4 Storylines To Watch At 2021 Pro Swim Series – Indianapolis

2021 PRO SWIM SERIES – INDIANAPOLIS (#4)

The 4th and final stop of the 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series is set to take place in Indianapolis from May 12-15. As was the case with the first 3 stops, the action-packed meet will feature many of the countries top swimmers who are just weeks away from making their big for the 2021 US Olympic team. While Olympic hopefuls topping the psych sheets in every event, here are 4 exciting storylines to look out for this week in Indianapolis:

1. Can Anyone Get Under 1:57 In Women’s 200 Freestyle?

The women’s 200 freestyle is shaping up to be one of the biggest question marks heading into next month’s Olympic Trials. While Katie Ledecky leads both the US and world rankings in the event this season with a 1:54.40, the lack of depth among American women this season has left uncertain who will likely qualify to swim the event in Tokyo should Ledecky win at Trials.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 Free

KatieUSA
Ledecky
04/09
1:54.40
2Yang
Junxuan
CHN1:54.5705/04
3Siobhan
Haughey
HKG1:54.8904/18
4Ariarne
Titmus
AUS1:55.4304/15
5Emma
McKeon
AUS1:55.5603/21
6Madi
Wilson
AUS1:56.2604/15
7Barbora
Seemanova
CZE1:56.2705/20
8Federica
Pellegrini
ITA1:56.2905/20
9Freya
Anderson
GBR1:56.4205/20
10Paige
Madden
USA1:56.4406/15
11Charlotte
Bonnet
FRA1:56.5505/20
12Bingjie
Li
CHN1:56.6405/04
13Isabel
Gose
GER1:56.9304/16
14Olivia
Smoliga
USA1:57.0405/14
15Annika
Bruhn
GER1:57.1704/16
16Yufei
Zhang
CHN1:57.2205/04
17Brianna
Throssell
AUS1:57.2904/15
18Leah
Neale
AUS1:57.3312/13
19Katie
McLaughlin
USA1:57.3706/15
19Penny
Oleksiak
CAN1:57.3705/08
View Top 31»

Katie McLaughlin so far holds the 2nd fastest time in the country with a 1:57.48 while Paige Madden has also been under 1:58 with a 1:57.64. Their 2nd and 3rd ranks among Americans, however, are only fast enough for 17th and 20th ranks globally this season.

Paige Madden will be present in Indianapolis, looking to improve upon her 1:57.64 from December 2020, and will be joined by 2012 Olympic gold medalist and American record holder in the event Allison Schmitt. Schmitt’s season-best is currently a 1:58.04 but if she can get that down a bit towards her PB and national record of 1:53.61, she could be looking at a 4th straight Olympic appearance.

Joining Madden and Schmitt, Leah Smith, Gabby DeLoof, and Erika Brown will round out the top 5 with their respective entry times of 1:57.40, 1:57.62, and 1:57.68. The global field has already proven that it could easily take a sub-1:56 swim to even make the Olympic final so we will be excited to see if anyone in the field this week can near that mark with a sub-1:57.

2. A New 100 Breaststroke Matchup: Miller v. Andrew

By “new matchup”, we mean new this season as 2 of the country’s leading breaststrokes have yet to race at the same meet this season. Cody Miller‘s sole PSS appearance thus far was at the January meet in San Antonio, while Michael Andrew‘s sole appearance was in Mission Viejo in March. Miller swam a 1:01.20 in San Antonio but boasts a season-best of 59.65 from the US Open in December while Andrew’s fastest 2020-2021 swim so far has been a 1:00.03 which he swam in April.

Cody Miller‘s 59.65 actually gives him the second-fastest time in the country this season behind Andrew Wilson‘s 59.58 and just ahead of Nic Fink‘s 59.74. Wilson, Miller, and Fink are the only 3 men to crack a minute this season while Andrew’s 1:00.03 is the 4th fastest and Josh Matheny‘s 1:00.31 is 5th.

Matheny will also be present in Indianapolis and the race against Miller and Andrew will be an opportunity for him to improve upon his 1:00.17 PB from 2019 and crack a minute for the first time. Considering that 3 men thus far have been sub-1:00 in-season, it will very likely take a 59 or faster to qualify for the Olympics next month.

While we will of course need to wait until Olympic Trials to get a full picture of the men’s 100 breast field, Indianapolis will serve as one likely final look at where Miller, Andrew, and Matheny stand heading into Omaha.

3. Mallory Comerford‘s 100 Freestyle Ranking Discrepancy

Mallory Comerford is the second-fastest American woman to ever swim the long course 100 freestyle and the 16th-fastest American to swim the 100 freestyle this season. Her 52.59 from World Championships in 2017 is second only to Simone Manuel‘s 52.04 from 2019. Her season-best thus far, however, is well above her PB and currently sits at a 55.21 from December 2020. 15 fellow American women have been faster than that so far in the 2020-2021 season:

US Women Long Course 100 Freestyle Rankings (2020-2021)

  1. Simone Manuel – 53.34
  2. Torri Huske – 53.46
  3. Abbey Weitzeil – 53.66
  4. Erika Brown – 54.03
  5. Linnea Mack – 54.06
  6. Katie Ledecky – 54.22
  7. Natalie Hinds – 54.29
  8. Catie DeLoof – 54.33
  9. Gretchen Walsh – 54.37
  10. Claire Curzan – 54.40
  11. Olivia Smoliga – 54.61
  12. Allison Schmitt – 54.66
  13. Katie McLaughlin – 54.82
  14. Carly Novelline – 55.08
  15. Isabel Ivey – 55.15
  16. Mallory Comerford – 55.21

While she may not even need a best time in order to make the US Olympic team in the 100 freestyle, Comerford will certainly need to be faster than a 55.21 next month should she hope to swim the event in Tokyo. Comerford’s season-best is actually right around the time she swam at 2016 Olympic Trials when she hit a 55.14 in the prelims. A year later, however, Comerford was a 52.81 at US Nationals to qualify for the Worlds Team, going on the place 4th in the individual event while helping the US to gold in the 4×100 with her 52.59 opening leg which was then an American record and now sits at #2 all-time in the US.

For reference, Comerford had a season-best of 53.91 heading into the summer of 2017 which she swam at the Indianapolis stop of the 2017 Pro Swim Series. This 2021 Indianapolis meet will likely serve as Comerford’s final shot at improving upon her best time heading into Trials.

While Comerford’s season-best trails her personal best, she is seeded 1st in the women’s 100 free with a 52.98, a time that she swam at World Championships back in 2019. While she’s seeded first and is the historically fastest woman in the field, she will be joined by a solid crew of sprinters, a number of whom have been faster than her this season. France’s Beryl Gasteldello is entered in second place with a 53.40 while Erika Brown closely follows with her 53.42 for third. Allison Schmitt is also entered with a sub-54 time of 53.80 while Catie DeLoof is 5th with a 54.28 while Gabby DeLoof is tied for 6th seed with Andi Murez at a 54.41. Kelsi Dahlia will round out the top 8 with a 54.56.

4. Beryl Gastaldello Chooses Indy Over Hungary

French Olympian Beryl Gastaldello was a headliner on France’s 27-strong European Championships roster announced earlier this year. The US-based sprinter, however, has decided to forgo Euros which are set to be held next week in Budapest, Hungary.

Gastaldello’s absence at European Championships will a slight blow for France considering that she is currently tied for 8th worldwide this season in the 100 freestyle with Freya Anderson and Madi Wilson at a 53.40. Further, she and Anderson are tied for 3rd among those eligible to swim at Euros behind Ranomi Kromowidjojo‘s 53.13 and Marie Wattell‘s 53.32.

Along with the individual 100 freestyle, Gastaldello would have likely swum the 100 butterfly, along with the women’s and mixed 4×100 freestyle relays and 4×100 medley relays. The French still have a solid women’s sprint contingent, however, lead by Charlotte Bonnet, Marie Wattel, and Mélanie Henique.

Gastaldello’s 8th place ranking in the 100 freestyle is a significant improvement from her 22nd place finish in the event at the 2016 Olympics as well as her more recent 15th place finish in the event at 2019 World Championships.

Gastaldello is entered to swim 3 events this week in Indianapolis with her top seed coming in the women’s 100 freestyle where she’s going in in second place with a 53.40 to Mallory Comerford‘s 52.98. She will also race the 100 backstroke as 4th seed with a 1:00.07 and the 200 freestyle with a 1:59.92 for 14th.

In This Story

40
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
40 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Yozhik
1 month ago

The Olympic season of 2016 20 years old Gabbi Deloof ended up having 2:00.57 as her best in 200FR
Then just in two years she dropped 4 sec from her best time becoming a 1:56 swimmer. This rocket like progress gave a strong hope that the USA team will have a sub 1:56 swimmer by next Olympic Games. But she bounced back instead returning basically to the place in ranking where she came from. I still have a hope that the swimmer who had ability to swim 1:56 not that far ago can do it again becoming a valuable member of US 4×200 relay.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

I’m more intrigued to see how Paige Madden does after going 1:57 in December and dropping time in 200 scy at NCAA. Summer 2019 she was 1:57 at nationals. I think she can drop at least another second and a half, maybe 2 as she is a better LC swimmer.

Swimfan
Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

Gabby daloof has Been under 157 1 Time I believe

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Schmitt (1:59.37) and DeLoof (1:58.35) were god awful in the heats of the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Swimfan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

2weeks later at us nationals Schmitt was back to her decent form when she swam a 1:56 to take the national title

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Allison Schmitt was not much better in the women’s 200 meter freestyle at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships:

heats – 1:58.73
semis – 1:58.27

A 1:58.27 on a relay leg and you can kiss a medal goodbye in the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

Your syntax is so interesting to me.

Yozhik
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

I don’t know what meet you are referring to. Her personal best is 1:56.55 from 2018.
Her best time this season is 1:59.81

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Will a US man make the olympic final in the 100 breast?
And will US women step up their game in the 200 free with the prospect of the relay?
Right now both events look weak in US swimming. But let’s see what happens at trials before making crazy predictions.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Where have you been?

Yozhik
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

US W4x200 relay may look weak in your eyes but not weaker than world champion and world record holder Australian team.
The only thing that I agree with in your post is ” let’s see what happens”. That’s very wise. 😀

Swimfan
Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

After this weekend wee will probably see 4 other swimmers under 157 beside ledecky and that should put aside any questions for the 4×200

Yozhik
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

It is very possible and is long due. They have to be that fast before starting tapering for trials.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Who?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Honestly I don’t know why people care so much about the USA being “weak” in one event or another. They dominate so many events already as it is. I think it’s good for the sport that other countries are getting super strong in certain events. like Hungary in the 200 fly, Japan in the breaststroke, or GB in a couple relays.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Tradition!

The USA has historically dominated the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay at the Summer Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2016).

Mr Piano
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

No streak lasts forever

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Lame excuse.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

I mean, not having any finalists in the 400 free is a lot different than the 100 breast, if only b/c of the medley relay. You sorta want each leg to be pretty good.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

No and no.

It is not in Simone Manuel’s best interest to swim the individual women’s 200 meter freestyle at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

swimmerfromcali
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

The return of the KING!!

Random123
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

BOBO!!!! welcome back

Penguin
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN. MY HERO

Hswimmer
1 month ago

I have a question.. Are they still going to take the top 6 for relays or just top 4, due to corona?

Admin
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

There’s been no indication that they’re going to change their selection procedures.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Great!

Rev
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

However, with adding M 800, W 1500, and still only 26 spots, there could be less doubles and they may not go that deep.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Rev
1 month ago

There should be enough swimmers to double up on individual events:

Manuel – 50 FR, 100 FR, 200 FR?
Weitzeil – 50 FR, 100 FR
Ledecky – 200 FR, 400 FR, 800 FR, 1500 FR
Smith – 200 FR, 400 FR, 800 FR

That’s just the individual freestyle events.

Swimfan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

I agree with Ledecky and Manuel doubling up but Leah smith in the 200? Definitely As a relay swimmer The 200 at the most intrigue event at the trails because as a coach you would thinkYou would want as many 156 swimmers on the team as possible that way the day of the 800 relay you can put over who is on fire at that time

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Leah Smith finished third in the women’s 200 meter freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials to Ledecky and Franklin. Is it a stretch for Leah Smith to finish sixth in the women’s 200 meter freestyle at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials?

2021 Olympic Team Trials
Women’s 200 meter freestyle
1. Ledecky
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?
6. Smith

The question should be who fills in the blanks?

AThomas
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Great to hear, that increases my chances to make the Olympic team by 50%.

Admin
Reply to  AThomas
1 month ago

Mine too!

What’s 1.5 x 0.000%?