2017 Arena PSS – Atlanta: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


Despite Canadian Penny Oleksiak scratching the meet, there are still plenty of Olympic medalists and top swimmers in action for day 2 of the Arena Pro Swim in Atlanta.

Highlights on day 2 will include Kelsi Worrell in the women’s and Tom Shields and Jack Conger in the men’s 100 fly. Lilly KingKatie Meili and Kierra Smith headline the women’s 200 breast, while the men’s event is also stacked and led by Kevin CordesNic Fink and Cody Miller.

2016 Olympic champ Simone Manuel leads the women’s 100 free, as does 2012 champ Nathan Adrian in the men’s event. Katie Ledecky, who is also entered in the 100 free, leads the 400 free field by over ten seconds. The men’s 400 features 2016 SC World champ Park Tae Hwan, along with 2-time NCAA 500 free champ Clark Smith and last night’s 800 winner Felix Auboeck.

Women’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • US Open Record: 56.38, Sarah Sjostrom, 2015
  • GT Pool Record: 57.60, Rachel Komisarz, 2007
  1. Aliena Schmidtke, SCM, 58.99
  2. Kelsi Worrell, CARD, 59.04
  3. Hellen Moffitt, NCAC, 59.13
  4. Rebecca Smith, HPCO, 59.14
  5. Cassidy Bayer, NCAP, 59.39
  6. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 59.56
  7. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 59.60
  8. Vanessa Krause, CW, 59.83

Aliena Schmidtke took seven-one-hundredths off her seed time to snag the top time of the morning in the women’s 100 fly at 58.99. In the last heat she out-touched 2016 US Olympic Trials winner Kelsi Worrell by five-one-hundredths. Worrell takes the #2 seed, and Hellen Moffitt sits 3rd after the morning in 59.13. Rebecca Smith, training out of the High Performance Centre – Ontario, was 4th this morning in 59.14.

Other notable names cracking the final-8 included Olympian Hali Flickinger, 200 free NCAA co-champ Mallory Comerford and 17-year-old Cassidy BayerSimone Manuel was a no-show for her heat.

Men’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • US Open Record: 50.22, Michael Phelps, 2009
  • GT Pool Record: 51.86, Joseph Schooling, 2016
  1. Santiago Grassi, AU, 52.45
  2. Tom Shields, CAL, 52.94
  3. Tim Phillips, MAC, 53.00
  4. Jack Conger, UT, 53.03
  5. Pavel Sankovich, NOLE, 53.24
  6. Gunnar Bentz, ABSC, 53.29
  7. Matthew Josa, CAL, 53.34
  8. Seth Stubblefield, COPS, 53.53

In an event stacked with big names, it was the relatively unknown Santiago Grassi of Auburn University who took the top spot in prelims in a time of 52.45. Grassi pulled out a decisive win in the 7th of 8 heats. In heat 8 Tom Shields ran down early leader Tim Phillips at the touch to take the #2 seed in 52.94, followed by Phillips at 53.00. Grassi and Shields were the only two in the field who came home sub-28.

Jack Conger won the first circle-seeded heat in a time of 53.03, good for the 4th seed heading to finals. Seth Stubblefield squeaked into the ‘A’ final in 8th at 53.53. Notable names out of the ‘A’ final include Pace Clark (22nd, 54.97) and Michael Andrew (23rd, 55.01).

Women’s 200 Breast Prelims

  • US Open Record: 2:20.38, Rebecca Soni, 2009
  • GT Pool Record: 2:21.46, Rebecca Soni, 2011
  1. Kierra Smith, LLSC, 2:27.58
  2. Lilly King, UN, 2:28.44
  3. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 2:28.53
  4. Margaret Aroesty, LIAC, 2:28.76
  5. Miranda Tucker, CW, 2:28.88
  6. Katie Meili, NYAC, 2:28.91
  7. Esther Gonzalez Medina, TAMU, 2:29.33
  8. Andrea Cottrell, UOFL, 2:31.21

A very tightly bunched field saw #1 seed Kierra Smith take off to win the last heat in a time of 2:27.58, the only woman under 2:28 this morning. The next five swimmers were all in the 2:28-range, led by Lilly King and Melanie MargalisKatie Meili, the winner of this event at the last Arena stop in Mesa, qualified 6th in 2:28.91.

With the top seven qualifiers all within less than two seconds of each other, the final tonight will be very close. #4 seed coming in Bethany Galat missed the ‘A’ final in 9th (2:32.14), and #5 seed Molly Hannis was a no-show.

Men’s 200 Breast Prelims

  1. Chase Kalisz, NBAC, 2:13.60
  2. Cody Miller, BAD, 2:13.87
  3. Carlos Claverie, UOFL, 2:14.15
  4. Nicolas Fink, ABSC, 2:14.17
  5. Christian vom Lehn, GER, 2:14.83
  6. Mauro Castillo Luna, TAMU, 2:15.08
  7. Andrew Wilson, TXLA, 2:15.21
  8. Miguel De Lara Ojeda, UN, 2:15.28

Chase Kalisz continued his recent hot streak with the top time in the morning in the men’s 200 breast at 2:13.60. Kalisz won 3 of his 4 events at the Mesa Pro Series in April, and also got a personal best in 3 of his events. The 200 breast was the one event he didn’t win, losing out to American Record holder Josh Prenot, but did record a PB of 2:11.29.

Cody Miller takes the 2nd spot this morning in 2:13.87, closing on Kalisz in the first circle-seeded heat with a 33.7 final 50. Carlos Claverie nabbed Nic Fink at the wall in heat 7 as they take the 3rd and 4th best times into finals.

In the last heat top seed Kevin Cordes surprisingly was a no-show, opening the door for Andrew Wilson to win the heat in 2:15.21. Wilson will have to shore up his back half tonight if he wants to challenge for the win, as he was out strong in 1:03.3 but faded to come home in 1:11.8.

Along with Cordes, Gunnar Bentz and Brad Craig were also no-shows.

Women’s 100 Free Prelims

  • US Open Record: 53.12, Sarah Sjostrom, 2016
  • GT Pool Record: 54.11, Simone Manuel, 2016
  1. Simone Manuel, UN, 53.75
  2. Amanda Weir, SA, 54.63*
  3. Sandrine Mainville, HPCO, 54.63*
  4. Siobhan Haughey, CW, 54.77
  5. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 54.95
  6. Katie Ledecky, UN, 54.97
  7. Andi Murez, UN, 55.16
  8. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 55.20

Simone Manuel threw down a new Georgia Tech pool record of 53.75 to lead the women’s 100 free prelims by nine tenths of a second, breaking her own record from last year. Amanda Weir and Sandrine Mainville tied for 2nd in 54.63, and Siobhan HaugheyMallory Comerford and Katie Ledecky all cracked 55 as well in a very competitive field.

Olivia Smoliga made her way into the ‘A’ final with the 8th best morning time of 55.20. Madison Kennedy (9th), Michelle Toro (10th) and Kelsi Worrell (13th) will highlight the ‘B’ final tonight.

Men’s 100 Free Prelims

  • US Open Record: 47.58, Jason Lezak, 2008
  • GT Pool Record: 48.29, Nathan Adrian, 2016
  1. Park Tae Hwan, KOR, 48.62
  2. Joao De Lucca, CARD, 49.24
  3. Blake Pieroni, UN, 49.29
  4. Mohamed Samy, UN, 49.94
  5. Michael Chadwick, UN, 49.98
  6. Jacob Pebley, CAL, 50.10
  7. Matias Koski, DYNA, 50.27
  8. Daniel Ramirez, UN, 50.38

The men’s 100 free saw a slew of no-shows from some of the top seeded swimmers, including top seed Nathan Adrian. Also missing was Jack CongerConor Dwyer, and Tom Shields, among others.

With the absence of Adrian Park Tae Hwan threw down the only sub-49 time of the morning in 48.62, making himself the clear favorite for tonight. After a disastrous Olympic campaign that included a doping scandal, Park has looked to be on great form ever since the Short Course World Championships in December where he swept the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyles.

Joao De Lucca, who opted out of the Maria Lenk Trophy going on right now and as a result the World Championships, took the #2 time in 49.24. Indiana teammates Blake Pieroni and Mohamed Samy cracked 50 for the 3rd and 4th place spots, as did Michael Chadwick in 5th.

Cal’s Jacob Pebley continued his recent run of solid freestyle showings taking 6th in 50.10, while his training partner Ryan Murphy was on the outside looking in at 10th in 50.64. Along with Murphy, Ryosuke Irie and Gunnar Bentz will be featured in the ‘B’ final. Other notable names include Anthony Ervin (27th, 51.97) and Josh Schneider (49th, 54.15).

Women’s 400 Free Prelims

  1. Katie Ledecky, UN, 4:02.41
  2. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 4:10.66
  3. Joanna Evans, UT, 4:11.26
  4. Cierra Runge, WA, 4:11.37
  5. Sierra Schmidt, CW, 4:11.95
  6. Katie Drabot, UN, 4:12.11
  7. Courtney Harnish, 4:12.21
  8. Rose Bi, CW, 4:12.46

Not surprisingly Katie Ledecky threw down the top morning time in the women’s 400 free at 4:02.41, eight seconds clear of the rest of the field. Her world leading time of 4:01.01 was done at the Mesa Pro Swim in April. Look for her to take a crack at that mark, along with her pool record of 4:00.31, tonight at finals.

Hali Flickinger leads the race for 2nd with her 4:10.66 showing, qualifying for her second final of the day. Joanna Evans out-touched Cierra Runge in the second-to-last heat as they take the 3rd and 4th spots heading into finals.

Notably missing the ‘A’ final was the top two from last night’s 1500 G Ryan (11th) and Vien Nguyen (9th), along with Mallory Comerford (15th).

Men’s 400 Free Prelims

  • US Open Record: 3:43.53, Larsen Jensen, 2008
  • GT Pool Record: 3:47.78, Yannick Agnel, 2011
  1. Park Tae Hwan, KOR, 3:51.62
  2. Felix Auboeck, CW, 3:52.03
  3. Clark Smith, UT, 3:53.44
  4. Patrick Callan, TAC, 3:53.49
  5. Poul Zellmann, GER, 3:53.84
  6. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 3:54.56
  7. Marcelo Acosta, UOFL, 3:54.99
  8. Zane Grothe, BAD, 3:55.00

Park Tae Hwan took the top seed for the second time this morning, clocking 3:51.62 to top the men’s 400 free prelims. Park cruised to the win in the last heat, as he’ll look to win the 100/400 double tonight, back-to-back. He had a similar double at the SC World Champs, where he won the 1500 title and not longer after took 7th in the 100 free.

Last night’s 800m winner Felix Auboeck topped the second last heat in 3:52.03, and will have lane 5 for tonight’s final. Clark Smith, who was 3rd in the 800, had a solid showing of 3:53.44 for 3rd.

Patrick Callan took over 3 seconds off his entry time to take the 4th seed out of one of the early heats in 3:53.49, ahead of Germany’s Poul Zellmann and 2016 Olympian Jay Litherland. 800 free runner-up Zane Grothe rounds out the top-8.

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4 years ago

Omega, ugh…

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
4 years ago

I had the exact same reaction. Guess I’m using Meet Mobile.

4 years ago

So Cordes a no-show for the 200 breast, did he scratch the meet or just this event?

4 years ago

Chase Kalisz 200 breast splits: 30.41-34.40-34.40-34.39. Consistency is key

Reply to  PNW
4 years ago

Chase is in a very solid year !!! What a regulator

Tea rex
Reply to  PNW
4 years ago

I hope Kalisz does well tonight. Any long course swimmer who can split 58 br on a scy 4 im has got a good thing going

4 years ago

Lots of no shows in the men’s 100 free.

4 years ago

Hmm, lots of DNS’s in the men’s 100 free, a bit disappointing, but there should be some great competition tonight regardless! I’m really interested in seeing how tonight’s 200 breast pans out, Wilson has great speed but clearly leaves to much in the pool that front half, and Kalisz is showing clear upward mobility in the 200

Reply to  SwimSam
4 years ago

but top 3 from Trials aren’t there….Prenot, Cordes, and Licon. anticlimatic a bit

4 years ago

As long as top swimmers feel that it is OK to no show, swimming will seem amateurish. I can’t think of another sport where professionals no show and don’t get fined. People pay to see them.

Reply to  Cate
4 years ago

That is a controversial subject in the NBA at the moment, since many stars take nights off.

Reply to  Cate
4 years ago

I get your point, but would you rather have swimming be completely commercialized like big sports? I feel that at least for meets of this level (i.e. not Olympics or World Championships; maybe nationals) it’s better to let swimmers do whatever is best for them whatever their reason may be.

Reply to  iLikePsych
4 years ago

Like Sun Yang in Kazan skipping the final without having any medical restriction? I don’t think so. Would those guys compete if stands are completely empty and there would be no tv and online live coverage? No, they need spectators. Without them there is no professional sport. So they do have obligations and have to be fined if they don’t keep promise to show up. It is a sort of unwritten contract and the breaker has to be penalized.

Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Did you ignore the part where I said World Championships? Obviously people should have their act together at the top level, but I wouldn’t consider this meet to be that. You want to fine someone for misbehaving? Sure, just show me where it says you’re allowed to and the swimmer agreed to that (whether in their pro contract or the meet rules). Unwritten social contracts are just that – unwritten – the only punishment you can enforce then are ‘social’ punishments, not formal ones.

Reply to  Cate
4 years ago

Fining a swimmer is a death sentence for them

Reply to  Cate
4 years ago

cate it happens in track and field too. both major Olympic sports desperately trying to seem professional when they aren’t.

swim dawg
Reply to  Cate
4 years ago

Agreed. USA swimming and arena both made a lot of money off people that did not find a way to get to their lane this morning

Reply to  swim dawg
4 years ago

alot of money? really? you are delusional

Reply to  Cate
4 years ago

other than parents, not many pay to come to this meet. and ratings for tv are as low as you can get.

Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Josh Schneider going 54 makes no sense to me… I know he has a lot of muscle to break down and all, but this seems absurdly slow.

Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Especially since his pr is a 48.

Tea rex
Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Probably not training much

swim dawg
Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

Not tapered. That is a guy that MUST be tapered to have a solid 100. Not the case with his 50. He will be fast in the 100 when he is prepared to be fast in the 100

E Gamble
4 years ago

What in the world is going on with Michael Andrew? A 55.01 100 fly?

Reply to  E Gamble
4 years ago

He needs a real coach and team

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 years ago

Totally agree . I saw some of his Facebook short clips lately ( in that tiny pool !! ) and it didn’t feel like right to me . I mean , its time for him to get A real team and outs of the family Coach , as HSWIMMER has underlined .

Captain Awesome
Reply to  E Gamble
4 years ago

Arguably better than his 2:24.66 in the 200 breast after going out in a 1:07.41. Maybes he’s been doing some proper training (as in more like what most other swimmers do, not being negative against what he does) and so competing unrested now takes a lot more out of him than what we’ve seen in the past? He did a best time in the 200IM in Indianapolis so it’s not like he’s having a bad year.

Reply to  Captain Awesome
4 years ago

He’s getting older and can’t just rail off near personal bests every weekend. He could be broken down through training, we have no idea where they are in the season. It’s just another pro swim series, give the panic attack reactions a rest.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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