2018 Indianapolis Pro Swim Series: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


Day 3 from Indianapolis should be another exciting one, with the women’s and men’s 400 IM, 50 free, 200 back and 200 free on the schedule.

Already one world record and one US Open record deep through two days of racing, Katie Ledecky is expected to double today in the 400 IM and 200 free, as will Leah SmithMelanie MargalisElla Eastin and Hali Flickinger (who will also do the 200 back).

Among the men in action, last night’s 100m winner Nathan Adrian will contest the 50 free, as will 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the event Cullen Jones. The other male events will be highlighted by reigning World Champion Chase Kalisz (400 IM), World Championship bronze medalist Jacob Pebley (200 back), and NCAA runner-up Blake Pieroni (200 free).

Simone Manuel headlines the women’s 50 free, where she’ll face last night’s 100 winner Taylor Ruck. Ruck was initially scheduled to swim three events this morning, but bowed out of the 200 free and will now focus on the 50 free and 200 back, the latter of which she’s the top seed.

Women’s 400 IM Prelims

  • PSS Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu, 2015
  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 4:41.54
  2. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 4:42.87
  3. Ella Eastin, UN, 4:43.36
  4. Ally McHugh, UN, 4:43.61
  5. Vien Nguyen, UN, 4:43.63
  6. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 4:43.72
  7. Brooke Forde, UN, 4:44.36
  8. Allie Szekely, UN, 4:44.85

Melanie Margalis and Ella Eastin were out front for the majority of the opening heat in the women’s 400 IM, but Katie Ledecky used a 1:00.67 final 100 metres to close the gap and touch first. Ledecky went 4:41.54 for tonight’s top seed, while Margalis (4:42.87) and Eastin (4:43.36) sit 2nd and 3rd. Hali Flickinger had a strong freestyle leg as well, taking 4th in that heat in 4:43.72 which stood up as 6th fastest overall.

Ally McHugh edged out Vien Nguyen in heat 2, as they qualified 4th and 5th overall in 4:43.61 and 4:43.63. Half of tonight’s A-final will be made up of Stanford swimmers, with Brooke Forde and Allie Szekely joining Ledecky and Eastin by placing 7th and 8th in 4:44s.

Bethany Galat (4:48.73) and Leah Smith (4:52.24) will be among those swimming the B-final tonight.

Men’s 400 IM Prelims

  1. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 4:22.03
  2. Daniel Sos, UN, 4:22.71
  3. Sean Grieshop, CAL, 4:24.18
  4. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 4:24.76
  5. Carson Foster, RAYS, 4:25.25
  6. Gunnar Bentz, DYNA, 4:25.43
  7. Charlie Swanson, CW, 4:26.16
  8. Clayton Forde, UN, 4:26.79

Chase Kalisz got out to a big lead in the opening heat of the men’s 400 IM, turning in 2:02.61 at the 200m mark. He took his foot off the gas on the back half of the race, doing just enough to win the heat in 4:24.76 over Carson Foster (4:25.25), Gunnar Bentz (4:25.43) and Charlie Swanson (4:26.16). The second heat proved to have a slightly faster pace, with these four qualifying into the final in 4th through 7th.

It was Dynamo’s Jay Litherland who topped heat 2 in 4:22.03, holding off Daniel Sos (4:22.71). Those two qualify for the final 1-2, with Sean Grieshop taking the 3rd spot in 4:24.18 and Clayton Forde slipping into 8th in 4:26.79. Ricardo Vargas (4:29.11) and Daniel Roy (4:29.52), both of whom have swam well in Indianapolis, will contest the B-final.

If there’s one swimmer who could sneak into the A-final from the ‘B’ fight it’s Club Wolverine’s Tommy Cope, who’s entered with a yards time of 3:42.51. Yesterday, another Club Wolverine swimmer, Gus Borges, made the 100 free A-final from the ‘B’ flight.

Women’s 50 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 24.17, Sarah Sjostrom, 2016
  1. Simone Manuel, STAN, 24.89
  2. Taylor Ruck, HPCO, 24.99
  3. Margo Geer, MVN, 25.00
  4. Kelsi Dahlia, CARD, 25.37
  5. Kayla Sanchez, HPCO, 25.38
  6. Mallory Comerford, UN, 25.54
  7. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 25.58
  8. Veronica Burchill, ABSC, 25.80

Simone Manuel and Taylor Ruck will face off once again tonight, after the two led the women’s 50 free prelims as the only two swimmers under 25 seconds. Manuel won the final heat in 24.89, while Ruck won heat 5 in 24.99 over Margo Geer (25.00). Ruck got the better of Manuel last night in the 100 free.

Mallory Comerford won the other circle-seeded heat for the 6th seed in 25.54, while Kelsi Dahlia (25.37) and Kayla Sanchez (25.38) were just .01 apart in Manuel’s heat to take 4th and 5th overall. Olivia Smoliga and Veronica Burchill round out the A-finalists.

Men’s 50 Free Prelims

  1. Justin Ress, WOLF, 22.36
  2. Ali Khalafalla, IST, 22.46
  3. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 22.54
  4. Aaron Greenberg, ISR, 22.88
  5. Ryan Held, WOLF, 22.96
  6. Adam Chaney, RAYS, 23.10
  7. Gus Borges, CW, 23.21
  8. Blake Pieroni, IST, 23.23

Wolfpack Elite’s Justin Ress had a very impressive showing in the penultimate heat of the men’s 50 free, coming in at 22.36 to take the top seed heading into the final. Top seed in that heat Cullen Jones was a no show, which made it a head-to-head battle between NC State teammates. Ryan Held was six tenths back of Ress in 22.96, which gave him the 5th fastest time of the morning.

Ali Khalafalla (22.46) edged out Nathan Adrian (22.54) to win the last heat and take the #2 time to the final, while Israel’s Aaron Greenberg was 22.88 in the other circle-seeded heat for 4th overall. Gus Borges made the A-final from the ‘B’ flight for the second straight day, bumping Zach Apple into the consolation heat.

Matt Grevers (23.26) and Bruno Blaskovic (23.30) found themselves on the outside looking in as well and will join Apple in the B-final.

Women’s 200 Back Prelims

  1. Asia Seidt, KYA, 2:11.69
  2. Kennedy Goss, IST, 2:11.71
  3. Erin Voss, UN, 2:11.74
  4. Lisa Bratton, TAMU, 2:12.57
  5. Taylor Ruck, HPCO, 2:12.89
  6. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 2:13.72
  7. Ali Galyer, KYA, 2:13.94
  8. Allie Szekely, UN, 2:14.25

Asia Seidt of Kentucky and Kennedy Goss of Indiana posted near identical times to win heats 5 and 6 of the women’s 200 back, with Seidt’s 2:11.69 proving to be the fastest of the session. Goss (2:11.71) edged out Erin Voss (2:11.74) in her heat, and Taylor Ruck cruised to the win in the 7th and final heat in 2:12.89.

Lisa Bratton of Texas A&M sits 4th in 2:12.57, with Olivia SmoligaAli Galyer and Allie Szekely also making it through to the A-final.

Alex Sumner was just .02 back of Szekely for 9th (2:14.27), while one of the top seeds coming in Bridgette Alexander also missed the A-final in 10th (2:14.77). Hali Flickinger, who already swam the 400 IM and still has the 200 free to go, didn’t show for her heat.

Men’s 200 Back Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:55.04, Xu Jiayu, 2017
  1. Jacob Pebley, CAL, 1:59.67
  2. Grigory Tarasevich, CARD, 2:02.29
  3. Nicolas Albiero, UN, 2:02.71
  4. Carson Foster, RAYS, 2:02.96
  5. Alex Boratto, UN, 2:03.27
  6. Matt Grevers, FORD, 2:03.51
  7. Jacob Steele, IST, 2:03.76
  8. David Fridlander, UN, 2:04.49

Jacob Pebley of Cal asserted himself at the forefront of the men’s 200 back, being the only one to crack 2:00 in prelims in a time of 1:59.67. Nicolas Albiero touched 2nd to Pebley in the last heat as he takes the 3rd best time overall intot he final (2:02.71).

Grigory Tarasevich (2:02.29) and Carson Foster (2:02.96) won their respective heats for the 2nd and 4th fastest times of the morning, while Matt Grevers and his 2:03.51 got him into the A-final after near misses in the 50 and 100 free.

Women’s 200 Free Prelims

  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 1:57.00
  2. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 1:57.94
  3. Simone Manuel, STAN, 1:59.47
  4. Mallory Comerford, UOFL, 1:59.55
  5. Rebecca Smith, HPCO, 1:59.79
  6. Leah Smith, FORD, 2:00.03
  7. Allison Schmitt, FORK, 2:00.05
  8. Katie Drabot, UN, 2:00.41

An absolutely stacked women’s 200 free field was led by Stanford’s Katie Ledecky in 1:57.00, as she topped the last heat over Saint Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis (1:57.94) who is a clear 2nd right now.

Simone Manuel had a strong final 50 to get by Rebecca Smith and Leah Smith in heat 5, taking 3rd overall in 1:59.47. The Smith’s are 5th and 6th.

Mallory Comerford won the other circle-seeded heat in 1:59.55 for the 4th best time, while Allison Schmitt and Katie Drabot round out the finalists.

Men’s 200 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang, 2016
  1. Felix Auboeck, CW, 1:49.15
  2. Zane Grothe, MVN, 1:50.03
  3. Blake Pieroni, IST, 1:50.06
  4. Gunnar Bentz, DYNA / Norbert Szabo, UN, 1:50.35
  5. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 1:50.54
  6. Ryan Held, WOLF, 1:50.87
  7. Marwan El Kamash, UN, 1:51.17

Felix Auboeck of Club Wolverine was the lone man sub-1:50 this morning in the men’s 200 free, leading the pack in 1:49.15. Blake Pieroni took 2nd to Auboeck in the final heat, qualifying 3rd for the final in 1:50.06.

Zane Grothe of Mission Viejo, already the winner in both the 400 and 1500 here in Indy, won the penultimate heat for the #2 seed in 1:50.03, and Marwan El Kamash‘s heat 5 win just got him into the final in 8th (1:51.17).

Gunnar Bentz and Norbert Szabo tied for 4th in 1:50.35, with Jay Litherland and Ryan Held also getting through in 6th and 7th. Tom Shields was out front in heat 5 almost the entire race, but was run down by El Kamash at the end and ultimately just misses the A-final in 9th at 1:51.48.

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4 years ago

Did any swimming history fans out there notice the name “Gus Borges” listed under the results of 50 Free above? I did a Google search and found out he is the son of the 4-time Olympic medal winning swimmer, who also competed for Michigan, Gustavo Borges! That was a nice blast from the past. 🙂

4 years ago

2020 is going to be awesome with the ladies C1, Sjostrom, Kromo, Manuel vs the talents Ikee, Ruck, Oleksiak ( and Steenbergen)… and then the next generation like the Walshes

Carol Glover
4 years ago

Apple is now 9th in 50 free, Gus Borges is 7th

Dressel will break 20 long course
4 years ago

I love the reaction from Jacob Montague after they say he say a new us open record.


What’s this?

4 years ago

What’s up with Leah Smith?

Reply to  Leto
4 years ago

Hard training time…

Reply to  Leto
4 years ago

Oh, that piano!

Reply to  Leto
4 years ago

The funny thing is that her performance wouldn’t be so magnified if it weren’t for the fact that Ledecky literally is going top 1 or 2 fastest times in history in the lane next to her lol. Her 4:06 looked so terrible but…it’s a 4:06…I don’t think Smith was really expecting this meet to be anything wild

4 years ago

Somewhat disappointed there will be no Ledecky V Ruck in the 200 Free, but otherwise looks to be a pretty stacked day

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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