2017 Arena Pro Swim Series – Mesa: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap

by Luke Ryan 43

April 14th, 2017 Club, National, News, Pro Swim Series


Karl Ortegon contributed to this report.

Day two of the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series begins at 9 am pacific time this morning. Highlighting the field will be Katie Ledecky and Michael Andrew, who are both slated to swim the 400 IM.

The events this morning will be: 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 400 IM.



Katie Ledecky will look to take home the 200 freestyle title this evening as she qualified first in a 1:57.63. Ledecky cruised to the top seed as she took the swim out in 57.65 and came home just under a minute.

Leah Smith, Simone Manuel and Melanie Margalis were also all able to crack the 2:00 barrier. Smith finished second at 1:58.57, Manuel third at 1:59.44 and Margalis fourth at 1:59.86. Rounding out the top 5 was Co-NCAA champion from Louisville Mallory Comerford who clocked a 2:00.41.

Top 8

  1. Katie Ledecky 1:57.63
  2. Leah Smith 1:58.57
  3. Simone Manuel 1:59.44
  4. Melanie Margalis 1:59.86
  5. Mallory Comerford 2:00.41
  6. Katie Drabot 2:00.53
  7. Louise Hansson 2:00.76
  8. Madisyn Cox 2:00.82



A duo of swimmers with Southern California ties took control of the men’s event. Dylan Carter, he posted a sub-1:31 200 yard freestyle at NCAAs in March is the top seed, qualifying at 1:48.99. Finishing second in the morning was Cristian Quintero. The Venezuelan Olympian and former USC standout posted a 1:49.73.

A quartet of swimmers finished from 3rd-6th, separated by just .32. Marcelo Acosta will be the 3rd seed as he finished in 1:50.36. Matias Koski followed with a 1:50.58. Joao De Lucca, the former Louisville Cardinal qualified 5th at 1:50.61 and Long Gutierrez 6th at 1:50.68.

Jacob Pebley, the 200 backstroke specialist and Olympian finished just barely under 1:51, in 1:50.97. Rounding out the top 8 was Michael Weiss, who clocked 1:51.01.

Top 8

  1. Dylan Carter 1:48.99
  2. Cristian Quintero 1:49.73
  3. Marcelo Acosta 1:50.36
  4. Matias Koski 1:50.58
  5. Joao de Lucca 1:50.61
  6. Long Gutierrez 1:50.68
  7. Jacob Pebley 1:50.97
  8. Michael Weiss 1:51.01



17 year old Eva Merrell took control in the morning of the women’s 200 backstroke. Merrell posted a 2:13.55 to take the top seed. Finishing second was Olympic Trials finalist Erin Voss, who finished just ahead of Claire Adams at 2:14.29. Adams posted 2:14.39.

Finishing 4th and also breaking 2:15 was Alice Treuth at 2:14.54. In 5th place was another 17 year old, Callie Dickinson, from Tide Swim Team who clocked 2:15.45. Vietnamese Olympian Vien Nguyen will be the 6th seed entering finals as the 20 year old posted a 2:16.86. Rounding out the top 8 were Annabelle Paterson in 7th at 2:17.04 and Eleanna Koutsouveli at 2:17.62.

Top 8

  1. Eva Merrell 2:13.55
  2. Erin Voss 2:14.29
  3. Claire Adams 2:14.39
  4. Alice Treuth 2:14.54
  5. Callie Dickinson 2:15.45
  6. Vien Nguyen 2:16.86
  7. Annabelle Paterson 2:17.04
  8. Eleanna Koutsouveli 2:17.62 



Jacob Pebley took the top seed going into this evening’s finals in the 200 backstroke after finishing 7th in the 200 freestyle earlier in the session. Pebley qualified as the only swimmer to break 2 minutes and looks smooth by splitting 58.41-1:00.57 for 1:58.98.

Following Pebley was a trio of swimmers who all broke 2:01. Sean Lehane will be in lane 5 this evening after clocking a 2:00.57. Arkady Vyatchanin will be the 3rd seed after a 2:00.59. Petter Fredriksson qualified 4th in 2:00.72. Omar Pinzon finished 5th in the morning at 2:04.37. Zheng Wen Quah qualified sixth at 2:05.56 and in 7th, David Cespedes Echeverry at 2:06.32. Rounding out the A final is Barkley Perry, who qualified 8th in 2:06.70.

Top 8

  1. Jacob Pebley 1:58.98
  2. Sean Lehane 2:00.57
  3. Arkady Vyatchanin 2:00.59
  4. Petter Fredriksson 2:00.72
  5. Omar Pinzon 2:04.37
  6. Zheng Wen Quah 2:05.56
  7. David Cespedes Echeverry 2:06.32
  8. Barkley Perry 2:06.70



There were no big times this morning, as no swimmer was able to break the 25-second mark. Simone Manuel, last night’s 100 free winner, went 25.34 to take the top spot in finals tonight. Manuel was followed by American sprint regulars Madison Kennedy (25.46) and Lia Neal (25.62).

New Zealand teenager Gabrielle Fa’amausili posted the fourth-best time of the morning, tying with butterfly star Kelsi Worrell at 25.69. Brazilian Etiene Medeiros clocked a 25.72 for the 6th seed, with Louisville’s Mallory Comerford (25.80) and Canyons’ Amanda Kendall (25.81) also making the top 8.

SwimAtlanta’s Madeline Locus (25.82) just missed out on the A final, but will lead the B final tonight.

Top 8

  1. Simone Manuel 25.34
  2. Madison Kennedy 25.46
  3. Lia Neal 25.62
  4. Gabrielle Fa’amausili 25.69 *TIE*
  5. Kelsi Worrell 25.69 *TIE*
  6. Etiene Medeiros 25.72
  7. Mallory Comerford 25.80
  8. Amanda Kendall 25.81



Finnish sprinter Ari-Pekka Liukkonen took the top time in the men’s 50 free. The Finnish record holder, though well off of his record 21.92 from 2016, was 22.41 for the top time by over two tenths. Michael Andrew was 2nd, back at 22.65.

Daniel Hunter of New Zealand was 22.68, just ahead of Cullen Jones (22.71) for third. Nathan Adrian, coming off of a world #2 100 free last night, was 22.78 for fifth this morning. If his prelims swim (50-point) in the 100 yesterday at prelims was any indication, he should drop a bunch of time tonight. Dillon Virva (22.88), Josh Schneider (22.92), and Luke Pechmann (22.96) all squeaked into the A final as well.

Anthony Ervin, 2016 Olympic champion, was 22.97 to tie for ninth with Joao de Lucca, as both men just missed out on the A final.

Top 8

  1. Ari-Pekka Liukkonen 22.41
  2. Michael Andrew 22.65
  3. Daniel Hunter 22.68
  4. Cullen Jones 22.71
  5. Nathan Adrian 22.78
  6. Dillon Virva 22.88
  7. Josh Schneider 22.92
  8. Luke Pechmann 22.96


Katie Ledecky, who continues to test the waters in this event, took the top time of the fast heats this morning. Her time of 4:42.33 was a little over four seconds off of her lifetime best, with Canadian youngster Mary-Sophie Harvey not far behind at 4:42.92. Harvey has already qualified for the 2017 World Championships as a representative of Canada, and she’s getting in some more racing this weekend against some of America’s best.

Speaking of America’s best, SCY American record holder in this event, Ella Eastin, sits 4th after prelims with a 4:43.72. She was edged out of 3rd by Melanie Margalis (4:43.34), as Margalis actually dropped over three seconds from her entry time. Madisyn Cox was there for 5th at 4:46.39.

Stanford commit Brooke Forde was 4:48.74 for 6th. It’s clear that the Cardinal is not going to loosen its grip on the 400 IM as one of their strengths anytime soon in the NCAA landscape. Vietnam national Vien Nguyen (4:49.20) and Trojan’s Haley Anderson (4:50.95) rounded out the top 8 this morning, with a few slower heats left to run.

Top 8

  1. Katie Ledecky 4:42.33
  2. Mary-Sophie Harvey 4:42.92
  3. Melanie Margalis 4:43.34
  4. Ella Eastin 4:43.72
  5. Madisyn Cox 4:46.39
  6. Brooke Forde 4:48.74
  7. Vien Nguyen 4:49.20
  8. Haley Anderson 4:50.95

MEN’S 400 IM

Olympians Josh Prenot and Chase Kalisz, former NCAA opponents in this event in yards, posted nearly identical times to lead the men’s 400 IM prelims. Cal’s Prenot was 4:22.26, just a hair ahead of NBAC’s Kalisz 4:22.46. Coming in right behind at third was Louisville’s Etay Gurevich (4:22.84), but expect Prenot and Kalisz to come down tonight.

World junior record holder Sean Grieshop, who went 4:14.00 to set that mark at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, touched at 4:26.78 for 4th this morning. He was followed by 16-year-old Jarod Arroyo (4:28.31), the last person under 4:30.

Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz was 4:32.45, followed by Louisville’s Zach Harting (4:33.06) and SMU’s Jonathan Gomez (4:33.14).

Top 8

  1. Josh Prenot 4:22.26
  2. Chase Kalisz 4:22.46
  3. Etay Gurevich 4:22.84
  4. Sean Grieshop 4:26.78
  5. Jarod Arroyo 4:28.31
  6. Hector Ruvalcaba 4:32.45
  7. Zach Harting 4:33.06
  8. Jonathan Gomez 4:33.14

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3 years ago

I understand the emphasis on Katie highlighting the meet, but not sure why the emphasis is so strongly toward Michael Andrew vs other OLYMPIANS.Not trying to slight Michaels talent.

Reply to  Tully
3 years ago

He creates a ton of traffic on the website regardless of what place he gets. Would be interesting to track, but I’m assuming a Michael Andrew article gets more clicks than a Nathan Adrian article.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Sccoach
3 years ago

😆 More clicks than for Adrian. 😆
Pathetic but unfortunately probably true.
The sad reality of our present time….

A non-e mouse
Reply to  Tully
3 years ago


Reply to  Tully
3 years ago

I agree but at the same time I think swim fans track Michael Andrew not because he’s more important than Nathan Adrian but because his career has been interesting, very unorthodox and filled with controversy. And now everyone is waiting to see the result of these decisions. So when he swims, we all watch and wait…

Tony Stark
Reply to  Swimfan
3 years ago

What results?
He’s almost 18.

I think everyone in the opposing camps of pro and against USRPT are scrutinizing every detail of Andrew’s results with waited breath before they can claim and yell;


Those who are in the USRPT pre-camps appear to be losing ground almost everytime Andrew jump in the water.
His junior WRs have been obliterated, and he hasn’t gained any significant inroads into getting senior national team for global LCM meets.

3 years ago

I think it’s been said before but I’ll say it again: Leah Smith’s stroke has no chill

Reply to  swimz14
3 years ago

I always think her technique looks like Janet. Her stamina spend must be greater than Ledecky.

Reply to  gigglewater
3 years ago

Unfortunately her stamina doesn’t extends to longer distances like 800 and 1500. But I’m glad to see her still successful at 200. Her stability and good prospects for some improvement at 200 keeps my hope alive that American 800 relay will win. They have to find just one more swimmer in addition to Melanie Margalis who can reliably swim 1:57 low. But this “only one” is an open question by far. Not sure who it is.

Reply to  Prickle
3 years ago

It seems obvious that the Us relay is a clear favorite ( by at least 1 or 2 body lengths ) just after the prelims . Katie Mc Laughlin is not here ( but everybody remembers her Relay leg in Kazan ) on top of those 4 under 2 minutes . Manuel is probably capable of a good 1.56 High . Usa has all the talent to win that relay without Huge challengers , not even the Chinese . When u think , there is stil Missy and Schmitty around …but not swimming as they used to .

bobo gigi
3 years ago

Jean-Michel, I predicted Canada for gold before Canadian trials. But now that Taylor Ruck will not swim at worlds I don’t see how they can beat the US team.
For the US relay no more Maya. No Missy this year. Probably no Allison this year.
A team to rebuild around KL. Then Leah Smith (even with her awful technique 🙂 ), maybe Melanie Margalis and Katie McLaughlin. Mallory Comerford will help that relay but I don’t know her real potential in the 200 free in long course yet. That event is so different in SCY. I think her best LCM event remains the 100 free, at least for the moment. But there’s no reason she doesn’t swim at… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
3 years ago

I’m fairly confident that Mallory Comerford will have a good 200m free this summer.

Sean S
Reply to  bobo gigi
3 years ago

Mallory swims trains the 500 in yards, no reason why she can’t have a great 200 in LC.

Reply to  Sean S
3 years ago

She is entered 50-800 free at this meet, kinda remind me of Townley.
Except with the 100 fly.

Tony Stark
Reply to  bobo gigi
3 years ago

I have predicted that Canada will not win women’s 4×200 medal. USA is clearly hot favorite, and then you have China, Sweden, Australia, Italy, Hungary all have legitimate shot at minor medal.

3 years ago

Off topic but Morozov just broke a national record: 21.44 in the semi finals but got 2nd after Sedov(glad he is back) in the finals with 21.76 to Sedov’s 21.74