5 Big Things From the TYR Pro Swim Series – Atlanta


As per usual, there was a lot of fast swimming at the latest TYR Pro Swim Series stop. In Atlanta, age groupers, high school standouts, national team hopefuls, and Olympians clashed– here’s a quick, hit-by-hit, and by no means comprehensive recap of the big things that stood out to us from the meet.


U.S. National team-ers Andrew Wilson and Jack Conger upped their game at this meet, hitting personal bests and shooting up the world rankings in long course.

Wilson, a star for Division III Emory who is currently training with the Texas pro group in Austin, is setting himself up to make the Pan Pacs roster this summer. Wilson was 2nd in the 50 breast and 4th in both the 100 and 200 breast at the 2017 U.S. Summer Nationals, just missing the World Champs team. In ATL, he posted best times of 59.19 in the 100 and 2:08.52 in the 200– he’s now third in the world this year in both races, making him the highest-ranked American in both events right now.

Meanwhile, Conger is making a move to be a major American player this summer. Conger dropped a lifetime best 51.00 in the 100 fly to win the race in ATL, shooting him to the top of the world rankings this year. Additionally, Conger was 1:55.88 in the 200 fly to take 2nd behind Chase Kalisz and 1:46.96 to win the 200 free by over a full second.


On her way to clinics on the east coast of the United States, Swedish star Sarah Sjöström raced the 100 free and 100 fly on the first day of competition in ATL.

The 24-year-old collected a win in the 100 fly, going 56.62 to beat 2nd place Kelsi Worrell (57.48). In the 100 free, it was Canadian teenager Taylor Ruck who got to the wall first in 53.37 to Sjöström’s 53.43. More on Ruck below.

A couple other Swedes raced over the weekend, including national record holders Simon Sjödin and Erik Persson. Other European standouts to compete included Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov, Russia’s Vladimir Morozov and Yulia Efimova, and Hungarian Liliana Szilagyi. Italy’s Federica Pellegrini made an appearance, too.


15-year-old Scarlet Aquatics swimmer Dare Rose just keeps on getting better. In August, as a 14-year-old, Rose broke the 13-14 NAG record in the 200m free, and he still holds the 11-12 200m fly NAG. This summer, Rose also passed Michael Phelps on the 13-14 100m fly all-time rankings, which moved him to #4 all-time.

Rose has since aged up out of the 13-14 age group, but he has progressed considerably since as recently as this summer. Check out how fast he’s gotten over the last three seasons, and how much faster he already is in 2018 compared to 2017.

2016 BEST 2017 BEST ATLANTA ’18
100 FREE 53.99 52.79 50.89
200 FREE 1:59.61 1:53.30 1:51.03
400 FREE 4:12.66 3:59.02 3:57.64
100 FLY 57.89 55.68 54.79
200 FLY 2:08.68 2:01.89 1:59.78


Canadian teenager Taylor Ruck won four individual events and broke a Canadian record at this meet. She also beat Sarah Sjöström head-to-head in a 100 free.

Ruck was 2:06.36 to come close to Kylie Masse‘s 2:05.97 national record in the 200 back, and she easily won the event in Atlanta. Less than thirty minutes later, she was back in the pool, hitting a new national mark in the 200 free (1:56.85). Her 100 free (53.37) beat out Sjöström by seven hundredths, and then, she beat out American Olivia Smoliga by just one hundredth to take the 100 back (59.13).

Ruck, after her narrow 100 back win, raced the 200 IM, taking 2nd in 2:11.16 behind Madisyn Cox‘s impressive 2:09.82. Now, Ruck is the fastest Canadian in history in the 200 free, the second-fastest in the 100 free, 100 back, and 200 back, and the third-fastest in the 200 IM.


Chinese 15-year-old Wang Jianjiahe was stellar, and unknown, last weekend in Atlanta. She dominated the 400 and 800 freestyles, going 4:03.14 in the 400 and 8:18.09 in the 800 free. Those times are wickedly fast for a 15-year-old– when Katie Ledecky was 15, she was 4:04.34 and 8:14.63.

Wang also took 2nd to Taylor Ruck in the 200 free (1:57.60). She now ranks 1st in the world this year in the 800 free and 3rd in the 400 free.

What does it mean? Where’d she come from? Your guess is probably as good as mine. But the more we see the Wang Jianjiahe‘s, Bingjie Li’s, and Ariarne Titmus’s of the world climbing closer and closer to Ledecky’s times, the more pressure she’ll have to beat, match, or at least come very close to her bests. Ledecky’s throne isn’t in jeopardy, but Wang Jianjiahe‘s arrival spells trouble for the growing cluster of young distance swimmers trying to make international podiums.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

To be fair it would be nice to mentioned that Ledecky’s 4:04.34 at the age of 15 was shown during her 800 race in London. I think that everybody agree that should she swim 400 only without keeping in her mind that she has to do 400 more at the decent speed then her time would under 4:04 and even under 4:03 and maybe even faster

4 years ago

T-Ruck is world class!!

4 years ago

In Austin it was 16 yo Li Bingjie who took 400 and 800
In Atlanta it was 15 yo Wang Jianjiahe who took 400 and 800
Who will be this 14 yo that China sends to Mesa to take 400 and 800

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

katie will more than likely be there

Reply to  Kaez
4 years ago

Sure, but if previous years she could swim casually 8:19 for the win then now more efforts will be needed.
It is like “Tiger effect”. It was statistically proven that tournaments with his participation showed higher level of performances from other players. Whoever will swim against Ledecky will try to do their best regardless if there is or there isn’t a chance to challenge her.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Am I the only one who thinks she could swim up to and including the 2020 Olympics and disappear off the map and quickly as she appeared?

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Li Bingjie turns 16 this month.

4 years ago

lets see if Dare Rose can get into the 49 second range this summer…thatd put him in Chalmers/Dressel range

Reply to  pvdh
4 years ago

Looks like he’s coming down in distance but he’s still more of a 200 guy than a sprinter. Hard to say if fly or free will be his best.

4 years ago

WANG JIANJIAHE has a lot of potential in the 400 free. Look for her in the WC and Olympic finals.

She and Li Bingjie will have each other to race in China, so that may push them closer to the 4:00 barrier.

Reply to  marklewis
4 years ago

Look for her to throw down at Chinese Nationals and not at Pan Pacs

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  marklewis
4 years ago

Underwater video of her stroke during the races showed a lot of graceful movement & streamlining. It was impressive to see her swim. Also, she is quite big (tall & muscular).

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

Jianjiahe, Bingjie, And Ai Yanhan all have beautiful freestyle strokes, especially Yanhan. I wonder if they all train together?

4 years ago

for #1 didn’t the texas guys say they did rest/taper.. and why would conger care about NCAAs being “a couple of weeks away” ?

Reply to  random123
4 years ago

Yes, but throwing down big pb’s and world leading times sure deserves comment…

Reply to  Andy
4 years ago

and wilson’s 200 isnt a pb, he went 2.08.3 at WUGs

Ole. 99
Reply to  random123
4 years ago

Texas never tapers…. ever

Reply to  Ole. 99
4 years ago

Of course, not even for the Olympics. Every Texas swimmer is building for when they finally gloriously taper for the final swim meet of the Gods, located in Valhalla. Until then, every single Texas swim is completely unrested, and untapered.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »