Leah Smith Hits 10-Second 400 IM SCY Best Time, 4:03.83, In Austin

Smith put up a time of 4:03.83, shattering her 2017 best time of 4:13.93, and also clocked 4:35.95 in the 500 free. Archive photo via Mike Lewis/Ola Vista Photography


November 5-8, 2021
Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Austin, TX
SCY (25y)
Results on Meet Mobile: “2021 ST TXLA 11& Over November Unclassified”

Two-time Olympic medalist Leah Smith was in action over the weekend at a Longhorn Aquatics-hosted meet in Austin, hitting a massive lifetime best in the 400 individual medley (SCY) while also putting together a strong showing in the 500 freestyle.

Smith, who moved to Austin in August to train under University of Texas women’s coaches Carol Capitani and Mitch Dalton, put up a time of 4:03.83 in the 400 IM, more than 10 seconds under her previous best time of 4:13.93. That time was set in a January 2017 dual meet against NC State when Smith was competing in the NCAA with the University of Virginia.

As a point of reference, Smith’s time would’ve placed fourth in the ‘A’ final at the 2021 Women’s NCAA Championships.

Smith has always primarily been a freestyler, including winning a 2016 Olympic gold medal in the women’s 4×200 free relay with the United States, and also claiming bronze individually in the 800 free.

However, she’s also shown flashes of brilliance in the long course 400 IM over the years, including winning the 2017 U.S. World Trials in a best time of 4:33.86 en route to placing sixth in the World Championship final later that summer.

At the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, Smith finished fourth in the 400 IM (4:34.55), just six-tenths outside of making the Olympic team.

Smith, 26, also recorded a time of 4:35.95 in the 500 free in what was her first yards swim in the event since setting a PB of 4:28.90 and placing second to Katie Ledecky at the 2017 NCAAs.

Other Highlights

16-year-old Andrew Zou, who put up a time of 1:58.39 in the men’s 200 breaststroke to move into 35th all-time in the boys’ 15-16 age group. Zou’s previous best time in the event was 2:00.07, set in December 2020.
Longhorn Aquatics’ Karina Kanary, 16, produced respective times of 1:02.27 and 2:13.20 in the women’s 100 and 200 breaststroke, both lifetime bests. In the 200, she’s just over two-tenths shy of cracking the top-100 all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group (2:12.99 is 100th).

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