2020 Pro Swim Series – Des Moines: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


Saturday Finals Heat Sheet

The 2020 Pro Swim Series in Des Moines will have its concluding session, featuring the finals of the 800 free, 100 back, 200 breast, 200 IM, and 50 free.

The evening will kick off with the women’s 800 free timed finals, led by Leah Smith. Then on the men’s side, Zane Grothe and Jordan Wilimovsky will have their second distance meet-up in Des Moines. Shortly after, Regan Smith and Ryan Murphy will aim to sweep both backstrokes in the 100m distance.

Into the 200 breast, Annie Lazor headlines the women’s race alongside 100 breast champ Lilly King. US stars Kevin Cordes, Chase Kalisz, Nic Fink, Cody Miller will swim in the four middle lanes on the men’s side. The 200 IM finals will feature Melanie Margalis and Michael Andrew, who already have wins in Des Moines.

The meet will end with the 50 free races, led by World champions Simone Manuel and Caeleb Dressel.

Women’s 800 Free Timed Finals

Top 3

Leah Smith consistently held 31s throughout the majority of the race, coming home in 30.46 to clock in a season best of 8:23.46. Tying her seed time for second place was Hali Flickinger, clocking in an 8:29.96. Touching in for third was Kaersten Meitz, coming in just off her SB (8:31.85) at 8:32.21.

Smith now is the 3rd-fastest swimmer in the world this season just behind Kiah Melverton (8:22.24) and Katie Ledecky (8:14.59). Flickinger’s swim now puts her at #13 for the 2019-2020 season while Meitz’s season best remains at #16.

Men’s 800 Free Timed Finals

  • PSS Record: 7:49.96, Michael McBroom (USA), 2014

Top 3

Egyptian National Record holder Akaram Mahmoud won the men’s 800 free in 7:55.89. That time is a season-best for him and his fastest swim since 2017 in the event. It leaves him about a second-and-a-half away from achieving the FINA “A” standard in the event.

The runner-up, and top-placing American, was Nick Norman in 7:56.30, which is the second-best time of his career behind only a 7:54 raced at the 2018 US National Championships. 18-year old Arik Katz, a Harvard commit, finished 3rd in 8:01.66.

The U.S. Open Record holder and America’s reigning champion in the event Zane Grothe finished 4th in 8:01.74. That’s well off the pace that Grothe has been in early March in each of the last two years, where he swam 7:54 and 7:53 in the 800 free in 2019 and 2018 respectively.

Women’s 100 Back Finals

Top 3

18-year old Regan Smith picked up her 2nd win of the meet with a 58.18 to break her own Pro Swim Series Record in the 100 back. This event is her only swim of the finals session after scratching the 200 IM. The time is the second-fastest of her career, behind only the World Record that she set at last summer’s World Championship meet on a relay leadoff.

The prior World Record holder, Kathleen Baker, was 2nd in 58.56, which is also a career in-season best for her. Olivia Smoliga, who was 3rd in this race at last summer’s World Championship meet, was 3rd on Saturday as well in 59.25. Saturday’s prelims swim was her first long course 100 back of 2020.

After Ali DeLoof in 4th in 1:00.45 and Lisa Bratton in 5th in 1:00.72, Lakeside 17-year old Annabel Crush joined the trend with an in-season best of her own of 1:01.63.

Men’s 100 Back Finals

  • PSS Record: 52.40, David Plummer (USA), 2016

Top 3

World Record holder Ryan Murphy continued his big meet with a 52.79 to win the men’s 100 backstroke. That time ranks him 2nd in the world so far this year. While Murphy has had some ups-and-downs since winning double backstroke gold at the Olympic Games, at this meet he’s been rising to the occasion.

His 100 back time is the fastest that he’s swum in-season since 2016. A dominant win by almost 2 seconds follows a nearly 3-second margin of victory in the 200 back on Friday evening (1:55.22).

2019-2020 LCM MEN 100 BACK

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His former training partner Jacob Pebley finished 2nd in 54.45, coming-from-behind to clip Russian Grigory Tarasevich (54.53).

4-time Olympic Champion Matt Grevers who won individual gold in the 100 back in 2012, placed 4th on Saturday in 54.62, followed by 200 back runner-up Chris Reid in 54.94. 2019 NCAA Champion in the event Dean Farris was 7th in 56.09, which is two-tenths slower than he was in Knoxville in January.

Women’s 200 Breast Finals

Top 3

Annie Lazor and Lilly King paced off each other during the middle 100 of the distance breast race. Off the final pullout, it was Lazor who pulled away from King to win in a 2:21.67, topping the 2019-2020 season world rankings. King settled for second at 2:22.95.

Texas A&M alum Bethany Galat took third place at 2:26.60, just a second off her 2:25.25, which ranks 15th in the world. Rachel Bernhardt finished in 4th at 2:27.97, edging out 5th-place finish Esther Medina Gonzalez (2:28.08).

Men’s 200 Breast Finals

Top 3

Dominating the 200 breast was Athens Bulldog Swim Club, who saw a 1-2-3 sweep led by Nic Fink (2:09.87). Fink was the only swimmer to break 2:10 in the event, touching in a World #15 time for the 2019-2020 season.

Chase Kalisz (2:11.61) and Kevin Cordes (2:11.99), who also train in Athens, rounded out the top 3 times in the event. Cordes’ season best time sits at 2:10.52, which currently ranks 22nd in the world this season.

Sandpipers of Nevada’s Cody Miller touched in for 4th at 2:12.54, which was roughly 3 seconds off his 2019 US Open SB of 2:09.67, which ranks 11th in the world.

Women’s 200 IM Finals

  • PSS Record: 2:08.66, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015

Top 3

It was a wire-to-wire race in the women’s 200 IM between Madisyn Cox and Melanie Margalis. At the wall, the two touched simultaneously at 2:09.03. Margalis’ season best sits at 2:08.84 from the 2019 US Open, which ranks 4th in the world this season.

Cox’s time just eclipsed her season best of 2:09.88 from Knoxville, which bumps her to 6th in the world. Now, four Americans (Baker, Margalis, Walsh, Cox) rank 3rd-6th in the world this season.

Taking third was FR specialist Leah Smith, stopping the clock at 2:13.60.

Men’s 200 IM Finals

  • PSS Record: 1:56.32, Michael Phelps (USA), 2012

Top 3

Michael Andrew blasted out to a lifetime best in the 200 IM at 1:56.83, ranking 4th in the world this season. Andrew split the race 24.07/29.15/33.47/30.14, swimming his free leg within a second of his back leg.

Coming in for second with his strong finishing free was Andrew Seliskar, now ranking 9th in the world this season at 1:58.01. Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann finished in third place also under 2 minutes at 1:59.78, just making the top 25 times in the world.

Andrew is now the fastest American in the 200 IM this season, followed by Kalisz, C. Foster, Stewart, Seliskar, Casas, Lochte, and Prenot;

Women’s 50 Free Finals

  • PSS Record: 24.17, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016

Top 3

Alto Swim Club’s Simone Manuel and Poland’s Kasia Wasick pulled away from the field into the final meters during the women’s 50 free final. At the wall, it was Wasick who took the win in a new Polish national record of 24.58, taking her own record of 24.73. Manuel settled for another PSS silver finish at 24.68.

Wasick now moves up to #10 in the world this season while Manuel’s season best (24.43) from the US Open remains 7th on the top 25 rankings.

Finishing in 3rd was Mission Viejo’s Margo Geer, clocking in a season best of 24.86. Geer now ranks 16th on the world rankings list for the 2019-2020 season.

Men’s 50 Free Finals

Top 3

Storming off the blocks, as per usual, and breaking the 2016 PSS record was Caeleb Dressel, clocking in the fastest time of 2020 at 21.51. Dressel’s time eclipsed Nathan Adrian‘s 21.56 record, who also placed second in tonight’s final (21.88).

While Dressel ranks 2nd for the 2019-2020 season globally, Adrian has now moved up to 8th in the world with his Saturday swim.

Canadian Brent Hayden had a standout performance during his comeback, hitting the Olympic A cut for third place at 21.97. Hayden now ranks 11th in the world this year with his sub-22 swim.

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3 years ago

I’m a fan of Michael Andrew. 1.56 is absolutely amazing. Remember that before hagino did a 1.55, only two men were able to dip under 1.56 in jammers: Phelps and Lochte. Lazlo and Pereira were consistently 1.56 but not 1.55 in textile. Then came Hagino, but it’s been 4 years or 5 since that 1.55 low. Now we have Chase and Seto on 1.55 but thats it. 1.56 from Andrew is a tremendous effort. People can criticize him all they want but if he can come back in 29.1 in last 50, is not only a medal contender in Rio, but a Gold medal contender.

Now my concern is that the American trials are the most difficult meet in the… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  GrameziPt
3 years ago

Big fan, too, but there’s no way he comes home in 29.1 until he learns how to pace the race. 24.0 on the fly is stupid, when Phelps and Lochte, with their 1:54s, went out in 24 high, and he’s not faster than either was in the 100 fly. It’s pacing, not conditioning, and they need to teach him how to swim freestyle fast while breathing. Maybe needs to learn a lope.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Ol’ Longhorn nailed it. Even the person with the best conditioning in the world will die on the freestyle if they take the first 3/4 out like a madman (see: Ryan Lochte circa 2012)

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Pacing seems fine to me if he can go a 1:56

Reply to  GrameziPt
3 years ago

I like it that MA has worked the prelims and finals as that is great training for what will come at trials and Olympics MA’s 200 IM was great and he has a lot of improvement to go as he says he wants his breaststroke leg to be 32 his back to breast turn could be better and his free leg could be 1.5 secs better. At some point in time he will set the World Record.

Reply to  GrameziPt
3 years ago

Didn’t Shanteau also go a 1:55? Or was that in a supersuit?

Reply to  Sophie
3 years ago

supersuit – 2009 i think

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  GrameziPt
3 years ago

But I think it’s almost impossible to be good and train properly for the 3.


Alice Mills won silver in 50 free (second to De Bruijn) and 200 IM (second to Yana Klochkova). So it’s not impossible.

Also, Mitch Larkin has done 1:55

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

I meant to write Phillip Heintz has done 1:55, Larkin 1:56 low

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

where is the third medal and third stroke for Alice mills?
Also, Larkin can get 3 medals, but it’s not 3 different (lets call i.m a stroke) and three different distances.

Andrew’s races are 50 free, 100Breast and 200im…
I’m talking of course About these 3 specifically.

I’m aware that Phelps did get 5 individual golds in Beijing, over 3 Distances, if you want to give this example too.

So…your example is stupid because larkin doesn’t swim 50 free and 100 breast. Also, where is the 100 breast medal for Alice Mills?

I rest my case

Reply to  GrameziPt
3 years ago

I don’t think MA winning a medal in the 200 IM will give him “legendary status and wealth and recognition”. that’s a little extreme.

No to Dressel in the IM.

3 years ago

It’s great to see Michael Andrew posting some really impressive times. The only thing he has going against him is he has zero stamina. He went 24.92 in the 50 free tonight. That would have placed him 3rd with the girls. He has got to work on his stamina.


He looked about ready to die after 150m in the 200 IM.
Think how fast he’d be if he had the tiniest bit of endurance and didn’t have to be at war with himself in these situations! He’s such a gifted swimmer and I get that they are committed to their method… but I can’t help but wonder whether a bit more volume in training during certain times would throw this whole USRPT shtick off for him or get him to the next level.

Reply to  FSt
3 years ago

agreed + working on his free stroke technique


It would be a cool experiment if he went to train with Cal or something for a season after Tokyo. Just to see what would happen.


Yeah, when I saw that 50 time, I was hoping he’d done a different stroke or something. That’s not a level of stamina that can get him through three rounds of a 200, much less in multiple events. Compare Cseh’s 200 fly in Rio, or Phelps’s 400 IM in London. Each could’ve medaled if they’d only had to swim it once, or if making finals had been as easy as it had been in past olympics.

Brian Zhang
3 years ago

Brent Hayden 21.9 okayyyyy

Scott Morgan
3 years ago

Brent Hayden, Stud, Great swim!

3 years ago

michael andrew wins 200 im toyko LOL

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  sqimgod
3 years ago

If only he could no-breathe the last 50. They still haven’t come up with a fast freestyle with him breathing.

3 years ago

Lochte won’t make the Olympics

Reply to  DSswim
3 years ago

Better wait for taper season to make any predictions about Lochte.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  DSswim
3 years ago

I was saying that throughout. His times were being adjusted in the wrong direction around here. Mid 30s is vastly different from early 30s in sports like that. That’s why Phelps and Bolt stayed until 30 then wisely ducked out.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

Phelps said he didn’t want to miss time with his kids and that he was having shoulder problems. Lochte blew through his millions, needs the money and doesn’t know what he’s going to do after retirement. Their words, not mine. I don’t think Lochte will make the team either. Hope I’m wrong.

3 years ago

MA UNBELIEVABLE on 2000yds a day!!!!


Reply to  Cobalt
3 years ago

He does way more than that, dont try to discredit him by chalking it all up to talent. He might work differently than most, but the man does put in serious work.

3 years ago

Not gonna lie, didnt think MA would be a contender in the 2IM, but that was pretty f*cking fast

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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