2023 Pro Swim Series—Knoxville: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


The final session of the Knoxville Pro Series kicks off tonight, with the 1500 free, 200 IM, 200 back, 50 breast, and 100 free finals being contested.

Kicking off the night are the 1500 free races, where Florida Gator training partners Katie Ledecky and Bobby Finke will be headlining. While Ledecky is a favorite to win her race, Finke might see a challenge from Ahmed Hafnaoui, who beat him in both the 400 and 800 free.

The women’s 200 back is another race to watch, with Olympic silver medalist Kylie Masse taking on rising star Katie Grimes, as well as Tennessee swimmer Josephine Fuller (who was just 0.01 seconds off of Masse’s time in prelims). Also be on the lookout for the men’s 100 free, where Andrej Barna will attempt to fend off swimmers like Drew Kibler and Gui Caribe




Top 3:

  1. Katie Ledecky (GSC-FL) — 15:37.99
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND-CA) — 16:15.02
  3. Claire Weinstein (SAND-CA) — 16:25.24

In no surprise, Katie Ledecky won the 1500 free by 38 seconds, clocking a time of 15:37.99—the 14th-fastest swim of all time, nearing the 15:37.34 she swam to win Olympic gold in 2020. The time is also faster than she was in-season for all of 2022. She was pretty consistent with her splits, holding 31s before closing in a 30.71.

Behind Ledecky were Sandpiper teammates Katie Grimes and Claire Weinstein, who finished ten seconds apart for second and third with times of 16:15.02 and 16:25.24 respectivley.


  • World Record: 14:31.02 — Sun Yang, CHN (2011)
  • World Junior Record: 14:46.09 — Franko Grgic, CRO (2019)
  • American Record: 14:36.70 — Bobby Finke, USA (2022)
  • U.S. Open Record: 14:45.54 — Peter Vanderkaay, USA (2008)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 14:53.12 — Jordan Willimovsky, USA (2016)

Top 3:

  1. Bobby Finke (SPA-FL) — 15:06.53
  2. Ahmed Hafnaoui (Tunisia) — 15:07.07
  3. Michael Brinegar (Ohio State) — 15:28.17

Bobby Finke avenged his loss against Ahmed Hafnaoui in the 800 free by running him down on the final lap of the 1500 free in typical Bobby Finke-style. After practically being right next to each other for the entire race, Hafnaoui pulled slightly ahead at the 1400-meter mark. However, Finke outsplit Hafnoui 27.04 to 27.99 on the last 50 to take the win.

Finke and Hafnaoui were never more than half a second apart from each other for the entire race.

In third was Michael Brinegar, who was nearly 20 seconds behind and clocked a time of 15:28.17.


  • World Record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu, HUN (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 2:08.70 – Summer McIntosh, CAN (2022)
  • American Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.84 – Alex Walsh (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:08.66 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Leah Smith (TXLA) — 2:13.78
  2. Bella Sims (SAND) — 2:14.32
  3. Tessa Cieplucha (TNAQ) — 2:15.12

Bella Sims opened things up with a 28.49 fly leg and 33.07 back leg to lead by nearly two seconds at the 100 mark, but Leah Smith pulled ahead with a 42.37 breast leg (compared to Sims’ 42.37) to take the lead.

Smith’s 30.93 free leg was enough to sustain her lead, but Sims was closing behind her with a 30.39. Smith ended up touching the wall first with a time of 2:13.78, while Sims clocked a 2:14.32.

In a a far third was Tessa Cieplucha, who went 2;15.12. She had a strong 38.96 split on breast, the second-fastest in the field behind Alexis Yager‘s 38.63.


  • World Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte, USA (2011)
  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 – Hubert Kos, HUN (2021)
  • American Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:56.32 – Michael Phelps (2012)

Top 3:

  1. Finlay Knox (CAN) — 1:59.27
  2. Kieran Smith (RACT) — 1:59.85
  3. Trenton Julian (MVN) — 2:00.08

Finlay Knox got out to an early lead, splitting the fastest fly (25.22) and back times (30.48) in the field, and led from start to finish in this race. However, Trenton Julian caught up to him on the end of the backstroke leg splitting and split 30.87, staying close behind Knox for most of the race.

That being said, Julian was run down by Kieran Smith on breaststroke, as he split 34.84 compared to Julian’s 35.50 and Knox’s 35.11 to join Knox as the only two swimmers under two minutes in the field.

Just missing the podium was Daniel Sos, the top seed from prelims, as he was fourth with a time of 2:00.30.


  • World Record: 2:03.35 – Regan Smith, USA (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 2:03.35 – Regan Smith, USA (2019)
  • American Record: 2:03.35 – Regan Smith (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:05.08 – Phoebe Bacon (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:05.94 – Regan Smith (2020)

Top 3:

  1. Kylie Masse (CAN) — 2:08.97
  2. Josephine Fuller (TENN) — 2:11.59
  3. Katie Grimes (SAND) — 2:11.96

Unlike prelims, where she only held the top seed by 0.01 of a second, Kylie Masse was dominant in finals. She won by nearly three seconds with a time of 2:08.97, being the only swimmer in the field sub-2:10.

Masse, who had a bit of a down year in the 200 back, was less than a second slower than the 2:08.00 she clocked to finish fifth at the 2022 World Championships.

In second was Josephine Fuller, who dropped 0.08 seconds off her prelims time. She was followed by Katie Grimes, who took on a grueling double, placing third in the 200 back in the same session that she swam the 1500 free.


  • World Record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol, USA (2009)
  • World Junior Record: 1:55.14 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2017)
  • American Record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:53.08 – Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:55.04 – Xu Jiayu (2017)

Top 3:

  1. Daniel Diehl (CUY) — 1:58.45
  2. Chase Kalisz (SUN) — 2:00.50
  3. Kieran Smith (RACT) — 2:01.96

Like Kylie Masse in the women’s race, Daniel Diehl dominated the men’s 200 back, clocking the only sub two-minute time in the entire field. He was just over two seconds slower than his best time of 1:56.41, which was set a month ago at the 2022 US Open.

Chase Kalisz took a clear second, while Kieran Smith was third. Smith had just pulled off a grueling double, taking on the 200 IM and 200 back events back-to-back.


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

Top 3:

  1. Mona McSharry (TENN) — 30.56
  2. Miranda Tucker (TFA) — 31.29
  3. Sophie Angus (CAN) — 31.72

Mona McSharry made it a breaststroke sweep at this Pro Series meet, nabbing wins in the 100, 200, and now 50 breast races. Her time of 30.56 was a personal best for her, improving upon the 30.87 she swam in 2018.

In second was Miranda Tucker, who was just 0.02 seconds off of her best time of 31.27 set in 2019. Following her for third was Sophie Angus, who swam a 31.72 for third.


  • World Record: 25.95 – Adam Peaty, GBR (2017)
  • World Junior Record: 26.97 – Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA (2017)
  • American Record: 26.45 – Nic Fink (2022)
  • U.S. Open Record: 26.52 – Michael Andrew (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 26.97 – Felipe Lima (2019)

Top 3:

  1. Michael Houlie (TENN) — 27.47
  2. Tommy Cope (CW) — 27.84
  3. Miguel De Lara Ojeda (ANV) — 27.93

Michael Houlie made it a Tennessee sweep in the 50 breast, as he won the men’s race with a time of 27.47. He finished four-tenths ahead of Tommy Cope, who was just 0.03 seconds off his personal best of 27.81. That PB was from when he opened the 100 breast at the 2022 U.S. World Championships trials meet.

In third was Mexican swimmer Miguel De Lara Ojeda, who was less than a tenth off of Cope for third.


  • World Record: 51.71 – Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (2017)
  • World Junior Record: 52.70 – Penny Oleksiak, CAN (2016)
  • American Record: 52.04 – Simone Manuel (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record: 52.54 – Simone Manuel (2018)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 53.12 – Sarah Sjostrom (2016)

Top 3:

  1. Erika Brown (TNAQ) — 54.15
  2. Olivia Smoliga (SUN) — 54.61
  3. Simone Manuel (SUN) — 54.81

After the prelims top seed Abbey Weitzeil scratched the event, second seed Erika Brown took the win, splitting 25.84/28.31 en route to a final time of 54.15.

Behind Brown were ASU training partners Olivia Smoliga and Simone Manuel, who went times of 54.61 and 54.81 respectively. Smoliga was 0.22 seconds ahead of Manuel at the 50, but Manuel was 0.02 seconds faster than Smoliga on the back half. Today, Smoliga swam her first 100 free since U.S. trials, and Manuel swam her first since the Tokyo Olympics.

Notably, Regan Smith won the ‘B” final with a 55.53.


  • World Record: 46.86 – David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • World Junior Record: 46.86 – David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • American Record: 46.96 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • U.S. Open Record: 47.39 – Caeleb Dressel (2021)/Ryan Held (2019)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 48.00 – Nathan Adrian (2016)

Top 3:

  1. Andrej Barna (CARD) — 49.00
  2. Gui Caribe (TENN) — 49.15
  3. Javier Acevedo (CAN) — 49.56

Andrej Barna dropped 0.03 seconds off his prelims time to win in a time of 49.00. He was second to Gui Caribe at the 50, opening in 23.56 compared to Caribe’s 23.46, but he outsplit Caribe 25.44 to 25.69 on the back half.

Barna and Caribe finished just 0.15 seconds apart, and Canadian swimmer Javier Acevedo was third with a 49.56.

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10 days ago

Everyone swam great but I have to ask.. Where is Kathleen Baker?

11 days ago

I can’t believe USA Swimming had Trenton Julien do an official autograph session. I know he’s allowed to compete, but there’s no reason for USA Swimming to invite someone under SafeSport restrictions for alleged violations that involve minors do an autograph session for mostly minors.

11 days ago

I’m missing under 15:30 times by Katie Ledecky. I cannot even imagine now how 15:20 would look like, keeping today’s Ledecky more than a half length of the pool behind. Unless she dedicates a particular meet entirely to the 1500m event we may not see something that reminds us such a spectacular results. Her program at major meets where she is rested and tapered is so loaded and 1500m event is so energy consuming that she doesn’t go all in at this event, just whatever is enough for the convincing win.

11 days ago

Secchi was 3rd in the 200 Back. Soft touch, but the official results have him at 2:01.79

11 days ago

As a footnote, Katie Ledecky’s split (8:17.29) at the 800 meter mark would have won gold in the women’s 800 meter freestyle at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
11 days ago

I can’t think of any other segment of any other sport that is as pathetic as women’s distance swimming. There is never a promising newcomer. You never have swimmers from other distances branch out and seriously contest 800+. Look at the men’s race tonight where the Tokyo upstart winner of the 400 showed up here and went head to head with the gold medalist at 800 and 1500. Nobody says much of anything but it would be unthinkable on the women’s side, where they don’t even bother remaining close to Ledecky at the 200 mark. Pole vaulters who never clear a bar all season are more accomplished than women’s distance swimmers.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
11 days ago

Terrible comment, Awsi. Ledecky would have finished 4th in the MEN’s 1500 today. Name another woman who could place that highly among the men in any event. Her dominance does not reflect negatively on the other women distance swimmers – it just shows how special she is.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
11 days ago

It is interesting how people can manipulate data to support their incorrect statements jumping to the wrong conclusions.
Today young 400FR Olympic champion challenged the long distance specialist for one simple reason only: the later was slow in this race. And not simply slow, but slower by about 30sec. Should Ledecky be that slow in her race you would see same challenging intrigue in women’s race tonight. And Ledecky has been challenged and almost lost to Simone Quadarella in 800FR final at WC when she wasn’t healthy. How many swimmers could challenge Sun Yang?
And not that many swimmers were that interested in 1500 competition since it wasn’t an Olympic event. Forget about super Ledecky: Lotte Friis is… Read more »

Georgia Rambler
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
11 days ago

Guess you must have missed Titmus vs Ledecky in the 800 at the Olympics, and just recentlly Summer Macintosh vs Katie in the 800, admittedly Short Course… not to mention a few prominent Australian and European swimmers who have recently challenged Katie with similar results. She has a special combination of work ethic, fierce competitive spirit and talent combined with a love for her sport.. it is great to see her enjoying training with the guys at Florida and swimming well… always a class act as well.

11 days ago

Katie Ledecky officially owns 20 of the 25 fastest all-time performances in the women’s 1500 meter freestyle.


Time to start pushing the riffraff out!

11 days ago

Not a good look at all for Elan Daley. Didn’t even look over to Regan Smith at all after their close race; purposefully ignored her it seems, as Smith turned to congratulate her.

Reply to  SwimmerFan99
11 days ago

Dumb comment of the night.

Reply to  Snarky
11 days ago

Dumb comment of the right.

Reply to  SwimmerFan99
11 days ago

I went back and re-watched this.
They were on screen at the end of their race for about 7 seconds. Elan touched turned away from Regan, turned to look at the scoreboard and then turned back to the wall to take off her cap. Regan turned slightly towards Elan at one point but didn’t even look at her or say anything (before the close-up ended). Nothing I saw remotely justified your implication of bad sportsmanship.

I don’t know why you felt that this, of all post-race moments, needed to be commented on, but it seems like your analysis may be coloured by something 🤔

Last edited 11 days ago by ScovaNotiaSwimmer
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
11 days ago

oh yea this is racist as hell lmao get off the computer and reevaluate

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
11 days ago

Do the Sandpipers have a ban on training breaststroke, because it kind of looks like that….?

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
11 days ago

No one who is not a major gymnastics nerd like me will get this analogy but their whole club gives me 1990-2000’s Romanian gymnastics vibes and in this analogy, breaststroke = uneven bars.

Sapnu puas
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
11 days ago

This is so stunningly niche I love it

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
11 days ago

Those Romanians. All cookie cutter same safe routines. I remember it well

Reply to  LBSWIM
11 days ago

There was nothing cookie cutter or safe about Catalina Ponor on a balance beam. Gina Gogean, yes.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
11 days ago

What’s the breaststroke equivalent of grips?

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
11 days ago

Time for the Sandpipers of Nevada to take breaststroke lessons from Kate Douglass.

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
11 days ago

Cody Miller grew up there: a fellow Sandpiper. I’ll betcha Grimes, Sims, and Weinstein et al were at the teams’ congratulations party to see a teammate with Olympic medals, at the Sandpiper home pool- Sept 2016. (I was there.)

Last edited 11 days ago by Nance
Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
Reply to  Nance
11 days ago

Right. Might there have been a shift in training mentality in the last 7 years?

Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Nance
11 days ago

Sims and Weinstein didn’t join the team at that time.

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
11 days ago

Katie Ledecky (40.88, 38.76) was even faster on the breaststroke leg of the women’s 400 meter individual medley than Katie Grimes (41.29, 41.66).

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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