USA Swimming News

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Smith, Walsh Break Records on Night Two of Phillips 66 National Championships

Gretchen Walsh header 855x544

The 2023 Phillips 66 National Championships continued Wednesday at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis with two more record-setting performances on day two of the five-day competition.

Wednesday’s competition saw four first-time U.S. title winners in Claire Weinstein (200m freestyle, 1:55.26), Luke Hobson (200m freestyle, 1:45.18), Matt Fallon (200m breaststroke, 2:07.71) and Gretchen Walsh (50m butterfly, 25.11). Walsh’s performance broke the U.S. Open and American records.

“I don’t swim (the 50m butterfly) very often,” Walsh (Nashville, Tenn./Nashville Aquatic Club) said. “This morning I was feeling really good about it going into today. Yesterday, I punched my ticket to Japan so that was awesome, and it just gave me a breath of air. I was like, ‘Okay, I can relax now. No pressure and just have fun’. (In the 50m fly), I just wanted to go out there and put up a good time. I’m shocked – more than I could have ever expected in one event. That was awesome. I had a race strategy, tried to execute it and just keep my head down.”

The night opened with a stellar performance from 16-year-old Weinstein (White Plains, N.Y./Sandpipers of Nevada) who chased down Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Gator Swim Club) in the final 25m to win the 200m freestyle. The last time Ledecky finished outside of first place in this event at a USA Swimming National Championships was in 2013 when she also finished second.

After Tuesday’s win in the 200m butterfly, Regan Smith (Lakeville, Minn./Sun Devil Swimming) bested her own U.S. Open record in the 200m backstroke – set during this year’s TYR Pro Swim Series in Westmont, Illinois – with her time of 2:03.80.

“I was doing a lot of hard work with my backstroke this year, and I feel like I’ve come a long way with it in the past year,” Smith said. “I have a great group of guys who I swim with at ASU who are all great backstrokers and they’ve helped me a lot with confidence. I think I’ve been really building it up – my confidence – this whole year. I’m really excited.”

Veteran competitor Lilly King (Evansville, Ind./Indiana Swim Club) won her second national title in a race-to-the-wire in the women’s 200m breaststroke, clocking a 2:20.95.

“I definitely knew (Kate Douglass) was back there,” King said. “I just had to keep going. Falling back isn’t really something that’s going to work for me, so I just had to stay ahead.”

Backstroke specialist Ryan Murphy (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./California Aquatics) won his third national title in the 200m backstroke with a time of 1:55.03.

“I wouldn’t say I did it perfectly,” Murphy said. “I’m being very critical, hyper critical but I got a little disjointed in the stroke, in the technique. Sometimes that happens on tapers. I’m excited to have another three weeks to really dial that in, and dial in that feeling of being higher in the water.”

Michael Andrew (Encinitas, Calif./MA Swim Academy) closed out the night with his win in the 50m butterfly.

“I got my hand on the wall and had a clean finish so that was nice,” Andrew said. “I got the monkey off the back and can enjoy the meet. I think it’s one of those things where your life can flash before your eyes when you’re going through a stressful situation, and with swimming, you see a lot of the greatest. You either tune it out or adapt, then figure out what you need to change. I’ve always been a detail-oriented, analytical racer so I like to look at the nitty gritty and see what’s happening.”

2023 World Aquatics Championships Qualifiers:


Kate Douglass – 100m freestyle, 200m breaststroke

Erin Gemmell – 4x200m freestyle relay

Lilly King – 200m breaststroke

Katie Ledecky – 800m freestyle, 200m freestyle

Bella Sims – 4x200m freestyle relay

Regan Smith – 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke

Olivia Smoliga – 4x100m freestyle relay

Gretchen Walsh – 4x100m freestyle relay, 50m butterfly

Claire Weinstein – 200m freestyle

Abbey Weitzeil – 100m freestyle



Jack Alexy – 100m freestyle

Matt Fallon – 200m breaststroke

Bobby Finke – 1500m freestyle

Carson Foster – 200m butterfly

Chris Guiliano – 100m freestyle

Luke Hobson – 200m freestyle

Drew Kibler – 4x200m freestyle relay

Matt King – 4x100m freestyle relay

Destin Lasco – 4x100m freestyle relay, 200m backstroke

Jake Mitchell – 4x200m freestyle relay

Ryan Murphy – 200m backstroke

Kieran Smith – 200m freestyle

The 2023 Phillips 66 National Championships continue through Saturday with prelims beginning at 10 a.m. ET and finals at 7 p.m. ET daily. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on and 7 p.m. ET on Peacock.

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