2017 Arena Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


The 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series resumes today from Indianapolis. Series points leaders Daiya Seto and Melanie Margalis will both be competing, Seto in the 100 fly and Margalis in the 200 breast and 400 free.

Great Britain has a large contingent in the States as well, though world record-holding breaststroker Adam Peaty bowed out of the 200 breast heats this morning.

2016 Olympic champ Penny Oleksiak leads all women’s 100 free seeds for Canada, while 2012 Olympic champ Nathan Adrian is the top men’s seed. Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw leads a tight 200 breast field for the women, but the Americans top the 200 breast seeds with Olympian Josh Prenot.

The women’s 100 fly will pit Oleksiak against American Olympian Kelsi Worrelland Seth Stubblefield is the top men’s seed. And the morning will wrap up with the 400 free, where Jazz Carlin leads the women and James Guy the men in a potential British sweep.

Keep refreshing this page for live recaps of each event from Indy.

Women’s 100 Free – Prelims

  1. Menghui Zhu, China – 54.31
  2. Mallory Comerford, Louisville – 54.40
  3. Penny Oleksiak, Canada – 54.50
  4. Federica Pellegrini, Italy – 54.65
  5. Sandrine Mainville, Canada – 54.70
  6. Freya Anderson, Great Britain – 54.98
  7. Kelsi Worrell, Cardinal Aquatics – 55.49
  8. Kayla Sanchez, Canada – 55.58

The international contingent made their first big mark in the first event of the meet. 17-year old Menghui Zhu qualified 1st in the 100 free in 54.31 and will lead a big-name final in the evening.

Louisville undergrad Mallory Comerford, who is 2 weeks away from the NCAA Championships, qualified 2nd in 54.40 – a new lifetime best, shaving off her time from last year’s U.S. Open. Olympic co-champion in the event Penny Oleksiak swam a 54.50 for 3rd – her first major swim since her Olympic victory.

Italy’s Federica Pellegrini (54.65) and U.S. Olympian Kesi Worrell (55.49) also qualified for the A-Final.

Men’s 100 Free – Prelims

  1. Nathan Adrian, Cal – 49.32
  2. Ali Khalafalla, Indiana/Egypt – 49.68
  3. Joao de Lucca, Cardinal Aquatics/Canada – 49.75 (TIE)
  4. Bruno Fratus, Brazil – 49.75 (TIE)
  5. Duncan Scott, Great Britain – 49.77
  6. Luca Dotto, Italy – 49.81
  7. Filippo Magnini, Italy – 49.85 (TIE)
  8. Jacob Pebley, Cal – 49.85 (TIE)

In his post-Olympic debut, 5-time Olympic champion Nathan Adrian qualified 1st in the 100 free with a 49.32. That’s almost exactly a full-second faster than he was in his post-London prelims debut, and exactly a full second slower than he went at the Austin Grand Prix finals that year.

The prelims pace was a controlled one by the whole field. Indiana undergrad Ali Khalafalla, another swimmer preparing for an upcoming NCAA Championship, was the only non-professional who qualified for the A-final, swimming a 49.68 for 2nd.

Brazil had 3 finish in the top 10 – Joa de Lucca (49.75), Bruno Fratus (49.75), and Marcelo Chierighini (49.92). In fact, most of the top 10 is internationals, with the exception of Adrian and his Cal teammate Jacob Pebley who tied for 7th in 49.85 – a lifetime best for the backstroke Olympian. Russia’s Vlad Morozov will swim in the B-Final after placing 10th in 49.96.

High school student Drew Kibler, who at this same pool a week ago set a National High School Record, qualified 14th in 50.18 – just short of his lifetime best.

Women’s 200 Breast – Prelims

  1. Breeja Larson, NYAC – 2:27.09
  2. Chloe Tutton, Great Britain – 2:27.26
  3. Mary-Sophie Harvey, Canada – 2:28.44
  4. Molly Renshaw, Great Britain – 2:28.47
  5. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg Aquatics – 2:28.51
  6. Miranda Tucker, Club Wolverine – 2:28.87
  7. Molly Hannis, Tennessee Aquatics – 2:29.38
  8. Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir, Iceland – 2:29.46

Another U.S. Olympian got off to a good start on Thursday, with Breeja Larson qualifying 1st in the 200 breaststroke in 2:27.09. She’s raced a ton since missing the 2016 Olympic Team (including at the World Cup series), but this time is already a three-tenths improvement over what she went in her first long course meet back in Austin.

Meanwhile, British champion Chloe Tutton qualified 2nd in 2:27.26. The more powerful and speed-driven Larson, who has more than 5 inches on height differential over Tutton, was out over a second better than Tutton, but Tutton held much stronger to her pacing at the end of the race. Their different styles and lengths will make for an intriguing side-by-side visual in finals.

Mary-Sophie Harvey and Molly Renshaw wrapped up the top 4.

Men’s 200 Breast – Prelims

  1. Nicolas Fink, Athens Bulldogs – 2:12.59
  2. Kevin Cordes, Unattached – 2:13.15
  3. Cody Miller, Badger Swim Club – 2:13.49
  4. Luca Pizzini, Italy – 2:13.72
  5. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics – 2:13.82
  6. Ross Murdoch, Great Britain – 2:14.87
  7. Andrew Willis, Great Britain – 2:16.47
  8. Miguel Ojeda, Unattached – 2:16.84

The men’s 200 breaststroke has historically been one of the least-impressive events in the Arena Pro Swim Series, and so while none of the prelims times will crack the top 15 in the world this season, the times are already about 2 seconds ahead of pace from the second stop of last year’s series.

The final will have Americans center-stage, with Nic FinkKevin Cordes, and Cody Miller taking the top 3 times in prelims. The American Record holder Josh Prenot qualified 5th, behind his three countrymates and Italy’s Luca Pizzini.

While Britain’s best breaststroker Adam Peaty scratched the 200 breaststroke, two of his countrymates qualified for the final anyway – Ross Murdoch and Andrew Willis.

Women’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  1. Kelsi Worrell, Cardinal Aquatics – 58.34
  2. Kendyl Stewart, Trojan Swim Club – 59.41
  3. Aliena Schmidtke, SCM – 59.67
  4. Cassidy Bayer, NCAP – 59.92
  5. Xintong Lin, China – 59.93 (TIE)
  6. Rebecca Smith, Canada – 59.93 (TIE)
  7. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs Swim Club – 1:00.30
  8. Katerine Savard, Canada – 1:00.38

In her second swim of the session, Kelsi Worrell swam the 5th-best time in the world this year with a patient, back-half swim (splits: 27.77/30.57). She’ll be chased by Kendyl Stewart and Alena Schmidtke in the final, part of a group of 6 who were under 1 minute in the prelims.

Further down in the rankings, Claire Donahue finished 17th in a 1:01.69. After the Olympic Trials, Donahue began training with Tennessee Aquatics in her home state.

2016-2017 LCM WOMEN 100 FLY

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Men’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  1. Li Zhuhao, CHN – 51.95
  2. Daiya Seto, JPN – 53.71
  3. Michael Andrew, Race Pace Club – 54.09
  4. Seth Stubblefield, City of Plano – 54.50
  5. Tim Phillips, SwimMAC – 54.54
  6. Andrew Abruzzo, Plymouth Whitemarsh – 54.64
  7. Owen Daly, Camo Natation – 54.74
  8. Duncan Scott, GBR – 54.82

China’s Li Zhuhao blew away the field in prelims, going 51.95 for the top spot in the 100 fly by almost two seconds. Zhuhao is still the Junior World Record-holder with his 51.24 from last April, and with his 1999 birthday, Li should have one more year left to lower that record.

Li’s prelims swim is a new world-leading time for the season – the first swim under 52 since the season began back in September of 2016:

2016-2017 LCM Men 100 Fly

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Pro Swim Series points leader Daiya Seto is the second qualifier at 53.71. Seto won this event at the series opener in Austin, but will need to better his 52.6 from that meet to challenge Li tonight.

Another junior swimmer, American Michael Andrew, sits third in 54.09, just ahead of fellow American pros Seth Stubblefield and Tim Phillips. With Michael Phelps finally retired out of the event, Andrew, Stubblefield and Phillips are among the crowded group of flyers trying to take advantage of an opening in the U.S. National team lineup.

Women’s 400 Free – Prelims

  1. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldog Swim Club – 4:10.61
  2. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg Aquatics – 4:11.06
  3. Jazz Carlin, GBR – 4:12.27
  4. Delfina Pignatiello, ARG – 4:13.14
  5. Vien Nguyen, Unattached – 4:13.37
  6. Aya Takano, JPN – 4:13.59
  7. Ashley Twichell, North Carolina Aquatic Club – 4:16.88
  8. Emma Nordin, Carmel Swim Club – 4:18.32

It looks like we may get another Hali Flickinger/Melanie Margalis showdown tonight after the duo qualified one and two for the 400 free. The former Georgia Bulldog teammates went head to head in the 200 free in Austin with Margalis coming out on top by about half a second, but this morning it was Flickinger who took the top seed by four tenths.

They’re both a full second or more ahead of Jazz Carlinthe Olympic silver medalist who topped all non-Katie Ledecky swimmers in both distance races in Rio. It’ll be a varied international field tonight, with Carlin repping Great Britain, Delfina Pignatiello Argentina, Vien Nguyen Vietnam and Aya Takano Japan.

Austin 400 free winner Ashley Twichell was 4:16.88, but showed at the last Pro Swim Series stop that she’s got the gamesmanship to drop plenty of time in the final. Twichell cut three seconds to go 4:08.99 and win the event in Austin. Watch her from an outside lane tonight.

Men’s 400 Free – Prelims

  1. Andrew Abruzzo, Plymouth Whitemarsh – 3:51.01
  2. Stephen Milne, GBR – 3:51.79
  3. Max Litchfield, GBR – 3:52.45
  4. James Guy, GBR – 3:52.81
  5. Zane Grothe, Badger – 3:53.01
  6. Timothy Shuttleworth,GBR – 3:53.15
  7. Nicholas Grainger, GBR – 3:53.94
  8. Fimuya Hidaka, JPN – 3:56.62

It looked to be British domination in the men’s 400 free, but American 17-year-old Andrew Abruzzo popped off a three second drop to take the top spot in 3:51.01. Abruzzo had only been 3:53.3 before, and to make things even more impressive, he was coming off of a two-second drop in the 100 fly earlier in the same session. Abruzzo will have a spot in both A finals tonight.

After him, though, it was a British reign, with five Brits finishing in the next six spots. Stephen Milne was the only other 3:51, coming within seven tenths of Abruzzo this morning. Max Litchfield sits third and Olympic finalist James Guy is fifth.

Zane Grothecoming off of some huge short course yards swims last month, was fifth in 3:53.01, the only other American in the top 8.

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5 years ago

It was about time to have a solid meet on the international level . Jeahhhhh

5 years ago

Li Zhuhao will make some noise in the summer, maybe he won’t beat JS but I predict a big under-51.
Men fly events will be the main event this summer.

5 years ago

Does anyone know why Missy isn’t here? There are some other Cal pro’s here. Shouldn’t she be trying to get back in gear for world champ trials coming up in a few months? I looked at the database and she hasn’t raced once since RIo.

Reply to  xenon
5 years ago

I thought she was taking some time off racing to focus on her life-balance?

Reply to  xenon
5 years ago

She did one LCM meet between Pan Pacs and Kazan, I could tell she really isn’t those “racing” type.
I think she will compete at Santa Clara a least, much closer to her and really need to get into racing mode before Nationals.

Reply to  xenon
5 years ago

She went to the OTC and trained with the cal mens team over the winter break…that’s the only swim news out of her that I’ve seen. Durden likely to focus on the training group trying for the worlds team after NCAAs are done so we will see her soon enough.

5 years ago

Congrats to Andrew Abruzzo: huge PB in the 100 fly (54.64) and then a great 3.51.0 in the 400 free, to win a heat with famous swimmers like Guy, Milne and Shuttleworth.

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

Absolutely – I thought he was going to die, he was pushing that kick hard all the way. Great effort!

5 years ago

Anyone notice Ye Shiwen actually dropped time in 200 breast with a 2:30? Not bad since she’s been swimming awful ever since 2012.

Reply to  Hswimmer
5 years ago

Wasn’t she World Champ in the 200 im in 2013? So not really that awful but her growth & ankle probs did affect her breast . A 2.30 should improve her recent 1 .24- 26 splits by 6- 8 secs at least . Depends what she wants to do with her swimming .

She is still popular in Asia & only hated in the west .

Reply to  G.I.N.A
5 years ago

Never said I hated her and no, she wasn’t. She finished in 4th.

Reply to  Hswimmer
5 years ago

Ok 2013 was a bit flat but she was Asian Champ in 2014 in 2.8.9 & 4.32 . This is why I emphasised she is popular in Asia – she is their champ. Maybe not you personally but the overwhelming comments even here on SwSw have been simple hate for Ye.

5 years ago

“Unlike many of her Olympic teammates, she’s raced a ton since Rio” Breeja Larson did not compete in Rio. She was only a 2012 Olympian.

5 years ago

Pebley beats Morozov in the 100 free and makes A final. Lol

that guy
5 years ago

Adrian with that 3 beat kick at the end of that 100

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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