2021 Pro Swim Series – San Antonio: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2021 PRO SWIM SERIES – SAN ANTONIO

Following a pair of intriguing prelim sessions, the men and women will come together tonight in San Antonio for what should be an exciting finals showcase.

The most noteworthy swim this morning probably came from Shaine Casas, who cracked 52 seconds for the first time in the men’s 100 fly with a 51.91 to take over 15th in the 2020-21 world rankings.

He’ll be one to watch out for tonight, as will Regan Smith, who is scheduled to take on a tough double in the 200 free and 100 fly, where she’s seeded first and second respectively. Andrew Seliskar and Bella Sims are in the same boat, racing both ‘A’ finals.

Emma Weyant and Jay Litherland will take on the daunting task of a 200 free/400 IM double.

Another standout in the prelims was Kieran Smith, the lone man under 1:50 in the 200 free with a time of 1:48.46. Most notable about Smith’s swim was his 26.54 final length.

We also can’t forget about Lilly King headlining the women’s 100 breast, and a loaded men’s 100 breast field that includes five of the eight Americans who have broken 1:00 since the beginning of 2018.

Women’s 200 Free Finals

  • PSS Record: 1:54.43, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.69
  1. Madisyn Cox, TXLA, 1:59.42
  2. Regan Smith, RIPT, 1:59.49
  3. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC, 1:59.91

Coming off her swim-off victory over Isabel Ivey to get into the ‘A’ final, Olivia Smoliga attacked the women’s 200 free from the front out in Lane 8, holding the lead through the 150 with Regan SmithMadisyn Cox and Abbey Weitzeil hot on her tail.

Cox had a solid closing 50 in 30.75, managing to out-touch Smith for the win in a time of 1:59.42 to Smith’s 1:59.49. Cox swam a season-best of 1:58.97 at the U.S. Open in November.

Smith’s time is her third-fastest ever, while Smoliga held on for third in 1:59.91, her fourth time breaking into the 1:59s.

15-year-old Bella Sims impressed with the fastest back 50 in the field at 30.14, earning fourth in 2:00.21 for her second-fastest swim ever.

In her third 200 free of the day, having lost that swim-off with Smoliga, Ivey won the ‘B’ final in decisive fashion in a time of 2:00.24. She had gone 2:01.75 and 2:02.46 in her two other swims today.

Men’s 200 Free Finals

  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:50.79
  1. Kieran Smith, UN-FL, 1:47.36
  2. Townley Haas, NOVA, 1:48.81
  3. Zane Grothe, BCH, 1:48.88

After he stormed home with a final 50 split of 26.54 in the prelims, we knew Kieran Smith would be tough to beat in tonight’s men’s 200 free final. That proved to be true, as Smith led from start to finish, winning in a time of 1:47.36.

That swim falls just shy of his 1:47.29 from the U.S. Open, a time that ranks the University of Florida junior 18th in the world for the 2020-21 season.

Swimming out in Lane 1, Townley Haas was near the front of the pack throughout the race, moving past Carson Foster and holding off Zane Grothe on the last length to snag second in 1:48.81. Like he did this morning, Grothe charged home in 26.55 for third in 1:48.88, with Foster fourth in 1:49.12.

Women’s 100 Breast Finals

  • PSS Record: 1:05.57, Rebecca Soni (USA), 2011
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:10.99
  1. Lilly King, ISC, 1:07.14
  2. Kathleen Baker, TE, 1:08.44
  3. Rachel Bernhardt, GAME, 1:09.00

In just her second long course race of the season following this morning’s prelims, Lilly King took more than second off her heats swim in 1:07.14 to win the women’s 100 breast comfortably. King, 23, moves into 11th in the world for 2020-21.

Former 100 back world record holder Kathleen Baker was just four-tenths back of King on the opening 50 in 31.82, and held off the pure breaststrokers down the stretch to claim second in 1:08.44. That marks Baker’s second-best swim ever, having gone 1:07.90 back in March.

Rachel Bernhardt (1:09.00) out-touched Micah Sumrall (1:09.06) in a tight race for third. At the U.S. Open, the 25-year-old Bernhardt was just a few one-hundredths off her lifetime best in 1:07.67.

Men’s 100 Breast Finals

  • PSS Record: 58.86, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2017
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:03.29
  1. Nic Fink, ABSC, 1:00.84
  2. Cody Miller, SAND, 1:01.42
  3. Will Licon, TXLA, 1:01.64

Coming off of his standout ISL season, Nic Fink picks up the win here in the men’s 100 breast in 1:00.84, pulling away from the pack over the last 25 meters.

The 27-year-old, who was dealing with a wrist injury prior to swimming in the ISL a few months ago, is in the ballpark of where he was at the two PSS meets in early 2020. In Knoxville back in January he went 1:00.00, while two months later in Des Moines Fink clocked 1:00.52.

Cody Miller, who put up a very strong 59.65 at the U.S. Open, nabbed second in 1:01.42, with Will Licon (1:01.64) and Kevin Cordes (1:01.83) third and fourth.

Maybe a little surprising was Andrew Wilson back in sixth (1:02.44) after going 59.58 a few months ago.

Women’s 100 Fly Finals

  • PSS Record: 56.38, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:00.69
  1. Regan Smith, RIPT, 58.55
  2. Olivia Bray, UN-ST, 59.16
  3. Beata Nelson, WA, 59.44

Just over half an hour after her 200 free, Regan Smith finished off a very impressive double by winning the women’s 100 fly in 58.55.

Smith, 18, led at the 50 in 27.35, followed closely by Olivia Bray (27.50), but really extended that advantage with a back-half of 31.20. Smith’s time falls just shy of her season-best 58.09 from the U.S. Open.

Bray, who had the top time in prelims at 59.29, took more than a tenth off that to take second in 59.16, having been just over two-tenths faster in November (58.95).

Beata Nelson threw down her second-fastest swim ever in 59.44 for third, closing strong in 31.49, while Leah Gingrich also snuck under a minute in 59.99.

Gingrich, 30, swam a personal best of 59.30 back in March prior to the pandemic. The Columbus Aquatic Club swimmer has now broken 1:00 14 times, all done at the age of 29 or 30.

Men’s 100 Fly Finals

  • PSS Record: 50.92, Caeleb Dressel (USA), 2020
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 54.19
  1. Shaine Casas, TAMU, 51.94
  2. Danny Kovac, UN-MV, 52.84
  3. Miles Smachlo, CW, 52.86

Shaine Casas backed up his personal best time from the prelims of 51.91 by nearly matching it in tonight’s final, winning the men’s 100 fly in 51.94.

Casas was more aggressive in tonight’s race, turning four-tenths quicker at the 50 in 23.75, but didn’t have quite as much pop coming home. This morning, his swim marked his first time under 52, with his previous best standing at 52.15 from the 2019 U.S. Nationals. He’s ranked 15th in the world for the 2020-21 season.

Behind him, Danny Kovac (52.84) won an incredibly tight race with Miles Smachlo (52.86) for second, while Ryan Murphy and Zach Harting tied for fourth in 53.53, and Tom Shields (53.57) and Andrew Seliskar (53.62) were just a hair off as well.

Kovac’s swim is a new season-best, lowering his 52.99 from the U.S. Open, while Smachlo (52.54) was slightly quicker in November.

Women’s 400 IM Finals

  • PSS Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 4:51.79
  1. Ally McHugh, WA, 4:41.90
  2. Emma Weyant, SYS, 4:43.57
  3. Evie Pfeifer, TEX, 4:46.81

2018 U.S. national champ Ally McHugh took control of the women’s 400 IM early on the breaststroke leg and never looked back, soaring to victory in 4:41.90 — her fastest swim since December of 2019.

15-year-old Katie Grimes turned virtually even with McHugh at the 200, but fell off on breast, as Emma Weyant made her way into second place. Weyant, a 19-year-old swimming for the Sarasota Sharks, made up a second on McHugh on the first 50 of free but couldn’t make any inroads on the last length, claiming second in 4:43.57. Weyant remains the fastest American this season after going 4:40.84 at the U.S. Open.

Texas’ Evie Pfeifer was third in 4:46.81, while last night’s 800 free winner Haley Anderson (4:49.11) edged out Grimes (4:49.57) for fourth.

The swim for Grimes is her second-fastest ever, having dropped a massive best of 4:47.58 at the U.S. Open site in Irvine.

Men’s 400 IM Finals

  • PSS Record: 4:08.92, Chase Kalisz (USA), 2018
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 4:25.99
  1. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 4:17.26
  2. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 4:18.24
  3. Jake Foster, TEX, 4:21.37

Chase Kalisz appeared to have things fully under control at the 300 mark of the men’s 400 IM, holding over a two-second lead on Jay Litherland, but he really had to stay sharp over the final length as his training partner had one of his patented strong finishes.

The 26-year-old Kalisz ended up nearly matching Litherland’s split on the last 50, winning by almost a full second in 4:17.26. That slots Kalisz into 16th in the world this season, and second amongst Americans, trailing only Carson Foster (4:16.51).

Litherland clocked in at 4:18.24 for second, showing significant improvement on his 4:22.05 from the U.S. Open.

In the midst of the college season at Texas, Jake Foster put together a solid swim to take third in 4:21.37. The 20-year-old went a season-best of 4:19.44 at the U.S. Open.

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Swammer
1 month ago

Can I watch on usa swimming????

Troyy
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 month ago

Are they streaming both the A and B finals?

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  James Sutherland
1 month ago

Yay

sepgup
1 month ago

Hi, I think there’s no live on the Olympic Channel?

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  sepgup
1 month ago

when we have USAS live streaming, no need to go there

Anon5
Reply to  sepgup
1 month ago

Its taped delay and will be on NBCSports.

Anon5
Reply to  Anon5
1 month ago

its taped Delayed on NBCSports if you missed the live broadcast on Olympic Channel that is

Ghost
Reply to  sepgup
1 month ago

I watched it all live on Olympic Channel. Just San Antonio meet

Captain Ahab
1 month ago

Olivia Smoliga has a really smooth front crawl. She could’ve won the 200 but she coasted to the wall on her finish. I don’t know how good that is for you to wear a mask right after a race.

PsychoDad
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 month ago

I was cheering for Olivia too. What a start! Her technique is so smooth.
Regan Smith killed the turn. Crane has a smooth fly and will be next great Longhorn flier.
That’s all I have so far. 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by PsychoDad
Anonymoose
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 month ago

why would it be bad?

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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