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


The penultimate prelim session from Indianapolis will feature women’s and men’s heats in the 200 free, 200 back, 400 IM and 100 fly.

Regan Smith has a great shot at two wins on the day, entering as the top seed in the women’s 200 back and the #2 seed in the women’s 100 fly.

Dean Farris has notably scratched out of the men’s 200 free as the top seed, opting for the 100 fly, leaving 100 free winner Blake Pieroni Lane 4 of the fastest heat this morning.

Women’s 200 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:54.40, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2021
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 2:00.24
  1. Paige Madden (UVA), 1:57.83
  2. Leah Smith (UN), 1:58.17
  3. Allison Schmitt (SUN), 1:58.52
  4. Emma Nordin (SUN), 1:58.86
  5. Erica Laning (SUN), 1:59.85
  6. Gabby Deloof (CW), 2:00.32
  7. Kelly Pash (CSC), 2:00.54
  8. Chloe Stepanek (TAMU), 2:00.68

It was Virginia’s Paige Madden putting together a very strong morning swim to qualify first into the final of the women’s 200 freestyle, putting up a time of 1:57.83 – two tenths outside of her personal best set at the U.S. Open (1:57.64). That time from November currently ranks Madden third among Americans this season.

Allison Schmitt, who ranks fourth on that list with her 1:58.04 from Mission Viejo, was second to Madden in the heat in 1:58.52, qualifying third for the final.

Leah Smith powered to the wall in Heat 4 for second overall, registering a time of 1:58.17 to lower her season-best of 1:58.54 set in San Antonio back in March.

Emma Nordin continued her red-hot showing here in Indianapolis out of the first circle-seeded heat, touching first in a time of 1:58.86, just over three tenths shy of her best time set last month in Mission Viejo (1:58.51) for the fourth seed. Taking second in the heat was her Sun Devil teammate Erica Laning, who was two tenths off her lifetime best in 1:59.85.

Men’s 200 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 1:49.65
  1. Jorge Iga (UN), 1:48.01
  2. Patrick Callan (CW), 1:48.93
  3. Blake Pieroni (SAND), 1:48.94
  4. Grant House (SUN), 1:49.06
  5. Marwan El Kamash (ISC), 1:49.20
  6. Zane Grothe (BCH), 1:49.94
  7. Koko Bratanov (TAMU), 1:50.23
  8. Jonathan Rutter (UN), 1:50.36

Mexico’s Jorge Iga absolutely torched the back-half of  the first circle-seeded heat in the men’s 200 freestyle, running down early leader Ryan Held (1:51.04) to claim the top seed for tonight’s final by almost a full second in 1:48.01. That time marks Iga’s fastest performance since the 2019 Pan Am Games, with his PB standing at 1:47.14 from April of that year.

Grant House, who tied for the ‘B’ final win in the 100 free last night, took second to Iga in the heat in 1:49.06, good for fourth overall.

In the final heat, top seed Blake Pieroni waited until the last 50 to make his move, narrowly running out of room as Patrick Callan held him off by .01 in 1:48.93. The two of them advance second and third overall into the final. Callan is the third-fastest American this season at 1:47.38, while Pieroni owns a 2020-21 best of 1:48.37.

Pieroni closed in a scintillating 26.48, while Marwan El Kamash, who qualified fifth in 1:49.20, was also sub-27 in 26.99.

The penultimate heat provided some great racing – Julian Hill (1:50.42) edged out Jake Mitchell (1:50.45) and Sun Devil teammate Liam Bresette (1:50.47) to touch first – but ultimately no one in the heat advanced to the ‘A’ final.

Texas A&M’s Koko Bratanov dropped four seconds from his best time to make the championship heat from one of the early heats, clocking 1:50.23 after coming in with a best of 1:54.22 set way back in 2018.

Women’s 200 Back Prelims

  • PSS Record: 2:05.94, Regan Smith (USA), 2020
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 2:12.94
  1. Phoebe Bacon (UN), 2:08.34
  2. Regan Smith (RIPT), 2:08.74
  3. Alex Walsh (UN), 2:12.03
  4. Mariella Venter (CW), 2:13.17
  5. Tevyn Waddell (UN), 2:13.57
  6. Amy Bilquist (SAC), 2:14.21
  7. Taylor McCoy (COUG), 2:14.32
  8. Beata Nelson (WA), 2:14.93

Phoebe Bacon and Regan Smith both looked very comfortable in putting up a pair of 2:08s from their respective heats in the women’s 200 back, setting up what should be an excellent battle in tonight’s final.

Bacon qualified first from the opening heat in 2:08.34, lowering her season-best of 2:09.16 and moving past Smith as the fourth-fastest American this season. Smith won the final heat in 2:08.74, dipping under her season-best of 2:08.80 set in San Antonio in March.

Alex Walsh won Heat 2 in what was only her second LCM 200 back of the season, taking more than a second off her time from the U.S. Open in 2:12.03 to qualify third for the final.

Men’s 200 Back Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:55.04, Xu Jiayu (CHN), 2017
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 2:00.81
  1. Will Grant (VS), 1:59.70
  2. Thomas Watkins (UN), 1:59.86
  3. Alex Gliese (WOLF), 2:00.04
  4. Andy Song (CAL), 2:01.02
  5. Jack Dolan (SUN), 2:02.05
  6. Wyatt Davis (CSC), 2:02.60
  7. Anthony Rincon (VS), 2:02.69
  8. Jack Wever (UN), 2:02.72

Five of the eight ‘A’ final qualifiers ended up coming out of the fourth and final heat in the men’s 200 back, led by Veritas Swimming’s Will Grant who put together the second-fastest swim of his career in 1:59.70.

Grant held off Wolfpack Elite Alex Gliese (2:00.04) to finish less than two tenths shy of his best time set at the U.S. Open (1:59.52). That time currently ranks Grant fifth among American this season. Cal’s Andy Song (2:01.02) was third in the heat, good for fourth overall.

Ohio State’s Thomas Watkins was dominant in the penultimate heat, putting together a very impressive 1:59.86 to finish .01 off his PB set in March 2020. A native of New Zealand, Watkins ranks first among Kiwis in 2020-21.

The Sun Devils have been swimming incredibly well here in Indianapolis, and Jack Dolan continued that trend as he led the first circle-seeded heat in 2:02.05, the second-fastest swim of his career after going 2:00.41 in April.

Women’s 400 IM Prelims

  • PSS Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 4:47.72
  1. Hali Flickinger (SUN), 4:42.61
  2. Leah Smith (UN), 4:42.93
  3. Mariah Denigan (LAK), 4:44.83
  4. Ally McHugh (WA), 4:45.33
  5. Kathryn Ackerman (CW), 4:46.18
  6. Emma Barksdale (GAME), 4:46.41
  7. Abby Hay (UOFL), 4:48.65
  8. Samantha Tadder (TIDE), 4:49.46

Hali Flickinger pulled away from Leah Smith on the breaststroke leg and then held her off on the freestyle, qualifying first in the women’s 400 IM from the third and final heat in a time of 4:42.61.

Flickinger is currently the eighth-fastest swimmer in the world and second among Americans this season by virtue of her 4:37.55 swim from Mission Viejo last month.

Smith, the seventh-fastest U.S. woman this season at 4:40.48, was three tenths back in 4:42.93, while Mariah Denigan (4:44.93) churned out her quickest performance since March of 2019 for third overall.

Ally McHugh closed strong to win Heat 2 in 4:45.33 over Emma Barksdale (4:46.41), while Club Wolverine’s Kathryn Ackerman won the first heat in 4:46.18 – just one tenth off her personal best time set way back in 2018 when she was 16 (now 19).

Men’s 400 IM Prelims

  • PSS Record: 4:08.92, Chase Kalisz (USA), 2018
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 4:23.24
  1. Charlie Swanson (CW), 4:21.95
  2. Jarod Arroyo (UN), 4:22.18
  3. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz (AGS), 4:23.05
  4. Caleb Aman (UN), 4:24.49
  5. Will Roberts (CW), 4:25.36
  6. Ben McDade (ISC), 4:28.27
  7. Raunak Khosla (FMC), 4:29.22
  8. Ansel Froass (UN), 4:30.44

Club Wolverine’s Charlie Swanson coasted home on the freestyle en route to taking the top seed in the men’s 400 IM for tonight’s final, winning Heat 2 in a time of 4:21.95.

Swanson, who owns a PB of 4:11.46 from the 2019 Pan Am Games, owns a season-best of 4:19.43, set last month in Mission Viejo, which ranks him seventh among Americans this season.

Jarod Arroyo, who was 4:18.44 last month in Mission Viejo, topped the opening heat in 4:22.18 for second overall.

Women’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • 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), 58.08
  3. Kate Douglass (UVA), 58.13
  4. Linnea Mack (TE), 58.92
  5. Beata Nelson (WA), 58.95
  6. Kelly Pash (UN), 59.18
  7. Leah Gingrich (HURR), 59.42
  8. Farida Osman (UN), 59.54

Regan Smith showed no ill effects after racing the 200 back earlier in the session, dropping the second-fastest 100 fly of her career in 57.68 to claim the top seed for tonight’s final.

Smith set her best time of 57.34 at the Pro Swim Series in Des Moines in March of 2020, prior to the pandemic, and her previous 2020-21 season-best stood at 57.88 from the San Antonio stop this past March. She now ranks sixth among Americans this season.

2016 Olympian in this event Kelsi Dahlia established a season-best of her own in the final heat, clocking 58.08 to down her 58.10 from Mission Viejo and advance second into tonight’s final.

The first circle-seeded heat produced half of the ‘A’ final, led by Virginia’s Kate Douglass (58.13), who has been 57.43 this season. Coming off her impressive 100 free swims yesterday, Linnea Mack was just .05 off her lifetime best to qualify fourth in 58.92.

Flying a little bit under the radar this week but swimming extremely well has been Kelly Pash, who goes 59.18 here to mark her fastest swim ever outside of the 2019 Summer Nationals – where she swam the two fastest times of her career (58.75, 58.92).

Men’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • PSS Record: 50.92, Caeleb Dressel (USA), 2020
  • Wave II Olympic Trials Cut: 53.37
  1. Michael Andrew (RPC), 51.31
  2. Evan Carlson (SUN), 52.31
  3. Zach Harting (CARD), 52.40
  4. Miles Smachlo (CW), 52.45
  5. Youssef Ramadan (UN), 52.64
  6. Dylan Carter (TE), 52.77
  7. Danny Kovac (UMIZ), 52.87
  8. Kaan Ayar (DM), 53.01

Michael Andrew kept the momentum rolling after yesterday’s standout 100 breast, establishing another personal best time in the men’s 100 fly: 51.31.

Andrew’s previous best was 51.33, set at the Des Moines PSS in early 2020, and his previous fastest this season was a 52.43 from Mission Viejo. The 22-year-old now ranks seventh in the world this season and first among Americans, overtaking Caeleb Dressel‘s 51.61 from last month (Dressel will race at the Atlanta Classic this weekend).

Sun Devil Evan Carlson dropped a big best time to win the final heat and qualify second overall, touching in 52.31 to break 53 seconds for the first time. Carlson’s previous best of 53.01 was set at the 2019 U.S. Open.

Zach Harting qualified third from the first circle-seeded heat in 52.40 – his fastest swim since August of 2019.

2016 Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling eked his way into a second swim in 53.43 for 16th, while his former Texas teammate and current PRVT training partner Jack Conger (53.49) missed out in 17th.

Women’s 200 Free Swim-Off

After a couple of scratches, Madelyn Donohoe and Diana Dunn were thrown into a swim-off to determine the final spot in tonight’s women’s 200 free ‘B’ final after tying for 19th in the prelims in 2:02.77.

In an incredibly tight race that came down to the wire, it was Virginia’s Donohoe getting her hand on the wall first by six one-hundredths, clocking 2:03.25 to Dunn’s 2:03.31. Donohoe had trailed by over a second at the 150, but charged home in 30.94 to snag the victory.

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2 years ago


RACE DAY NERVES: He didn’t even race 🤣🤣

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

But you apparently subscribe to his channel???

2 years ago

In 2016 Leah smith went 1:56.7 and 4:03.3 at this same meet that year.. Emma nordin could pull the same performance

OSU Swim Fan
2 years ago

Thomas Watkins is a Kiwi, not an American. Where does he sit for his home country? Go Tomo!!

2 years ago

Is Cierra runge retired?

Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

I have the same question about Lia Neal.

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago

or Jacob Pebley

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago

And Becca Mann.

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago

Or Michael Phelps

Reply to  LaBlom
2 years ago

Phelps has a pool at his house. Coach Bowman visits pretty much every day. Secret plan?

2 years ago

What is the event schedule for trials?

We all know MA will swim the 200IM and 100 Breast.

How does the 50 free and 100 fly factor into this?
Will he have any doubles?

I don’t see him swimming the 100 free unless it’s a prelim swim to just swim it which I don’t think is needed with other events.

Reply to  Xman
2 years ago

I’m beginning to feel more-and-more like it’s going to be the 200 IM/100 breast/50 free, dropping the 100 fly. It seems like they’re getting a little more conservative with his lineups.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

That lineup would be perfect. It gives him the opportunity to prove his versatility in strokes, speed, and endurance, without swimming too many events.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

I don’t think he wants to prove his versatility. I think he just wants to make the team.

Swimlikefish drink like fish
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

I’d say if he thinks he can go 50.7-.5 he probs swims the fly, does he have an opportunity to make the team before the fly?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimlikefish drink like fish
2 years ago

All predicated on whether Rooney will ever break 51 again. If he doesn’t, it’s a gang fight at about 51.0.

fly fly
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

On Saturday, 50 free is right before 200IM (only women’s in between), and he is entered in both. Interesting to see how his team will work it out.

Reply to  fly fly
2 years ago

Yeah, at the last one, he just swam for a 50 split on the 200 and skipped the individual. He was entered in the 200 free this week but DFS’ed it, so seems like a different strategy.

I get why they do the lineup that way, because it’s not a typical double, but I would love to see some variation in the event schedules for these meets to accommodate those unique athletes like him, especially since they don’t conflict at Trials. So maybe one meet, 50 free is on day 4, but then the next one they move it to day 2 or 3.

2 years ago

Schooling 53.43 @ 16th.
Is there any other active Rio Olympic champion who has retrogressed more than him in the past few years?

Reply to  whever
2 years ago

Mireia Belmonte comes to mind

Mr Piano
Reply to  whever
2 years ago

Needs some USRPT

Reply to  whever
2 years ago

Jack Conger was 17th

Reply to  whever
2 years ago

…. but but but Joseph Schooling has won an individual gold medal at the Summer Olympics. Where is the arse that was moving the goal posts on the Dressel debate?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago

I mean, what debate is there? One will forever be known as Olympic champion. The other, we don’t know yet.

Reply to  whever
2 years ago

Maybe that one medal was all he wanted. The Olympics will answer the question, I guess.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  whever
2 years ago


2 years ago

Regan smith beat both Kate Douglass and Kelsie dahlia in prelims let’s see if she can go under 57 tonight

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

Regan Smith seems a bit “off” from her performance at the 2020 TYR Pro Swim Series – Des Moines in March, 2020.

100 FL – ? vs 57.34
200 FL – 2:07.59 vs 2:06.39

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago

This is still prelims

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago

What coach Mike said…plus the fact that trials are on the horizon vs Des Moines when they weren’t…

2 years ago

MA 51.31 faster than Dressel today

Mr Piano
Reply to  Drake
2 years ago

Good prelim swim for MA, but Dressel tends to drop more between prelims and finals, and he had a 200 free right before.

Reply to  Drake
2 years ago

Do you think he can get under 51?

Reply to  anonymous
2 years ago

What I want to say is someone is definitely breaking 51 tonight but I’m a bit skeptical about that atm. I’d love to see a sub 51 from 1 or even 2 Americans right now.

Reply to  anonymous
2 years ago

He dropped ,15 on breast bw prelims and finals, so it’s probably going to be very close.

Reply to  Drake
2 years ago

Dressel also had a 200 free earlier in the session. Still a great swim by MA

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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