2020 PRO SWIM SERIES – DES MOINES
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.
Women’s 800 Free Timed Finals
- PSS Record: 8:06.68, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016
- GOLD: Leah Smith (Tuscon Ford)- 8:23.46
- SILVER: Hali Flickinger (Sun Devil)- 8:29.96
- BRONZE: Kaersten Meitz (Boilermaker)- 8:32.21
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
- GOLD: Akaram Mahmoud (Wolfpack Elite)- 7:55.89
- SILVER: Nick Norman (Cal Aquatics)- 7:56.30
- BRONZE: Arik Katz (Sarasota Tsunami)- 8:01.66
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
PSS Record: 58.26, Regan Smith (USA), 2020
- GOLD: Regan Smith (Riptide)- 58.18 *PSS Record
- SILVER: Kathleen Baker (Team Elite)- 58.56
- BRONZE: Olivia Smoliga (Athens Bulldog)- 59.25
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.
Men’s 100 Back Finals
- PSS Record: 52.40, David Plummer (USA), 2016
- GOLD: Ryan Murphy (Cal Aquatics)- 52.79
- SILVER: Jacob Pebley (Team Elite)- 54.45
- BRONZE: Grigory Tarasevich (Cardinal)- 54.53
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).
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
- PSS Record: 2:20.77, Annie Lazor (USA), 2019
- GOLD: Annie Lazor (Mission Viejo)- 2:21.67
- SILVER: Lilly King (Indiana)- 2:22.95
- BRONZE: Bethany Galat (Aggie)- 2:26.60
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
- PSS Record: 2:08.95, Andrew Wilson (USA), 2018
- GOLD: Nic Fink (Athens Bulldog)- 2:09.87
- SILVER: Chase Kalisz (Athens Bulldog)- 2:11.61
- BRONZE: Kevin Cordes (Athens Bulldog)- 2:11.99
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
- GOLD: Madisyn Cox (Texas) & Melanie Margalis (Saint Petersburg)- 2:09.03
- SILVER: (tie)
- BRONZE: Leah Smith (Tuscon Ford)- 2:13.60
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
- GOLD: Michael Andrew (Race Pace)- 1:56.83
- SILVER: Andrew Seliskar (Cal Aquatics)- 1:58.01
- BRONZE: Jacob Heidtmann (Team Elite)- 1:59.78
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
- GOLD: Kasia Wasick (Poland)- 24.58
- SILVER: Simone Manuel (Alto)- 24.68
- BRONZE: Margo Geer (Mission Viejo)- 24.86
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
PSS Record: 21.56, Nathan Adrian (USA), 2016
- GOLD: Caeleb Dressel (Gator)- 21.51 *PSS Record
- SILVER: Nathan Adrian (Cal Aquatics)- 21.88
- BRONZE: Brent Hayden (Canada)- 21.97
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.