2018 Indianapolis Pro Swim Series: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


After timed final heats of the 1500 got things kicked off in Indianapolis at the TYR Pro Swim Series on Wednesday night, the first full finals session goes off tonight from the IUPUI Natatorium with a field full of Olympic and World champions.

Katie Ledecky, fresh off her world record performance last night, will swim a pair of events this evening, coming in as the top seed in the 400 free and the 6th seed in the 100 free. Olympic champion Simone Manuel and rising Canadian star Taylor Ruck lead that 100 field.

Nathan Adrian is undefeated in the 100 free at these Pro Swim meets (and on U.S. soil since 2010), but will have his work cut out for him to keep that streak going tonight as he faces a loaded field that includes top seed Blake Pieroni, NC State speedsters Justin Ress and Ryan Held, and 2017 World Championship gold medalist (400 free relay prelim) Zach Apple.

Other high profile names competing tonight include Lilly KingKelsi DahliaMallory Comerford and Kevin Cordes.

In terms of scratches, Held was the only one amongst A-finalists, opting out of the 100 fly.

In addition to tonight’s finals, there will also be a mixed medley relay consisting of the SwimSquad teams. Lineups for that can be found here.

Women’s 100 Fly Final

  1. Kelsi Dahlia, CARD, 57.38
  2. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 58.51
  3. Hellen Moffitt, TE, 58.94

Just as we saw in the prelims Kelsi Dahlia of Cardinal Aquatics got out fast in the women’s 100 fly, turning in 26.85 before extending her lead coming home to win easily in 57.38. That puts her 6th in the world for the 2018 calendar year.

Her Louisville teammate Mallory Comerford was just 6th at the halfway mark, but charged back in 30.78 to grab 2nd in 58.51. Hellen Moffitt was the other swimmer sub-59 in 58.94 for 3rd, while HPC Ontario’s Rebecca Smith took 4th in 59.01.

Katie Drabot was 5th in 59.30, while Amanda Kendall and Veronica Burchill tied for 6th in 59.33. Ella Eastin got under a minute from the B-final in 59.67.

Men’s 100 Fly Final

  1. Gunnar Bentz, DYNA, 53.03
  2. Tom Shields, CAL, 53.08
  3. Vini Lanza, IST, 53.12

The men’s 100 fly final proved to be incredibly close, with the top-3 finishers all within a tenth of each other. Indiana’s Vini Lanza got out to the early lead turning in 24.56, but Gunnar Bentz and Tom Shields were hot on his tail as the three raced for home. At the wall it was Bentz, who came back in 27.94, out-touching the other two for the win in 53.03, with Shields 2nd in 53.08 and Lanza 3rd in 53.12.

Camden Murphy of the Athens Bulldogs had the fastest back half of anyone in 27.73, claiming 4th in 53.30, while Drew Kibler (53.62) and Nicolas Albiero (53.92) also cracked 54 seconds for 5th and 6th. Carson Foster won the B-final for 9th overall in 55.18.

Women’s 400 Free Final

  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 3:57.94
  2. Leah Smith, FORD, 4:06.67
  3. Katie Drabot, UN, 4:08.29

Katie Ledecky was dominant in the women’s 400 final as expected, blitzing her way to a time of 3:57.94, which is the 2nd fastest in history. She breaks her own U.S. Open Record of 3:58.44, and now owns the ten fastest swims in history, knocking Federica Pellegrini‘s 3:59.15 from 2009 into 11th. Her world record stands at 3:56.46 from the 2016 Olympics.

Leah Smith had a rough mile last night, but came back with two solid 400s today, earning the runner-up position in a time of 4:06.67. Katie Drabot negative split the race to overtake Hali Flickinger late and claim 3rd in 4:08.29, with Flickinger 4th in 4:08.61. This was a quick turnarund for Drabot who swam the 100 fly at the beginning of the session. Erica Sullivan was 5th in 4:12.01, while Ally McHugh won the B-final in 4:11.41.

Men’s 400 Free Final

  1. Zane Grothe, MVN, 3:48.79
  2. Marwan El Kamash, UN, 3:48.92
  3. Felix Auboeck, CW, 3:50.53

Austrian Felix Auboeck of Club Wolverine led the men’s 400 final early on, but Zane Grothe and Marwan El Kamash pulled ahead over the final 100 metres and were locked in a sprint heading home. El Kamash ended up out-splitting everyone with a 27.20 final length, but Grothe managed to hang on and take the win in 3:48.79, closing in 27.55. El Kamash was just over a tenth back in 3:48.92, while Auboeck settled for 3rd in 3:50.53.

Auboeck’s Club Wolverine teammate Ricardo Vargas had a solid showing to grab 4th in 3:53.24, followed by Logan Houck (3:54.68) of the Sandpipers of Nevada and Marcelo Acosta (3:56.00). Jay Litherland had a dominant win in the B-final in 3:54.65.

Women’s 200 Breast Final

  1. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 2:24.62
  2. Emily Escobedo, COND, 2:24.71
  3. Lilly King, IST, 2:24.95

Just like the men’s 100 fly it was a three-way battle in the women’s 200 breast, as Lilly King turned first at the 50, Emily Escobedo turned first at the 100 and 150, but Melanie Margalis was right there waiting to pounce. Margalis charged home in 37.09, narrowly overtaking Escobedo at the end to win in 2:24.62 to Escobedo’s 2:24.71. King had trailed off on the third 50, but stormed home faster than either of them in 36.92 to nearly make up the gap, but ran out of room and touched 3rd in 2:24.95.

Bethany Galat took 4th in 2:28.16, with Annie Lazor (2:28.70) 5th and Allie Szekely (2:30.46) 6th. Mariia Astashkina of Louisville won the B-final in 2:30.14.

Men’s 200 Breast Final

  1. Daniel Roy, UN, 2:09.73
  2. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 2:09.90
  3. Nic Fink, ABSC, 2:11.33

Daniel Roy and Chase Kalisz had an epic duel in the men’s 200 breast final, with Kalisz maintaining a slight edge heading into the last 50. While Kalisz is known for strong closing speed, it was Roy who charged back in 33.54 to overtake the double medley world champion and book the win in 2:09.73. Roy’s swim lowers his own 17-18 National Age Group Record, which previously stood at 2:10.77.

Kalisz was a little less than two tenths back in 2:09.90, while his Athens teammate Nic Fink was 3rd in 2:11.33. Kevin Cordes (2:13.19) and Cody Miller (2:13.20) were just a hundredth apart for 4th and 5th, while Marat Amaltdinov (2:14.42) got by Reece Whitley (2:14.85) for 6th.

Women’s 100 Free Final

  1. Taylor Ruck, HPCO, 53.42
  2. Simone Manuel, STAN, 53.84
  3. Margo Geer, MVN, 54.40

Taylor Ruck went head-to-head with reigning world champion Simone Manuel and didn’t flinch, taking the lead early and not giving an inch. Ruck flipped 1st in 25.89, and only gave up .01 to Manuel coming back as she won by over four tenths in 53.42. Manuel closed in 27.52 to overtake Margo Geer and take 2nd in 53.84, with Geer 3rd in 54.40.

Mallory Comerford (54.51), Katie Ledecky (54.56) and Kayla Sanchez (54.62) all joined Ruck and Manuel by coming back sub-28 to finish 4th, 5th and 6th. Allison Schmitt won the B-final in 55.13.

Men’s 100 Free Final

  1. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 48.69
  2. Blake Pieroni, IST, 49.13
  3. Justin Ress, WOLF, 49.18

Going up against a loaded field many thought Nathan Adrian‘s 100 freestyle unbeaten streak in the Pro Swim Series was in jeopardy tonight, but he proved he’s still the man with a very impressive swim of 48.69. The Cal Aquatics swimmer was out fast in 23.35, flipping first by nearly three tenths, and then only extended his advantage coming home in 25.34.

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni was a tick off his morning swim for 2nd in 49.13, and Justin Ress managed to close better than his teammate Ryan Held to take 3rd in 49.18 to Held’s 4th place 49.54. The two had identical opening 50s of 23.74. Zach Apple was also sub-50 in 49.91 for 5th.

Mixed Medley Relay

  1. Team Krayzelburg, 1:43.35
  2. Team Coughlin, 1:45.47
  3. Team Lezak, 1:45.49

Team Krayzelburg had strong splits all around to win the mixed 200 medley relay going away, with Matt Grevers (25.34), Nic Fink (27.47), Kelsi Dahlia (25.72) and Olivia Smoliga (24.82) combining for a time of 1:43.35.

Team Coughlin edged Team Lezak by .02 for 2nd, with Ryan Held of Team Coughlin coming off a quick turnaround after the 100 free and faced with the task of running down Simone Manuel. Held split 23.58, narrowly getting by Manuel who was 24.89 for Team Lezak. Justin Ress also had basically no recovery time after the 100 free, still leading off the Bonus squad with a respectable 25.46 50 back. Team Sandeno was DQed.

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Honest observer
2 years ago

The most amazing thing about Ledecky’s swim last night was that she did it at age 21, which completely breaks the mold for female distance swimmers. Here are the ages of the preceding WR-setters in the 1500: Kate Ziegler broke the record at 18 (10 days before turning 19) in 2007. Janet Evans broke it twice, at ages 15 and 16, in 1987 and 1988. Kim Linehan did it at age 16 in 1979. Tracey Wickham did it twice, at ages 15 and 16, in 1978 and 1979. Alice Browne broke the record in 1977 at age 15. Jenny Turrall broke the record five times in 1973 and 1974, the first time at 13, the last time at the ripe… Read more »

Reply to  Honest observer
2 years ago

Lotte Friis broke World record at age 25 and it would be in her name if not of Ledecky swimming 2 sec ahead of her.

Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

Except… she didn’t. A world record means swimming a time faster than anyone else has before, and when Friis finished her race someone had already swam a time faster. Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing swim and an incredible race. But when she touched the wall, someone had already been faster before, even if it was only 2 seconds before.

Reply to  Bob
2 years ago

I didn’t get you wrong and I’m sure that you got my point. Friis, Boyle, Carlin had impressive personal bests in 1500 free event not being a teenager. I wouldn’t deny that mentioned by HONEST OBSERVER statistics may reflect some biological specifics.
But never trust statistics entirely and there could be some other social, psychological, training, whatever factors that contributed to this statistics.
In some small town the strong correlation between increase of beer consumption and increase of church attendance has been established by some scientific study. The explanation was very simple – the population of this town has been increased.

Honest observer
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

That’s a good point, actually, Friis deserves credit of having hung in for a long time. And yes, it was just bad luck in the form of Katie Ledecky that prevented Friis from being the oldest ever to set this record.

Reply to  Honest observer
2 years ago

But would Friis have been that fast without KL showing her it could be done. Being the mold breaker is so much harder than following the leader. Phelps had people chasing him most of his great races… But he won. So do all the other truly great awesome swimmers. Ledecky is one of those truly awesome leaders.

Reply to  Honest observer
2 years ago

I dont agree with this at all. Most swimmers pre 1980 didnt swim into their mid 20s. In addition to Friis, Leah Smith in Rio and Belmonte last year have done best times past age 20. How about Kristel Kobrich? do your homework she was 28 when she PB’d in the 1500

Jim C
Reply to  Honest observer
2 years ago

What about Diana Nyad who can be said to have set a WR as the first person to have a confirmed swim without a shark cage from Cuba to Florida as a 64 year old woman?

Becky D
Reply to  Honest observer
2 years ago

And, frankly, swimming is far more competitive now than it was between 1938 and 1941, Hveger’s era.

Perhaps people were distracted by other things going on in the world at that time.

Open water lanelines
2 years ago

An observation: Zach Apple now swims for Indiana University, no longer Auburn as the article states.

2 years ago

3:57.9 in May ?. Please tell me how the Chinese girls are closing in on her some more

Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

To be fair: they were. Now: they are toast.

Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

Not one Chinese female swimmer has yet to break 4:00 in a textile swimsuit. Katie Ledecky now owns the top ten fastest performances.

Reply to  Baker-King-Worrell-Manuel
2 years ago

that closes any discussion on who can approach Ledecky to the 3.56-3.57 Barrier .

Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

KL reminds me of this scene from the film Secretariat:


Reply to  usaswimerror
2 years ago

There is no drama in Katie Ledecky’s races. The only problem is that each time she competes against world record holder, Olympic and World champion and each time she wants to win.

Sum Ting Wong
Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

So far in 2018 the gap is closer than in 2017 by about .4 so technically yes .

Reply to  Sum Ting Wong
2 years ago

Lie Bingjie and Wang Jianjiahe are no match to Ledecky in 1500 event. They are significantly slower at 200. Therefore I don’t think they will progress much at 400/800 distances. Progress to the level comparable to some degree with Ledecky’s times. The only point was that the following years prior Olympics in Tokio may show significant decline in Katie’s performance. Then they will match. The 17 year old Australian is completely different story. The 1:54.8/4.00.93 combination is very dangerous one. But it was one meet only and which way it will go is hard to predict now. And again all talks are about 2020 with the hope that the following two years will be more successful for Titmus than for… Read more »

Willis Munarwo
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

to be honesty with you,Titmus is turning 18 this year right.And Ledecky at 18 had already broken the 4minute barrier that she broke when she was 16 years.Titmus is good but i think she should be worried about the Chinese girls because Ledecky is way aheard of her time.That is we are in May who knows what she will do at the US Championships in July or even in Tokyo at the Pan Pacs.In my own thinking i think the 400free World Record is under threat this year including the 800free WR she might break these world records.

Reply to  Willis Munarwo
2 years ago

Ledecky seems stronger than before ….so i also see 2 WR’s this summer coming down .

Sum Ting Wong
Reply to  Willis Munarwo
2 years ago

Ariarne will still swim PPs as a 17 year old . If she gets 4.00.3 then she will be 2 secs off Katie’s 17& 18 yr time . She has worlds 2018 to inch closer as an 18 year old . Still let’s get over the ages , sports science can bring out top performances anywhere from 15-28 & ppl can peak early or late .

Sum Ting Wong
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

Without comparing to KL , don’t overlook that China has 6 young girls 4.06.13 & under . These dynamics are exactly where you want to be for improvement .

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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