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


After rocketing to a new best of 21.87 this morning in the 50 free, 18-year-old David Curtiss will try to go deeper under 22 tonight as the top seed.

Emily Escobedo is primed for a big 200 breast, her best event, after clocking a lifetime best in a 100 breast win last night where she was faster than WR-holder Lilly King was in San Antonio. Meanwhile, Justin Ress and Coleman Stewart will showdown in the 100 back, and Catie Deloof eyes wins in the 50 free and 100 back, but she’s seeded behind older sister Ali Deloof and NOVA of Virginia’s Josephine Fuller in the latter.


  • PSS Record: 2:06.11, Hali Flickinger (USA), 2020
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:14.59
  1. Grace Sheble (NOVA) – 2:12.85
  2. Tess Howley (LIAC) – 2:13.01
  3. Caroline Sheble (NOVA) – 2:14.12

LIAC’s Tess Howley was out extremely hard in this race, 29.1 at the 50 and 1:02.1 at the 100. She had about a body length lead halfway through the race, but over the final 50, Grace Sheble closed fast. Sheble did enough in the final stretch to pass Howley, going 2:12.85 to Howley’s 2:13.01.

Grace’s twin sister Caroline Sheble posted a 2:14.12, good for third and a lifetime best by a couple of tenths. In fourth was NOVA’s Zoe Dixon in 2:15.15, a best for her by two seconds, while NCAP’s Eleanor Sun also earned a new best at 2:16.66 for sixth.


  • PSS Record: 1:53.84, Luca Urlando (USA), 2019
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.19
  1. Aiden Hayes (SSC) – 1:58.33
  2. Justin Wright (NCAC) – 2:00.25
  3. Tommy Bried (ACE) – 2:01.01

Just like in prelims, Sooner Swim Club’s Aiden Hayes was out with speed. He was 25.7 over the first 50, a full second faster than he went out in prelims, and he touched at 55.6 at the 100, 1.5 or so ahead of his morning split. He held strong til the end, posting a 1:58.33 for a huge win and a new lifetime best by almost three full seconds.

NCAC’s Justin Wright finished second in 2:00.25 and Tommy Bried of Ace Aquatic Club touched third (2:01.01) as both dropped from prelims.


  • PSS Record: 24.17, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 25.99
  1. Catie Deloof (CAV) – 24.80
  2. Lindsay Flynn (MSA) – 25.39
  3. Madison Kennedy (MAC) – 25.57

Catie Deloof flew under the 25-second mark tonight, clocking a 24.80 to come just .07 from her lifetime best. That marks her third venture under 25 seconds, ever.

Lindsay Flynn of Mecklenburg Swim Association was second in 25.39, followed by SwimMAC’s Madison Kennedy (25.57), as TNAQ’s Ali Deloof also cracked 26 seconds (25.89).

In the B-final, Kayla Wilson of TIDE Swimming earned a new Olympic Trials cut with a 25.98. She came into this meet with a 26.94, taking it down to 26.48 in prelims and now down another half-second.


  • PSS Record: 21.51, Caeleb Dressel (USA), 2020
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 23.19
  1. David Curtiss (HACY) – 21.98
  2. Austin Surhoff (UNAT) – 22.57
  3. Michael Chadwick (NCAC) – 22.58

After dropping a 21.83 this morning, David Curtiss of Hamilton Y cracked 22 once again, posting a 21.98 that falls just short of his prelims lifetime best.

Austin Surhoff was 22.57 for second, his second-best performance ever after he went a lifetime best in prelims (22.54). NCAC’s Michael Chadwick was a hundredth back of Surhoff (22.58), as 15-year-old Diggory Dillingham sliced .03 off of his old best to take fourth (23.45).


  • PSS Record: 2:20.77, Annie Lazor (USA), 2019
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:33.29
  1. Emily Escobedo (COND) – 2:23.46
  2. Letitia Sim (TNT) – 2:29.67
  3. Miranda Tucker (UNAT) – 2:30.69

Following up her 100 breast win last night, Emily Escobedo of Condor Swim Club was in a class of her own in this race. She had a huge lead halfway through, turning in 1:09.62, and turned in a huge 2:23.46.

That swim clears the time Lilly King did in San Antonio tonight by two seconds and change, making Escobedo the double breaststroke champion between both sites. Escobedo’s time is also her third-best performance ever, less than two seconds from her best, and it’s the fastest she’s ever been in-season.

TNT Swimming’s Letitia Sim put up a huge best for second, going 2:29.67 and taking over two seconds off of her old best from this morning.


  • PSS Record: 2:08.95, Andrew Wilson (USA), 2018
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:17.89
  1. Dylan Rhee (AGUA) – 2:18.11
  2. Ethan Browne (UNAT) – 2:20.90
  3. Aiken Do (FISH) – 2:21.60

AGUA’s Dylan Rhee had no trouble bagging the win here, sailing under 2:20 to claim victory with a 2:18.11. Ethan Browne, a former Tennessee standout, was 2:20.90 for second ahead of 16-year-old Aiken Do (2:21.60). That’s a massive lifetime best for Do, who slices almost four full seconds off of his old one.


  • PSS Record: 58.18, Regan Smith (USA), 2020
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:02.69
  1. Levenia Sim (TNT) – 1:00.94
  2. Ali Deloof (TNAQ) – 1:01.08
  3. Catie Deloof (CAV) – 1:01.28

14-year-old Levenia Sim was out first at the flip in 29.4, and she held off the Deloof sisters to go 1:00.94 for the win. This was a huge swim for Sim out of an outside lane, as she erased her old best by over a full second. She now ranks #5 in the 13-14 age group historical rankings.

Ali Deloof was 1:01.08 for second, not quite able to close on Sim, as Catie Deloof was just back at 1:01.28. NOVA of Virginia’s Josephine Fuller picked up fourth in 1:01.44, a lifetime best by a half-second.


  • PSS Record: 52.40, David Plummer (USA), 2016
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 56.59
  1. Justin Ress (WOLF) – 53.37
  2. Coleman Stewart (WOLF) – 54.37
  3. Nick Alexander (TRI) – 55.77

Justin Ress was out way ahead over the first length, and he did not give up much room, posting a 53.37 to scare his lifetime best of 53.26. His Wolfpack Elite teammate Coleman Stewart made up two-tenths on the back-half, but Ress’s flying 25.8 first 50 gave him an insurmountable lead. Stewart touched second in 54.37, about a half-second from his lifetime best.

Ress edged out WR-holder Ryan Murphy‘s 53.55 swum out in San Antonio tonight.

SwimMAC’s Baylor Nelson tied the Olympic Trials cut in 56.59, punching his ticket to Omaha with a near full-second drop. That gives him a second qualifying mark for Omaha, joining a previous cut in the 200 IM from the summer of 2019 (2:04.00).


  • PSS Record: 3:57.94, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2018
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 4:16.89
  1. Ashley Twichell (TAC) – 4:09.78
  2. Cavan Gormsen (LIAC) – 4:11.30
  3. Claire Weinstein (WEST) – 4:15.29

Ashley Twichell busted out a sub-4:10 outing here, blasting a 4:09.78 to take the win with her fourth-best performance ever.

15-year-old Cavan Gormsen had a statement swim, fighting to stay in Twichell’s wake and snagging second in 4:11.30. That is a big drop for Gormsen, who was 4:16.51 before this weekend, then 4:14.69 in prelims.

13-year-old Claire Weinstein made the podium here in third, out-lasting TAC Titans’ Caroline Pennington (4:15.70). Both Weinstein and Pennington earn new OT cuts with their performances here.

In the B-final, 16-year-olds Sophia Knapp of TIDE and Emma Hastings of East Carolina Aquatics both broke 4:20 for the first time ever. Knapp was 4:18.35 and Hastings 4:19.03.


  • PSS Record: 3:43.55, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 3:57.29
  1. Josh Parent (ABF) – 3:59.24
  2. Anders Aistars (MVN) – 4:01.81
  3. Peyton Werner (FMC) – 4:02.29

After cracking four minutes for the first time ever in prelims, Mission Viejo’s Anders Aistars, 16, looked set to snag the win here.

But Bluefish’s Josh Parent, also 16, had other plans. Biding his time, he made his move going into the 300 turn, pulling well ahead over the final 100 to win it in 3:59.24. That’s his first time under four minutes and a best by about two seconds. Aistars finished second in 4:01.81.

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Swim fan
2 years ago

That’s not Baylor Nelson’s first Trial Cut, it’s his second. He got the 200 IM cut at Junior Nationals summer of 2019.

2 years ago

Curtiss The Natural is gonna take the 2nd Olympic slot from The Manufactured

2 years ago

🐺 Curtiss with the 21.98! 🐺

Reply to  Breezeway
2 years ago

Imagine how fast he could be with a better stroke

Reply to  swimfin5
2 years ago

From a technical standpoint, tell me what he does wrong and what he does right that makes him swim fast with his stroke.

Reply to  Breezeway
2 years ago


Reply to  swimfin5
2 years ago


Reply to  Breezeway
2 years ago

His stroke is fine, the tempo is just notably a bit slower than most elite sprinters if i recall correctly from his 50 swims at WJCs and Nationals last year (not necessarily wrong, just unusual)

Reply to  25Backstroke
2 years ago

Thank you

College Swimmer
Reply to  25Backstroke
2 years ago

Yes – but his kick is absolutely monstruous

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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