2017 Arena PSS Mesa Day 3 Analysis: Kalisz Could Help Fill Phelps’ Flippers in 200 IM

2017 ARENA PRO SWIM SERIES – MESA

We didn’t do a “17 Big Questions for 2017” article, but if we did, undoubtedly one of the questions would have been “Who is going to step up and replace Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM this year?”

With Phelps retired and Lochte suspended, this summer will be the first time since 2001 that the USA will not have either man representing the Stars and Stripes in the 200 IM at a major international meet since 2001.

While there a number of men who have looked like they have the potential to fill in that gap, there was no clear leader, until this week.

Tonight, Chase Kalisz, Phelps’s former training partner and the silver medalist in the 400 IM last summer in Rio, pulled off an impressive double, winning the 200 fly in 1:55.82 and the 200 IM in 1:57.71.

Both those times are personal bests for Kalisz, with each of previous best times in those events coming at taper meets.  And while that 200 fly is certainly impressive, we’re going to focus on the 200 IM, because that’s where there appears to be even more of a gaping hole for the USA.

Other than Phelps and Lochte, only one other USA swimmer has even gone sub-1:57, and that was Eric Shanteau, back in 2009.  Leave out Shanteau, and there’s a three second gap between Phelps/Lochte and the 4th-fastest American ever, Tyler Clary and his 1:57.25.

Conor Dwyer, until tonight, is the only other active USA swimmer to break even 1:58.  Given that Lochte is suspended, and we haven’t seen much of Dwyer yet this year, that means that there is an absolute dearth of Team USA swimmers who have demonstrated the ability to make finals, much less medal, in this event at the international level.

With tonight’s 1:57.71, Kalisz jumps to the head of the pack in the race to make the USA’s World Championships team at the trials in Indianapolis this summer.  There are plenty of guys who could fill the second spot, but lots of question marks.

David Nolan went 1:58.16 at Olympic Trials, but hasn’t competed since then.  Josh Prenot, who swam next to Kalisz tonight, sports a personal best of 1:58.38 from the 2015 World University Games, while Will Licon has a similar time of 1:58.43 from the 2015 USA Nationals.  Michael Andrew could still drop some time from his 1:59.12, but hasn’t been looking great in-season, perhaps due to a change in training approach.  College stars like Gunnar Bentz, Jay Litherland, Abrahm DeVine, and Andrew Seliskar all certainly seem capable of dipping below the 1:59 mark as well.  Yet, the very fact that we’ve had to mention so many names simply underscores the fact that for years Team USA could count on Phelps and Lochte to pick up at least one medal in this event, usually gold.

 While Kalisz’s swim tonight in no way guarantees that the USA’s medal streak in the 200 IM will continue — whoever swims for the US in Budapest will likely face some stiff competition from the other side of the Pacific — it does represent a solid step forward in an event that had largely stalled behind Phelps and Lochte and pushes Kalisz to the top of the list of likely candidates to fill the hole left by their collective absence this summer.

In This Story

37
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
37 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
coacherik
4 years ago

Phelps’ flippers? -1
😉

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  coacherik
4 years ago

whats the big deal about it ?

Steve Nolan
4 years ago

I mean, his swim in the 2 fly is arguably just as big. Shields went literally 0.01s faster to make Rio in the event.

I guess Shields, Conger and Bentz are just as likely to have big 2 fly swims as Prenot and Licon are in the 2 IM.

Uberfan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
4 years ago

Conger and Kalisz will make the 200 fly team

Ex Quaker
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

I believe this would be the safe guess. I’d like to add my dark horse pick: Seliskar.

Uberfan
Reply to  Ex Quaker
4 years ago

I believe he’s the 3rd fastest active 200 flyer he has a good chance

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

thats what i feel too – they are both the most talented for that distance and have the commitment to shine

Hank
4 years ago

Kalisz throwing down long course PRs in season post Olympics/ pre World champs. This is awesome. Others could step up for sure but Prenot and Conger seem to be the most in form. Disappointing times for Andrew. What’s going on there? Where is Reece Whitley?

Cobalt
Reply to  Hank
4 years ago

Good question, my 2 cents…what might be going on with MA is that he may be reaching the limit of what his dad is capable of doing with him as his coach.

It may be in his best interest to swing by Tempe on his way out of Arizona and meet with Bob Bowman. And why is it that a professional swimmer should have such poor freestyle technique? Imagine how fast he could go if it was great.

At least he should try doing some David Marsh drills…free on you tube. But I don’t know if USRPT allows for that.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Cobalt
4 years ago

i would tend to think the same …..He needs to find a new Coaching method / training atmosphere . That seems very clear right now . A guy talented as he is with the Height he has must be able to get more our of his true potential .
Such a poor freestyle stroke is unbeleivable at this stage of his swimming career ; its time to get some technique drills to correct that stroke & make it more efficient for the 100/200 distances . If i was his Dad , i would already be connecting with David March or Dave Durden

Cobalt
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
4 years ago

I agree 100%…Change is hard. I just hope they don’t cling to USRPT out of pride. In the interview with Bob Bowman, he said USRPT was ‘very good’, but there needs to be a bigger more complete training of the energy systems. He certainly would be the one one to know.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Cobalt
4 years ago

TOTALLY RIGHT

Cobalt
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
4 years ago

Thanks Ervin! I’m sure MA’s competiotion are totally thrilled that he hasn’t got into a real training situation. It’s quite astonishing to me.

NYJOHN
Reply to  Cobalt
4 years ago

I think it’s game over.

The USRPT skeptics win.

sven
Reply to  Cobalt
4 years ago

I think MA would be 1:58 low right now at least if he would just not take his fly out in sub-25. Looking at his splits from that 1:59.1, it’s absurd that he goes out as fast as Phelps and Lochte. His freestyle is not great at the end… I think part of that is that the way that Dr. Rushall advocates freestyle be swum is limiting what he can do under fatigue, and the other part is just that he’s too dead by that point from taking it out so hard.

Cobalt
Reply to  sven
4 years ago

He has the amazing potential to be like Phelps/Lochte in the 200 IM. But he has to do what they did to become that great. Great coaching & the right training.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

My early picks for the US team at worlds next summer. With a lot of doubts. Maybe I’m wrong but I presume that Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt, Elizabeth Beisel, Micah Lawrence and Cammile Adams will be absent there.

MEN
50 FREE. Caeleb Dressel/Anthony Ervin
100 FREE. Caeleb Dressel/Nathan Adrian plus Ryan Held, Blake Pieroni, Michael Chadwick and Jack Conger for the relay
200 FREE. Townley Haas/Jack Conger plus Conor Dwyer, Blake Pieroni, Gunnar Bentz and Clark Smith for the relay.
400 FREE. Clark Smith/Townley Haas
800 FREE. Clark Smith/Zane Grothe Darkhorse: Robert Finke
1500 FREE. Clark Smith/Jordan Wilimovsky Darkhorse: Robert Finke
100 BACK. Ryan Murphy/Jacob Pebley
200 BACK. Ryan Murphy/Jacob Pebley
… Read more »

Ex Quaker
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

No room for poor Seliskar?

Emg1986
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

After seeing his improvement at the NCAA’s, Think you might be on to something with Gunnar Bentz…

Swimmer101
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

Is it possible to add Ali Deloof as another dark horse in 100 back

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

No room for Grevers in the 100 back ( world & Olympic champion ) ? are u kidding ? besides that , i love your predictions . Very well done .

gigglewater
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
4 years ago

I think his primary events will be 200 fly and 200 free, they are on day 1 day 2 at Nationals, good for him. 400 IM is on day 3, 200 IM on day 5.
https://swimswam.com/familiar-schedule-no-relays-2017-us-world-trials/

Uberfan
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

Adrian will definitely make it in the 50 and 100

Zanna
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

No mention of Jay Litherland?

E Gamble
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

The only thing I would change is the 100 back. Matt Grevers is faster than Pebley in the 100 backstroke.

NYJOHN
4 years ago

“…– whoever swims for the US in Barcelona….”

You must have meant Budapest. They both cities in Europe and start with the letter B..

ERVINFORTHEWIN
4 years ago

Chase has the best swimming mentor he could even dream of . He is in the shape of his life . I love the guy on top of his talent and immense work ethics . His back has improved tremendously well . His fly is still very unique in style but hey , it was damn efficient in that final ( and we are only in April and it was in an outside pool !! ) , his breast is world class and his free as well . He can beat both Japanese this summer and the Hungarian .

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
4 years ago

But he seems a bit less at ease with his 200 IM . The 400 Im is his groovy main event .

gigglewater
4 years ago

About Dressel’s line up, I would recommend 50 free 100 free 50 fly.
We assume he can qualified all at Nationals, his Worlds line up will be:

Day1 50fly P 50fly S 4x100free
Day2 50fly F
Day4 100free P 100free S
Day5 100free F
Day6 50free P 50free S
Day7 50free F (possible mixed freestyle relay)
Day8 MR

In this line up, he won’t have the 50free/100 fly problem.
If he did well in 50 fly, the coaches could still place him at MR for butterfly.
Don’t you guys want to see whether he could hold his breath on 50 fly for 25m like he did at NCAA? 😛

He remind… Read more »

Zanna
Reply to  gigglewater
4 years ago

How are the 50s (apart from free) determined though? In the past, 1st or 2nd of the 100s of the stroke will be swimming the 50 and have the option not to. If they choose not to, then no entrants for the 50s. For Dressel to swim the 50 fly, he needs to be 1st and 2nd in the 100 fly. Am not entirely sure if this year, the selection for the 50s will be like this.

Zanna
Reply to  Zanna
4 years ago

Typo – * 1st or 2nd

gigglewater
Reply to  Zanna
4 years ago

First place of non olympics events got selected behind first(and second) of Olympics events/relay menbers.
Even if Dressel needs first place in 100 fly to swim 50 fly, pretty sure he can place first in front of Shields and Conger.