Regan Smith (swimmer)

Regan Smith (born February 9, 2002) is an American swimmer. She currently holds the world record in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke (long course) and a third world record was as part of the USA women’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay. She competed in the women's 200 metre backstroke event at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.[2][3] She also won gold in the 100 m backstroke at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in record breaking fashion, breaking Missy Franklin's 15-16 National Age Group record, as well as the world junior record, previously set by Taylor Ruck in the semis.[4]

Regan Smith
Smith in 2018
Personal information
Born (2002-02-09) February 9, 2002
Lakeville, Minnesota, United States[1]
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
StrokesBackstroke, Butterfly, Freestyle


When she was twelve, she achieved multiple new age-group records and won medals at high school state meets. Following these successes, she joined the Apple Valley’s Riptide Swim Club and began to receive coaching from Mike Parratto, who is known for coaching Jenny Thompson, a famous swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals.[5]

While she was fourteen, she competed at meets with Olympians, such as Missy Franklin (at the time the world record holder for the 200 meter backstroke[6]) and Katie Ledecky (the world record holder for the 400 meter freestyle, 800 meter freestyle, and 1500 meter freestyle[6]). Additionally, she became a member of the U.S. National Junior Team, she was named the 2016 Age Group Swimmer of the Year for thirteen to fourteen year olds, and she had set three National Age Group Records in the 100 yard backstroke, 100 yard butterfly, and 100 meter backstroke.

She wrapped up 2018 by earning the title of Age Group Swimmer of the Year for the second time consecutively.[7]

World Championships

At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Smith competed in one individual event, the 200-meter backstroke. In the heats and semifinals, Smith asserted herself as the favorite. In the heats, Smith recorded a time of 2:06.01, breaking her own junior record.[8] In the semifinals, Smith broke Missy Franklin's world record of 2:04.06 set in 2012 with a time of 2:03.35.[9]

In the final, Smith won her first World Championship title, claiming gold by a large margin in a time of 2:03.69. She was under her world record pace, swimming 59.45 at the halfway point, but fell off at the end to record the second fastest swim ever.[10]

Despite not qualifying for an individual spot in the 100-meter backstroke[11], Smith was chosen as the backstroke leg in the 4x100-meter medley relay. In medley relay final, Smith won a gold medal along with Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia, and Simone Manuel. The relay recorded a time of 3:50.40 to break the previous world record of 3:51.55 set in 2017.[12] As the lead off leg, Smith split 57.57, breaking Kathleen Baker's 100-meter backstroke world record of 58.00.


  1. "Regan Smith". SwimSwam. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  2. "Heats results". FINA. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  3. "2017 World Aquatics Championships > Search via Athletes". Budapest 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  4. "Regan Smith downs WJR, Missy Franklin's 15-16 NAG record in 100 back". Swimswam. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  5. Magarey, Mary (2004), "Bilateral shoulder pain in a 16-year-old long-distance swimmer", Clinical Reasoning for Manual Therapists, Elsevier, pp. 161–179, doi:10.1016/b978-0-7506-3906-4.50016-2, ISBN 9780750639064
  6. Jorgensen, Rikke Frank (2013). "Appendix C: List of interviewees (Wikipedia)". Framing the Net: 227. doi:10.4337/9781782540809.00022. ISBN 9781782540809.
  7. Regan, Michael; Smith, Jim; Love, Peter (July 11, 2017). "Overall Financing Mechanisms". Advances in Public-Private Partnerships. Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers: 1–13. doi:10.1061/9780784480267.001. ISBN 9780784480267.
  8. "2019 Worlds heats" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  9. "2019 Worlds semis" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  10. "2019 Worlds final" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  11. "2018 National Championships" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  12. "2019 medley relay final" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
Preceded by

Missy Franklin
Women's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

July 26, 2019 – present
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Kathleen Baker
Women's 100-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

July 28, 2019 – present
Succeeded by

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