2019 Bloomington Pro Swim Series: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


We’ve got our first prelims session coming up from Bloomington, with ten events set to qualify for tonight’s finals. Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Bloomington.

Some of the sport’s biggest names will be competing. Olympic icon Katie Ledecky leads the 400 free late in the meet, while Nathan Adrian will hold the top incoming seed in the 100 free in his first swim since surgery and a testicular cancer diagnosis earlier this season.

Canada’s Commonwealth Games standout Taylor Ruck leads the 50 back, while Olympic co-champ Simone Manuel is the top seed in the women’s 100 free. Also keep an eye on Indiana’s pair of breaststrokers who lead their events: Lilly King for the women and Cody Miller for the men. Other top seeds include Grigory Tarasevich in the 50 back (though Michael Andrew is undefeated in that race so far this season), Stanford’s Katie Drabot in the 200 fly, Justin Wright in the men’s version of the same event, and Austria’s Felix Auboeck in the 400 free.

WOMEN’S 100 FREE – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 53.12 – Sarah Sjöström (2016)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 56.29

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Manuel (Alto) – 53.55
  2. Comerford (Louisville) – 54.69
  3. Geer (Mission Viejo) – 55.14
  4. Schmitt (Sun Devil) – 55.18
  5. Apostalon (Trojan) – 55.53
  6. Ruck (Unattached) – 55.57
  7. Ledecky (Nation’s Capital) – 55.58
  8. Arcila (Mission Viejo) / Alons (Wolfpack) – 55.89

It’ll be Simone Manuel leading the way in the women’s 100 free. The 2016 Olympic co-champ went 53.55, just two tenths off her season-best of 53.38 from Winter Nationals. Manuel has hit 53 five times already this season: twice at Winter Nats and once each at the Knoxville and Richmond Pro Swim Series stops.

Relay world champ Mallory Comerford is second after a smooth 54.69. Comerford was 53.33 at Brazil’s national championship meet just a month ago, so the battle for tonight’s title should be fierce between the two women.

Bloomington-based pro Margo Geer is third in 55.14, setting off a wave of women in the 55s. That field will include former 200 free Olympic champ Allison Schmitt (55.18), Czech standout Anika Apostalon (55.53), Canada’s Commonwealth Games champ Taylor Ruck (55.57) and Olympic distance hero Katie Ledecky (55.58).

We should get a swim-off for the final A final spot, with Isabella Arcila and Kylee Alons tying for 8th.

MEN’S 100 FREE – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 48.00 – Nathan Adrian (2016)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 50.49

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Howard (Alabama) – 49.30
  2. Pieroni (Indiana) – 49.37
  3. Khalafalla (Mission Viejo) – 49.40
  4. Apple (Indiana) – 49.41
  5. Adrian (California) – 49.83
  6. Barna (Louisville) – 50.09
  7. Stewart (Unattached) – 50.20
  8. Samy (Egypt) – 50.31

Current college senior Robert Howard of Alabama is the top qualifier in the men’s race, leading a trio of former Indiana Hoosiers. Howard, competing for the University of Alabama club, went 49.30 in his first race since his senior year NCAA Championships in March. Howard’s lifetime-best is a 48.67 from last summer’s Nationals, but 49.30 is the fastest he’s ever been outside of Nationals/U.S. Open.

Indiana’s trio swept spots two through four. Olympian Blake Pieroni is second in 49.37. He’s been as fast as 48.08, and went 48.11 way back in September on the World Cup. He’ll look to break 49 tonight, though, after doing so at the Des Moines Pro Swim Series. Egypt’s Ali Khalafalla and outgoing college senior Zach Apple are third and fourth.

Nathan Adrian is making his return to competition – the Olympic champ underwent surgery earlier this year and hasn’t competed since Winter Nationals on December 1. But Adrian was in good sorts here, going 49.83 – that’s about a half-second faster than he was in prelims at Winter Nats, although he cut all the way to 48.5 in the final.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST– Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 1:05.57 – Rebecca Soni (2011)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 1:10.99

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Lazor (Mission Viejo) – 1:07.15
  2. King (Indiana) – 1:07.73
  3. Escobedo (Condors) – 1:08.55
  4. Cox (Longhorn) – 1:08.57
  5. Galat (Aggie) – 1:09.27
  6. Rodriguez (Mexico) – 1:09.32
  7. Raab (Unattached) – 1:09.99
  8. Peplowski (Indiana) – 1:10.22

Annie Lazor has been unstoppable so far on the Pro Swim Series, winning the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at all three stops so far. This week should be her biggest test, though, with 50/100 world record-holder Lilly King back in the mix after college season. This morning, Lazor handled King easily, going 1:07.15 to qualify first by six tenths.

Lazor has been 1:06 on each of the stops so far, as fast as 1:06.6 in Des Moines. King, meanwhile, went 1:05.90 at this time last year. She was 1:07.73 this morning, but both swimmers should have more in the tank tonight.

Emily Escobedo and Madisyn Cox both went 1:08s, finishing within two one-hundredths. They sit third and fourth.

MEN’S 100 BREAST – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 58.86 – Adam Peaty (2017)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 1:03.29

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Miller (Sandpipers) – 59.74
  2. Andrew (Race Pace) – 1:00.23
  3. Fink (Athens Bulldog) – 1:00.77
  4. Finnerty (Indiana) – 1:01.26
  5. McKee (Iceland) – 1:01.46
  6. Wilson (Athens Bulldog) – 1:01.70
  7. Licon (Longhorn) – 1:01.98
  8. Katis (Pinnacle) – 1:02.22

Indiana pro Cody Miller paced the men’s breaststroke in a prelims sweep for IU pros. The former Hoosier hinted on his vlog that he’d be tapering for this meet, and went a season-best 59.74 this morning. That’s a half-second better than Miller has been so far this year. It’s also three one-hundredths faster than he went at any point last year – Miller was 59.77 at best last year in an injury-plagued summer season for the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist.

Last summer’s national champ Michael Andrew sits second in 1:00.23. He’s been 59.70 on the series already this year and went 59.3 last summer, so tonight’s race should be a thriller. A veteran field also includes Nic Fink of Georgia’s pro group (1:00.77), who’s been a consistent finisher on the series this year, and former IU Hoosier and NCAA standout Ian Finnerty, usually more of a taper swimmer. Finnerty went 1:01.26 this morning in his first long course swim of the season – he was 1:01.3 at best in-season last year before going 1:00.2 at Nationals.

WOMEN’S 50 BACK – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 27.43 – Olivia Smoliga (2018)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Alons (Unattached) – 28.10
  2. Haan (Unattached) – 28.41
  3. Smith (Riptide) – 28.44
  4. Stadden (Aquajets) – 28.72
  5. Teijonsalo (Sun Devil) – 28.85
  6. Wanazek (Elmbrook) – 28.99
  7. Nelson (Wisconsin) / Bratton (Aggie) – 29.15

NC State teammates Kylee Alons and Elise Haan put up the two fastest morning swims in the 50 back, going 28.10 and 28.41, respectively. Alons had a breakout freshman season for the Wolfpack, and cut a half-second off her lifetime-best this morning in just her second long course meet of the season. Haan has previously been 27.9.

Minnesota’s two high school superstars swept third and fourth. World Champs team member Regan Smith is third in 28.44, about seven tenths off her best. Behind her is Pan Ams qualifier Isabelle Stadden, who went 28.72. Both Smith and Stadden are high school juniors, and among the top swimmers in the nation in their recruiting classes. Stadden has verbally committed to Cal, while Smith remains uncommitted for college swimming.

MEN’S 50 Back – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Tarasevich (Cardinal) / Fantoni (Indiana) – 25.29
  2. Andrew (Race Pace) – 25.48
  3. Sofianidis (Louisville) – 25.77
  4. Samy (Egypt) – 25.84
  5. Stewart (Unattached) – 25.93
  6. Armstrong (Canton City) – 26.20
  7. Korndor (Nu Wave) – 26.25

We have a tie atop the men’s 50 back, with former Louisville Cardinal Grigory Tarasevich (now a Russian national teamer) and Indiana’s Gabriel Fantoni (a Brazilian national) each going 25.29.

The favorite, though, still has to be Michael Andrewwho qualified third in 25.48. Andrew was coming off the 100 breaststroke. He’s been under 25 seconds ten times already this season, and has won this event on all three Pro Swim Series stops this year. Andrew is gunning for the still-vacant second entry for Team USA in this event at Worlds, and should keep his foot on the gas tonight, as the qualifying window closes on June 1.

WOMEN’S 200 FLY – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 2:06.76 – Cammile Adams (2012)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:14.59

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Drabot (Unattached) – 2:09.93
  2. Smith (Riptide) – 2:10.32
  3. Gibson (Aggie) – 2:11.85
  4. Seidt (Kentucky) – 2:12.51
  5. Eastin (Alto) – 2:12.68
  6. Nordmann (Magnolia) – 2:13.00
  7. Rule (Texas) – 2:13.70
  8. Sargent (Unattached) – 2:14.27

Katie Drabot broke 2:10 to lead the women’s 200 fly, with a very wide range across our 8 A finalists. Drabot was 2:09.93, with a 2:14 joining her in the championship heat tonight. Drabot went 2:08 at last month’s Richmond PSS, but was only 2:10.4 in prelims, so she’s ahead of schedule heading into tonight.

16-year-old Regan Smith came off that 50 back to go 2:10.32 for the second spot in this event tonight. Smith went 2:07.4 last summer, but has only been under 2:10 twice in her career. Her swim this morning was actually the third-best of her careeer, and faster than she’s ever been in-season.

Aggie Swim Club’s Sarah Gibson, Kentucky’s Asia Seidt and Stanford senior Ella Eastin each went 2:12s this morning.

MEN’S 200 FLY – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 1:55.29 – Li Zhuhao (2017)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 2:01.19

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Gambardella (Indiana) – 2:00.38
  2. Litherland (Dynamo) – 2:00.41
  3. Foster (Mason Manta Rays) – 2:00.43
  4. Mathias (Indiana) – 2:01.17
  5. Smachlo (Michigan) – 2:01.19
  6. Khouzam (Dayton Raiders) – 2:01.71
  7. Albiero (Louisville) – 2:01.83
  8. Wright (Tucson) – 2:02.18

Indiana sophomore Corey Gambardella is the top qualifier in a sleepy prelims of the men’s 200 fly. Gambardella had a nice swim, going 2:00.38 for the third-best swim of his career. He went a lifetime-best 2:00.04 at this time last year (the Indianapolis Pro Swim Series) and ultimately went 2:00.72 at Nationals. He could challenge for his first sub-two-minute swim tonight.

Olympic IMer Jay Litherland is second in 2:00.41 – he went a lifetime-best 1:58.0 at Pan Pac last summer, but has only been under two minutes three times in his career.

High school standout Carson Foster is third in 2:00.43. That’s a season-best for Foster, who was 2:00.57 at the Knoxville Pro Swim Series, and hasn’t cracked two minutes since the summer of 2017 at age 15.

WOMEN’S 400 FREE – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 3:57.94 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 4:16.89

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Ledecky (Nation’s Capital) – 4:02.40
  2. Cox (Longhorn) – 4:11.58
  3. Byrnes (Unattached) – 4:13.28
  4. Forde (Unattached) – 4:13.54
  5. Schmidt (Michigan) – 4:13.96
  6. Moore (Wolfpack Elite) – 4:14.22
  7. McHugh (Wisconsin) – 4:14.63
  8. Evans (Texas) – 4:14.65

Katie Ledecky is miles ahead of the field in the 400 free, but the rest of the qualifiers are extremely close and should set up a fun silver medal battle tonight. Ledecky went 4:02.40, coming off her 100 free qualifying earlier this morning to best this field by nine seconds. Ledecky could challenge her season-best 4:00.35 (Winter Nats) tonight, and should at least come close to her Pro Swim Series best of 4:01.50 from Richmond.

IMer Madisyn Cox is the second qualifier. This isn’t a common event for Cox, who smashes her personal best by two seconds – her previous best time was 4:13.50 set way back in 2014.

From there, we’ve got a host of 4:13s and 4:14s. Keep a special eye on Hannah Moore, who won the 1500 free last night and sits sixth.

MEN’S 400 FREE – Prelims

  • Pro Swim Series record: 3:43.55 – Sun Yang (2016)
  • 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials cut: 3:57.29

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Grothe (Boulder City Henderson) – 3:50.45
  2. Auboeck (Michigan) – 3:55.46
  3. Callan (Michigan) – 3:55.67
  4. Calvillo (Indiana) – 3:55.72
  5. Calloni (Unattached) – 3:56.02
  6. Vargas (Michigan) – 3:56.69
  7. Acosta (Louisville) – 3:56.81
  8. Knowles (Unattached) – 3:57.77

Last night’s 1500 free winner Zane Grothe is the heavy favorite to add the 400 to his gauntlet tonight, after putting up the fastest qualifying time by five seconds. Grothe was 3:50.45 this morning, and will look to challenge his season-best of 3:48.53 from Richmond tonight. Grothe has been 3:52 in prelims of both Richmond and Des Moines, so he’s well ahead of that today.

Michigan’s Felix Auboeck is second. He had a disastrous showing in the short course version of this event (the 500 free) at NCAAs, but rebounded a few days later for an outstanding mile. His 3:55 this morning earned him second, but he’s been 3:44 in his career, setting the Austrian record.

His Michigan teammate Patrick Callan is third, swimming his first long course 400 since college season. Callan’s lifetime-best is 3:50.2 from last summer, but he has a chance to challenge his 2018 in-season best of 3:53 tonight.

FINA Points Race

The 2019 Pro Swim Series awards $1500 to the top prelims swim (in an individual Olympic event) for both men and women, based on FINA points. Here’s a look at the top swims from this morning, which will be the ‘numbers to beat’ over the next two mornings:

  • Women: Katie Ledecky4:02.40 in 400 free – 928 FINA points
  • Men: Cody Miller59.74 in 100 breast – 873 FINA points

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1 year ago

It seems like meet mobile is struggling today

Reply to  Superfan
1 year ago

meet mobile is always struggling

1 year ago

Manuel (53.55) looking so powerful, Comerford (54.69) looking good.
Nice impressions also from Howard (49.30), Pieroni (49.37), Apple (49.41 with a great second 50) and a smiling Adrian (49.83). 49.40 for Khalafalla, 50.39 for Carson Foster, first of B-finalists.

Reply to  nuotofan
1 year ago

A lot of great swims there especially for Adrian.

1 year ago

In the womens 100 breastroke it will be a battle in tonight final between Annie Lazor (1.07.15) and Lilly King (1.07.73).

Reply to  nuotofan
1 year ago

Lazor has been excellent this year, but it’s hard to see Lilly getting beat head to head in her home pool.

Reply to  Pat
1 year ago

home pool

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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