2018 TYR Pro Swim Series – Mesa: Neidigh, Grothe Win 1500 Free Titles


The 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Mesa, Arizona concluded this morning with timed finals of the men’s and women’s 1500 free. Read on for a recap of today’s action.


  1. GOLD: Ashley Neidigh, 16:38.24
  2. SILVER: Olivia Anderson, 16:50.92
  3. BRONZE: Amanda Nunan, 17:02.77

Indiana postgrad Ashley Neidigh, representing Mission Viejo, and Georgia’s Olivia Anderson were closely matched through the 400 as Neidigh led by about half a second. Neidigh, the Winter Nationals mile champ, started to take off around the 500-meter mark and stretched out her lead to over 10 seconds as she won the race in 16:38.24. That was a little over 5 seconds shy of her best: a 16:32.76 from last summer’s Nationals.

Anderson, who finished 4th in the 800 free here, picked up her first top-3 finish of the meet. Anderson is a Canadian distance standout who just competed for Georgia at NCAAs as a freshman. She wound up 2nd here in 16:50.92. They were the only swimmers sub-17, but Tennessee’s Amanda Nunan was close to the mark with a 17:02.77 for 3rd.

MEN’S 1500 FREE:

  1. GOLD: Zane Grothe, 15:08.22
  2. SILVER: Jordan Wilimovsky, 15:15.78
  3. BRONZE: Marcelo Acosta, 15:40.33

World champs medalist and short course mile American Record holder Zane Grothe set the pace, with open water world champion Jordan Wilimovsky trailing closely through the 800. Grothe started to open up his lead from there, pulling body lengths ahead to lead by over 3 seconds with 200 meters to go. He finished in 15:08.22, topping Wilimovsky by 7 seconds. This was Wilimovsky’s first mile of the 2017-18 season. He finished 2nd in 15:15.78.

Louisville All-American Marcelo Acosta touched in 15:40.33 for 3rd, outpacing U.S. World Championships team member Robert Finke (15:44.22).

Notably, Indiana postgrad Marwan El Kamash, who won the 200 free and dominated the 400 free at this meet, opted out of the event this morning. He’s had a couple of close races with teammate Grothe here, but Grothe edged him out in the 800 free.

Editor’s Note: Ashley Neidigh is the sister of author Lauren Neidigh

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4 years ago

15:15 from Jordan is pretty lackluster considering he was just holding 57s and 58s at altitude. I did a set of 24x100s fast on 1:40 with him up at altitude and I don’t think he was ever over 1:00. Excited to see what he can go at nationals and, in two years, Olympic Trials!

bobo gigi
4 years ago

That’s insane, senseless or crazy to put these distance heroes alone on the last day of the meet IN THE MORNING! 🙄
What a giant lack of respect for these swimmers!
Help! They have destroyed these Grand Prix meets! Please come back to the simple former formats of several years ago!
3 days of competition. C, B and A-Finals in that order for each event. A podium between each event. No more useless fantasy teams. No more useless mystery 200 IM. I’m less harsh about the 50’s of stroke shootouts. Why not. But overall that new format is in my opinion a DISASTER! And I don’t even talk about the broadcast! We used to watch all sessions… Read more »

Rui Hai
4 years ago

Those swimmers representing MVN Nadadores have never actually swam with the team at the Mission Viejo pool. What kind of game is going on?

4 years ago

Those races are too slow, long and boring. They sap excitement out of our sport and should be removed from swimming.

Reply to  Hillbilly
4 years ago

What kind of excitement do you want? Like watching the marathon race expecting somebody to dye? Why not to make it interesting? For example: Let some challenger collect prize money and challenge Katie Ledecky. She (challenger) can buy as many handicapped seconds as she wishes, but the price of each extra second grows exponentially. So there is a risk to lose a lot but in case of win she will be rewarded appropriately.
Or let Katie compete in 800 against any relay of junior talents. They will be happy and very excited to do so. Or let her compete against any college relay at 800lcm where only first leg is allowed the fly start. If people want to make… Read more »

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Yes watching knitting and grass growing is exciting too

4 years ago

Not sure how fair to those that swim the 1500 to put it Sunday am?
Not sure how popular the shoot outs really are…look how many elite swimmers scratched?.. of course when the winner gets interviewed, they say they like it. Also not sure about the true interest in the mystery im is either???? Just all seems too gimmicky and not sure of the intent?

Reply to  Superfan
4 years ago

Agreed. No one seems to care about the fantasy teams (sadeno/Krayzelburg etc) or the mixed relays. A suggestion would be to put the B/C/D finals in between the shoot outs so the crowd has something to watch.

4 years ago

Oh come on. That’s inzane.

4 years ago

It is either the breaking of 16 min barrier in women’s 1500 is indeed a great achievement or American long distance isn’t in good shape. Katie Ledecky created an illusion that Americans are highly successful in mile race, but if one takes Katie out of the picture nobody will left to compete at world level. Smith was the closest one who approached 16 min but I can’t see her a contender for the podium at major competitions.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Lol ok

Lauren Neidigh
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

It’s a pro swim in April and they had to swim it at 8 a.m. on the last day of an in-season meet…. lol. A lot of people travel home on Sunday morning and don’t swim it. Plus a lot of people weren’t at this meet. There’s a lot more depth there than these results show.

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

I agree that we have to take this meet as it is but not as we want it to be still being under influence of just completed CWG. But if you look at the 2017 or 2015 seasons (nobody swam 1500 in Olympic Year) then you will get my point:
2017: 16:01; 16:05; 16:08;16:10
2015: 16:05; 16:12; 16:13; 16:21
And that are the completely different sets of players.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Yozhik mostly doesn’t make sense, sometimes he does, I can live with him or her. Hot takes are funsies

4 years ago

In his interview he said he was going after scm 1500, I think it’s likely he could work towards that world record. The short course vs long course mile are different beasts. Hopefully him and other Americans, smith, wilimovsky don’t shy away from the 1500 lc in 2020.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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