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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Coach Rob
4 months ago

I don’t like how everyone is swimming so slowly in this meet. It’s like, cmon, Olympic Trials is in a few weeks. Get your game faces on!

Mr Piano
Reply to  Coach Rob
4 months ago

Michael Andrew: Am I joke to you?

Reply to  Mr Piano
4 months ago

Can’t wait for his 200 IM on the last day of the meet

Reply to  Coach Rob
4 months ago

I’d say the Bowman Sundevil Crew has shown up ready to race!

Captain Ahab
Reply to  Coach Rob
4 months ago

Read chapter 18 of the book titled ‘Swimming Fastest’ by Ernest W. Maglischo and then you will understand what is going on with most of these coaches and athletes. Then read the last two pages of ‘Interval training, high intensity interval training, usrpt’ by Dr. Brent Rushall and you will understand where Michael Andrew is in terms preparation for swim meets.

VA Steve
Reply to  Coach Rob
4 months ago

Little early on that assessment. Tonight will be great!

Reply to  Coach Rob
4 months ago

No one cares who wins the Indy PSS. All that matters is trials.

Reply to  Snarky
4 months ago

The Olympics say “hello”

4 months ago

MA swimming the 200 free…

Troll in the Dungeon
Reply to  Drake
4 months ago

He was a no show at the start.

Reply to  Drake
4 months ago

If MA always points to the heavens after a good swim he wins–thanking JC and divine powers for his help–why doesn’t he give the finger when he swims bad and JC has therefore logically abandoned him, and instead helped his competitors? Isn’t he insulting the saviour when he scratches his 200 free?

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

I always roll my eyes any time I see athletes do this kind of thing. The worst is when known dopers in track and field cross themselves at the start of a race.

Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago


cynthia curran
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

Well, the Russians who cheat probably also cross since lots of them are Russian Orthodox. The Orthodox church is not a big thing in the US unless your parents are immigrants from Russia, Greece, and so forth. They do their services standing up like the old days.

Corn Pop
Reply to  cynthia curran
4 months ago

What a statement !

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

God gives him the opportunity to compete and show all the work he has put in. It’s his job to work hard and execute.

Reply to  50free
4 months ago

usa swimming surely had some part in giving him the opportunity to compete at this meet

Reply to  eagleswim
4 months ago

and the lord gave us usa swimming

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

It is amazing the hate MA generates, it’s almost like he did something to hurt you guys personally. Get a life, who cares what he does, or what he believes in.

Reply to  WestCoastRefugee
4 months ago

What do you mean?

Reply to  WestCoastRefugee
4 months ago

I never said a hateful thing about him or used any insults. “Who cares” you ask? You, it would seem, care deeply, as do many people: he’s a public figure. Who’s “hurt”? Again, seemingly it’s you. Who is throwing aspersions? Newsflash!

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

Anti religious bigotry. Nice

Reply to  Doconc
4 months ago

How so?

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

Let me try to explain

First, you have no idea what he is signaling.

Second, most athletes who acknowledge the Almighty do so to glorify God in their efforts. Not outcomes. Efforts. Thanksgiving for the talent and opportunity to participate.

do you criticize football players when they do the same after throwing/catching a td?

Why does a humble gesture make you so salty?

Reply to  doconc
4 months ago

So, anyone who either asks questions, as I was doing, or disagrees with you is “salty” and a “bigot”? Well, that’s your prerogative, but it does seem a bit judgy. And weird that it’s you that claims to know what “most athletes” are thinking. Anyway have a great day!

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

And Doc, you still never explained what I said that was bigoted.

Last edited 4 months ago by LaBlom
Reply to  doconc
4 months ago

Wow. You accuse this person of not knowing what a common hand-sign that we all can see is, but then claim to know what MA & most athletes” are thinking? You have wondrous super-powers. Maybe he was signaling to you?

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

I love you Jesus. I thank you Jesus for all that I have, and all that I don’t have. Please send your Spirit and help me to draw closer to you.

Reply to  A C
4 months ago

I wish you all the peace in the world, whether or not you’re able to draw closer.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

Well, get on Dressel, too, then, who painted bible verse numbers on his face for years, and scratches races left and right.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

Leave Dean Farris out of this.

4 months ago

Check out Phoebe, bringing home the bacon in 2:08! Good swim.

Reply to  LaBlom
4 months ago

My guess is Smith / Bacon 1-2 for Tokyo!

Reply to  Swammer2009
4 months ago

Cant forget about Rhyan White. She threw down a 2:06 at Mission Viejo. Could easily get down to 2:05 low/2:04 high

Reply to  8588
4 months ago

She went 2:07 and no one easily drops from 2:06 to 2:04 anyway.

4 months ago

Did it look like smith was spinning just a bit or is it just me

Irish Ringer
Reply to  MX4x50relay
4 months ago

Nah, she was swimming…no spinning class this morning that I’m aware of?

4 months ago

Kieran Smith with a 1:46.3 prelim swim down in Atlanta…

Clownley Honks
Reply to  Caleb
4 months ago

Kieran pls

Gowdy Raines
4 months ago

Admittedly a bit out of the loop but what’s up with Ella Eastin? Has she swam at all this year? She’s still listed as active and is scheduled for the Austin meet but it looks like she hasn’t competed in a loooong time.

Last edited 4 months ago by Gowdy Raines
cynthia curran
Reply to  Gowdy Raines
4 months ago

I wondered about her too. No announcement of her retirement. Maybe, she thinks she can do it by showing up at trials.

Silent Observer
Reply to  cynthia curran
4 months ago

Manuel too. Tends to be relatively quiet outside of Championships

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  cynthia curran
4 months ago

And it doesn’t look like she is swimming ATL this week after all. Nothing on MM and didn’t swim the 4IM.

4 months ago

Wow Andrew again!! Is he tapered?

Reply to  sepgup
4 months ago

Andrew always swims fast in-season.

Reply to  sepgup
4 months ago

he swims most of his races tapered
expect him to drop more time though in Trials

4 months ago

MA with a new best time by 0.02 – 51.31

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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