:+0.73  26.32        54.54 (28.22)
        1:23.15 (28.61)     1:51.18 (28.03)
  8 Nordmann, Lucie        JR Stanford          1:51.20    1:52.28   11  
    r:+0.65  25.73        53.89 (28.16)
        1:22.82 (28.93)     1:52.28 (29.46)


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