2019 CLOVIS PRO SWIM SERIES
With the final Pro Swim Series stop just a day away, there are many swims yet to be seen. Here are five storylines to watch for at the Clovis PSS stop.
1. Jack LeVant Is Back
Coming off his medical complications preventing him from the 2019 NCAA meet, Jack LeVant makes his way back with his Pro Swim Series debut. At the Santa Clara International meet, after nearly four months of not competing, LeVant was off his personal bests. LeVant swam a 1:54.33 in his 200 free while swimming a 2:05.05 in the 200 fly.
LeVant is scheduled to swim those two swims along with the 100 free and 100 fly. With Luca Urlando swimming by his side, LeVant could shake off the cobwebs and get back to racing.
2. Luca Urlando On Prowl for Phelps’ 200 FL NAG
After putting up the top time in the country in the 200 fly, the 17-year-old phenom is looking to take down some monstrous records. His personal best time of 1:54.35, swam at Mel Zajac, is already a second under the PSS record of 1:55.29, held by Li Zhuhao.
In danger of being broken is Michael Phelps’ legendary 17-18 NAG from 2003, which was a then-world record of 1:53.93. Along with his three 15-16 fly NAGs, this record would be Urlando’s first NAG in the 17-18 age group.
Because he is so close, his next 2019 milestone would be holding the #1 time in the world. The top time of 1:53.19 belongs to Hungarian Kristof Milak.
3. Sydney Pickrem Hot Off 200 IM Candian Record
At the final stop of the FINA Champions Series in Indy, Sydney Pickrem popped a new Candian record nad world #2 time in the 200 IM with a 2:08.61. With both her 400 IM (4:35.15) and 200 breast (2:22.63) in the top 5 times in the world, the Canadian as a great shot at moving up in the ranks.
The likelihood of Pickrem snagging the top overall series swim is slim to none, however. Her 200 IM time is only 943 points, which ranks 7th in the PSS top 10 times. But, Pickrem could earn big-time prize money if she were to sweep the IM events and the 200 breast.
4. Can Leah Smith Swim Another 800 FR Personal Best?
Speaking of money, Leah Smith could see herself moving into the top-10 earners of the whole PSS. Although only swimming the 200 free, 800 free, and 400 IM, her stellar swims this year can certainly help her earn some more cash.
In Richmond, Smith swam to a personal best time in the 800 free with a 8:16.33, ranking her 3rd in the world. With only Katie Ledecky (8:10.70) and Jianjiahe Wang (8:14.64) just seconds off Smith’s season/personal best, can she swim her way to the top time in the world and challenge Ledecky?
5. Devon Nowicki Comes Off A Questionable Meet
National teamer Devon Nowicki returns to the Pro Swim Series as the top seed in the 50 and 100 breast. However, after his recent performance at the MLA Big Red Challenge, Nowicki may be shut out of the top 4 prize money.
At the meet, Nowicki’s prelims swims were way off his in-season bests. For all three of his breaststroke swims, he swam a 30.70 in his 50, 1:08.16 in his 100, and a 2:30.80 in his 200. In finals, Nowicki swam a 1:04.67 in his 100 breast, which is 2 seconds off his season best of 1:02.00. In the 50 breast, Nowicki stayed under 30 seconds with a 29.14, which was also a second off his 28.07 swam in Bloomington.
Of course, going from a local meet to a Pro Swim Series comes with a greatly-heightened level of competition and intensity. With championship season looming around the corner, will Nowicki be able to reach his personal bests of 27.10 and 59.48?