2024 Pro Swim Series – Knoxville: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2024 PRO SWIM SERIES – KNOXVILLE

Day 3 Finals Heat Sheet

It’s the third night of finals action at the 2024 Knoxville Pro Swim Series. There are four different events finals on tap: the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 400 IM, and 100 butterfly.

Summer McIntosh cruised to the top seed for the women’s 200 freestyle final. Her 1:57.43 was not only the sole prelims swim under 1:58 but also 1:59. With Katie Ledecky scratching out of the 200 freestyle in prelims and putting her full focus on the 400 IM, McIntosh the heavy favorite. But there should still be plenty of action as Erin Gemmell, Leah Smith, Paige Maddenand Simone Manuel are all tightly bunched together.

There’s a close race brewing in the men’s 200 freestyle as well. Felix Auboeck secured lane 4 for the final (1:48.06) but Lucas Henveaux and Luca Urlando also posted 1:48s in prelims and it took a 1:50.10 to make it back for the ‘A’ final.

Then in the women’s 200 backstroke, Claire Curzan gets her busy session underway. She’s slated to race in both the ‘A’ final of the 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly tonight. In the 200 back she’s seeded 3rd with a 2:11.06 and she’s sitting 5th in the 100 fly (58.39) in a stacked final that includes her new training partners Gretchen Walsh and Alex Walsh along with Kelly Pash and Olympic champion Maggie MacNeil.

Shaine Casas also qualified for two finals but he has since scratched the 200 backstroke to put all his energy into the men’s 100 fly, the final event of the night. There, Casas is seeded 2nd, five-hundredths behind Santo Condorelli who topped the field with a 52.24 out of prelims. Three other men got under 53 seconds in prelims (Dare Rose, Trenton Julianand Luke Miller) promising another close race in Knoxville.

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Women’s 200m Freestyle – Final

  • World Record: 1:52.85, Mollie O’Callaghan (2023)
  • 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)

Top 8:

  1. Summer McIntosh (SYS) — 1:55.41
  2. Erin Gemmell (TEX) — 1:58.23
  3. Simone Manuel (SUN) — 1:58.87
  4. Paige Madden (NYAC) — 1:58.92
  5. Leah Smith (TXLA) — 1:59.14
  6. Aimee Canny (UVA) — 1:59.89
  7. Jillian Cox (TXLA) — 2:00.31
  8. Addison Sauickie (SYS) — 2:00.33

Summer McIntosh stamped her authority on the ‘A’ final of the women’s 200 freestyle from the start. She jumped out to the lead at the first turn, flipping at 26.91. From there she continued to extend her lead; she split 55.75 at the halfway point, 1.64 seconds ahead of Texas’ Erin Gemmell who was running second.

McIntosh was more than two seconds ahead of the field by the final turn and she cruised to the win in a 1:55.41, 1.28 seconds off her own Pro Swim Series record from last year. McIntosh dodged answering Rowdy Gaines post-race question about whether this event would be on her schedule at the Paris Games but this time moves her into #3 in the World Rankings for the season behind Siobhan Haughey and Mollie O’Callaghan.

It was a tight race between Gemmell and Simone Manuel for 2nd. Manuel had the lead over Gemmell at the 150-meter mark but Gemmell put in a dig on the final 50 (30.16) to get her hand on the wall second with a 1:58.23. Manuel held on for 3rd (1:58.87) earning her second podium of the meet just ahead of Paige Madden who is also part of the ASU pro group.

Men’s 200m Freestyle – Final

  • 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)

Top 8:

  1. Felix Auboeck (AUT) — 1:46.70
  2. Grant House (SUN) — 1:47.58
  3. Kieran Smith (RAC) — 1:47.60
  4. Luca Urlando (DART) — 1:47.68
  5. Lucas Henveaux (CAL) — 1:47.84
  6. Brooks Curry (CAL) — 1:48.76
  7. Luke Hobson (TEX) — 1:49.50
  8. Jack Dahlgren (TRI) — 1:51.44

Luca Urlando held the lead for the first half of the men’s 200 freestyle final, turning at 100-meters in 51.79, with Felix Auboeck, Grant Houseand Kieran Smith all lurking close behind. Urlando still held the lead with 50 meters to go, splitting 27.79 on the third 50.

It was a free for all on the final 50 as Auboeck, Smith, and House got in on the action and Urlando started to fade. Auboeck split a huge 26.87 on the last 50 to get his hand on the wall in a season best 1:46.70. He swam away from the other three swimmers for a decisive win, as the other three were all 1:47 mid.

House, Smith, and Urlando all closed together and at the touch House got the better of the other two with a 1:47.58 for 2nd place, which is less than a second off his personal best from July 2022. He edged out Smith by two-hundredths while Urlando finished off the podium in 4th with a 1:47.68, a tenth behind House.

Women’s 200m Backstroke – Final

  • 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: 2:03.80, Regan Smith (2023)

Top 8:

  1. Claire Curzan (UN) — 2:07.38
  2. Isabelle Stadden (UN) — 2:08.42
  3. Josephine Fuller (TENN) — 2:09.16
  4. Leah Shackley (BRY) — 2:09.39
  5. Rhyan White (WOLF) — 2:11.11
  6. Alicia Wilson (TEX) — 2:13.37
  7. Delia Lloyd (CAN) — 2:13.59
  8. Charlotte Crush (LAK) — 2:17.79

Fresh off a block of training at the Olympic Training Center, Isabelle Stadden lead the 200 backstroke ‘A’ final around at the final turn. She split 29.89 on the first 50, then 32.15 and 32.91 over the first three 50s. But on her first swim of her double Claire Curzan built her way into the race. By the final turn she had cut Stadden’s lead to just a tenth.

On the final 50, she outsplit Stadden 32.33 to 33.47, pulling ahead of Stadden to win the race by over a second. Curzan took the win in 2:07.38, just over a second off her personal best. It’s a strong swim for Curzan, who is slated to race the event at the 2024 World Championships in Doha.

Josephine Fuller held third for the majority of the race and she took 3rd in a 2:09.16. She kept herself ahead of Leah Shackley by .23 seconds to give the home team their first podium of the evening.

Men’s 200m Backstroke – Final

  • 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)

Top 8:

  1. Hunter Tapp (NCS) — 1:58.91
  2. Daniel Diehl (UN) — 1:59.16
  3. Jack Aikins (UN) — 1:59.98
  4. Chris Thames (MAAC) — 2:01.05
  5. Yeziel Morales (MVN) — 2:01.30
  6. Jonny Marshall (UN) — 2:01.33
  7. Harrison Lierz (TENN) — 2:02.19
  8. Landon Driggers (TENN) — 2:03.11

The race for gold was in the middle of the pool: Hunter Tapp, Daniel Diehland Jack Aikins were the top three qualifiers out of prelims and quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Diehl and Aikins did their best to challenge NC State’s Tapp but he controlled the whole race. He flipped at the first 50 in 27.96 and didn’t look back, splitting 57.83/1:00.93 by 100s and keeping himself ahead of his two challengers.

Diehl and Aikins were tied at the 100-meter mark (58.20).  Aikins inched ahead of Diehl on the third 50 with a 30.86 to Diehl’s 30.94. But Diehl had more left in the tank, surging ahead of Aikins with a 30.02 final 50 split to grab 2nd place in a 1:59.16. Aikins split 20.92 and took 3rd in 1:59.98.

He and the other podium finishers were comfortably ahead of the rest of the field as MAAC’s Chris Thames earned 4th in 2:01.05.

Women’s 400m Individual Medley – Final

  • 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)

Top 8:

  1. Tess Cieplucha (TNAQ) — 4:41.54
  2. Katie Ledecky (GSC) — 4:44.82
  3. Lea Polonsky (UN) — 4:47.58
  4. Lilly King (ISC) — 4:49.92
  5. Campbell Chase (COR) — 4:51.09
  6. Ava Pape (TFA) — 4:53.62
  7. Addison Reese (LAKR) — 4:54.65

DQ: Ella Nelson (stroke violation)

Katie Ledecky chose the 400 IM over the 200 free here on Day 3 in Knoxville, and she led the field through the first half of the race. She opened with a 1:04.03 butterfly split which gave her a four-tenths lead over Lea Polonsky, then split 1:13.59 on backstroke.

On the backstroke leg, Tess Cieplucha moved up into second place. Cieplucha continued her charge for the lead on the breaststroke leg. She overtook Ledecky, as did Ella Nelson and Lilly King. Cieplucha never gave up the lead and took the win for Tennessee Aquatics with a season-best 4:41.54.

Nelson held off a charging Ledecky on the freestyle leg and seemed to take second but was disqualified for a stroke violation. That disqualification moved Ledecky into second with her 4:44.82. Ledecky split a monster 1:02.74 on the freestyle leg which helped her close down the huge lead her competitors gained on breaststroke. Polonsky moved into 3rd place with a 4:47.58.

Men’s 400m Individual Medley – Final

  • World Record: 4:02.50, Leon Marchand (2023)
  • 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)

Top 8:

  1. Carson Foster (RAYS) — 4:13.04
  2. Bobby Finke (SPA) — 4:18.61
  3. Jay Litherland (SUN) — 4:18.70
  4. Cooper Lucas (LAC) — 4:23.54
  5. Landon Driggers (TENN) — 4:23.97
  6. Grant Sanders (FAST) — 4:24.29
  7. Jarod Arroyo (SUN) — 4:27.76
  8. Jacob Turner (MTRO) — 4:27.97

2022 and 2023 Worlds silver medalist Carson Foster earned the 400 IM win here in Knoxville with ease, touching over 5 and a half seconds ahead of second place. Foster led the race from start to finish, getting out to a lead after the butterfly leg with a 56.04 split.

He followed up with 1:04.49 backstroke, 1:12.66 breaststroke and 59.85 freestyle splits, continuing to build his lead as he went through the race. Foster touched in 4:13.04, slotting in at 7th fastest in the world this season.

Behind him, Bobby Finke and Jay Litherland were locked in a battle for 2nd place. Finke held the edge over Litherland at the halfway point, then Litherland battled back on breaststroke, turning for the freestyle leg ahead of Finke. But as we know, Finke knows how to close out a race. He did just that, splitting to 57.88 to Litherland’s 58.27. That split allowed him to grab 2nd place just nine-hundredths ahead of Litherland with a 4:18.61.

Women’s 100m Butterfly – Final

  • World Record: 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
  • American Record: 55.64, Torri Huske (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 56.38, Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
  • U.S Open Record: 55.66, Torri Huske (2021)

Top 8:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (UVA) — 56.78
  2. Maggie MacNeil (TAQ) — 57.18
  3. Claire Curzan (UN) — 57.26
  4. Alex Walsh (UVA) — 57.79
  5. Kelly Pash (TEX) — 58.36
  6. Beata Nelson (WISC) — 58.98
  7. Emma Sticklen (TEX) — 59.25
  8. Leah Shackley (BRY) — 59.39

Gretchen Walsh led the women’s 100 butterfly ‘A’ final from start to finish hitting a 56.78. That improves on her 4th fastest time in world this season, bettering the 56.85 she swam at the U.S. Open in December. She split 26.31 on the way out, then came home in a 30.47.

Her Virginia teammate Curzan, on her second swim of the session, turned in 2nd behind her at the 50 meter mark (26.60). Maggie MacNeil was running third and made her move on the back half of the race, splitting 30.26 to get her hands on the wall in 2nd at the finish with a 57.18. Curzan held on for third, stopping the clock at 57.26.

Alex Walsh improved on the best time she swam in prelims. She broke 58 seconds for the first time, grabbing 4th place with a 57.79. Coming into the day, her personal best was a 59.58 from the 2020 U.S. Open.

Men’s 100m Butterfly – Final

  • World Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • American Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 50.80, Shaine Casas (2023)
  • U.S Open Record: 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (2021)

Top 8:

  1. Shaine Casas (TXLA) — 51.40
  2. Dare Rose (UN) — 51.72
  3. Santo Condorelli (DM) — 51.79
  4. Trenton Julian (MVN) — 52.33
  5. Luke Miller (NCS) — 52.60
  6. Michael Andrew (MASA) — 52.66
  7. Aiden Hayes (NCS) — 52.68
  8. Arsenio Bustos (NCS) — 53.39

Like G. Walsh in the women’s ‘A’ final, Shaine Casas led the men’s 100 butterfly final from wire to wire. Casas scratched the 200 backstroke final to focus on this race and he took it out quickly, turning in 23.87. Top seed Santo Condorelli tried to push him in the middle of the final 50 meters but Casas could not be caught. He touched in 51.40, about four-tenths off his 51.03 from the U.S. Open which put him at #2 in the season’s World Rankings.

2023 bronze medalist Dare Rose also made his move on the back half of the race. After a 24.28 on the opening lap he split 27.44 on the way home, which powered him into 2nd place at the finish with a final time of 51.72. He out-touched Condorelli by seven-hundredths, with Condorelli rounding out the podium with a 51.79.

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Owlmando
4 months ago

Casas is back never been more back

Hank
4 months ago

Piano dropped on Michael Andrew last 50m of that 100fly. Bro needs to get in shape if he wants a chance to swim this event at the Olympics.

Babashoff - Woodhead - Evans - Ledecky
Reply to  Hank
4 months ago

MA is all in on 50 free and 100 breast.

Hank

He’ll possibly get one of the 2 breaststroke spots only because no one else has really emerged besides him and Fink, but even that is not a lock.

Sub13

His 100 breast wasn’t good either though

Troyy
Reply to  Sub13
4 months ago

His earliest swims in 2021 weren’t very fast either:

100FL – 52.53
100BR – 1:00.10

Maybe he’s just in hard training. Or maybe not …

Hank
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

His 100BR was OK. 100fly over a second slower here. He is training for the 50s in Doha I believe but for some reason he is still able to swim a pretty fast 100BR but not a 100FL.

Andrew
4 months ago

Men’s 2 back is so embarrassingly slow. When are we going to see a new talent emergy and finally challenge Locthe’s AR textile and Peirsol’s WR

Eric Angle
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

Are you saying the 200 back is slow worldwide, or are you only talking about the USA?

Hubert Kos went 1:54.14 at worlds and is clearly faster so far this collegiate season than he was last year. Matching Lochte’s 1:52.96 seems realistic for Kos at some point, no?

Also, in my opinion, Peirsol’s WR is just that good, arguably as good as Biedermann’s 1:42.00 200 free WR. Aside from Popovici, in the last decade no one has broken 1:44 in the 200 free, and Kos and Matthew Richards were off the WRs at worlds by basically the same amount (2.22 and 2.30 seconds, respectively).

Hank
Reply to  Eric Angle
4 months ago

I think he meant USA since Lochte and Piersol were Team USA swimmers.

jeff
Reply to  Eric Angle
4 months ago

the event is very slow worldwide imo compared to the women in the event. If you put Peirsol’s WR at a couple tenths faster than Missy Franklin’s, then Kaylee and Regan are essentially dropping 1:51 mid to 1:52 low swims on the regular, White and Bacon have 1:53 lows, and Masse and Panziera had like 1:53 mid swims in 2021

snailSpace
Reply to  jeff
4 months ago

Which is also true of the women’s 200 free compared to the men’s right now.

jeff
Reply to  snailSpace
4 months ago

400 free too – I think Thorpe’s PB at best is like a half a second faster than Pellegrini’s, so Titmus/Ledecky/McIntosh would be the equivalent of like 3:37 range with Fairweather approaching the 3:40 mark as well

John26
Reply to  jeff
4 months ago

I feel like you should add a second to the women’s times: 2:05 converts to a 1:54. So the 2:03s we are seeing are 1:52 equivalent. This roughly maps the talent/frequency we have seen in the two events

snailSpace
Reply to  Eric Angle
4 months ago

Strengthening your argument about Kos is the fact that the best 200 backstrokers rutinely peak at 25-26 years of age (Lochte, Piersol, Rylov), so Hubert still has, realistically, many years to drop significant time. 1:52.96 doesn’t at all seem unattainable, and the WR is just a crazy one (almost on women’s 200 fly WR level).
What Andrew is right about is that aside from Kos and arguably Murphy (who isn’t tending in the right direction and I don’t think he has broken 1:54 since 2018) the field is very slow.

Last edited 4 months ago by snailSpace
Andrew
Reply to  Eric Angle
4 months ago

I was mainly talking about the USA, but come to think of it, other than Kos, the international stage is also pretty slow. I mean, there’s one guy in the field that can consistently go under 1:55 and that’s Kos.

I don’t want to see a 1:55 medal in Paris.

snailSpace
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

Daniel Diehl’s still young enough to improve beyond 1:55, that English guy I’m blanking on right now showed promising form at SC Euros and his best times are also in the 1:54 range, and then there’s “the fraud”(lol) Murphy who is most likely breaking 1:55 at the Olympics. Other young talent includes Coetze and Masiuk. Mityukov’s best is a 1:55 low. Out of all these options (not counting Kos) at least 2 gotta break 1:55 in Paris.

Boxall's Railing
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

I know you don’t like Cal swimmers, but Lasco is still trending up and made LC strides last summer. Could see him and Murphy at 1:54s.

I also don’t want to see a 1:55 medal, but don’t think that will happen.

Eric Angle
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

It’s a fair point that the 200 back lacks some depth worldwide. In contrast, there are three swimmers who are right at the WR in the 200 breast (ZSC, Leon Marchand, Qin Haiyang).

Lovetoswim
4 months ago

Is Torri still in the meet? No 100 Fly?

Troyy
Reply to  Lovetoswim
4 months ago

Scratched in favour of 200 free.

whoisthis
4 months ago

uh keaton jones just went a 1:58.89 200 back from the C final and would’ve won the A final

monkeys
Reply to  whoisthis
4 months ago

got food poisoning in the morning

HOO love
4 months ago

what was Nelson’s stroke violation?

PhillyMark
Reply to  HOO love
4 months ago

I think they just wanted to mess w Lilly

MFG
4 months ago

Did casas skip his post race interview

SwimmerFan99
Reply to  MFG
4 months ago

He also skipped congratulating his lane neighbors

Babashoff - Woodhead - Evans - Ledecky
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
4 months ago

Casas gonna Cassas

Swimfan27
Reply to  MFG
4 months ago

He’s such a punk

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
Reply to  Swimfan27
4 months ago

The definition of unsportsmanlike.

SwimmerFan99
4 months ago

Condorelli .17 off his PB in the 100FL! Faster than his best Olympics performance (2016).
With a terriblyyy long turn AND finish too.

Last edited 4 months ago by SwimmerFan99
Wanna Sprite?
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
4 months ago

What about his 50.6 in practice😭 Iykyk

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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