2018 Pro Swim Series – Austin: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


The opening day of the new-look Pro Swim Series, with a different format and a different schedule, kicks off on Thursday. Other than having a few extra events (10 in total in prelims), the more noticeable changes won’t kick in until Saturday with the mystery IM and shootouts.

The 1st day’s prelims session will include the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 back, 200 breast, and 200 free. In the finals session, there will also be a mixed medley relay for the new “SwimSquads” competition.

Among the highlights of the first day of competition will be the first big long course competitions for Leah Smith and Chase Kalisz since the World Championships, along with an appearance by Wales’ top butterflier Alys Thomas. 15-year old U.S. World Championship finalist Regan Smith will also kick off her meet in her best event, the 200 back, while American fans will get their first up-close view of China’s Li Bingjie, the world’s best junior distance swimmer, as she swims the 200 free.

Women’s 400 IM

Top 8:

  1. Sydney Pickrem, TAMU, 4:44.74
  2. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 4:45.49
  3. Evie Pfeifer, UT, 4:48.60
  4. Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo, TAMU, 4:48.61
  5. (tie) Hannah Moore, NCS/Bethany Galat, 4:49.21
  6. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 4:49.44
  7. Sophie Cattermole, UOFL, 4:51.42

Not much in the way of surprises here, as other than Leah Smith, who did not swim, all five of the top seeds will swim in tonight’s A-final.  Six of those eight swimmers came from the final heat, where Sydney Pickrem took control by the halfway mark and remained in the lead for the rest of the race to earn tonight’s top seed.  Joining Pickrem will be her Texas A&M teammates, Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo and Bethany Galat, as the Aggies took three of the top eight spots.  Two more college swimmers, Hannah Moore and Evie Pfeifer, also make the top eight out of that final heat.

US National Team members Melanie Margalis and Madisyn Cox both also advanced to tonight’s final, which could earn some big points for Team Coughlin, although we’re still waiting to hear on the exact lineups for each SwimSquad.  Florida swimmer Sophie Cottermole was entered with a yards time, so was swimming in the very first heat, but threw down a 4:51.42 to also earn a spot in the top eight.

Men’s 400 IM

Top 8:

  1. Chase Kalisz, Athens Bulldogs, 4:19.07
  2. Anton Ipsen, NC State, 4:21.87
  3. Daniel Sos, Louisville, 4:22.97
  4. Tristan Cote, Canada, 4:24.40
  5. Jake Foster, Mason Manta Rays, 4:25.00
  6. Eric Knowles, NC State, 4:29.55
  7. Jarrett Jones, Louisville, 4:29.94
  8. Etay Gurevich, Louisville, 4:30.94

Defending series champion Chase Kalisz nabbed the top spot in the men’s 400 IM comfortably, going 4:19.07 to win the final heat. His closest competition was right beside him, with Anton Ipsen swimming one lane up for the second qualifying spot in 4:21.87

NC State had a pair of swimmers in the final, and Louisville put three into the top 8. Daniel Sos (3rd), Jarrett Jones (7th) and Etay Gurevich (8th) all made the championship heat for the Cardinals, and Eric Knowles (6th) was also in the mix for the Wolfpack.

Canada’s Tristan Cote, representing the University of Calgary, is fourth in 4:24.40, just ahead of 17-year-old Jake Foster (4:25.00).

Women’s 100 fly

Top 8 (with B flight still remaining):

  1. Amanda Kendall, Un-MVN, 58.42
  2. Zhang Yufei, CHN, 58.80
  3. Sarah Gibson, UN-TE, 58.92
  4. Regan Smith, Riptide, 59.06
  5. Rebecca Smith, CAN, 59.13
  6. Hellen Moffitt, UN-TE/Lauren Case, Texas, 59.54
  7. Alys Thomas, Swim Wales, 59.60

Veteran Amanda Kendall took the top spot in the women’s 100 fly, blasting a 58.42 to beat out a tough international field. China’s Zhang Yufeia World Champs bronze medalist in the 200 fly, was second in 58.80.

U.S. National Teamer Sarah Gibson, an alum of Texas A&M, was third, with World Junior Champs standout Regan Smith swimming her way to fourth. Tonight will offer a great showdown between two young Smiths, as Canadian 17-year-old Rebecca Smith was just .07 behind Regan Smith this morning.

Also into the final are Hellen Moffitt (UNC alum) and current Texas Longhorn Lauren Case, who tied for sixth. Welsh flyer Alys Thomas sits 8th with the B flight heats still to come.

Men’s 100 fly

Top 8 (with B flight still remaining):

  1. Jack Conger, NCAP, 52.58
  2. Masayuki Umemoto, JPN, 53.22
  3. Bryce Bohman, Longhorn, 53.61
  4. Tripp Cooper, Longhorn, 53.64
  5. Michael Andrew, Race Pace, 54.09
  6. Paul Le, Missouri State, 54.15
  7. Ryan Held, NC State, 54.20
  8. Jacob Peters, GBR, 54.35

Former Texas Longhorn standout Jack Conger blew out the 100 fly field with a 52.58 to take the top spot out of prelims. That bested Japan’s Masayuki Umemoto (53.22) by more than half a second heading into tonight’s final.

Arguably Conger’s top competition should have been Olympian Tom Shields, who fell way off to a 1:00.62 in the final heat, giving Conger even more of a favorite status for tonight.

Former West Virginia Mountaineer Bryce Bohman has resurfaced with Longhorn Aquatics after some years at Arizona State. He took third in 53.61, ahead of Texas postgrad teammate Tripp Cooper.

Race Pace 18-year-old Michael Andrew made the final just over 54 seconds, followed by college stars Paul Le (Missouri State) and Ryan Held (NC State). Great Britain’s Jacob Peters rounds out the top 8.

Women’s 200 back

Top 8:

  1. Peng Xuwei, CHN – 2:09.36
  2. Regan Smith, Riptide – 2:10.18
  3. Taylor Ruck, CAN – 2:10.46
  4. Quinn Carrozza, Texas – 2:12.49
  5. Isabelle Stadden, Aquajets – 2:12.69
  6. Lisa Bratton, A&M – 2:12.87
  7. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs – 2:12.98
  8. Lucie Nordmann, Magnolia – 2:13.15

The women’s 200 back will be an international youth showdown tonight. 14-year-old Chinese swimmer Peng Xuwei went 2:09.36 to take the top spot, ahead of American 15-year-old Regan Smith (2:10.18) and Canadian 17-year-old Taylor Ruck (2:10.46). Further back in the field is 15-year-old Isabelle Stadden (2:12.69) and 17-year-old Lucie Nordmann (2:13.15).

Notably, Regan Smith and Stadden both come out of Minnesota, though they compete for different clubs (Smith for Riptide, Stadden for the Aquajets).

Texas Longhorn Quinn Carrozza is the first senior-level swimmer to qualify, sitting fourth at 2:12.49. The field is very bunched up in the 2:12, which also include Texas A&M’s Lisa Bratton and Georgia alum Hali Flickinger.

Men’s 200 back

Top 8:

  1. Ryan Murphy, Cal – 1:59.75
  2. Jacob Pebley, Cal – 2:00.05
  3. Luke Greenbank, GBR – 2:00.51
  4. Carson Foster, Mason – 2:01.61
  5. Hennessey Stuart, NC State/ Xavier Castelli, Wales – 2:01.66
  6. Robert Hill, Canada – 2:01.91
  7. Nicholas Pyle, GBR – 2:02.17

The American Olympic duo (who happen to be Cal postgrad teammates) Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley went 1-2 in the 200 back, a pretty familiar sight for swim fans. Murphy dipped under two minutes at 1:59.75 and Pebley was just a few hundredths off the barrier.

Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank made the top 8 in third place as the top three separated from the field by a good bit. His British teammate Nicholas Pyle is also in the top 8, as is Welsh swimmer Xavier Castelli. 

16-year-old Carson Foster will join Pyle (17) as the lone juniors in the field. Foster went 2:01.61 for fourth.

Women’s 200 breast

Top 8:

  1. Emily Escobedo, Condors – 2:28.20
  2. Sydney Pickrem, A&M – 2:28.37
  3. Chloe Tutton, Wales – 2:28.67
  4. Molly Hannis, TNAQ – 2:28.88
  5. Rachel Nicol, UCSC – 2:29.22
  6. Madisyn Cox, Longhorn – 2:29.23
  7. Bethany Galat, A&M – 2:30.32
  8. Breeja Larson, NYAC – 2:30.73

The 200 breast might be the race to watch tonight, with the top four qualifiers separated by just six tenths of a second. Emily Escobedo was the first to break 2:29 and held up as the fastest time of the morning at 2:28.20. Sydney Pickrem won the next heat just a tenth back with Chloe Tutton in tow, and Molly Hannis won the final heat in another 2:28.

Keep an eye on Rachel Nicol, who pushed Escobedo in her heat, plus Texas-based NCAA alums Madisyn Cox (Longhorns) and Bethany Galat and Breeja Larson (Aggies).

Men’s 200 breast

Top 8:

  1. Yan Zibei, CHN – 2:12.35
  2. Chase Kalisz, Athens – 2:12.77
  3. Will Licon, Longhorn – 2:14.29
  4. Nic Fink, Athens – 2:14.39
  5. Josh Prenot, Cal – 2:14.64
  6. Carlos Claverie, Louisville – 2:14.65
  7. Andrew Wilson, Longhorn – 2:15.11
  8. Reece Whitley, PCAC – 2:15.73

China’s Yan Zibei hit the top time for the men, besting Chase Kalisz by half a second. This is Kalisz’s fourth-best event of the meet, but he still has a shot to take home the win after going 2:12.77.

Postgrads Will Licon, Nic Fink and Josh Prenot finished next, all going 2:14s. Current Louisville Cardinal Carlos Claverie was also 2:14.

Former Division III star and current pro with the Longhorn crew, Andrew Wilson went 2:15.11 to make the A final along with high school senior and Cal commit Reece Whitley out of Penn Charter.

Women’s 200 free

Top 8 (with B flight still remaining):

  1. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg – 1:59.06
  2. Li Bingjie, China – 1:59.45
  3. Taylor Ruck, Canada – 2:00.43
  4. Claire Rasmus, A&M – 2:00.65
  5. Kayla Sanchez, Canada – 2:00.85
  6. Rebecca Smith, Canada – 2:01.02
  7. Katie Portz, A&M – 2:01.32
  8. Shen Duo, China – 2:01.37

Coming off the 400 IM earlier in the night, Melanie Margalis was the top qualifier in the women’s 200 free, going 1:59.06. Top seed Leah Smith was a no-show; her second event today she hasn’t swum. That suggests Smith might not be competing in Austin at all this week.

China’s Li Bingjie was second in 1:59.45, the only other swim under two minutes. She’ll be followed by Canadian youngster Taylor Ruck, one of three 18-and-under Canadians to to make the final. (Kayla Sanchez is 16 and Rebecca Smith 17).

A&M Aggies Claire Rasmus and Katie Portz are both in, as is Chinese 20-year-old Shen Duo. Hali Flickinger just missed the A final by two tenths.

Men’s 200 free

Top 8 (with B flight still remaining):

  1. Clark Smith, Longhorn – 1:49.04
  2. Zane Grothe, UN-MVN – 1:49.11
  3. Jack Conger, NCAP – 1:49.30
  4. Trey Freeman, Baylor – 1:49.94
  5. Andreas Vazaios, NC State – 1:50.54
  6. Jeremy Bagshaw, Canada – 1:50.71
  7. Anton Ipsen, NC State – 1:51.07
  8. Matias Koski, Athens Bulldog – 1:51.47

No one broke 1:49, but four men cracked 1:50 to set up what could be a wild final tonight. Clark Smith leads the way, swimming in front of a home Longhorn crowd. The Texas alum was 1:49.04, sitting just ahead of Zane GrotheThe unattached Grothe is coming off of American record swims in the short course 500 and 1650 in December – swims in which he broke Smith’s own national records.

Texas alum Jack Conger is third in 1:49.30, with high schooler Trey Freeman sitting fourth.

NC State’s duo of Andreas Vazaios and Anton Ipsen are in, as well as Canadian swimmer and Cal alum Jeremy Bagshaw and Georgia alum Matias Koski.

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5 years ago

Why is there a “live stream” link but no stream?

5 years ago

Is this going to stream tonight?

5 years ago

I echo the statements on shields probably being required to swim the meet by TYR. Lochte isn’t being allowed by Greg Troy to swim in the meet per his instagram comments but he has to do an autograph session at this meet. Gotta be something weird going on.

5 years ago

Sophie Cattermole is from Louisville, not Florida. I agree the Swim Squads could be better handled.

M Palota
5 years ago

Legit question for everyone (Someone?): The results show a tonne of “declared false starts”; at least 2 or 3 per event. Are they really false starts? Or is that shorthand for something else?

I ask because it seems to me that that’s a lot of false starts, especially for a meet of this level and given the experience of the athletes participating.

Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

DFS is false starting on purpose. They don’t actually swim the race. Typically this occurs when a swimmer is at the meet but doesn’t want to swim a particular race but has not scratched prior to the meet. It is different than a No Show and has no penalty attached to it.


Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

It means a swimmer decided to scratch a prelim after the scratch deadline. There is no penalty for this.

Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

Didn’t F’n Swim

5 years ago

31.16 – 35.26 – 36.56 – 38.07

Methinks your training approach needs revision….

tammy touchpad error
Reply to  Improving
5 years ago

Y’all keep saying this, then he keeps going top ranked times or winning World SC Champs or doing crazy unexpected stuff after he’s been written off. Give it up. He’s gonna do what he wants and he’s gonna find a way to be successful and make his way onto the 2020 Olympic Team.

Its January in a dead year in the quad. Like, really tho.

Reply to  tammy touchpad error
5 years ago

Nothing but a 50’s swimmer now.

Reply to  cheatinvlad
5 years ago

because anyone can go under a minute in 100 breast lcm and under 2 min in 200im lcm.. you for example, right?

Reply to  tammy touchpad error
5 years ago

He has NOT done a top-ranked time in a 200 stroke.

And there is a reason for that…..

5 years ago

For a peek into the future, watch the men’s 200 backstroke.

Backstroke prodigy Carson Foster will be swimming in the finals with Jacob Pebley and Ryan Murphy.

Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

Carson and Jake for 2020!

Reply to  Hswimmer
5 years ago

Silver and bronze behind Kolesnikov.

Reply to  ellie
5 years ago

Jake doesn’t swim backstroke so that seems unlikely.

Reply to  Person
5 years ago

Breaststrokes, IM, 200 Fly (IM and 2 fly particularly)

Reply to  Person
5 years ago

I didn’t say what event …

5 years ago

The only result that deserves to be noted is 54.14sec of Margo Geer at 100 free. Her personal best is 53.95 and is 2.5 yo.

Reply to  Yozhik
5 years ago

I’ll hop on the Margo train! 100 free tomorrow could be something to watch out for!

Reply to  Observer
5 years ago

I won’t be surprised if she doesn’t swim tomorrow and leaves Austin tonight. Otherwise what was the reason to swim that fast a half of 200 free prelim race today?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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