2021 Pro Swim Series – San Antonio: Day 2 Men’s Prelims Live Recap


Following the women’s heats, the first men’s preliminary session from San Antonio will feature the same four events: 200 free, 100 breast, 100 fly and 400 IM.

The 200 free looks like the event where everyone will have to be on their toes this morning to ensure qualifying for tonight’s ‘A’ final, with three full heats headlined by some heavy hitters.

There’s the event’s American representants from the 2019 World Championships in Andrew Seliskar and Townley Haas, the fastest man in yards history in Dean Farris, and the quickest 500 yard swimmer of all-time in Kieran Smith.

The 100 fly will also have three heats, led by Maxime Rooney, the only man in the field who’s been sub-51. Rooney will also take on the 200 free, while Seliskar holds down the #2 seed in the 100 fly. Cal’s Tom Shields and Ryan Murphy will also race the event.

The 100 breast will be short and sweet, featuring two stacked heats. Four men come in seeded sub-1:00, led by Andrew Wilson who hit a best of 58.93 back in 2019. Nic Fink is also coming off a white-hot ISL campaign.

The 400 IM projects to be fairly sleepy with only one heat, so swimmers will likely play around with splitting and primarily look to avoid a disqualification.

Men’s 200 Free Prelims

  • PSS Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:50.79
  1. Kieran Smith, UN-FL, 1:48.46
  2. Carson Foster, TEX, 1:50.32
  3. Drew Kibler, TEX, 1:50.71
  4. Andrew Seliskar, CAL, 1:50.75
  5. Jake Foster, TEX, 1:51.71
  6. Mitch D’Arrigo, GSC, 1:51.73
  7. Zane Grothe, BCH, 1:51.77
  8. Townley Haas, NOVA, 1:52.13

After turning second behind Carson Foster at the 150, Kieran Smith roared home in the opening heat of the men’s 200 freestyle, splitting 26.54 to establish the top time of the morning in 1:48.46.

The 20-year-old University of Florida junior will look to improve on his season-best of 1:47.29 in tonight’s final, done at November’s U.S. Open.

Foster fell way off Smith’s blistering pace on the last 50, but his final time of 1:50.32 was still good for second overall.

His older brother and University of Texas teammate, Jake Foster, dropped a personal best time to win Heat 2 from Lane 8, clocking 1:51.71 to qualify fifth overall. Foster had previously been 1:52.97 at the 2018 PSS in Columbus.

Zane Grothe, who edged out Smith to win the 800 free on Thursday, was a close second in that heat (1:51.77) for seventh overall. Third in that heat was top seed coming in Townley Haas, who squeaks into the ‘A’ final in eighth at 1:52.13.

Smith and Grothe (26.94) were notably the only two swimmers to come back under 28 seconds on the last 50, and both were sub-27.

Drew Kibler (1:50.71) and Andrew Seliskar (1:50.75) went 1-2 in the final heat for third and fourth, while Dean Farris, who led early, fell off on the last 50 and ended up 17th overall (1:53.19) after a 30.68 last length.

Men’s 100 Breast Prelims

  • PSS Record: 58.86, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2017
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:03.29
  1. Cody Miller, SAND, 1:01.20
  2. Nic Fink, ABSC, 1:01.22
  3. Andrew Wilson, ABSC, 1:01.79
  4. Will Licon, TXLA, 1:01.81
  5. Kevin Cordes, ABSC, 1:01.88
  6. Tommy Cope, CW, 1:02.41
  7. Ian Finnerty, MVN, 1:02.87
  8. Ben Cono, GAME, 1:03.43

2016 Olympic bronze medalist Cody Miller held off Nic Fink down the stretch in the opening heat of the men’s 100 breast, out-touching the Athens Bulldogs swimmer by .02 in 1:01.20 as they put up the top two times.

It was an equally tight race in Heat 2, with Andrew Wilson (1:01.79) narrowly edging out Will Licon (1:01.81) and Kevin Cordes (1:01.88).

Wilson and Miller swam respective times of 59.58 and 59.65 at the U.S. Open in November, making them the only Americans sub-1:00 during the 2020-21 season.

Men’s 100 Fly Prelims

  • PSS Record: 50.92, Caeleb Dressel (USA), 2020
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 54.19
  1. Shaine Casas, TAMU, 51.91
  2. Danny Kovac, UN-MV, 53.23
  3. Miles Smachlo, CW, 53.31
  4. Andrew Seliskar, CAL, 53.60
  5. Tom Shields, CAL, 53.75
  6. Ryan Murphy, CAL, 53.83
  7. Ryan Held, NYAC, 53.98
  8. Zach Harting, CARD, 54.04

Shaine Casas looked like he was swimming downhill relative to the rest of the men’s 100 fly field, blasting his way to the top seed by well over a second in 51.91. He was far and away the fastest swimmer on both the opening (24.15) and closing 50s (27.76).

The time for Casas, 21, is a new personal best, eclipsing his 52.15 from the 2019 Summer Nationals, and makes him the fastest American in the 2020-21 season. The Texas A&M junior also slots into 15th in the world rankings.

Danny Kovac (53.23) beat out Cal veterans Tom Shields (53.75) and Ryan Murphy (53.83) to snag second overall from Heat 1, while Miles Smachlo won Heat 3 for the third seed in 53.31. Prior to Casas’ swim, Smachlo was the top American this season with his 52.54 from November.

Andrew Seliskar, swimming his second event of the session, was second to Casas in the Heat 2 for fourth overall in 53.60.

Top seed coming in Maxime Rooney failed to advance to the ‘A’ final in ninth, registering a 54.49.

Men’s 400 IM Prelims

  • PSS Record: 4:08.92, Chase Kalisz (USA), 2018
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 4:25.99
  1. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 4:24.72
  2. Jake Foster, TEX, 4:27.88
  3. David Johnston, TEX, 4:29.47
  4. Alexander Gusev, SYS, 4:29.88
  5. Jay Litherland, DYNA, 4:30.22
  6. Charlie Swanson, CW, 4:32.80
  7. Braden Vines, TEX 4:44.43

With Carson Foster no-showing the event after qualifying for the 200 free final, there were only seven combatants taking on the men’s 400 IM this morning. With a finals spot locked up barring a DQ, everyone was relatively relaxed.

Chase Kalisz, who opted not to race the 100 breast, led the heat wire-to-wire, finishing in a time of 4:24.72 to earn Lane 4 tonight. In what was his first official long course 400 IM since 2019, the 2017 world champion looked particularly strong on the fly leg, where he out-split everyone by nearly two seconds in 57.86.

Jake Foster, coming off his PB in the 200 free, cruised into the wall in 4:27.88 for second, followed by University of Texas teammate David Johnston (4:29.47). Foster currently ranks third among Americans this season with his 4:19.44 from the U.S. Open (also done in San Antonio).

Number one seed coming into the meet Jay Litherland didn’t take a hard stroke the entire race, qualifying fifth in 4:30.22.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Braden Vines is back! Albeit swimming a slow time.

2 years ago

Kieran Smith is the new Dean Farris. I’m here for Kieran!!

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

I realize he’s training through this and tired, but I’m just not that convinced that Rooney’s going to me in the mix at Trials in the 100 fly. Between ISL and this kind of performance, not promising. His magical season may have just been the perfect mix of Florida training and Eddie honing.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Just a reminder that 2020 was difficult for a lot of athletes and people in general. Mental health issues have skyrocketed this year.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

I would say ISL was promising, he was between 49.84 and 50.55 in the 100 SCM fly and that’s not even counting the 45.8 100 free and the 1:44.9 200 free.

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
2 years ago

Its hard to judge those swims because Shields was so much faster but with stronger underwaters. Rooney probably doesnt have the same ability to swim fast in season either. For him I think its just going to come down to nailing his taper in June.

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

I agree, also I think it’s also safe to say that Rooney’s strengths lie more in LCM than any short course format. I think Tom is solid at short and long course, but I think he’s always been a little better at LCM, since 2014 when he broke out at Nationals, would be my guess. I also wouldn’t say that Rooney is the favorite for the 2nd Olympic spot in the 100 fly, but I definitely wouldn’t say a 50.6 100m fly swimmer is “out of the mix”. I think Casas will be dangerous in the fly, should he choose to swim it at Trials (but I don’t think he will, as it will coincide with the 2 IM and… Read more »

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

You are downgrading him too far. He is just not the favorite for the second spot anymore. Its probably as wide open as the 200. Conger Shields Saunderson Seliskar Andrew Rooney etc etc. Someone or maybe two will break 51

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

Casas alert!

Texas A&M
2 years ago

I thought Chase Kalisz retired.

Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

Any way to contact that announcer & get him to pronounce names correctly? He was really killing them this morning. Swimmers deserve better than that. Reminding me of that one international meet with the announcer REALLY killing the names & mistaking swimmers in lanes too. :(( Update, just reached out to USAS, but no reply yet.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

Just got word back from Macie at USAS: “Hi Michael, Thank you for sharing this! I’ve sent your note over to the San Antonio team. We’ll do our best to provide our announcer with accurate pronunciations for the athletes’ names.” That’s called responsiveness. Shout out to USAS for that. Thanked her profusely for all of us too.

Last edited 2 years ago by Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

I need a Casas 4IM.

Reply to  Swimnerd
2 years ago

His front half has to be ridiculous.

2 years ago

Casas putting on a show, him and Kieran the two standouts of this morning

College Swimmer
2 years ago

That mens 100 breast field is crazy. Any heavy hitters missing, besides Prenot and Andrew?

Reply to  College Swimmer
2 years ago

our old timer Brandon Fischer

Reply to  College Swimmer
2 years ago

solid field, hope to see some faster times in the finals. Also noticed its an older field, youngest in the top 8 is a 1997 YOB.

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 …

Read More »