2019 Pro Swim Series – Knoxville: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


The PSS – Knoxville is coming to an end, with one finals session remaining tonight.

Ryan Murphy is up against a young, but talented, group of swimmers in the 200 back, while Katie Ledecky will take on the 1500 free and Simone Manuel will look for a title in the 100 free. Annie Lazor set a new PR in the 50 breast this morning, but the favorite for tonight will be Molly Hannis in the pool she knows better than the entire field as a UT grad and a member of TNAQ.

Saturday Finals Heat Sheet


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 16:49.19
  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP) – 15:45.59
  2. Ashley Twichell (TAC Titans) – 16:13.03
  3. Erica Sullivan (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 16:29.23

Katie Ledecky was 15:45.59, winning by a landslide. This was Ledecky’s first time ever doing the 1500m free in January, according to the USA Swimming database. With that win, that’s another $1500 in Ledecky’s pockets, or one dollar per meter swum.

TAC Titans’ Ashley Twichell, the 800 free winner from Wednesday, was 16:13.03 to take 2nd, while Erica Sullivan of Sandpipers of Nevada clocked a 16:29.23 for 3rd.

Close behind Sullivan were 15-year-old Mariah Denigan of Northern KY Clippers (16:31.48) and Becca Mann (16:32.55).


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 15:44.89
  1. Anton Ipsen (Wolfpack Elite) – 15:16.19
  2. Taylor Abbott (University of Tennessee) – 15:42.72
  3. Brennan Gravely (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 15:43.77

Anton Ipsen completed the distance triple crown, taking the 1500 free tonight after already having won the 400 and 800 free. Here, he was 15:16.19, winning by over 25 seconds.

Taylor Abbott and Sam Rice, teammates at the University of Tennessee, held together behind Ipsen for the entirety of the race. Sandpipers of Nevada’s Brennan Gravely started to climb into the picture, though, and with a furious last 100, he wound up on the podium in 3rd (15:43.77).

Abbott held on for 2nd (15:42.72), while Rice placed 4th in 15:44.59. Ledecky would’ve been 5th in this race, with Christian Bayo‘s 16:05.85 from this morning taking 5th in the men’s race.


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 2:17.39
  1. Melanie Margalis (St. Petersburg Aquatics/Georgia) – 2:10.43
  2. Alex Walsh (Nashville Aquatic Club) – 2:12.36
  3. Emily Overholt (HPC – Vancouver) – 2:14.91

Melanie Margalis and Alex Walsh were a good stretch ahead of the rest of the field in this race, but Margalis was just too good on the back-half for Walsh to make it very close. Margalis finished on top, 2:10.43 to 2:12.36. Walsh ties her third-best performance ever with that time, and it’s her best in-season swim by over a full second.

Canadian Emily Overholt was 2:14.91 to claim 3rd.

The B final went to Emily Escobedo of Condor at 2:18.35, just .05 ahead of Gretchen Walsh (2:18.40).

MEN’S 200 IM

  • 2020 Trials Cut: 2:04.09
  1. Chase Kalisz (Athens Bulldogs) – 1:57.68
  2. Carson Foster (Mason Manta Rays) – 2:00.13
  3. Josh Prenot (Cal Aquatics) – 2:00.33

Chase Kalisz of ABSC was leading at halfway, which meant it was as good as over for everyone else. Flipping at 55.23, Kalisz dominated this race, finishing in 1:57.68.

Josh Prenot of Cal and Carson Foster of Mason Manta Rays had a great race for 2nd, but it was Foster with the final push to the wall as he placed 2nd in 2:00.13. Prenot wound up 3rd in 2:00.33. DART Swimming’s Luca Urlando wasn’t far behind for 4th, clocking a 2:01.14.

Tyler Christianson of Naval Academy Aquatic Club was 2:05.25 to win the B final.


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 2:14.69
  1. Regan Smith (Riptide) – 2:07.53
  2. Hali Flickinger (Athens Bulldogs) – 2:08.72
  3. Isabelle Stadden (Aquajets) – 2:10.69

Regan Smith was out like a rocket, turning at 1:02.21 at the 100 mark. She was certainly feeling it down the final length, but she held on and clocked a 2:07.53. That’s one of her top swims ever, just over a second off of her PR and a second quicker than her old regular season best.

Hali Flickinger closed well, finishing in 2:08.72 and hitting a new best time, erasing her old time of 2:09.22 from Pan Pacs last summer. Isabelle Stadden of Aquajets was 2:10.69 for 3rd and NCAP’s Phoebe Bacon 2:12.37 for 4th.

Lisa Bratton of Aggie Swim Club dropped over three seconds from this morning to go 2:11.80 and win the B final.


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 2:02.99
  1. Ryan Murphy (Cal Aquatics) – 1:56.16
  2. Daniel Carr (Unattached) – 1:58.46
  3. Bryce Mefford (Unattached) – 1:59.50

After cruising during prelims, Ryan Murphy sprung to life tonight and dominated this race out of lane 2. He was 1:56.16, winning the race by over two seconds.

Daniel Carr and Bryce Mefford, two swimmers currently at Cal, went 2-3 to make this a Golden Bear podium. Carr was 1:58.46, and Mefford 1:59.50.

UT’s Joey Reilman, swimming in his home pool, was 2:01.35 for 4th.

Harrison Lierz, 16 years old and swimming unattached, won the B final in 2:02.92. Lierz is a verbal commit to the University of Tennessee.


  1. Molly Hannis (TNAQ) – 30.69
  2. Faith Knelson (HPC – Victoria) – 31.02
  3. Annie Lazor (Mission Viejo) – 31.12

Molly Hannis sprinted to the win here, clocking a 30.69 to take the $1500 cash prize.

2nd was incredibly close, but Canadian teen Faith Knelson was 31.02 to edge Annie Lazor (31.12). For Lazor, this is another personal best. After breaking 32.0 for the first time ever, she’s now pushing the 31.0 barrier.

Emily Escobedo grabbed her 2nd B final win, going 31.82.


  1. Nic Fink (Athens Bulldogs) – 27.34
  2. Kevin Cordes (Phoenix Swim Club) – 27.47
  3. Michael Andrew (Race Pace Club) – 27.71

Nic Fink of ABSC flew to the win at 27.34 here, clocking a new PSS record to break Cody Miller’s 27.39 mark from 2016. Phoenix Swim Club’s Kevin Cordes was not far from that record, either, at 27.47, while Race Pace Club’s Michael Andrew placed third at 27.71.

Richard Funk of Toronto Swim Club went 28.56 to win the B final.


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 56.29
  1. Simone Manuel (Alto Swim Club) – 53.42
  2. Margo Geer (Mission Viejo) – 54.09
  3. Kayla Sanchez (HPC – Ontario) – 54.53

Simone Manuel had a great race, keeping with the field on the front half and then pulling away on the back half and charging to the wall. She topped the podium with a very strong 53.42. That’s a really impressive time for Manuel — it’s within hundredths of what she went at the 2018 Winter Nationals as well as her best time at a PSS ever.

Margo Geer was 54.09 to place 2nd, with Canadian teen Kayla Sanchez there for 3rd at 54.53. ABSC’s Natalie Hinds was 55.14 for 4th in a new best time.

Olivia Smoliga of ABSC was 55.50 for the B final win.


  • 2020 Trials Cut: 50.49
  1. Michael Chadwick (Team Elite) – 49.17
  2. Yuri Kisil (HPC – Ontario) – 49.59
  3. Joao De Lucca (Cardinal Aquatics) – 49.90

Michael Chadwick of Team Elite was out in 23.57 and came back in 25.60, faster than anyone else on both 50’s, to put together a winning time of 49.17.

Also getting under 50 seconds were Yuri Kisil of HPC – Ontario at 49.59 and Cardinal Aquatics’ Joao De Lucca at 49.90. Cal swimmer Zheng Quah placed 4th in 50.12.

Ali Khalafalla of Mission Viejo claimed the B final win at 50.52.

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bobo gigi
5 years ago

15.45 for KL. I’m sure some people will think it’s not a good time for her. 😆 It would have been a world record until 2007.
I’m pretty sure she’s happy for a January swim.

Interesting 200 IM races. Alex Walsh must continue to improve a lot her freestyle but especially her endurance. It’s enough in SCY but it’s harder for her in the last part of the 200 IM in 200 IM. If she improves there then she can make the olympic team in that event next year. In the men’s race it always impresses me to see how much Chase Kalisz has improved his backstroke in the last 3 years. It was a very weak stroke for… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Always interesting Bobo.

5 years ago

A 53.6 by Penny aside from the DQ (looked like a twitch?). She is appearing significantly better in the water so far this year compared to last year! 27.4 with the fastest back-half split

5 years ago

Well done, Nic. We owe you one for that….

5 years ago

hey Karl, notice that Penny was 53.6 for second but was DQ’ed? you on top of this??

5 years ago

Why did Oleksiak get DSQ’d in the 100 Free??

5 years ago

Why the DQ for Penny Oleksiak?

Reply to  ytho
5 years ago

Must have twitched on start

Reply to  Superfan
5 years ago

could not c anything from the video us bs

Reply to  ytho
5 years ago

Looking at the times, she had the best first 50, but apparently didn’t swim the second 50. Maybe she treated it as a 50m freestyle for training purposes. She did something similar with the 200m butterfly in one of these events last year, only swimming 100m. But I can’t say anything for sure.

Reply to  Ben
5 years ago

Nevermind, just saw the 55.11. It would be nice to know why she got the DQ.

Reply to  Ben
5 years ago

55.11 in the prelims

5 years ago

Fairly good times in the both 200 IMs and 200 backs especially the 207 by Regan Smith

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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