Flashback: Smit sets national 200 IM record

This story was originally published Nov. 25, 2005, one week after Mount Sinai swimmer Julia Smit set the national public high school record in the 200-yard individual medley:

Julia Smit had first set her sights on the national public high school record for the 200-yard individual medley at the 2004 New York State girls’ swimming championships.

The Nov. 25, 2005 issue of the North Shore Sun after Julia Smit set a national record in the 200 IM.

“I was pretty close then, too,” the Mount Sinai senior said of the record, which she succeeded in shattering last Friday in the preliminaries of the state championship meet at Erie Community College in Buffalo.

Smit posted a record time of 1:58.29, breaking the national record of 1:58.86, which had been set by Kristen Caverly of San Clemente (Calif.) High School in May 2001. The time was also faster than the national independent high school record of 1:58.45, set by Natalie Coughlin of Carondelet High School in Novatoa, Calif., in May 2000. Coughlin and Caverly were both on the U.S. Olympic swim team in Athens, Greece, where Coughlin won five medals.

When she looked up at the scoreboard and saw that she had broken the national mark, Smit said, she “was really excited and relieved because it was something that I really wanted to do. I was very happy.”

Smit went on to win the state title in the 200 IM for the fourth straight year, posting a time of 1:58.99 in the finals. Smit also won the 100 backstroke in 55.15 seconds, breaking her own state record. Smit had set state records of 1:58.95 in the 200 IM and 55.18 seconds in the 100 back a week earlier at the Suffolk County championship meet.

It was a fitting way to cap off a brilliant high school swimming career for Smit, who will attend Stanford University on a swimming scholarship. “I’ve always wanted to go there, since I was a little kid,” said Smit, who noted that her grandparents live in nearby Menlo Park, Calif. “The team and the coaches are great and the campus is awesome.”

Next up for Smit is the Long Island Aquatic Club’s Thanksgiving Invitational, which will be held Nov. 26 and 27 at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow. Smit is scheduled to swim in six events, including the open 200 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 200 breast and 50 free and the women’s 14-18 400 IM.

Smit will also compete at the 10th annual Trident Holiday Classic at Franklin & amp; Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., Dec. 9-11. The national championships will take place in the spring of 2006, followed by the world championship trials at the end of the summer.

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