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Phoebe Bacon breaks record in 200m backstroke at U.S. swimming trials

Phoebe Bacon reacts after competing in the Women's 200m Backstroke Final on Day Two of the Phillips 66 International Team Trials at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on April 27, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Phoebe Bacon pulled away down the stretch to clinch the 200-meter backstroke in thrilling fashion on the second day of the U.S. swimming trials in Greensboro, N.C.

Wednesday night’s race was one for the history books, with Bacon clocking a time of 2 minutes, 5.08 seconds, breaking Missy Franklin’s U.S. Open record time of 2:05.68 from 2013.

The 19-year-old Wisconsin sophomore held off Rhyan White, who touched the wall at 2:05.13, and Regan Smith, who finished third with a time of 2:05.65.

Her time stands as the fastest recorded in the United States. Smith still holds the overall American record of 2:03.35, set at the 2019 world championships in South Korea.

“No matter what, I know for us three it kind of comes down to that last 50 (meters) and whoever’s just going to get their hand on the wall,” Bacon said. “You guys saw how close it was, that last 15 meters into the wall.”

Bacon’s victory secures her a spot at June’s 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.