2019 Pro Swim Series – Knoxville: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


Tonight, Katie Ledecky is the top seed in both the 200 free and 400 IM. Meanwhile, Michael Andrew will challenge his meet record in the 50 back, Luca Urlando will make a push for two podium finishes, and Annie Lazor will try to improve upon her great swim in the 100 breast this morning.

Thursday Finals Heat Sheet


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.69
  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP) – 1:55.78
  2. Simone Manuel (Alto Swim Club) – 1:58.52
  3. Melanie Margalis (St. Petersburg Aquatics/Georgia) – 1:58.68

Katie Ledecky got out to a lead and just ran away with this one with nobody coming close. She finished at the wall at 1:55.78, far ahead of the field. She was about a half second off of her season best, a 1:55.32 from Winter Nationals.

Alto Swim Club’s Simone Manuel held off Melanie Margalis by just over a tenth for 2nd, 1:58.52 to 1:58.68. Also under 2:00 were Hali Flickinger of Athens Bulldogs (1:59.54) and Gabby Deloof of Club Wolverine (1:59.77).

Riptide’s Regan Smith, 16 years of age, was 2:00.36, taking three more tenths off of her best time after breaking 2:01 for the first time this morning.

Kayla Sanchez of HPC – Ontario dominated the B final with a 1:59.79, a time that would’ve been second this morning only to Ledecky.


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:50.79
  1. Joao De Lucca (Cardinal Aquatics) – 1:49.48
  2. Luca Urlando (DART Swimming) – 1:49.51
  3. Chase Kalisz (Athens Bulldogs) – 1:50.47

Cardinal Aquatics’ Joao De Lucca flew out to a lead with a 53.05 going out, and had a huge lead coming down the final 50. Luca Urlando absolutely careened down the stretch in the final 50. Over 1.2 seconds behind De Lucca at the 150 mark, Urlando came back with a field-best 27.12 on the last 50, with De Lucca just being able to hold on, 1:49.48 to 1:49.51. Chase Kalisz, meanwhile, was the only other person under 1:51 with a 1:50.47.

That time is Urlando’s first sub-1:50 swim ever, and he improves upon his previous best from this past summer’s Jr Pan Pacs. He moves to #6 all-time in the 15-16 age group, just behind Ian Crocker and just ahead of Maxime Rooney.

U.S. 15-16 RANKINGS – 200 FREE

  1. Carson Foster – 1:48.57
  2. Caeleb Dressel – 1:48.64
  3. Jake Magahey – 1:48.65
  4. Drew Kibler – 1:49.04
  5. Ian Crocker – 1:49.48
  6. Luca Urlando – 1:49.51

Lakeside Swim Team’s Hunter Tapp was 1:52.71 for the B final win.


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:10.99
  1. Annie Lazor (Mission Viejo) – 1:06.89
  2. Micah Sumrall (Chattahoochee Gold) – 1:07.78
  3. Kierra Smith (HPC – Ontario) – 1:08.21

Annie Lazor just keeps getting better. After going a lifetime best this morning, Lazor continues to find success, winning the event here with a 1:06.89, her first time under 1:07. She was out in 32.18, then came back in a blazing 34.71. In her interview post-race with NBC, she mentioned taking a break from the sport and going forward with no expectations as factors leading to her success thus far. Lazor is training right now with the IU Pro group in Bloomington, IN.

Micah Sumrall clocked a 1:07.78 for 2nd, holding off a charging Kierra Smith (1:08.21). Also under 1:09 were Calgary Swim Club’s Rachel Nicol (1:08.89) and Tennessee Aquatics’ Molly Hannis (1:08.98).

Rachel Bernhardt of Gamecock Aquatics dropped almost eight tenths from this morning to win the B final at 1:09.69.


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:03.29
  1. Andrew Wilson (Athens Bulldogs) – 1:00.57
  2. Nic Fink (Athens Bulldogs) – 1:00.61
  3. Josh Prenot (Cal Aquatics) – 1:00.76

It was a tight field stacked with some of the U.S.’s best breaststrokers, but Andrew Wilson hung on with a 1:00.57. It was a good preview for what may well be the final at the 2020 Trials, with Wilson, Nic Fink (1:00.61), Josh Prenot (1:00.76), and Kevin Cordes (1:01.28)

Wilson, who has been training with Athens Bulldogs, edged his teammate Fink by just four hundredths, with Prenot really close behind the two of them. Wilson was out first to the 50 wall, and held on against Fink and Prenot, who were charging hard.

Connor Hoppe of Cal Aquatics was 1:03.05 to take the B final.


  1. Olivia Smoliga (Athens Bulldogs) – 27.85
  2. Kayla Sanchez (HPC – Ontario) – 28.13
  3. Kathleen Baker (Team Elite) – 28.37

After a beautiful underwater, Olivia Smoliga held strong and posted a 27.85, the only finisher under 28. She’s the American Record holder in this event, and she looked very quick.

Kayla Sanchez, the 200 free B final victor, carried that momentum into this race. She broke up what could’ve been an all-American podium, going 28.13. Team Elite teammates Kathleen Baker and Ali Deloof went 28.37 and 28.38, respectively.

16-year-olds Jade Hannah of HPC – Victoria, Isabelle Stadden of Aquajets, and Phoebe Bacon of NCAP went 5-6-7 in this event at 28.45, 28.50, and 28.55, respectively.

Madison Broad of Swim Ontario won the 50 back in 29.10 ahead of Simone Manuel‘s 29.31.


  1. Michael Andrew (Race Pace Club) – 24.73
  2. Ryan Murphy (Cal Aquatics) – 24.95
  3. Daniel Carr (Unattached) – 25.18

After breaking Junya Koga’s meet record this morning, Michael Andrew was the champion tonight. Though he was a touch off of his time this morning, Andrew fought back against a great start from Murphy, and finished on top, 24.73 to 24.95.

Daniel Carr, like Murphy, had a bit of a drop from prelims, and Carr was 3rd with a solid 25.18. Another Cal swimmer, Bryce Mefford, was 26.04 to grab 4th, though the top three were a class above the rest in this race.


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:00.69
  1. Kelsi Dahlia (Cardinal Aquatics) – 57.86
  2. Kendyl Stewart (Team Elite) – 58.25
  3. Penny Oleksiak (HPC – Ontario) – 58.33

Kelsi Dahlia of Cardinal Aquatics is really learning how to back-half. Out in 28.09, she came back in a 29.77, out-splitting everyone else by a second, to clock a 57.86.

Not far behind was Team Elite’s Kendyl Stewart at 58.25. HPC – Ontario’s Penny Oleksiak had a really great swim, going 58.33 and taking nearly two seconds off of her prelims time.

Also under 59 seconds were Farida Osman at 58.68 and Riptide’s Regan Smith at 58.85. Cal Aquatics’ Dana Vollmer, on her comeback tour, was 59.27. That’s a tenth faster than she was at her first meet back, the 2018 Winter Nationals last month. Meanwhile, Athens Bulldogs’ Natalie Hinds was 59.67 for another new personal best, and HPC – Vancouver’s Haley Black was also under a minute at 59.84.


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 54.19
  1. Marius Kusch (Unattached) – 52.06
  2. Luis Martinez (Guatemala) – 52.14
  3. Giles Smith (Phoenix Swim Club) – 52.40

Marius Kusch was out hard in 24.23, and he held strong to clock the win at 52.06, just ahead of Luis Martinez at 52.14. For Martinez, that’s a new personal best, which means it’s also a new Guatemalan national record.

Giles Smith of Phoenix Swim Club was the top American finisher at 52.40, just ahead of Cal Aquatics’ Tom Shields (52.55).

Despite coming home in a solid 27.89, Luca Urlando was unable to get onto the podium. The DART swimmer was 52.96, still a .02 drop from the prelims, to take 5th. Michael Andrew was out with the field in a 25.03, but tanked hard with a 29.89 coming home for a 54.92 finish.

Zheng Quah had a strong 53.47 to take the B final.


  • Olympic Trials Cut: 4:51.79
  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP) – 4:39.39
  2. Hali Flickinger (Athens Bulldogs) – 4:39.80
  3. Melanie Margalis (St. Petersburg Aquatics/Georgia) – 4:40.31

Hali Flickinger, as expected, was out very well in the front half. She’s a 200 fly and 200 back specialist, so it was no wonder she had a huge lead halfway through. Katie Ledecky and Melanie Margalis reeled her way back into the mix, and Ledecky just did her thing on freestyle to break past her.

Ledecky had an immense 1:00.09 freestyle leg, including a 29.27 final 50, to clock a 4:39.39. Flickinger, who was 4.5 seconds ahead of Ledecky and over 6 seconds ahead of Flickinger at the 200 mark, had a strong enough final 100 to place 2ndin 4:39.80, while Margalis was 4:40.31 for 3rd. Margalis also had a strong last 50 (29.64). All three women took at least seven seconds off of their morning times.

Emily Overholt of HPC – Vancouver dropped five seconds from prelims to go 4:46.32 for 4th, while 15-year-old Mariah Denigan of Northern KY Clippers dropped several tenths for 5th (4:47.67).

NCAP’s Phoebe Bacon clocked a 4:52.34 to win the B final, earning a nice two-second drop from her old PR.

MEN’S 400 IM

  • Olympic Trials Cut: 4:25.99
  1. Josh Prenot (Cal Aquatics) – 4:18.74
  2. Carson Foster (Mason Manta Rays) – 4:20.27
  3. Anton Ipsen (Wolfpack Elite) – 4:20.72

Josh Prenot blew by the field in the breaststroke, and it was all him the rest of the race. The Cal Aquatics swimmer, who placed 3rd in the 100 breast earlier, had a strong swim and finished on top in 4:18.74.

Carson Foster of Mason Manta Rays and Jay Litherland of Dynamo were neck and neck at halfway, but Foster faded behind Prenot, and Litherland really faded. Foster held on for 2nd in 4:20.27, with Wolfpack Elite’s Ant0n Ipsen coming back in a 59.22 to finish in third (4:20.72).

Litherland settled for 4th at 4:22.57, while Foster’s brother Jake Foster took 5th in 4:24.36.

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3 years ago

Ledecky : ” just getting in my groove with a 1.55 In January ” . Jeeeez , she is just so consistant around the 1.55 mark that it bodes very well for this summer in the 200 free .

Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana
3 years ago

I wouldn’t say it necessarily bodes well. She might not even break 1:55 tapered, or she’ll go 1:54 low.

Reply to  Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana
3 years ago

Me thinks that her 400IM is preparing for a fast 200 this summer .

Caeleb Dressel’s bandana
3 years ago

Looks like Michael Andrew got a piano for Christmas!

Reply to  Caeleb Dressel’s bandana
3 years ago


3 years ago

USA swimming really does not want swim fans to watch the pro swim series. I understand that there is money and contracts in play, but I can’t help but think that USA swimming AND their sponsors and distributors don’t really understand the market.

I’m most likely wrong, but it’s hard for me to believe that leaving the real fans in the dark is good for business.

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

I agree

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

The following may help you:
Some tricks are involved: wait for commercials to end and switch to the full screen.
Good luck 😀

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

“If people don’t pay for entertainment then where will big money to pay professional swimmers come from.”

Proceeds to post free links to work around existing channels that would pay said athletes

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

I am really got confused with what you want. If you don’t want to pay for the package of 100 useless channels to have the Olympic channel then go for less expensive basic internet TV and pay extra $5 or $10 for particular channel. If it happens to be not good for you for some reason then use other work around legal solutions. Directly or indirectly (via internet or dish or cable services) you are paying for the pleasure to watch your favorite athletes. And that is where big sellers who pay pro swimmers are finding you with their ads.

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

NBC has the rights to air this on any of their channels, correct? If so, how is this a USA swimming issue? If NBC has the rights, USA swimming can’t air everything unless NBC shares the broadcasting rights.

I’m not sure if I have all the details correct but I’m sure USA swimming would livestream everything if they had the power to. People should be complaining to NBC.

3 years ago

The W400IM was fun to watch. The most entertaining part of this race was that Katie Ledecky won it because of her breaststroke. She was faster than Flickinger in breaststroke by 3.03 sec. In freestyle she was better by 1.86 sec only.

3 years ago

They stopped showing A finals on abc I’m pretty sure also. This needs to be addressed!

Reply to  hswimmer
3 years ago

Do you not have cable, or are not in the US. The Olympic channel is on most cable/digital platforms. If you don’t pay for cable or have a satellite it’s going to be an issue watching lots of sporting events

Reply to  Sccoach
3 years ago

I do, but mine wasn’t working when the a finals were on like it was supposed to. My connection was good also

Reply to  Sccoach
3 years ago

DirecTv only has Olympic Channel on its extra expensive sports package. Basic sports package with 30 channels of sports or so isn’t enough. They are playing tape delay on NBCSN so at least get that.

Reply to  hswimmer
3 years ago

If people don’t pay for entertainment then where will big money to pay professional swimmers come from.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

The money comes from ads. I will gladly watch an ad (I watched many) on the USA swimming feed. I’m not going to pay to watch 100+ channels that I will never watch in order to see the one thing I want to see on cable.

I would also gladly pay $25 or more to get access to the pro swim series. Why is that not an option?

Old models need to adjust to new realities, and consumers that are willing to pay for the content they want should be able to do that.

SUM Ting Wong
Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

I am sorry but you have to have Rachel Maddow too. It says so in the Book of TV .

3 years ago

Why aren’t they showing A finals????

Reply to  hswimmer
3 years ago

Olympic Channel. so i wont be watching this series…for the foreseeable future..hopefully ISL make there series more easy to watch…

Reply to  Swimming4silver
3 years ago

SO stupid. This is why people have no interest in swimming, they have to pay just to watch finals at a meet. BS

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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