Swim of the Week is brought to you by arena, a SwimSwam partner.
Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
There are only a handful of swimmers who have been bigger headline-grabbers over the last 12 months than Summer McIntosh, as the Canadian teenager emerged last summer as an Olympic medal threat at the age of 14 and has had an explosive start to 2022.
Although it came one month prior to Canada’s World Championship Trials, the highlight of McIntosh’s year thus far was her jaw-dropping performance in the 400 IM, where the 15-year-old clocked 4:29.12 to become the third-fastest swimmer in history.
Having set such a high bar for herself, it’s easy to give a slight nod of approval and move on when she has a good swim that’s maybe not of the same magnitude as some of the others—one that would be a big deal if she hadn’t done what she’s done.
Such a case can be found in her swim last weekend at the final stop of the Mare Nostrum Tour in Canet, where McIntosh, after finishing eighth in the race in Barcelona, won the women’s 200 IM in a time of 2:10.75.
The swim marked a new best time, improving on the 2:12.71 she swam three days earlier in Spain, and also moved her up into a tie for 10th in the world this season.
But beyond that, it was also a new Canadian National Age Group Record, breaking the girls’ 15-17 mark of 2:11.16 set by Taylor Ruck back in 2018.
Ruck, Previous NAG
McIntosh, Previous Best
McIntosh, New NAG
It also made McIntosh the fourth-fastest Canadian woman ever, and is also quicker than one of the Canadian entrants for the World Championships, Mary-Sophie Harvey, went at the Trials in early April (2:10.98).
All-Time Canadian Performers, Women’s 200 IM (LCM)
Sydney Pickrem, 2:08.61 – 2019
Bailey Andison, 2:09.99 – 2021
Kelsey Wog, 2:10.21 – 2021
Summer McIntosh, 2:10.75 – 2022
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, 2:10.97 – 2016
Mary-Sophie Harvey, 2:10.98 – 2022
Sarah Darcel, 2:11.14 – 2018
Taylor Ruck, 2:11.16 – 2018
Erica Morningstar, 2:11.23 – 2011
Julia Wilkinson, 2:11.32 – 2010
If we venture outside of Canada, McIntosh’s swim would also hold up extremely well in the all-time U.S. age group rankings.
Among 15-16 girls, she would now rank third behind Leah Hayes (2:09.99) and Katie Hoff (2:10.41), and despite being just 15, McIntosh would already be tied for fifth in the 17-18 age group. Hayes and Hoff were notably both 16 when they set those times, though McIntosh will be turning 16 in August.
Looking solely at 15-year-olds, McIntosh appears to rank fourth all-time, trailing a trio of Chinese swimmers in Ye Shiwen (2:08.90), Chen Xinyi (2:09.55) and Yu Yiting (2:09.57).
So while it may not be her specialty, and wasn’t the most eye-popping time we’ve seen her produce lately, McIntosh’s 200 IM swim stacks up extremely well and is simply another sign of her incredible talent and versatility.
See arena North America here.
Follow arena USA on Instagram here.
arena has revolutionized the world of aquatic sport through insightful collaboration with world class athletes and the development of cutting edge competitive swimwear since 1973. Today, this spirit of collaboration and innovation lives on through a continuous evolution of advanced materials and Italian design that improves the performance, style and expression of all those who chose arena. From leading the lanes to living in style, arena is dedicated to providing all swimmers with the tools they need to express themselves, feel confident, win and achieve more. Because in arena, you can.