2021 PRO SWIM SERIES – MISSION VIEJO (#3)
- April 8-11, 2021
- Marguerite Aquatics Center, Mission Viejo, CA
- Prelims – 4:00pm PST/Finals – 10:00am PST
- Meet central
- Meet information
- Psych sheets
- Live stream (USA Swimming – evening prelims & 800 free Thursday)
- Live stream (Olympic Channel – mid-day finals)
- Live results
Day Three Finals: Saturday, April 10
The third finals session at 2021 Pro Swim Series – Mission Viejo is taking place Saturday morning and will feature consolation and final heats of the women’s and men’s 200 fly, 50 free, 100 back, 200 breast, and 400 free. In flipping the traditional prelims-in-the morning, finals-at-night scenario, USA Swimming is preparing its athletes for the scheduling format at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Katie Drabot is top seed in the women’s 200 fly, after Hali Flickinger bowed out of the final. Gabriel Jett leads the men’s entries in the event after he dropped 2.8 seconds in prelims to break 2:00 for the first time. He will be challenged by seasoned racers Chase Kalisz and Nicolas Albiero.
Abbey Weitzeil will swim in lane 4 of the 50 free final, with Kasia Wasick -the only other sub-25 out of prelims- in lane 5. In the men’s 50 free, it will be a matchup between Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, for whom this is his Olympic selection meet, and Caeleb Dressel.
Kathleen Baker and Olivia Smoliga both broke 1:00 in prelims to lead the qualifiers in the 100 back. Daniel Carr and Hugo Gonzalez qualified with sub-54s in the men’s race. World Record-holder Ryan Murphy will be in lane 3.
After a stunning 1:54.40 U.S. Open Record in the 200 free on Friday and a world-leading 4:01.37 400 free in prelims, Katie Ledecky will be the one to watch in the women’s final. Zach Yeadon is top seed on the men’s side.
Women’s 200 Meter Butterfly – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 2:06.11 Hali Flickinger (2020)
- Trials Wave II: 2:12.56
- Trials Wave I: 2:14.59
- Katie Crom 17 Mission Viejo Nadadores 2:10.38
- Lillie Nordmann 18 Alto Swim Club 2:10.62
- Katie Drabot 23 Alto Swim Club 2:10.94
Drabot had a strong lead over the field for the first half of the race. She led by half a body length at the 100 wall with 1:01.57. Remedy Rule was .5 behind her, while Nordmann trailed by nearly a second. Drabot held onto her lead through the 150 but began to face challenges from Nordmann down the stretch.
Neither Drabot nor Nordmann could keep pace with Crom, though. She swam 1:02.7-1:07.6 to move up to #32 all-time for 17-18 girls in the U.S.
Men’s 200 Meter Butterfly – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 1:53.84 Luca Urlando (2019)
- Trials Wave II: 1:59.63
- Trials Wave I: 2:01.19
Nicolas Albiero followed up on his recent NCAA title in the 200 yard butterfly with a win in the LCM version at PSS Mission Viejo. His 1:57.86 was a season best and was a 1.2-second improvement from his prelims time. Albiero was out in 55.7 at the 100, with Zheng Quah close on his shoulder in 55.9. Albiero took off on his third 50 to put clean water between him and Quah and led by half a body at the 150 wall.
Chase Kalisz had the strongest back half, splitting his race 56.6-1:01.5, nearly catching Albiero but falling .30 short at the end with 1:58.16.
Zach Harting passed Quah, closing with 1:02.2 to Quah’s 1:03.5 over the final 100 meters. Harting posted a 1:59.38 for third place.
Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 24.17 Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
- Trials Wave II: 25.65
- Trials Wave I: 25.99
- Abbey Weitzeil 24 California Aquatics 24.57
- *Kasia Wasick 29 Team Rebel Aquatics 24.73
- *Beryl Gastaldello 26 Aggie Swim Club- 25.18
Abbey Weitzeil improved on her prelims time of 24.80 to win with 24.57. She was aiming for a 24.5 at this meet, and with a 24.57, she now ranks 9th in the world for the season.
Men’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 21.51 Caeleb Dressel (2019)
- Trials Wave II: 22.71
- Trials Wave I: 23.19
- *Bruno Fratus 31 Coral Springs Swim 21.80
- Caeleb Dressel 24 Gator Swim Club 21.83
- Michael Andrew 21 Race Pace Club 22.13
Brazil’s Bruno Fratus edged Caeleb Dressel by three hundredths, 21.80 to 21.83, to win the men’s 50 free. Fratus was .07 off his prelims time from last night, but both swims help him make the case for representing Brazil in the event in Tokyo. Fratus explained in the post-race interview that the Brazilian Federation only recently made the decision to use Mission Viejo as his selection meet. He quickly tapered and shaved and got the job done. As long as two Brazilian swimmers do not go faster than his 21.73 from last night, Fratus is likely to earn the spot.
Coming to the wall in third place behind Fratus and Dressel was Michael Andrew with 22.13. Nathan Adrian touched 4th in 22.29.
Women’s 100 Meter Backstroke – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 58.18 Regan Smith (2020)
- Trials Wave II: 1:01.49
- Trials Wave I: 1:02.69
- Olivia Smoliga 26 Athens Bulldog Swim Club 59.09
- Kathleen Baker 24 Team Elite-NC/NY 59.50
- Rhyan White 21 Univ Alabama Swimming 59.66
Olivia Smoliga came from behind to overtake Kathleen Baker down the stretch to win the 100 back in 59.04. Baker led Smoliga 28.7 to 29.0 at the 50 wall but Smoliga came home .76 faster to get the victory. Baker was just off her 59.45 time from prelims, touching second in 59.50.
Smoliga moves up to #4 in the world for the season, passing Regan Smith.
Rhyan White cracked the 1:00 barrier for the first time, finishing third in 59.66.
Men’s 100 Meter Backstroke – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 52.40 David Plummer (2016)
- Trials Wave II: 55.51
- Trials Wave I: 56.59
- Ryan Murphy 25 California Aquatics 53.11
- *Hugo Gonzalez 22 Una CAL-PC 53.76
- Daniel Carr 22 Unattached-PC 53.83
Ryan Murphy blasted off to a strong start from lane 3, flipping in 25.6 to lead the field by half a body length over Daniel Carr and Hugo Gonzalez. Gonzalez had the fastest second half but Murphy hung on for the win, stopping the clock in 53.11.
That moves Murphy up to #6 in the world for the current season.
Murphy clipped the lane line just before coming to the wall, but he laughed off suggestions that it impacted his swim. Murphy said they’re just trying to gain information and prepare for Omaha and insisted he was satisfied with his performance.
Women’s 200 Meter Breaststroke – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 2:20.77 Annie Lazor (2019)
- Trials Wave II: 2:30.49
- Trials Wave I: 2:33.29
- Lilly King 24 Indiana Swim Club 2:22.38
- Annie Lazor 26 Mission Viejo Nadadores 2:22.73
- Emily Escobedo 25 Condors Swim Club 2:23.58
Lilly King attacked the 200 like it was a 100, getting out in front of the field by 1.2 at the 50 wall with a first 50 of 31.7. She built her lead to 1.5 seconds at the 100, turning at 1:07.97. Annie Lazor began to close the gap over the second half of the race, outsplitting King on the 3rd 50 by .4 and on the 4th 50 by .7. King held on, though, and got the win, 2:22.38 to 2:22.73.
King explained she had been working on race strategy, musing, “Why would I swim like a 200 breaststroker when I’m a 100 breaststroker?” Her plan is to go out and see how long she can hold on. With a body and a half lead on the field at the halfway mark, she had enough cushion to power through to victory.
Lazor came up .35 short and finished second with 2:22.73. Both she and King have been a touch faster this season.
Emily Escobedo finished third with 2:23.58.
Men’s 200 Meter Breaststroke – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 2:08.95 Andrew Wilson (2018)
- Trials Wave II: 2:15.28
- Trials Wave I: 2:17.89
- Nic Fink 27 Athens Bulldog Swim Club 2:09.73
- Lyubomir Epitropov 21 Unattached-SE 2:10.85
- Andrew Wilson 27 Athens Bulldog Swim Club 2:11.00
Taking a page out of Lilly King’s book, Michael Andrew blasted off to a quick start in the final. Out in 29.0, he was 1:02.07 at the 100 and led the field by nearly a full body length. He remained in first place at the 150 but fell off pace over the final 50 meters and faded to fourth at the finish.
Nic Fink, meanwhile, picked up his second breaststroke win of the meet with a smooth 2:09.73 in the 200 breast final. Down by nearly a second at the halfway mark, Fink remained undaunted and stuck to his strategy. After the race he expressed confidence in the strength of his fourth 50, and it was evident in watching him swim. As Fink closed on Andrew, he increased his rate over the final 25 meters without ever rushing or spinning. Fink came home with an evenly-split 33.39-33.41 second half to win with 2:09.73. It was his top swim of the season and moved him ahead of Andrew Wilson for 16th in the world.
Lyubomir Epitropov and Wilson also passed up Andrew over the final 50 meters, finishing second and third with 2:10.85 and 2:11.00, respectively. Michael’s 4th-place 2:11.32 was, nevertheless, a best time by 1.3 seconds.
Women’s 400 Meter Freestyle – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 3:57.94 Katie Ledecky (2018)
- Trials Wave II: 4:13.28
- Trials Wave I: 4:16.89
- Katie Ledecky 24 Nation’s Capital 3:59.25
- Leah Smith 25 Unattached-AZ 4:06.37
- Hali Flickinger 26 Sun Devil Swimming 4:08.05
Katie Ledecky broke the 4:00 barrier for the 20th time in her career with a 3:59.25 to beat runner-up Leah Smith by over 7 seconds. Ledecky split 1:58-2:01.2 in the final versus 1:59.9-2:01.4 last night, getting most of her improvement over the first 200 meters. Already #1 in the world for the season after last night’s prelims, she increased her lead to nearly 4 seconds over Wang Jianjiahe.
Ledecky said her 4:01 felt really easy last night and thought she could be under 4:00 this morning. She also said she was excited to have Emma Nordin on her heels over the first half of the race and hoped Nordin would hang with her to the end. Nordin had clung to Ledecky from the outset, flipping together with the leader at 57.6 for the first 100. Nordin fell back on the second 100 but was still far ahead of the rest of the field at the 200 with her 1:59.17.
Behind Ledecky over the second half, Leah Smith in lane 3 and Hali Flickinger in lane 1 were holding 31-mids, while Nordin faded to 31-highs/32-lows. Smith split 2:01.6-2:04.7 for a second place 4:06.37. Flickinger, who had scratched the 200 fly final to focus on this race, had her third-best lifetime swim in 4:08.05 for third place.
Men’s 400 Meter Freestyle – Final
- Pro Swim Record: 3:43.55 Sun Yang (2016)
- Trials Wave II: 3:54.21
- Trials Wave I: 3:37.29
- Zach Yeadon 21 Unattached-PC 3:51.57
- Patrick Callan 21 Una CW-MI 3:51.81
- Jordan Wilimovsky 26 KSwim-CA 3:51.95
Chris Wieser set the early pace in the men’s 400 free, leading at the 100, 200, and 300 with 55.3, 1:53.7, and 2:52.8. He was a good body and a half ahead of the wave of swimmers jockeying for position behind him: Jordan Wilimovsky (2:54.4), Zach Yeadon (2:54.4), Will Gallant (2:54.5), and Patrick Callan (2:54.7).
Yeadon, Callan, and Wilimovsky all split 29s on their penultimate 50, while Wieser went a 30-high. Yeadon moved into first place on the final turn, Wieser held on a second, and Wilimovsky was .04 ahead of Callan. Yeadon and Callan came home in 27.9s to finish first and second with 3:51.57 and 3:51.81. Wilimovsky’s 28-low gave him a third-place finish (3:51.95), knocking Wieser (3:53.24) off the podium.