(KMSP) - From Phelps, to Franklin and Ledecky, young American swimmers often make splashes on the international scene, but now there’s another pool prodigy quickly catching up to those stars of swimming.
“They are amazing swimmers and I am so psyched that I am on the same level as them.”
While most teens are sitting poolside on summer break, Lakeville’s Regan Smith is doing work in the water.
Last week, she finished 2nd in the Women’s 200m backstroke at the Phillips 66 National Championships to qualify for Team USA in the World Championship at only 15 years old.
“It took so long to sink in. I was ecstatic obviously,” Smith said.
“She is an amazingly hard-working swimmer,” her coach Mike Perratto said. “She comes to practice every day, she never misses. Even on days when I want to miss, she’ll want to come in.”
Regan’s ripping through the water now, but her path to the pool is actually pretty simple.
“I went into it just wanting to have fun,” Smith said. “I never thought I could turn it into something like this.”
Fun is taking Regan very far with a goal of reaching the 2020 Olympics.
But as time quickly ticks down to Tokyo, Smith is just taking it day by day for now.
“I know it’s the first year of the quadrennial, but I am really happy with what I was able to do,” Smith said. “If I continuing working hard like this, just staying focused and having fun with it still, I think I can be really great in the next couple of years.”