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.

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1 month ago

Rooney tightening up something fierce down the stretch for a 1:53, K. Smith with a killer finish for a 1:48

Reply to  SwimSam
1 month ago

They probably use this as a training meet.

Sun Yangs Hammer
Reply to  SwimSam
1 month ago

Don’t worry, he’ll resurrect on Sunday

Mr Piano
Reply to  Sun Yangs Hammer
1 month ago

Brother in Dean!

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Hahaha, you did him dirty on that last 50.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SwimSam
1 month ago

At least he didn’t try to flip in the middle of the pool. Probably wishes he did with that 30+ last 50. oof.

College Swimmer
1 month ago

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

Reply to  College Swimmer
1 month ago

our old timer Brandon Fischer

Reply to  College Swimmer
1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

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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