2018 Santa Clara Pro Swim Series: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


The first preliminary session of the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series – Santa Clara is set to get underway, and it should be a very intriguing one with so many big names in action. This morning we’ll have the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 back, 200 breast and 200 free on tap.

In terms of scratches, Ryan Lochte has opted out of the men’s 400 IM where he was seeded 4th, but still has both the 100 fly and 200 back on his schedule. Check out a full list of scratches here.

Also of note, Katie Ledecky will swim her first race as a sponsored athlete of TYR (in the 200 free), as she announced her partnership with them this morning.

Women’s 400 IM Prelims

  • PSS Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu, 2015
  1. Ella Eastin, STAN, 4:40.17
  2. Leah Smith, FORD, 4:40.53
  3. Sarah Darcel, UN, 4:48.70
  4. Meaghan Raab, NAC, 4:49.09
  5. Emma Barksdale, GAME, 4:51.14
  6. Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo, MEX, 4:51.62
  7. Esther Gonzalez Medina, MEX, 4:54.41
  8. Leah Stevens, STAN, 4:55.20
  9. Nora McCullagh, UN, 4:57.24

Stanford’s Ella Eastin cruised to the top seed in the women’s 400 IM, winning the fifth and final heat in a time of 4:40.17. That is a very impressive swim for the reigning NCAA champion, as she was less than two seconds off her lifetime best (4:38.43) done in the final of the Indy stop last month.

Leah Smith had a strong final 100 (1:01.70) to make up some ground on Eastin, touching just behind her in the heat for the 2nd seed in 4:40.53, a new season best. Allie Szekely was 3rd in that heat and was in line to advance to the A-final but was disqualified.

Sarah Darcel topped the first circle-seeded heat in 4:48.70 for the 3rd seed, just ahead of Emma Barksdale who qualifies 5th. Madisyn Cox, the #2 seed coming in, didn’t show for her heat.

Men’s 400 IM Prelims

  1. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 4:20.63
  2. Sean Grieshop, CAL, 4:20.79
  3. Takeharu Fujimori, PSC, 4:21.12
  4. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 4:21.93
  5. Mark Szaranek, GSC, 4:22.92
  6. Charlie Swanson, CW, 4:23.29
  7. Abrahm DeVine, UN, 4:24.89
  8. Clayton Forde, UN, 4:26.02
  9. Ricardo Vargas, MEX, 4:28.57

Undefeated so far in the Pro Swim Series in both IM events, reigning world champ Chase Kalisz was pressed in his 400 IM preliminary heat but wouldn’t be denied, holding off Cal’s Sean Grieshop to win heat 5 in 4:20.63. Grieshop slipped under his season best by a few tenths for the 2nd seed in 4:20.79, with Japan’s Takeharu Fujimori a close 3rd.

Dynamo’s Jay Litherland held off a late charge from Gator’s Mark Szaranek in the penultimate heat, touching in 4:21.93 for the 4th seed . Szaranek was close behind in 4:22.92, and Abrahm DeVine was 3rd in his first LC 400 of the year as both qualify for the final.

We had another major DQ here, with Jan Switkowski coming in the 4:26 range in an early heat, a time that would’ve made the A-final.

Women’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • PSS Record: 56.38, Sarah Sjostrom, 2016
  1. Kelsi Dahlia, CARD, 58.30
  2. Sarah Gibson, TE, 58.47
  3. Katie McLaughlin, CAL, 58.54
  4. Regan Smith, RIPT, 58.64
  5. Hellen Moffitt, TE, 58.84
  6. Farida Osman, CAL, 59.11
  7. Maggie MacNeil, SO, 59.56
  8. Penny Oleksiak, SO, 59.64
  9. Katie Drabot, STAN, 59.70

The women’s 100 fly proved to be very competitive with eleven swimmers cracking the 1:00-barrier, led by Cardinal Aquatics’ Kelsi Dahlia who won the final heat in a time of 58.30. The top four seeds came from that heat, with Sarah Gibson and Katie McLaughlin posting season bests for 2nd and 3rd and Regan Smith a lifetime best for 4th.

Hellen Moffitt was the 5th swimmer to crack 59, clocking 58.84, just off her 2018 best. While she missed the A-final, Simone Manuel did produce a lifetime best 1:00.90 for 14th place.

Men’s 100 Fly Prelims

  1. Andrew Seliskar, CAL, 52.99
  2. Luis Martinez, TIGR, 53.00
  3. Jack Conger, NCAP, 53.06
  4. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 53.15
  5. Justin Lynch, CAL, 53.37
  6. Tripp Cooper, UN, 53.45
  7. Pace Clark, ABSC, 53.84
  8. Giles Smith, PSC, 53.86
  9. Long Gutierrez, MEX, 53.86

Andrew Seliskar out-touched Luis Martinez and Caeleb Dressel at the wall for the victory in the last heat of the men’s 100 fly, qualifying 1st as the only man sub-53 in 52.99. That is less than two tenths off his lifetime (52.81) and season bests (52.83). Martinez and Dressel qualified 2nd and 4th, and Jack Conger  and Tripp Cooper also claimed heat wins for 3rd and 6th overall.

26-year-old Giles Smith hasn’t been seen much since the 2016 Olympic Trials, but had a solid 53.86 for 8th and a spot in the A-final in his second 100 fly of the year.

Notably missing the A-final was Tom Shields (11th in 53.89), and Ryan LochteChase Kalisz and Clark Smith all declared false starts.

Women’s 200 Back Prelims

  1. Regan Smith, RIPT, 2:10.37
  2. Kylie Masse, SO, 2:10.66
  3. Lisa Bratton, AGS, 2:11.49
  4. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 2:11.75
  5. Erin Voss, STAN, 2:11.91
  6. Amy Bilquist, CAL, 2:12.38
  7. Isabelle Stadden, AQJT, 2:13.00
  8. Beata Nelson, WA, 2:13.88
  9. Allie Szekely, STAN, 2:14.44

Regan Smith of Riptide followed up her 100 fly PB with an impressive showing in the 200 back, coming in at 2:10.37 for the top seed. Kylie Masse of Swim Ontario and Lisa Bratton of the Aggie Swim Club won the other two circle-seeded heats for 2nd and 3rd, with Bratton just a few hundredths off her seasonal best of 2:11.41.

Among the others qualifying for the final was Olivia Smoliga, who has recently branched out into this event from the 50 and 100, and 15-year-old Isabelle Stadden who is coming off a 2:08.37 performance last weekend at Mel Zajac. Also of note, 8th fastest qualifier Beata Nelson had her fastest swim ever at a non-championship meet in 2:13.88.

Men’s 200 Back Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:55.04, Xu Jiayu, 2017
  1. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 1:59.98
  2. Ryan Lochte, GSC, 2:00.34
  3. Jacob Pebley, CAL, 2:00.54
  4. Ryosuke Irie, TE, 2:00.77
  5. Javier Acevedo, SO, 2:00.81
  6. Johannes Calloni, UN, 2:02.09
  7. Daniel Carr, CAL, 2:02.20
  8. Austin Katz, UN, 2:02.70
  9. Markus Thormeyer, HPVC, 2:02.71

2016 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy was the lone man to crack 2:00 in the men’s 200 back, leading the field in 1:59.98. The 2008 Olympic champion in this event, Ryan Lochte, had his fastest swim in two years in 2:00.34, putting him 2nd from an early heat.

Jacob Pebley and Ryosuke Irie both cruised to the 3rd and 4th seeds in winning their heats, while Swim Ontario’s Javier Acevedo was just six tenths off his lifetime best in 5th. Austin Katz contested his first LC race since winning the NCAA title in this event a few months ago, getting into the A-final in 8th.

Women’s 200 Breast Prelims

  • PSS Record: 2:21.41, Yuliya Efimova, 2016
  1. Lilly King, IST, 2:26.46
  2. Melissa Rodriguez, MEX, 2:27.36
  3. Emily Escobedo, COND, 2:28.63
  4. Annie Lazor, UN, 2:29.56
  5. Allie Szekely, STAN, 2:30.66
  6. Esther Gonzalez Medina, MEX, 2:31.85
  7. Grace Zhao, STAN, 2:35.05
  8. Brooke Rodriguez, DACA, 2:35.47
  9. Rachel Bernhardt, GAME, 2:36.60

Indiana’s Lilly King paced the women’s 200 breast prelims in 2:26.46, significantly faster than she was in the heats at the last stop in Indianapolis, indicating we could see her dip well below her season best of 2:24.95 tonight.

Mexico’s Melissa Rodriguez was close behind King in the final heat for 2nd, posting a lifetime best 2:27.36, while Emily Escobedo and Allie Szekely won the other two circle-seeded heats for 3rd and 5th overall. Szekely was just two tenths off her season best.

Men’s 200 Breast Prelims

  1. Miguel De Lara Ojeda, TIGR, 2:12.84
  2. Josh Prenot, CAL, 2:13.09
  3. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 2:13.10
  4. Daniel Roy, UN, 2:13.49
  5. Brandon Fischer, UN, 2:13.79
  6. Kevin Cordes, TIGR, 2:14.83
  7. Nic Fink, ABSC, 2:14.88
  8. Eli Wall, SO, 2:15.17
  9. Andrew Wilson, TXLA, 2:15.28

Miguel De Lara Ojeda of Tiger Elite had a strong back half of 1:08.48 to sneak by Josh Prenot of Cal and win the final heat of the men’s 200 breast, clocking 2:12.84 for his 2nd fastest performance ever. Prenot was 2:13.09, and Chase Kalisz was 2:13.10 as the final heat featured the three fastest swimmers of the morning.

Daniel Roy, the winner of the Indy stop in a 17-18 NAG, roared past Kevin Cordes to win heat 5 in 2:13.49, qualifying 4th, while Eli Wall won the first circle-seeded heat in 2:15.17 to qualify in 8th. Cody Miller notably missed the A-final with the 10th fastest swim in 2:15.67.

Women’s 200 Free Prelims

  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 1:55.82
  2. Leah Smith, FORD, 1:58.31
  3. Gabby Deloof, CW, 1:59.05
  4. Simone Manuel, STAN, 1:59.59
  5. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 1:59.63
  6. Katie McLaughlin, CAL, 1:59.65
  7. Isabel Ivey, UN, 2:00.41
  8. Kennedy Goss, SO, 2:00.46
  9. Penny Oleksiak, SO, 2:00.54

In her first swim since signing with TYR, Katie Ledecky was dominant in the final heat of the women’s 200 freestyle, posting a time of 1:55.82. The swim was just four tenths off her season best of 1:55.42 which ranks 4th in the world.

Leah Smith of Tucson Ford had a very solid 1:58.31 for the 2nd seed, her fastest of 2018, while Gabby Deloof was the fastest she’s ever been in-season for 3rd in 1:59.05.

Men’s 200 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang, 2016
  1. Jack LeVant, NTN, 1:48.43
  2. Andrew Seliskar, CAL, 1:49.23
  3. Markus Thormeyer, HPVC, 1:49.26
  4. Townley Haas, NOVA, 1:49.80
  5. Mitch D’Arrigo, GSC, 1:50.00
  6. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 1:50.16
  7. Grant Shoults, UN, 1:50.25
  8. Zane Grothe, MVN, 1:50.50
  9. Mark Szaranek, GSC, 1:50.65

Stanford commit Jack LeVant of the North Texas Natadores threw down a personal best 1:48.43 in the final heat of the men’s 200 freestyle, qualifying 1st for the final ahead of a loaded field. Andrew Seliskar and Townley Haas also cracked 1:50 in the heat, as six of the nine A-finalists came from that heat.

Markus Thormeyer had his fastest swim of the season to win the first circle-seeded heat in 1:49.26, qualifying 3rd, while Mitch D’Arrigo took heat 6 in 1:50.00 for 5th. Plenty of big names missed the A-final, including Jack Conger (1:50.72), Tae Hwan Park (1:50.82), Clark Smith (1:51.25) and Jan Switkowski (1:51.75). Caeleb Dressel declared a false start.

Also of note, Dean Farris looked to be well on his way to making the ‘A’, splitting 1:21.42 through the 150, faster than everyone other than LeVant, but then pulled up on the final 50 for a few seconds before touching in 1:52.43, splitting 31.0.

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4 years ago

Dear SwimSwam your mission–please choose to accept–is to find out what was going thru M. Farris’ head on that 4th 50.

Reply to  rsgnsf
4 years ago

love the way u have put it in a ‘ Mission i am**possible ” way

Swimming Fan
Reply to  rsgnsf
4 years ago

Now the chant: SwimSwam, We wanna know, We wanna know, We wanna know about Deano

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  rsgnsf
4 years ago

He thought he heard Rowdy say “He’s breathing to his right and can’t see him.”

4 years ago

1.55.82 in prelims to celebrate her debut as a professional ??? Dang !!! that is something special ……..

4 years ago

felt to add , Pelligrini 200 free WR might be in danger now ……

4 years ago

Well, the has routinely been pushing 2:00 flat in those practice videos, so 1:55 from a dive in a meet shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

4 years ago

200 back for men looking impressively stacked , Wow !!! Love it

4 years ago

I think Ms. Ledecky should have been in the 2breast, not 2free if she wants to make a run at the 4IM.

SuperSwimmer 2000
Reply to  Scribble
4 years ago

Maybe she will sign you as her new coach! Or take all your advice now while it’s still free.

4 years ago

With the exception of Comerford and Drabot we will see all main contenders for 4×200 relay in tonight final. Their competition could be interesting by itself besides the question if Katie Ledecky takes #1 ranking this season.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

very good observation mate . That relay this summer will be untouchable and great to watch

4 years ago

Dean is a merciful god.

4 years ago

Katie Ledecky: 56.96 – 58.86.(1:55.82). I think she will be much faster at first 100 tonight and about 0.3sec faster at third 50 (29.55 this morning). 1:54.6 – 1:54.7 is very possible.

4 years ago

Lucky Penny to have the Olympic Games at her 16.

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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