Regan Smith sets American record at Olympic swimming trials in 100 back

Regan Smith hasn’t qualified for her second Olympic Games yet, but she’s looking like a medal contender for Paris after breaking her own American record in the women’s 100-meter backstroke Monday night at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Smith comfortably won the second 100 back semifinal of the night at Lucas Oil Stadium with a 57.47 swim, knocking off her previous American record of 57.51 from May.

Starting off strong, the 22-year-old Stanford swimmer posted a 28.02 50-meter split, which was about one-tenth of a second ahead of world record pace. Smith finished with a solid second half, and until about the last five meters, it looked like she had a serious shot of breaking Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown’s 57.33 world record.

Get Olympics updates in your texts! Join USA TODAY Sports' WhatsApp Channel

While trying again to reclaim the 100 back world record — which Smith set in 2019 — will have to wait at least another day, she's the clear frontrunner at U.S. trials in the event and the top seed entering Tuesday night’s top-8 final.

A three-time Olympic medalist, she won a bronze in the 100 back at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, along with two silvers in the 200-meter butterfly and the women’s 4x100-meter medley relay.

Smith finished third in the women’s 100-meter butterfly Sunday, just missing the top-2 qualifying spots.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US Olympic swimming trials: Stanford's Regan Smith sets record