2018 Santa Clara Pro Swim Series: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


The final preliminary session of the TYR Pro Swim Series – Santa Clara will feature the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, along with all four 50s in preparation for tonight’s knockout event. The top-8 qualifiers in each 50 will advance to tonight, where swimmers will compete in a three-round shootout-style event where the top-8, top-4 and then top-2 will race for 1st place.

Women’s 400 Free Prelims

  1. Katie Ledecky, STAN, 4:04.06
  2. Leah Smith, FORD, 4:07.50
  3. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 4:10.87
  4. Kennedy Goss, SO, 4:14.21
  5. Katie Drabot, STAN, 4:14.58
  6. Courtney Harnish, YY, 4:16.12
  7. Regan Smith, RIPT, 4:16.75
  8. Ashley Neidigh, UN, 4:16.86
  9. Ayumi Macias Alba, MEX, 4:19.61

To no surprise Katie Ledecky cruised to the top spot this morning in the women’s 400 free, posting a time of 4:04.06. Ledecky is currently the only swimmer to have been sub-4:00 this season, with her 3:57.94 from the Indianapolis stop, and she’ll take aim at that mark tonight.

Leah Smith of Tucson Ford was less than a second off her season best from Indy, and will have a good shot at lowering it tonight, while Melanie Margalis was 3rd as she was only a few tenths off her lifetime best in an off-event. Notably in 7th, Regan Smith continued her strong meet with a personal best time by about twelve seconds.

Women’s 50 Fly Prelims

  1. Kelsi Dahlia, CARD, 26.24
  2. Farida Osman, CAL, 26.54
  3. Katie McLaughlin, CAL, 26.83
  4. Penny Oleksiak, SO, 26.93
  5. Hellen Moffitt, TE, 27.00
  6. Maggie MacNeil, SO, 27.07
  7. Haley Black, TIGR, 27.32
  8. Sarah Gibson, TE, 27.34
  9. Katie Drabot, STAN, 27.40

Kelsi Dahlia, the leading candidate to win this event next month at Nationals and earn a spot on the World’s team, leads the women’s 50 fly prelims in 26.24. She is the only American sub-26 this year with her 25.74 from Mesa.

Farida Osman wasn’t far off her season best for the 2nd seed in 26.54, and her Cal teammate Katie McLaughlin was just .05 off her lifetime best for 3rd. Katie Drabot had a quick turnaround after the 400 free and snuck into the first round of finals in 9th.

Men’s 50 Fly Prelims

  • PSS Record: 23.11, Matt Targett, 2012
  1. Caeleb Dressel, BSS, 23.59
  2. Giles Smith, PSC, 23.82
  3. Luis Martinez, TIGR, 23.87
  4. Jack Conger, NCAP, 23.94
  5. Marcus Schlesinger, TE, 24.25
  6. Roman Rybin, UN, 24.31
  7. Marius Kusch, UN, 24.38
  8. Tripp Cooper, UN, 24.39
  9. Alexandre Perreault, SO, 24.40

Caeleb Dressel, the American Record holder in this event, used his patented fast start to dominate the final heat of the men’s 50 fly, touching in a season best time of 23.59. That improves his 23.69 from last week in Vancouver, and moves him past Will Davis as the 3rd fastest American this year. This is his fastest swim ever excluding the 2017 World Championships and World Trials.

Veteran Giles Smith had a strong swim for 2nd in 23.82, cracking 24 seconds for the first time this year. Tiger Elite’s Luis Martinez was less than two tenths off his lifetime best for 3rd, and Jack Conger, winner of the shootout 50 fly in Austin, advanced in 4th.

Several swimmers didn’t show for the event, including Ryan LochteAndrew SeliskarAnthony Ervin and Pace Clark.

Women’s 50 Back Prelims

  1. Kylie Masse, SO, 28.01
  2. Ali Deloof, CW, 28.42
  3. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 28.69
  4. Keaton Blovad, CAL, 28.84
  5. Amy Bilquist, CAL, 28.88
  6. Isabelle Stadden, AQJT, 28.89
  7. Caroline Baldwin, TE, 29.15
  8. Fernanda Gonzalez, MEX, 29.24
  9. Beata Nelson, WA, 29.30

Swim Ontario’s Kylie Masse topped the women’s 50 back prelims in 28.01, not too far off her tapered 27.82 from the Commonwealth Games in April (that has her ranked 8th in the world).

Olivia Smoliga has won both the 50 back shootouts so far this year, including setting the American Record in Mesa, and qualified easily in 3rd, just behind Ali Deloof who raced Smoliga in that 2-person final in Mesa. Keaton Blovad had a lifetime best for 4th, and Amy Bilquist cracked 29 for the first time this year in 5th.

Men’s 50 Back Prelims

  • PSS Record: 24.74, Junya Koga, 2015
  1. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 25.45
  2. Matt Grevers, FORD, 25.50
  3. Javier Acevedo, SO, 25.61
  4. Daniel Carr, CAL, 25.73
  5. Ryosuke Irie, TE, 25.92
  6. Jacob Pebley, CAL / David Puczkowski, CAL, 26.00
  7. Markus Thormeyer, HPVC, 26.17
  8. Destin Lasco, PVA, 26.42

Swimming his first 50 back of the season, Ryan Murphy leads the men’s prelims in 25.45, as he’ll take a shot at his first shootout victory tonight.

Matt Grevers, who qualified 2nd, won the shootout in Mesa, and was the runner-up to Justin Ress in Austin. Those three will likely be the ones fighting it out in this event at Nationals next month.

Javier Acevedo and Daniel Carr, who competed alongside one another in both the 100 and 200 back consolation final at NCAAs in March, advanced in 3rd and 4th.

Men’s 400 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 3:43.55, Sun Yang, 2016
  1. Park Tae Hwan, KOR, 3:52.51
  2. Mitch D’Arrigo, GSC, 3:53.26
  3. Zane Grothe, MVN, 3:54.49
  4. Ricardo Vargas, MEX, 3:55.18
  5. True Sweetser, UN, 3:55.60
  6. Jack LeVant, NTN, 3:56.01
  7. Grant Shoults, UN, 3:56.31
  8. Clark Smith, TXLA, 3:56.53
  9. Kiwoong Koo, KOR, 3:58.14

2008 Olympic champion in this event Park Tae Hwan topped the men’s 400 prelims in 3:52.51, nearly even-splitting the race as he out-sprinted Mitch D’Arrigo on the final 50 to win the last heat.

Zane Grothe of Mission Viejo won the other circle-seeded heat, and will look for his 4th PSS win in this event this year having already won in Austin, Atlanta and Indianapolis. He is the only American this year who has been sub-3:50.

Women’s 50 Breast Prelims

  1. Lilly King, IST, 31.61
  2. Melissa Rodriguez, MEX, 31.97
  3. Annie Lazor, UN, 32.23
  4. Kennedy Lohman, LAK, 32.93
  5. Jordan Morgan, SCSC, 32.94
  6. Kim Williams, STAN, 33.03
  7. Jordan Wentzel, AQJT, 33.03
  8. Grace Zhao, STAN, 33.13
  9. Danielle Della Torre, ABSC, 33.40

Like Murphy in the 50 back, Lilly King swam her first 50 breaststroke of the season this morning, as the world record holder and reigning world champ eased into tonight’s session with a time of 31.61. After opening her 100 breast last night in 30.92, we know she more in the tank, so we’ll see what kind of time she can throw down. Currently, fellow American Molly Hannis leads the world rankings this year at 29.71.

Melissa Rodriguez lowered her own Mexican National Record to take the 2nd seed, clocking 31.97 after her mark of 32.05 stood for four years. Annie Lazor dropped her season best by almost a second for 3rd, and also of note was Ella Eastin finishing 11th in her third straight 50 of the day, also doing so in fly and back.

Men’s 50 Breast Prelims

  • PSS Record: 27.39, Cody Miller, 2016
  1. Nic Fink, ABSC, 27.66
  2. Kevin Cordes, TIGR, 27.74
  3. Andrew Wilson, TXLA, 27.97
  4. Connor Hoppe, CAL, 28.04
  5. Chuck Katis, UN, 28.18
  6. Miguel De Lara Ojeda, TIGR, 28.28
  7. Ian Finnerty, IST, 28.29
  8. Cody Miller, SAND, 28.35
  9. Pavel Romanov, UN, 28.38

Shootout winner in Mesa Nic Fink leads the men’s 50 breast prelims in 27.66, as he out-touched American Record holder Kevin Cordes in the last heat. Cordes lowered his season best by just under a tenth in 27.74

Andrew Wilson, who leads all Americans this year (.01 ahead of Fink at 27.43) and won the shootout 50 breast in Austin, also cracked 28 for 3rd in 27.97.

Women’s 50 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 24.17, Sarah Sjostrom, 2016
  1. Simone Manuel, STAN, 24.92
  2. Abbey Weitzeil, CAL, 25.08
  3. Lia Neal, STAN, 25.41
  4. Katie McLaughlin, CAL, 25.55
  5. Madison Kennedy, MAC, 25.57
  6. Kelsi Dahlia, CARD, 25.66
  7. Farida Osman, CAL, 25.67
  8. Catie Deloof, CW, 25.69
  9. Amy Bilquist, CAL, 25.74

Simone Manuel, who won this event at the last TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Indianapolis, establishing the world’s 10th fastest time of 24.59, was the only swimmer sub-25 in this morning’s 50 free prelims, clocking in at 24.92.

Abbey Weitzeil has now produced a season best in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles this meet, sneaking under her 25.11 from the Speedo Grand Challenge in 25.08 for 2nd place. Also of note was Weitzeil’s Cal teammate Katie McLaughlin, who had her 2nd fastest performance ever to qualify 4th, just .03 outside her 2013 best of 25.52.

A few big names in Penny Oleksiak (25.83) and Olivia Smoliga (25.91) missed the shootout tonight by placing 10th and 13th overall respectively.

Men’s 50 Free Prelims

  1. Nathan Adrian, CAL, 22.39
  2. Michael Jensen, CAL, 22.56
  3. Michael Chadwick, UN, 22.63
  4. Zach Apple, UN, 22.83
  5. Meiron Cheruti, TE, 22.87
  6. Tate Jackson, UN / Kyle Decoursey, UN, 22.90
  7. Josh Fleagle, UN, 22.95
  8. Oleksandr Loginov, SO, 22.98

After seeing his 100 freestyle streak end yesterday on the PSS circuit, Cal’s Nathan Adrian will look to remain unbeaten in the 50 free shootout series this year as the winner in both Austin and Mesa qualified 1st this morning in 22.39.

His teammate Michael Jensen was less than a tenth off his fastest swim of the season for 2nd, and Zach Apple cracked 23 for the first time this year in 4th.

World champion and American Record holder Caeleb Dressel was an NS for his heat.

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bobo gigi
3 years ago

Interesting to see Regan Smith swim the 400 free and not the 50 back tournament.

too impressed
3 years ago

That’s a great 400 time for Regan Smith. It’ll be interesting to see which events she’ll be able to add to her lineup as she’s dropping time across the board.

3 years ago

How are they going to run the shootout with 9 swimmers as the article indicates? I think they’ll only take the top 8, no?

Reply to  PNW
3 years ago

Maybe just top 4 from the top 9 move on

Becky D
Reply to  swimfan01
3 years ago

9 – 6 – 3 would work. for me.

3 years ago

Let me correct you: Ledecky is the only swimmer to have been sub-4:00 in the last 9 years*
I cant see any other girl going under the 4 minute barrier this season

Honest Observer
Reply to  justaguy
3 years ago

Ariarne Titmus went a 4:00.93 in April. It may not happen, but you can’t discount the possibility that she goes under at Pan Pacs.

Reply to  Honest Observer
3 years ago

While you could definitely be right, I’m willing to bet most of the Australians prepared more for The Commonwealth Games than they will for Pan Pacs, so I doubt we’ll see many of them drop time. However, many swimmers have been approaching that 3:59 mark the last couple years, so it’ll definitely happen soon.

Honest Observer
3 years ago

No question, those Games were the biggest focus of the year for the Commonwealth countries, I’m basically just saying, never say never. Titmus is young and improving quickly, and it’s always possible that she reacts to the presence of Ledecky by getting particularly psyched up and trying to keep it as close as possible. Her 1:54.85 certainly indicates the potential to break the barrier.

3 years ago

Not that many as you think.
Only two broke 4:02 – Carlin – 4:01.23; Li Bingjie – 4:01.75
Only two broke 4:01 – Smith – 4:00.65; Titmus – 4:00.93
Of these four I would bet for Titmus and not this season.
The main reason is 200 performance. Only Titmus was under 1:55. Smith barely broke 1:56. All other girls are slow in 200.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

On the other hand, Ledecky took 4min barrier having 200 at 1:56.3 only. Please, disregard my previous comment.

Reply to  Honest Observer
3 years ago

Asian games there might be

3 years ago

When Murphy hit the lane line I think everyone in the crowd felt that… he can go much faster tonight just because of that!

3 years ago

Is Jack Conger training with Nations Capitol swim club now, instead of Texas?

Reply to  Mikeh
3 years ago

No. Most swimmers represent their original clubs at meets like this.

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

??Then shouldn’t Chase Kalisz and Allison Schmitt be with NBAC and Katie Ledecky be with Nations Capital?

Reply to  Cate
3 years ago

Notice he said most not all

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Some college coaches respect where the athletes came from and encourage them to represent the home club. Others do not share that opinion.

Reply to  Kathy
3 years ago

Translation: “Some coaches want all of the money in our sport to stay in age group swimming. Others want professional swimming to be a reality in this country.”

Becky D
Reply to  swimobserver
3 years ago

Can you translate that again? Those don’t look like mutually exclusive alternatives.

bear drinks beer
3 years ago

‘Currently, fellow American Molly Hannis is the only swimmer sub-30 this year (29.71).’

By the time the paragraph was written, Yulia Efimova has already swum a 29.9 in Canet.

3 years ago

Anthony Ervin started 50m free prelims? Mens 50m free results still is not uploaded..

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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