2021 Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


The penultimate night from Indianapolis promises to be an exciting one with finals in the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 400 IM and 100 butterfly.

Regan Smith will take on a tough double tonight in the women’s 200 back and 100 fly, as the 19-year-old is set to clash with reigning NCAA champion Phoebe Bacon in the former while entering the latter as the top seed by four tenths.

Hali Flickinger comes into the women’s 400 IM with a two-second gap on the field after Leah Smith scratched the event, as Smith opts to challenge top seed Paige Madden in the 200 free.

On the men’s side, Blake Pieroni will look for the 100/200 double in the men’s 200 free, where he’ll need to overcome #1 seed Jorge Iga, while Charlie Swanson and Michael Andrew come in as favorites in the 400 IM and 100 fly, respectively.

The 200 back appears to be wide open after Will GrantThomas Watkins and Alex Gliese were all within .34 of each other this morning.


  • PSS Record: 1:54.40, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2021
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 2:00.24
  1. Paige Madden (UVA), 1:57.47
  2. Allison Schmitt (SUN), 1:57.59
  3. Emma Nordin (SUN), 1:57.68

It was a tight race from the get-go in the women’s 200 freestyle, with 2012 Olympic champion Allison Schmitt holding a slight lead on challengers Paige MaddenEmma Nordin and Leah Smith at the final turn.

Madden charged to the front in the closing meters on the last 50, overtaking Schmitt to earn the win in a time of 1:57.47, eclipsing her personal best time of 1:57.64 set at the U.S. Open in November.

Schmitt was just over a tenth back for second in 1:57.59, and her Sun Devil teammate Nordin was a further nine one-hundredths behind for third in 1:57.68. Smith closed faster than anyone in 29.82, but ran out of pool and ended up a close fourth in 1:57.81.

Madden, the NCAA champion in this event this past season with Virginia, is now the second-fastest U.S. woman in the event this season, while Schmitt, Nordin and Smith now rank fourth, fifth and sixth. Nordin’s performance was also a new best, marking her first time sub-1:58.

Three women cracked 2:00 from the ‘B’ final after none were under 2:01 in the morning, led by Catie Deloof in a personal best of 1:59.38. Deloof’s previous PB was a 1:59.40 from the 2019 U.S. Open.


  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 1:49.65
  1. Grant House (SUN), 1:47.69
  2. Blake Pieroni (SAND), 1:48.06
  3. Marwan El Kamash (ISC), 1:48.23

It got close at the end, but Grant House finished off a wire-to-wire victory in the men’s 200 freestyle in style.

House, 22, broke out to an early lead at the first wall and never looked back, splitting 25.13/27.16 on the way out before keeping his splits sub-28 coming back, including a strong 27.44 closing leg. The Arizona State Sun Devil’s final time of 1:47.69 marks his second-fastest ever, trailing only the 1:46.95 he produced back in the summer of 2018.

House now sits fifth among Americans in the 2020-21 season.

Blake Pieroni, who the 100 free last night, was very controlled on the opening 50 and then was the fastest man in the pool over the middle 100, pulling within less than two tenths of House at the final turn. However, the former Indiana Hoosier ran out of gas slightly over the final few strokes, settling for second in 1:48.06. The time is still a season-best for Pieroni, who had previously been 1:48.37 at the Indiana Speedo Sectionals.

Marwan El Kamash moved up from seventh at the 100 to steal third in 1:48.23, closing faster than everyone in the field in 27.11. Top seed from the morning Jorge Iga (1:48.44) took fourth and Patrick Callan (1:48.67) was fifth.


  • PSS Record: 2:05.94, Regan Smith (USA), 2020
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 2:12.94
  1. Phoebe Bacon (UN), 2:06.84
  2. Regan Smith (RIPT), 2:06.90
  3. Mariella Venter (CW), 2:12.11

Phoebe Bacon and Regan Smith put on a show in the final of the women’s 200 backstroke, battling stroke-for-stroke all the way to final touch.

The third 50 turned out to be the difference-maker for Bacon, as she pulled ahead by .06 before the two produced matching 32.92 splits on the last length, leaving the reigning NCAA champion with the victory in 2:06.84 to Smith’s 2:06.90.

The time is a massive personal best for Bacon – she entered the day with a best of 2:08.82, and then lowered it to 2:08.34 this morning – and moves her into third in the world this season and first among Americans.

Smith, the world record holder at 2:03.35, goes well under her season-best (set this morning at 2:08.74) to move into fourth in the world and second among U.S. swimmers.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 Back

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South African native Mariella Venter picked up third in 2:12.11, just off her PB of 2:12.11, while Alex Walsh touched fourth in 2:13.51. Walsh was significantly faster – 2:12.03 – this morning.


  • PSS Record: 1:55.04, Xu Jiayu (CHN), 2017
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 2:00.81
  1. Thomas Watkins (UN), 1:59.21
  2. Will Grant (VS), 1:59.43
  3. Alex Gliese (WOLF), 1:59.75

Four men pushed each other to get under two minutes in the men’s 200 backstroke final, with New Zealand’s Thomas Watkins edging past Will Grant to touch first in 1:59.21, lowering his personal best down from 1:59.85. Watkins is a member of Ohio State University.

Grant, who represents Veritas Swimming, led the majority of the way before getting passed late, still knocking his best time down by nine one-hundredths in 1:59.43 for second. The 19-year-old overtakes Bryce Mefford (1:59.49) to become the fourth-fastest American this season.

Wolfpack’s Alex Gliese and Cal’s Andy Song both charged home with blistering final 50 splits of 30.41 and 30.37, respectively, taking third and fourth in 1:59.75 and 1:59.89. Both swimmers clipped their personal best time, including Gliese breaking 2:00 for the first time.


  • PSS Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 4:47.72
  1. Hali Flickinger (SUN), 4:37.73
  2. Ally McHugh (WA), 4:40.89
  3. Kathryn Ackerman (CW), 4:44.09

It was Hali Flickinger essentially racing the clock in the women’s 400 IM final, as the Sun Devil jumped out to a three-second lead after just 100 meters of butterfly. The lead essentially stayed at the margin the rest of the way, with Ally McHugh making some inroads on the breaststroke before Flickinger closed things out on freestyle.

Flickinger touched in a final time of 4:37.73, narrowly missing her season and lifetime best of 4:37.55 set last month in Mission Viejo. That swim currently ranks her eighth in the world this season and second among Americans, trailing only Melanie Margalis (4:35.18).

McHugh, who owns a best of 4:34.80 from 2018 and has been 4:39.11 this season, was the runner-up in 4:40.89, pulling away from Club Wolverine’s Kathryn Ackerman on breast.

Ackerman, 19, smashed her best time by two seconds in 4:44.09, having previously been 4:46.08 in 2018 when she was 16.


  • PSS Record: 4:08.92, Chase Kalisz (USA), 2018
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 4:23.24
  1. Jarod Arroyo (UN), 4:18.57
  2. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz (AGS), 4:19.47
  3. Charlie Swanson (CW), 4:20.86

It was Arizona State’s Jarod Arroyo holding the lead through the halfway mark in the men’s 400 IM, and despite a big push from Club Wolverine’s Charlie Swanson on the breaststroke, Arroyo took complete control of the race with a 1:00.48 free split to book the win in a time of 4:18.57.

Arroyo, 20, falls just shy of his season-best set last month (4:18.44). The Puerto Rico native will have a few more opportunities to hit the FINA ‘A’ cut of 4:15.84 and assure himself a spot at the 2021 Olympic Games. Arroyo holds a best of 4:16.67 set in early 2020.

Mexico’s Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz also overtook Swanson on freestyle, finishing second in 4:19.47 – less than half a second shy of his Mexican National Record (4:19.01).

Swanson, who has been 4:19.43 this season, rounded out the podium in 4:20.86.


  • PSS Record: 56.38, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 59.59
  1. Regan Smith (RIPT), 57.68
  2. Kelsi Dahlia (CARD), 57.75
  3. Kate Douglass (UVA), 57.76

It was two races and two extremely close and exciting battles for Regan Smith in tonight’s session, as the 19-year-old followed up her runner-up finish in the women’s 200 back with a big win over tough competition in the 100 fly.

Smith clocked in at 57.68, out-touching Kelsi Dahlia and Kate Douglass by less a tenth, to tie her season-best time set in this morning’s prelims. Smith’s two swims today trail only her 57.34 best time done in early 2020.

Dahlia was the fastest closer in the field in 30.69, clipping early leader Douglass at the wall by .01 in 57.75 for second and a new season-best. Dahlia had previously been 58.08 – done this morning – while Douglass’ time of 57.76 is just over four tenths shy of her 57.43 PB set at the U.S. Open.

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson (58.37) and Team Elite’s Linnea Mack (58.48) both set new personal best times to take fourth and fifth.


  • PSS Record: 50.92, Caeleb Dressel (USA), 2020
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 53.37
  1. Michael Andrew (RPC), 50.80
  2. Zach Harting (CARD), 52.22
  3. Danny Kovac (UMIZ), 52.26

Michael Andrew unleashed another sizable best time in the men’s 100 fly final, blasting out in 23.38 at the 50 before holding things together down the second 50, touching in a time of 50.80 to mark his first time under 51 seconds.

Andrew reset his best time down from 51.33 to 51.31 in this morning’s prelims before taking another full half-second off tonight.

The 22-year-old now ranks second in the world this season, trailing only Hungarian Kristof Milak (50.47), and also lowers Caeleb Dressel‘s Pro Swim Series Record of 50.92 set last year. Dressel notably swam a time of 51.15 tonight at the Atlanta Classic.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Fly

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In the historical rankings, Andrew is now the fifth-fastest American of all-time and 14th overall, overtaking, among others, 2019 World Championship silver medalist Andrei Minakov (50.83).

All-Time U.S. Performers, Men’s 100 Fly (LCM)

  1. Caeleb Dressel, 49.50 – 2019
  2. Michael Phelps, 49.82 – 2009
  3. Ian Crocker, 50.40 – 2005
  4. Maxime Rooney, 50.68 – 2019
  5. Michael Andrew, 50.80 – 2021

Zach Harting used his patented closing speed to move up from seventh at the 50 to second at the finish, splitting 27.61 on the way home for a time of 52.22. The swim is Harting’s fourth-fastest ever, and best since the summer of 2019.

Mizzou’s Danny Kovac put together a strong race, splitting 24.26/28.00 to take third in 52.26, just missing his PB of 52.22 set at the 2019 Summer Nationals. Sun Devil Evan Carlson joined Andrew by getting out sub-24 in 23.94, and ended up fourth in 52.37. Carlson broke 53 for the first time this morning in 52.31.

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6 months ago

Any way to watch the finals today for a non-American?

Reply to  Troyy
6 months ago
Reply to  ooo
6 months ago

Oh I fully expected the finals today to be on Olympic Channel. Thanks.

6 months ago

Let’s Go Schmitty!

Reply to  LaBlom
6 months ago

Silver and bronze for Sundevils.

6 months ago

Rooting for Paige Madden for Tokyo!

6 months ago

madden with a best time by 0.17

6 months ago

Nice swim by Paige, running down Schmitt. Hope she gets the individual spot behind Katie.

6 months ago

Nice race at W200FR. It isn’t 1:56 level yet, but definitely a step forward: four 1:57 results.

Last edited 6 months ago by Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
6 months ago

Yes agreed!!!! 5 women went 1:57 today, hopefully one of those 5 can go a mid 1:54 high at trials (smoliga, nordin, Schmitt, smith, Madden) just need one big breakout swim and we still have Manuel to race next weekened hopefully. I have faith that the American woman will still win the 800 relay in Tokyo

6 months ago

Comparably, Smoliga 1:57.0 in Atlanta

Reply to  Pvdh
6 months ago

5 american women went 157 today smoliga, Madden, smith,nordin and Schmitt!!! Still have Manuel next week hopefully she’ll swim it!

6 months ago

What happened to all that Texas talent from just a few years ago? Why are the horns no longer good on the world stage?

Reply to  LaBlom
6 months ago

lol wut

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
6 months ago

Schooling, Conger, Licon, Smith?

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
6 months ago

You seriously think any current or former Horns are going to make US team? Haas maybe.

Reply to  LaBlom
6 months ago

Much more likely than not Haas makes the US team in at least the 800 free relay, and the 200 breast is somewhat wide open (would bet that Wilson grabs one of the spots) so it is possible that Licon gets in there. Looks like the class probably peaked in 2016-2017 though.

Reply to  LaBlom
6 months ago

800 Relay: Kibler, Foster, Rooney,
Both IMs: Foster
200 breast: Licon
400 Fr Relay: Tate, Rooney, Conger
100 Fly: Rooney, Conger
200 back: Katz

Last edited 6 months ago by USA
Reply to  USA
6 months ago

lol…you’re dreamin

Swimlikefish drink like fish
Reply to  LaBlom
6 months ago

All good in the 100

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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