2021 PRO SWIM SERIES – INDIANAPOLIS (#4)
- May 12 – 15, 2021
- IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, IN
- Prelims: 9 am/Finals 6 pm EST
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
- Pre-Scratch Timeline
- Live Stream (USA Swimming)
- Live Stream (Olympic Channel)
- Live Results (coming soon)
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.
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)
- Simone Manuel – 53.34
- Torri Huske – 53.46
- Abbey Weitzeil – 53.66
- Erika Brown – 54.03
- Linnea Mack – 54.06
- Katie Ledecky – 54.22
- Natalie Hinds – 54.29
- Catie DeLoof – 54.33
- Gretchen Walsh – 54.37
- Claire Curzan – 54.40
- Olivia Smoliga – 54.61
- Allison Schmitt – 54.66
- Katie McLaughlin – 54.82
- Carly Novelline – 55.08
- Isabel Ivey – 55.15
- 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.