2018 Pro Swim Series – Columbus: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Day 3 finals are set to get underway from Columbus, with four events on tap tonight. We’ll have the women’s and men’s 400 IM, 50 free, 200 back and 200 free ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals go off first in the ‘A’ flight, before the same events will have ‘C’ and ‘D’ finals in the ‘B’ flight afterwards.

Chase Kalisz and Zane Grothe are locked in a battle for the PSS points lead, as they’re currently tied with this being the penultimate finals session of the series. Kalisz is essentially a lock to win the 400 IM, considering he hasn’t lost it at all over the course of the first five stops, and thus Grothe will need to pull out the win in the 200 free to keep pace. He’ll face a competitive field including his Indiana training mates Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple, along with Michigan distance ace Felix Auboeck.

Another one of tonight’s highlights will be Leah Smith going after a tough double, as she’ll have less than an hour between the 400 IM and 200 free. The 200 free in particular should be a good race, with Allison Schmitt having her fastest swim in two years this morning in 1:58.59, and Smith swimming her fastest of the season in 1:57.64.

We’ll also have Michael Andrew highlighting the men’s 50 free lineup, as he’s coming off a big best time in the 100 fly last night. He went a PB of 21.69 this morning, and has stated he’d like to get down to 21.5 tonight.


  • PSS Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  1. Leah Smith, Tucson Ford, 4:37.64
  2. Vien Nguyen, Unattached, 4:38.66
  3. Evie Pfeifer, Longhorn Aquatics, 4:41.95

Leah Smith and Vien Nguyen had a close battle throughout the women’s 400 IM final, with Nguyen building a two-second advantage on the breaststroke leg before Smith ran her down for the win with a 1:01.45 freestyle split. Smith clocked in at 4:37.64, her fastest ever in-season, as she moves into #7 in the world and 2nd among Americans in 2017-18.

Nguyen’s swim was her fastest since 2016, putting her 16th in the world, and Evie Pfeifer of Longhorn Aquatics dropped her personal best once again for 3rd in 4:41.95. She took two seconds off in prelims, getting down to 4:43.13, and chops another full second and a bit tonight.

16-year-old Kathryn Ackerman dropped three seconds from her PB for 5th in 4:46.08, and Lilly King earned her second best time of the day in 4:46.49 for 6th.

Kristen Romano of the Ohio State Swim Club won the B-final in 4:46.16, lowering her own Puerto Rican National Record of 4:47.47.


  1. Chase Kalisz, Athens Bulldogs, 4:15.16
  2. Hiromasa Fujimori, Phoenix Swim Club, 4:17.57
  3. Anton Ipsen, Wolfpack Elite, 4:18.10

Chase Kalisz had his closest race of the Pro Series in the 400 IM tonight going up against Phoenix Swim Club’s Hiromasa Fujimori, but the reigning world champion prevailed in a 4:15.16 to go a perfect 6-for-6 for the season.

The two were close at the halfway mark, but Kalisz’s 1:11.23 breast split gave him a big enough advantage that he could comfortably walk away with the win. Fujimori’s 4:17.57 was his fastest swim since 2014, and Anton Ipsen of Wolfpack Elite swam a lifetime for 3rd in 4:18.10. Ipsen ran down Takeharu Fujimori (4:18.89) with a quick 58.83 free leg.

Charlie Swanson of Club Wolverine swam his fastest of the season by three seconds for 5th in 4:19.38, and his teammate Tommy Cope scored a massive personal best in winning the B-final, dipping below 4:31 for the first time in 4:25.52.


  • PSS Record: 24.17, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016
  1. Margo Geer, Indiana Post-Grad, 24.82
  2. Kelsi Dahlia, Cardinal Aquatics, 24.99
  3. Mallory Comerford, University of Louisville, 25.35

Margo Geer made it eleven swims under 25 seconds for the season with the win in the women’s 50 free in a time of 24.82, just a tenth off her career-best done in Indianapolis. She’s the 2nd fastest American in the event this year, and is currently considered the front runner to earn the #2 Pan Pac spot this summer behind Simone Manuel.

Kelsi Dahlia dipped below 25 seconds for just the third time in her career, elevating her to 5th among Americans this year, and her training partner Mallory Comerford edged out Club Wolverine’s Siobhan Haughey (25.38) for 3rd in 25.35.

Also of note, after winning a swim-off to get into the A-final this morning, Katherine Douglass finished just .01 off her lifetime best for 5th place in 25.51.


  1. Michael Andrew, Race Pace Club, 21.70
  2. Justin Ress, Wolfpack Elite, 22.38
  3. Zach Apple, Indiana, 22.56

Michael Andrew continues his consistent string of sub-22 second swims with his 2nd fastest ever in 21.70, just missing his best time from prelims of 21.69. That swim elevated him into #6 in the world for the year.

Wolfpack Elite’s Justin Ress finished just .02 off of his lifetime best, set at the Indianapolis stop, to take 2nd in 22.38. Zach Apple registered a season-best by over two tenths in 22.56 for 3rd, and Ress’ teammate Ryan Held took a tenth off his prelim swim in 4th (22.73).

20-year-old Devon Nowicki of Michigan Lakeshore broke 23 seconds for the first time in winning the B-final, clocking 22.98 to drop his 2016 best of 23.31.


  • PSS Record: 2:06.36, Taylor Ruck (CAN), 2018
  1. Asia Seidt, Kentucky Aquatics, 2:08.91
  2. Ali Galyer, Kentucky Aquatics, 2:09.93
  3. Bridgette Alexander, Kentucky Aquatics, 2:11.98

Just as it was in the heats, the Kentucky Aquatics’ girls go 1-2-3 in the 200 back final, led by Asia Seidt who put up a new lifetime best of 2:08.91. Seidt flipped 1st at the 50 in 30.56, and held the rest of her splits under 33 to knock off her previous best of 2:08.99 set at the World Trials last summer. She is now the 4th fastest American in the event this year.

Ali Galyer also dropped a new best time, knocking another second off in 2:09.93. Coming in with a best of 2:11.77, the 20-year-old was 2:10.77 in the heats and now eclipses the 2:10-barrier, holding 33-lows on the back three 50s after opening in 30.7. She’s now 6th among Americans this year, and Bridgette Alexander was just off her season-best of 2:11.52 from prelims for 3rd in 2:11.98.


  • PSS Record: 1:55.04, Xu Jiayu (CHN), 2017
  1. Ryosuke Irie, Team Elite, 1:55.51
  2. Carson Foster, Mason Manta Rays, 1:59.05
  3. Grigory Tarasevich, Cardinal Aquatics, 2:00.09

28-year-old Ryosuke Irie put together a very impressive 200 back performance, holding all his splits under 30 to clock in at 1:55.51, dropping his season-best of 1:55.92 and moving up from 7th to 5th in the world rankings.

16-year-old Carson Foster of the Mason Manta Rays dipped below 2:00 for the first time this season in 1:59.05, his second fastest swim ever, to take 2nd and move up from t-8th to 5th among Americans this year. Russian Grigory Tarasevich from Cardinal Aquatics was 3rd in 2:00.09, just ahead of Indiana’s Jacob Steele who resets his PB for the second time today in 2:00.33.

Nicolas Albiero from the University of Louisville lowered his lifetime best for the third time in 2018 in winning the B-final, taking off almost a full second from his 2:02.01 in 2:01.12.


  1. Siobhan Haughey, Club Wolverine, 1:57.20
  2. Allison Schmitt, Unattached/ASU, 1:57.21
  3. Leah Smith, Tucson Ford, 1:57.41

In an absolutely wild women’s 200 free final, Club Wolverine’s Siobhan Haughey got out to a fast start and managed to fend off the charge from Allison Schmitt and Leah Smith at the end, out-touching Schmitt by .01 for the win in 1:57.20. That’s her fastest swim of the year, and puts her 15th in the world.

Schmitt had her fastest swim in two years this morning, and was 1.3 seconds faster tonight with her 1:57.21, making her the 2nd fastest American this year behind only Katie LedeckyLeah Smith also swam her fastest of the season in 1:57.41 for 3rd, and Gabby Deloof had a PB for 4th in 1:58.43.

Mallory Comerford won the B-final in 2:00.14, with Remedy Rule posting her second best time of the day for 2nd in the heat and 10th overall in 2:00.77.


  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
  1. Blake Pieroni, Indiana Post-Grad, 1:48.08
  2. Zane Grothe, Indiana Post-Grad, 1:48.83
  3. Grant House, Arizona State University, 1:49.13

Blake Pieroni used his early speed to get out ahead of the field in the mens’ 200 free, flipping in 24.94 before holding 27s the rest of the way to touch in 1:48.08 for the win and a new season-best time. He moves past Zane Grothe as the 2nd fastest American this year.

Grothe stormed home in 26.99, but had too much ground to make up as he finished 2nd in 1:48.83, and Grant House from ASU threw down his first best time in three years for 3rd in 1:49.13, finally beating his 2015 PB of 1:49.53. He managed to fend off Felix Auboeck, who came home in 27.06 to take 4th in 1:49.28, and Zach Apple broke 1:50 for the first time this year for 5th in 1:49.88.

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too impressed
3 years ago

16-year old Kathryn Ackerman dropping 3 seconds after being scratched into the A-final, beating Lilly King by .41

3 years ago

Heck of an in-season time for Leah Smith in the 400IM. It will be interesting to see what her Pan Pacs Schedule will be like considering the 400IM, 200 Free, and 800 Free are all on the first day. God bless her if she goes for all three.

3 years ago

She finished really fast and will be key in three weeks

3 years ago

Tough but expected win at 400IM for Leah Smith. The battle at 200 free when in contrast to Leah Allison doesn’t have any doubles tonight may get exciting.

3 years ago

4:15? out of form?

Reply to  sqimgod
3 years ago

assuming he is not under heavy work cuz he went 2:10 in the 200 breast

Reply to  sqimgod
3 years ago

He is probably pointing to the pan pacs not nationals. He can easily be top 3 in both IMs at the nationals even without a taper.

Reply to  sqimgod
3 years ago

In the post race interview he said Jack Bauerle told him he “didn’t need to gun for this one”. Jack probably didn’t see the need to put an all out 400 IM under him 18 days out from Irvine.

3 years ago

MA 21.70 seems like he was more tended in the final.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  tm71
3 years ago

Oh yeah, he was a full hundredth off! Wow. Can’t be consistent smh

3 years ago

S/O to Devon! He is swimming hotter than Tucson on a summer day!

3 years ago

MLA – The hype is real. #gethome

3 years ago

Curious to see how much faster a lot of these top times are at nationals. Less than 3 weeks from nationals some teams could be halfway thru a 6 week taper, or just about to start after the meet.

Reply to  Observer
3 years ago

The very best will want to hit their taper for pan pacs. The us nationals are in an outdoor shallow pool so the times will be faster at pan pacs. Plus the competition will be stiffer with Japan, Australia, Canada and Brazil part of the meet.

Reply to  tm71
3 years ago

Agree but the US is so deep that people could miss making pan pacs without a taper? Irvine has history of being a pretty quick pool

Reply to  Observer
3 years ago

The times weren’t that fast last time the nationals were there in 2014. KL did set a WR at that meet, but she was the exception.

Reply to  Observer
3 years ago

6 weeks? sign me up!!

Reply to  Observer
3 years ago

6 week taper?? What?

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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