2021 Pro Swim Series, San Antonio (March) – Day 4 Prelims Live Recap



As the fourth and final day of racing begins this morning, we will get things started to an interesting battle in the 100 backstroke. Three of America’s most accomplished backstrokers in recent years will go head to head in the form of world record holder Regan Smith, former world record holder Kathleen Baker, and Olympic and World Champion Olivia Smoliga.

The world record holder on the men’s side will also be in the pool as Ryan Murphy looks to fend off the field and claim the 100 backstroke title.

Simone Manuel picked up a 100 freestyle win earlier in the week but shared that she wasn’t quite happy with the time. Today she will get the chance to claim 50 freestyle gold but will face stiff competition from the likes of Abbey Weitzeil.

With the 200 breast and 200 IM in the mix today as well, we’ll finish the session off with the B and C finals of the women’s 800 freestyle as the fastest heats will race tonight.

Women’s 100 Backstroke – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. Regan Smith (59.39)
  2. Olivia Smoliga (59.89)
  3. Kathleen Baker (59.97)
  4. Lisa Bratton (1:01.16)
  5. Levenia Sim (1:01.66)
  6. Hali Flickinger (1:01.82)
  7. Linnea Mack (1:02.03)
  8. Sherridon Dressel (1:02.61)

Olivia Smoliga was the only swimmer in the first heat to crack the 1-minute mark, posting a 59.89 to trail her PB of 58.73 by just over a second. In heat 2, Kathleen Baker swam the top time with 59.97, to trail both Smoliga’s heat 1 swim as well as her best time and former world record of 58.00.

Regan was also a decent bit slower than her PB and WR of 57.57 as she won the third prelims heat. As we expected, Smoliga, Baker, and Smith have set themselves up for a nice battle in the finals as all three of them swam within a half-second of each other this morning.

Lisa Bratton, Levenia Sim, and Hali Flickinger will go into tonight’s final as 4th, 5th, and 6th seeds, respectively, having set themselves up fr a battle of their own. Linnea Mack and Sherridon Dressel got their names in the ring, rounding out the top 8 with 7th and 8th place.

That meant that Beata Nelson was shut out the A final, swimming a 1:02.62 which was just 0.01 slower than what it took to make the cut.

Men’s 100 Backstroke – Prelims

  • World Record: 51.85 – Ryan Murphy (2016)
  • American Record: 51.85 – Ryan Murphy (2016)
  • U.S. Open Record: 51.94 – Aaron Peisol (2009)
  • Jr. World Record: 52.53 – Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 52.40 – David Plummer (2016)

Top 8:

  1. Justin Ress (54.38)
  2. Ryan Murphy (54.87)
  3. Kacper Stokowski (55.28)
  4. Coleman Stewart (55.30)
  5. Paul Le (55.94)
  6. Drew Carbon (56.16)
  7. Chris Reid (56.17)
  8. Zheng Quah (56.19)

Justin Ress had the upper hand this morning over world record holder Ryan Murphy. Ress swam a 54.38 to Murphy’s 54.87 to earn the top time into tonight’s finals. Ress had an entry time of 53.31 going into the meet but has been as fast as a 53.26 in the event.

Ress and Murphy will be joined in the final by a trio of current and former NC State swimmers Kacper Stokowski, Coleman Stewart, and Paul Le. Stokowski posted the 3rd fastest time this morning in a 55.28 but Stewart wasn’t too far behind, hitting a 55.30.  Le also managed to get under the 56-second mark, hitting a 55.94.

While both Stewart and Le have moved on from the NCAA to swim professionally, Stokowski is currently in his sophomore year at NC State, having recently raced at ACC’s. There, he won the 100-yard backstroke event with a 44.82. This is a solid racing opportunity for Stokowski in the lead-up t0 NCAAs later this month.

Ryan Lochte also raced the event but wasn’t quick enough to get into the A final, swimming a 56.60 for 11th place. Lochte will also race the 200 IM later in the session.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • World Record: 2:19.11 – Rikke Moellr Pedersen
  • American Record: 2:19.59 – Rebecca Soni
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:20.30 – Rebecca Soni
  • Jr. World Record: 2:19.54 – Viktoria Gunes
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:20.77 – Annie Lazor

Top 8:

  1. Annie Lazor (2:27.05)
  2. Micah Sumrall (2:27.64)
  3. Emily Escobedo (2:27.91)
  4. Madisyn Cox (2:28.93)
  5. Molly Hannis (2:31.25)
  6. Gracie Weyant (2:31.64)
  7. Laura Morley (2:32.05)
  8. Brooke Forde (2:32.55)

All top 5 finishers in the 100 breast final earlier this week have qualified as the top 5 entrants in tonight’s 200 breaststroke final. Annie Lazor notched the quickest prelim swim, hitting a 2:27.05 – more than 6 seconds off her own Pro Swim Series record of 2:20.77 from 2019.

Micah Sumrall and Emily Escobedo weren’t far behind Lazor, touching in 2:27.64 and 2:27.91, respectively. In the 100 breast, Lazor took silver, Escobedo took bronze, and Sumrall was fourth as they were all unable to catch Molly Hannis who took gold.

Hannis will look to pick up another title tonight but has her work cut out for her, having swum a 2:31.25 this morning for the fifth seed. That gives her a decent amount of work to do tonight to catch that top 3 or the number 4 qualifier Madisyn Cox who touched in a 2:28.93 this morning. Cox will have a chance tonight to improve upon her 5th place finish in the 100 breast a few days ago.

The women’s breaststroke at this Pro Swim Series has served as a pretty solid preview for the upcoming Olympic Trials were these 5 women, among a few other will all be vying for a spot on the Olympic team. The one key competitor missing from the picture here is Lilly King who will be a strong contender for the spots.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • World Record: 2:06.12 – Anton Chupkov
  • American Record: 2:07.17 – Josh Prenot
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17 – Josh Prenot
  • Jr. World Record: 2:09.39 – Qin Haiyang (2017)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:08.95 – Andrew Wilson

Top 8:

  1. Kevin Cordes (2:13.95)
  2. Josh Prenot (2:14.78)
  3. Andrew Wilson (2:14.97)
  4. Brandon Fischer (2:15.63)
  5. Will Licon (2:15.76)
  6. Nic Fink (2:15.81)
  7. Grant Sanders / Chase Kalisz (2:16.21)

Top seed in this morning’s 200 breast Will Licon didn’t quite have what it took to keep his seed in tonight’s final, swimming a 2:15.76 in the prelims, compared to his entry time of 2:07.62.

With Licon out of the way, 2016 Olympian in the event was the fastest swimmer this morning. Cordes swam a 2:13.95 in the 200, a bit off his 2:10.52 entry time and about 5 seconds slower than the 2:08.34 he swam to earn 8th place in Rio back in 2016.

Josh Prenot and Andrew Wilson posted a pair of 2:14s, with Prenot hitting a 2:14.78 and Wilson right behind in 2:14.97. They will be joined by Brandon Fischer who got in with a 2:15.63 for fourth seed, right ahead of Licon.

Nic Fink was a 2:15.8 for 6th while Grant Sanders and Chase Kalisz tied for 7th in a 2:16.21.

Women’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • World Record: 23.67 – Sarah Sjostrom (2017)
  • American Record: 23.97 – Simone Manuel (2017)
  • U.S. Open Record: 24.08 – Pernille Blume (2019)
  • Jr. World Record: 24.33 – Rikako Ikee (2017)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 24.17 – Sarah Sjostrom (2016)

Top 10:

  1. Kasia Wasick – 24.92
  2. Abbey Weitzeil – 24.99
  3. Simone Manuel – 25.06
  4. Linnea Mack – 25.45
  5. Casey Franz – 25.62
  6. Anika Apostalo – 25.63
  7. Alyssa March – 25.72
  8. Andi Murez / Julia Meyen / Kelsi Dahlie – 25.77

Kasia Wasick wasn’t the favorite going into the women’s 50 freestyle but came out on top in the prelims, firing off a 24.92 to get within half a second of her own Polish record in the event of 24.58 from last the 2019 Pro Swim Series.

Abbey Weitzeil maintained her second seed as she dipped under the 25-second mark, hitting a 24.99 to out-swim Simone Manuel‘s 25.06. Manuel was the top seed going into the event but was a bit slower than she has been previously. You can never count Manuel out and she will certainly be ready to race for the title tonight.

Linnea Mack qualified in fourth in the 50 free, making her second final of the day. Just a few moments ago she earned the 7th seed in the 100 backstroke. Mack was followed by Casey Franz, Anika Apostalo, and Alyssa March for 5th, 6th, and 7th, respectively.

There was an exciting outcome in terms of 8th place in the event as we saw a rare 3-way tie between Andi Murez, Julie Meyen, and Kelsi Dahlia. All 3 of them hit a 25.77 and will have the opportunity to swim-off tonight for a spot in the A final.

Men’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • World Record: 20.91 – Cesar Cielo (2009)
  • American Record: 21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record: 20.91 – Cesar Cielo (2009)
  • Jr. World Record: 21.75 – Michael Andrew (2017)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 21.51 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Nathan Adrian (22.50)
  2. Jeff Newkirk (22.64)
  3. Santo Condorelli (22.70)
  4. Zach Apple (22.71)
  5. Justin Ress (22.79)
  6. Payton Sorensen (22.85)
  7. Bowe Becker (22.89)
  8. Tate Jackson (22.90)

After a B final performance in the 100 freestyle, Nathan Adrian came back today to earn the top spot in the 50. Adrian was a 22.50 to trail his own PB of 21.37 by just over a second.

The field this morning in the men’s sprint was incredibly tight as all 8 swimmers who have qualified for the A final swam with 0.40 seconds of each other. Adrian established a 0.14-second margin over second-place finisher Jeff Newkirk‘s 22.64. After that, however, Santo Condorelli was only 0.06 seconds slower for third, with Zach Apple finishing another 0.01 seconds later.

It really will be anyone’s race tonight as Justin Ress, Payton Sorensen, Bowe Becker, and Tate Jackson fill out the top 8, all with swims of 22.90 or faster.

The B final may also produce some of the quickest times we see tonight as Dean Farris earned 9th place with a 22.96 and Ryan Held was fourth with a 23.01.

Women’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • World Record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • American Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:08.32 – Kathleen Baker (2018)
  • Jr. World Record: 2:09.98 – Rikako Ikee (2017)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:08.66 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)

Top 8:

  1. Madisyn Cox (2:13.99)
  2. Kathleen Baker (2:15.34)
  3. Melanie Margalis (2:15.47)
  4. Hali Flickinger (2:15.49)
  5. Leah Smith (2:15.74)
  6. Bailey Andison (2:16.04)
  7. Katie McLaughlin (2:16.40)
  8. Lisa Bratton (2:17.30)

Just a few events after her 4th place finish in the 200 breast prelims, Madisyn Cox earned the top seed in the 200 IM. Cox narrowly got under 2:14 to post a 2:13.99. While it was the quickest time this morning, it still trails Cox’s PB of 2:09.03 from last year’s PSS.

While Kathleen Baker is known primarily as a backstroker, she was second seed here in the 200 IM, compared to her third seed earlier in the 100 back. Baker swam a 2:15.34, just ahead of Melanie Margalis’ 2:15.47. Similar to Cox, Baker wasn’t quite at her best and was 7 seconds over her U.S. Open Record of 2:08.32 from 2018.

Hali Flickinger and Leah Smith also swam faster than 2:16, earning their way into the A final in 4th and 5th, respectively. That’s Flickinger’s second A final qualification today, having made the 100 back earlier. Should Smith race the 200 again tonight it will be a 200 IM / 800 freestyle double.

Men’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • World Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • American Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • Jr. World Record: 1:57.06 – Qin Haiyang (2017)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:56.32 – Michael Phelps (2012)

Top 8:

  1. Michael Andrew (1:59.45)
  2. Chase Kalisz (2:01.66)
  3. Ryan Lochte (2:02.03)
  4. Andrew Seliskar (2:02.60)
  5. Grant Sanders (2:02.62)
  6. Abrahm Devine (2:02.72)
  7. Jay Litherland (2:03.15)
  8. Jacob Heidtmann (2:03.41)

Michael Andrew established a decent lead over the field in this morning’s men’s 200 IM as the only swimmer to go faster than 2 minutes. He was a 1:59.45 in the race, just a few seconds off his entry time of 1:56.83. Chase Kalisz raced to a 2:01.66 for second seed just a few events after his tie for 7th place in the 200 breast.

Ryan Lochte was 8 seconds off his own world record in the event for third place, posting a 2:02.03 to touch, just ahead of Andrew Selikskar’s 2:02.60.

Kalisz’s co-7th place finisher in the 200 breast Grant Sanders also made the A final here, hitting a 2:02.62. Rounding out the top 8, Abrahm Devine, Jay Litherland, and Jacob Heidtmann were all within a second of each other this morning.

Will Licon missed out on the A, hitting a 2:03.71 to qualify first into the B final.

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4 months ago

First you watch Escobedo, then Hannis’ travesty looks ewwwwwwww

4 months ago

Hail Flickinger continues to impress me. In any other era, she would be considered an elite backstroker. Because the US is so deep right now, she’s under the radar. Her versatility is so so impressive.

Reply to  Dmswim
4 months ago

I love watching her swim the 200 fly. Her back half of the race is incredible.

Reply to  Dmswim
4 months ago

I really feel like she would thrive doing 400im if she wanted to concentrate on it

Reply to  Watsup
4 months ago

She swam the 400 IM a lot at her ISL meets.

Last edited 4 months ago by Coach
Reply to  Coach
4 months ago

Yeah but short course vs long course 400 in is really different.
I mean, you wouldn’t consider Duncan Scott a contender in the 400 I’m at Olympics right?

Reply to  Waader
4 months ago

Well, she’s not exactly known for her underwaters. You’d think she would be better LCM than SCM.

Reply to  Coach
4 months ago

Duncan Scott isn’t either.

He Said What?
4 months ago

LOL LOL Loved Seliskar’s reaction to his time from the 2 IM. “What the ****!”

Reply to  He Said What?
4 months ago

Was he really happy with or really disappointed with his time?

He Said What?
Reply to  swimfan210_
4 months ago

It was hard to tell. I think disappointed but good natured about it. It was funny.

The Original Tim
4 months ago

Huh, either Kalisz didn’t push the breast leg on that IM or Lochte’s gotten better at breast. Sure didn’t expect to see Lochte pace him on that leg!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  The Original Tim
4 months ago

Lochte split a 33.06 on his WR swim in 2011. Kalisz split a 32.6 on his best ever 1:55 swim. Not much difference there. Granted, neither guy is swimming anywhere near their best times, but Lochte has always been a good breastroker on the IM.

Mr Piano
Reply to  The Original Tim
4 months ago

Lochte had a beast breaststroke back in his prime, he’s no slouch

Reply to  The Original Tim
4 months ago

It’s the prelims

Reply to  The Original Tim
4 months ago

lochte is an excellent breaststroker

4 months ago

Rip Harting popped a fast one but dq

Reply to  Owlmundo
4 months ago

He swam it all fly therefore the dq

Reply to  Ghost
4 months ago

O geez

4 months ago

What is going on with all of the DQs and false starts this meet? Crazy.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  RMS
4 months ago

Well, most haven’t swum a meet in a year, and most officials haven’t officiated very much if at all. Got some rust to dust off.

4 months ago

Hopefully Lochte saved something for the final. Would like to see him back under 2:00.

Reply to  A C
4 months ago

Hopefully he scratches the 100 back

Reply to  Owlmundo
4 months ago

Yeah, unless he wants to simulate conditions at the Olympic Trials where he will swim multiple events on the same day. Realistically, he can make the Olympic Team in only the 200IM and 200 Free Relay unless he wants to try for the 200 Back and 400IM.

Reply to  Owlmundo
4 months ago

I am wondering whether his 100 Fly prelim swim hurt his 200 Free final performance.

Reply to  A C
4 months ago

If you watch his 200 free prelims he gave it his all in the last 50, no breathing the last 8 meters and was clearly gassed out at the wall. In the 200im he cruised home and was chatting with Kalisz seconds after finishing. I can see a 1.59 low in finals.

Reply to  A C
4 months ago

Is Lochte and everyone else swimming regular workouts during this meet in addition to their races, or are they just swimming warmups and warmdowns?

4 months ago

Ryan held 22.56 in a swim off to make the A final