By Sharon Robb
PALO ALTO, Calif.—After nearly a two-year hiatus, three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt is back in the water and looking good.
The eight-time Olympic medalist won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.97 at the Phillips 66 National Championships Thursday at Stanford University’s Avery Aquatic Center.
It was 1.3 seconds faster than she swam at world championships where she placed a disappointing 14th. Thursday’s swim was her fastest since August 2018.
Ever since I decided I was going to get back into the pool, eyes were set on 2020,” said Schmitt. “It’s definitely still a day-by-day process, has its ups and downs. But, as a whole, it’s been a good journey, and like I said, I’m really looking forward to this upcoming year.”
Schmitt, at 29, is the only woman left from the 2008 U.S. Olympic swim team who is going for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Her American record from winning the 200-meter freestyle at the 2012 London Games remains one of the few marks that Katie Ledecky hasn’t crushed.
Also in the women’s 200-meter freestyle, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Mary Smutny, 18, went 2:03.92.
In other Thursday events:
Madisyn Cox won the women’s 200-meter breaststroke in 2:23.84, a personal best by 1.78 seconds.
Cal sophomore Reece Whitley, at 6-foot-9 one of the sport’s tallest swimmers, won his first national 200-meter breaststroke title in a personal-best 2:09.69.
Texas junior Austin Katz won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:55.72, which would have earned a bronze medal at worlds.
Asia Seidt won the women’s 200-meter backstroke in 2:08.90. Regan Smith, the 17-year-old who broke the world record at worlds, did not to race this event at nationals.
Aussie teenager Elijah Winnington won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:46.19.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com