2023 Mission Viejo Pro Swim Series – Day 3 Finals Live Recap



It’s the penultimate night of finals at the 2023 Mission Viejo Pro Swim Series. This session features finals of the 200 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 50 butterfly, 200 backstroke, and 400 individual medley.

In the women’s 200 freestyle, Bella Sims leads the way. She posted a lifetime best en route to her win in the 400 freestyle win last night, so expect her to be much faster than the 2:01.19 she swam this morning. The entire ‘A’ final is within a second of each other though, so it could be quite a close race between her, Aurora Roghair, Kelly Pashand Olivia Smoliga.

After winning the 100 breaststroke, Nic Fink comes into the 50 breaststroke finals as the top seed. Like the 100 breast, Jake Foster is the second seed after roaring to a personal best (28.08) in the prelims. Foster swam a lifetime best in both prelims and finals of the 100 breast, so he could have even more time to drop here tonight.

Stanford teammates Claire Curzan and Torri Huske are two of the best sprint butterfliers in the U.S. right now, and they’re 1-2 after the 50 butterfly prelims. Abbey Weitzeil, who’s been swimming well so far in Mission Viejo, is just behind them.


  • World Record: 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (2009)
  • American Record: 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:54.13, Summer McIntosh (2023)
  • U.S Open Record: 1:54.13, Summer McIntosh (2023)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 2:00.89

Top 8:

  1. Bella Sims (SAND) — 1:58.44
  2. Kelly Pash (TXLA) — 1:59.33
  3. Torri Huske (UN) — 2:00.31
  4. Olivia Smoliga (SUN) — 2:00.39
  5. Chloe Stepanek (TAMU) — 2:00.40
  6. Aurora Roghair (UN) — 2:00.78
  7. Justina Kozan (TROJ) — 2:01.01
  8. Lillie Nordmann (UN) — 2:02.36

Bella Sims, last night’s 400 freestyle champion, took over the lead from Torri Huske by the 100 meter mark and didn’t look back, charging to her second win of the meet. Sims touched in 1:58.44, a solid swim for her that’s less than a second off her personal best.

Like she did in the 200 fly last night, Kelly Pash made a massive push on the final 50. It powered her to second place and a new lifetime best 1:59.33. Her time shaves .14 seconds off the personal best she swam at Austin Sectionals last summer. After taking the race out first at the 50, Torri Huske faded a bit in the middle of the race but managed to come back strong to get third (2:00.31), just nine-hundredths ahead of Olivia Smoliga and a tenth ahead of Chloe Stepanek.


  • World Record: 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • American Record: 1:42.96, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:44.82, Sun Yang (2016)
  • U.S Open Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Cut: 1:49.99

Top 8:

  1. Gabriel Jett (CAL) — 1:47.54
  2. Michael Cotter (TAC) — 1:48.21
  3. Jack Dahlgren (TRI) — 1:48.58
  4. Coby Carrozza (TXLA) — 1:48.65
  5. Robin Hanson (CAL) — 1:48.85
  6. Grant House (SUN) — 1:49.15
  7. Charlie Hawke (BAMA) — 1:49.29
  8. Trenton Julian (MVN) — 1:49.68

After flipping third at the 50-meter mark, Cal’s Gabriel Jett jumped on the middle 100 of the race to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. He flipped with a 50 to go over half a second ahead of the other ‘A’ finalists and held on for the win in 1:47.54, which is right on his lifetime best 1:47.41 from earlier this year.

Michael Cotterback racing after missing both ACCs and NCAAs, closed well to finish second in 1:48.21, about three-tenths ahead of Jack Dahlgren. Behind Jett, the race was quite tight, as places two through sixth were separated by less than a second.


  • World Record: 29.30, Benedetta Pilato (2021)
  • American Record: 29.40, Lilly King (2017)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 29.62, Lilly King (2018)
  • U.S Open Record: 29.62, Lilly King (2018)

Top 8:

  1. Lilly King (ISC) — 30.09
  2. Kaitlyn Dobler (TROJ) — 30.88
  3. Skyler Smith (UNC) — 30.89
  4. Piper Enge (BC) — 31.66
  5. Diana Petkova (BAMA) — 31.95
  6. Gillian Tu (BC) — 32.21
  7. Caroline Larsen (FOXJ) — 32.27
  8. Raya Mellott (CROW) — 32.64

“Just get up and go,” said Lilly King of her mentality for the 50 breaststroke. That’s exactly what she did here, the Olympian put her stamp on this race early, leaving little doubt that it would be her who took the win. Her 30.09 is faster than she was in Westmont, and just five-hundredths off her season-best 30.04 that she put up in Ft. Lauderdale.

After finishing second in the 100 breast last night, Kaitlyn Dobler earned another second place finish here, out-touching Skyler Smith by a hundredth, 30.88 to 30.89. Smith’s time was just two-hundredths off the lifetime best that she put up in April.


  • World Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (2017)
  • American Record: 26.45, Nic Fink (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 26.84, Michael Andrew (2023)
  • U.S Open Record: 26.52, Michael Andrew (2022)

Top 8:

  1. Nic Fink (MAAC) — 27.50
  2. Matthew Jensen (CAL) — 27.83
  3. Brandon Fischer (TRIV) — 27.95
  4. Luke Rodarte (CAL) — 28.08
  5. Jake Foster (RAYS) — 28.32
  6. Christian Osterndorf (SUN) — 28.37
  7. Andy Dobrzanski (SUN) — 28.53
  8. Youssef ElKamash (PSC) — 28.60

Nic Fink, the defending world champion in the event, took control of this 50 breaststroke final from the start. He used a powerful breakout to get himself started, then held the lead all the way to the finish, where he touched in 27.50. He was a little faster in finals of both Ft Lauderdale and Westmont.

Matthew Jensen had a big swim to get second, posting a lifetime best of 27.83. Brandon Fischer took third in 27.95, meaning that the top three swimmers all go under 28 seconds.


  • World Record: 24.43, Sarah Sjostrom (2014)
  • American Record: 25.38, Torri Huske (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 25.65, Farida Osman (2019)
  • U.S Open Record: 25.46, Rikako Ikee (2017)

Top 8:

  1. Claire Curzan (UN) — 25.88
  2. Torri Huske (UN) — 26.08
  3. Abbey Weitzeil (CAL) — 26.15
  4. Kelly Pash (TXLA) — 26.70
  5. Aleyna Ozkan (DUKE) — 26.95
  6. Athena Meneses Kovacs (TEAM) — 27.06
  7. Sophia Sunwoo (BC) — 27.55
  8. Mckenna Debever (AGS) — 27.61

Not surprisingly, Claire Curzan and Torri Huske went 1-2 in the women’s 50 butterfly. Curzan took the win ahead of her Stanford teammate by two-tenths, touching in 25.88 while Huske earned second with a 26.08.

Sprint freestyler Abbey Weitzeil made things interesting down the stretch, pushing Huske right to the wall. Weitzeil was third in 26.15, which is a lifetime best by .11 seconds, improving on the mark she posted in Westmont. 200 freestyle runner-up Kelly Pash was back in action here, taking fourth with a lifetime best 26.70, which marks the first time she’s gotten under 27 seconds.


  • World Record: 22.27, Andri Govorov (2018)
  • American Record: 22.35, Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 23.11, Matt Targett (2012)
  • U.S Open Record: 22.84, Caeleb Dressel (2022)

Top 8:

  1. Youssef Ramadan (VT)/Ryan Held (NYAC) — 23.76
  2. (tie)
  3. Hunter Armstrong (NYAC) — 23.84
  4. Dare Rose (CAL) — 23.87
  5. Jonny Kulow (SUN) — 23.91
  6. Matthew Jensen (CAL) — 24.01
  7. Kevin Gillooly (MVN) — 24.30
  8. Christopher Elson (NZL) — 24.40

And we’ve got a tie for first! Youssef Ramadan (who had a long finish) and Ryan Held (who didn’t) both got their hands on the wall in 23.76. As Ramadan reminded us in his post-race interview, there is prize money on the line, and the two will split the first place purse.

Despite the long finish, it was still a best time for Ramadan, who got under the 23.96 he swam last April by exactly two-tenths. Also posting a personal best was Hunter Armstrong, who clocked 23.84 for third. Known for his sprint backstroke, Armstrong’s time here marks his first time sub-24, as he reset his best time of 24.04 from prelims. Coming into the meet, his best was 24.43 from the Ft. Lauderdale Pro Swim.

Dare Rose and Jonny Kulow joined in the best times party, as they also clocked bests en route to their fourth and fifth place finishes.


  • World Record: 2:03.14, Kaylee McKeown (2023)
  • American Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:04.76, Regan Smith (2023)
  • U.S Open Record: 2:04.76, Regan Smith (2023)
  • U.S Olympic Trials Cut: 2:13.59

Top 8:

  1. Claire Curzan (UN) — 2:07.78
  2. Rhyan White (BAMA) — 2:09.01
  3. Isabelle Stadden (CAL) — 2:09.87
  4. Teagan O’Dell (MVN) — 2:09.95
  5. Athena Meneses (TEAM) — 2:13.97
  6. Bella Sims (SAND) — 2:13.98
  7. Katelyn Schroeder (LOSC) — 2:14.24
  8. Summer Stanfield (UTAH) — 2:17.21

About 15 minutes after winning the 50 butterfly, Claire Curzan was back in the water and claiming her second event of the session by touching first in the 200 backstroke. Curzan built her way into the race, using the middle 100 to really establish herself ahead of the field that included Ryan White and Isabelle Stadden.

Curzan was sub-33 on both 50s in the middle 100, then came home strong to touch in 2:07.78. That’s about half a second off personal best of 2:07.31 from April 2022. After the race, she said that she’s hoping to keep racing the 200 backstroke.

Rhyan White ended up second in 2:09.01, while last night’s 50 back champion Stadden was third in 2:09.87. Coming off setting a National High School Record in the 200-yard IM, Teagan O’Dell posted a solid 2:09.95, about four-tenths from her 2021 best.


  • World Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • American Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:55.04, Xu Jiayu (2017)
  • U.S Open Record: 1:53.08, Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • U.S Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.69

Top 8:

  1. Keaton Jones (NEP) — 1:57.04
  2. Ryan Murphy (CAL) — 1:57.50
  3. Hugo Gonzalez (CAL) — 1:57.73
  4. Destin Lasco (CAL) — 1:58.42
  5. Jack Dolan (SUN) — 2:01.77
  6. Yeziel Morales (PUR) — 2:01.80
  7. Brandon Miller (UTAH) — 2:02.58
  8. Zhier Fan (UN) — 2:03.31

We got a sneak peek as to what Cal swim practices might look like this fall. With 2023 commit Keaton Jones surprising for the win ahead of Olympian Ryan Murphy, the top four swimmers in the field all have ties to the Golden Bears.

Murphy made his charge on the last 50, but the 18-year-old Jones held on to get the win in a huge personal best of 1:57.04. His previous best was 1:57.97, which he swam to finish sixth at U.S. World Trials last April. Murphy took second in 1:57.50, off the 1:56s he posted in Ft Lauderdale and Westmont.

Hugo Gonzalez surged over the closing meters and for a second it looked like he might run down Murphy for second. However, he ran out of room to catch Murphy, and ended up third in 1:57.73, which is just over a second off his personal best from 2017. Notably after rejoining Cal for the second semester, Gonzalez swam a lifetime best in the yards version of this event this season, erasing a best which had also stood since 2017.

Destin Lasco finished fourth in 1:58.42 and was the other swimmer in the race to get under the 2 minute mark.


  • World Record: 4:25.87, Summer McIntosh (2023)
  • American Record: 4:31.12, Katie Hoff (2008)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 4:31.07, Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • U.S Open Record: 4:28.61, Summer McIntosh (2022)
  • U.S Olympic Trials Cut: 4:49.89

Top 8:

  1. Kayla Han (RMDA) — 4:42.96
  2. Charli Brown (SUN) — 4:45.04
  3. Lucy Bell (UN) — 4:49.55
  4. Georgina McCarthy (NZL) — 4:50.88
  5. Sam Tadder (UN) — 4:51.05
  6. Caroline Bricker (PPA) — 4:51.87
  7. Joanna Kozan (MVN) — 4:56.86
  8. Samantha Sergerson (BC) — 5:00.90

After finishing second in the 1500 freestyle, 14-year-old Kayla Han collected her first win here in Mission Viejo with a win in the 400 IM. She and ASU’s Charli Brown were separated by three-hundredths with just the freestyle leg to go. Han had more left in the tank, splitting 1:03.64 to swim away from Brown and take the win in 4:42.96. It’s a personal best for her, dropping just over six-tenths from her previous mark.

Brown earned second in 4:45.04, swimming a lifetime best of her own. The Sun Devil first drew attention at ASU’s intrasquad IM challenge. Here, she showed off the progress she’s made this season in meters, clocking a lifetime best by 2.88 seconds. Her old best was 4:47.92, which she swam at the 2019 Australian Age Group Championships.


  • World Record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • American Record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 4:07.80, Leon Marchand (2023)
  • U.S Open Record: 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • U.S Olympic Trials Cut: 4:25.19

Top 8:

  1. David Johnston (TXLA) — 4:17.27
  2. Jake Foster (RAYS) — 4:21.20
  3. Baylor Nelson (TAMU) — 4:21.75
  4. Samuel Brown (NZL) — 4:23.06
  5. Anze Fers Erzen (TAMU) — 4:23.56
  6. Jarod Arroyo (PUER) — 4:24.73
  7. Cooper Lucas (LAC) — 4:25.91
  8. Daniel Berlitz (CM) — 4:27.52

David Johnston put his stamp of authority on this race in the freestyle leg. The Texas Longhorn used his distance freestyle skill to make it clear who was going to win this race, further extending the lead that he held after the breaststroke leg. Johnston, who called this his “favorite event to race” in his post-race interview, touched in 4:17.27, a solid check-in for him with Trials approaching in about six weeks.

After finishing second in the 50 breaststroke, Jake Foster swung to the opposite end of events vibe-wise, finishing off his double by earning another second place. Foster tried to put a dent into Johnston’s lead on the breaststroke leg, but Johnston was already too far for him to catch. He held off Baylor Nelson, who just wrapped up his freshman season at Texas A&M. Nelson took third in 4:21.75.

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15 days ago

Teagan O’Dell slowly getting back to her 2021 standards this is really interesting thinking of 2024 trials

15 days ago

It’s a strange thing: none of american swimmers swim in-season the W200FR at 1:56. It’s like a prohibited area. Neither those who are in competition for individual spot on the US Team in this event nor those who targets 4×200 relay.
Aren’t they supposed to be faster. What possibly can be expected from swimmers that are making 1:58 – 2:00 at intermediate meets. Is the 200m distance is a such where tapering has the strongest effect and swimmers can drop 4sec. Having in-season 1:56 swimmers makes realistic the hope that American relay will be a strong contender with at least two 1:54 and two 1:55 low swimmers. Without that I don’t even know what to expect.

Octavio Gupta
15 days ago

Go Charlie Brown!

15 days ago

Ryan Murphy losing to a high school kid is exactly what I needed on this lovely Friday. Unfortunately, the aforementioned high school kid is a Cal commit #beardown

Reply to  Andrew
15 days ago

what the f

Reply to  Andrew
15 days ago

Why are you such a hater all the time dude

15 days ago

Kayla Han and Summer McIntosh had super similar times as 12 year olds, with 4:50.70 for Han and 4:50.21 for McIntosh (the former US NAG was a 4:55 from Beisel and I believe the Canadian one was a 5:02 before McIntosh).

McIntosh obviously dropped a ton- about 7 seconds per year across the next 3 years, but Han is doing very well too, with about a 7 second drop in her year since setting that NAG. Obviously it’s not likely that she continues that (with 4:36 this summer and 4:29 next summer lol) but she’s on a good track towards the big international meets

15 days ago


Reply to  SKOOOOOO
15 days ago

dude is a beast

Reply to  SKOOOOOO
15 days ago

Who down voted this

15 days ago

Murphy got beat by the youngster Jones
Him and Diehl could be the future of this event sooner than we think

15 days ago

Destin Lasco- vote 4 pedro

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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