Regan Smith reacts after competing in the women's 100 meter backstroke final at the Phillips 66 International Team Trials in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Regan Smith cracked a smile and gave a thumbs up after seeing her time flash across the scoreboard inside the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
It was a quick celebration following such a fast race.
Smith touched the wall in 57.76 seconds to win a close race in the women’s 100-meter backstroke on Friday night, finishing in on the fourth day of the Phillips 66 International Team Trials. In the process she broke her own U.S. Open record, marking the fastest time record on U.S. soil. She set the previous record with a time of 57.92 seconds in 2021.
On Friday, Smith also posted the fastest time in the world this year in the women’s 100 backstroke. She needed every bit of it to hold off several swimmers down the stretch for the win.
“It felt really great until like the 80-meter mark and then I died really bad,” Smith said. “But I’m really happy with that time. It’s a great time for me. I’m really happy to end on a good note.”
Smith got off to a fast start, but she couldn’t create much separation from the rest of the field. Fellow Tokyo Olympians Claire Curzan and Rhyan White followed closely behind Smith as they approached the wall.
Curzan finished second at 58.39 seconds, and White took third at 58.59 seconds.
With her victory in the 100 backstroke, Smith also secured her spot in the 200-meter butterfly at this summer’s 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
“If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that USA women’s backstroke is not something to be messed with and I’m just really proud of everyone,” Smith said. “There are so many girls who are deserving of swimming the 100 and 200 back at worlds that won’t get to."
“There’s just so many talented girls in this field, so it’s just a shame we can’t bring more people.”
Several swimmers repeated as winners on the second-to-last day of the international team trials. The competition ends Saturday night.