Katie Ledecky after re-claiming her 400 free world title from Summer McIntosh.
The 2022 Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships recently took place from November 30 to December 3. The competition took place in the famous Greensboro Aquatic Center pool, a facility that has become a staple for many swim competitions. The competition saw a wide diversity of swimmers, some joining all the way from Brazil, Ireland, or Canada, all coming together to compete in several epic tests of skill.
This meet saw an avalanche of records that were broken. Swimmers from many different colleges and countries proved that they have what it takes to swim at the elite level. While the meet saw many new faces, big names in the swimming scene continued to show why they are the best. On the men’s side, the most impressive swimmer was Chase Kalisz, a long-time veteran in the medley events who further showed off his dominant prowess. On the women’s side, however, a Canadian teenager by the name of Summer McIntosh stole the spotlight from her
competitors in dazzling fashion.
Perhaps the most anticipated race of this meet was the meet-up of Katie Ledecky and Summer McIntosh in the 400m freestyle. Ledecky is a veteran— she has demonstrated time and time again what a near-perfect performance would look like. McIntosh, a younger enthusiastic swimmer had everyone expecting the 400m freestyle to be the race of the meet. As expected, they both delivered--finishing the race under the championship record with a mere separation of 8 one-hundredths of a second. Ledecky was victorious, but McIntosh showed no signs of stopping. Just the next day, she bounced back with a sizzling World Junior Record in the 400m IM, an event that combines all four strokes, abolishing her own time by nearly a second. It seems that even with a relocation to train with a local team in Florida, McIntosh is adapting quickly and surging forward.
Much like McIntosh’s coaching switch, Regan Smith, the American record holder in the 100m and 200m backstroke, moved bases from Stanford to Arizona State University to train under the famous Bob Bowman, former coach of Michael Phelps. She joined a force of star-studded swimmers including Chase Kalisz and Leon Marchand. The pair of swimmers each took down two meet records in their respective events. Chase Kalisz dominated in the medley events, nearly matching his winning time at the 2020 Olympics of 4:09.42. On the other hand, Regan Smith prevailed in a variety of events including the 100m and 200m backstrokes, the 100m and 200m butterfly, and the 200m IM. Her efforts won her the high point award on the women’s side. Her striking stat line surely suppressed some of the lousy speculations she received after switching coaching teams.
After watching such a successful meet with bountiful historical performances, fans are excited to see how many records are soon to be replaced by the number of young sensations that have been on the rise, There seems to be no upper bound for some of them and certainly, many more jaw-dropping races are to come with them.