Chase Kalisz Pulls Away from Zane Grothe in PSS Standings (Day 3)

2018 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The ‘shall we taper, shall we not’ has thrown a little bit of havoc (read: excitement) into the battle for 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series title. While the formal series itself is over, results from Nationals, where everyone has higher goals of ‘making the team for Pan Pacs,’ will count for double points toward an eventual prize of $10,000 in cash and a 1-year lease on a BMW.

Points for Nationals Results:

  • First Place – 10 points
  • Second Place – 6 points
  • Third Place – 2 points

Focusing on the top 5 coming into the meet, here are the standings after day 1 of Nationals:

Note: Because of the double points, it’s possible that someone else sneaks into the top 5, but USA Swimming only publishes points for 5, so we don’t know who’s 6th right now. Nobody new will contend for the title, though.

Men’s Top 5:

  1. Chase Kalisz – 110
  2. Zane Grothe – 95
  3. Ryan Murphy – 48
  4. Nathan Adrian – 44
  5. Michael Andrew – 39

Women’s Top 5:

  1. Katie Ledecky – 56
  2. Leah Smith – 53
  3. Kelsi Dahlia – 51
  4. Melanie Margalis – 50
  5. Taylor Ruck – 45 (CANADIAN)

By the time the first two races of Friday’s finals session, the 400 IMs, was over, there were two swimmers who had taken commanding leads in the Pro Swim Series standings. In any other year, I would describe that as “the battle was over,” but given the way things have gone at this meet, nothing is over until the math says it’s over.

In the women’s race, a big upset by Ally McHugh (4:34.80) and a bigger upset of Smith falling to 4th (though she’s already on the team, so there’s no big-picture danger) leaves Ledecky with a 13-point lead. That means that if Ledecky finishes in the top 2 of both the 400 free and 1500 free (she’s the World Record holder in both races by a country mile), then Smith can’t catch her for the title.

If Ledecky scratches out of the rest of her races or has a really off swim (which isn’t what we’d expect in either  case), then it’s wide open – and Kelsi Dahlia could actually still sneak in for a win if she were to take the 50 free title. That’s her only race left, though, so if Ledecky or Smith wins another event, Dahlia is formally eliminated.

In the men’s 400 IM, Chase Kalisz made the first movement of the meet in the men’s PSS standings by taking a win – no surprise, as he’s the defending World Champion. Kalisz has a 15 point lead and one race left (the 200 IM, where he’s also favored). If he finishes 2nd in that race, he’s clinched the title. If he doesn’t, Grothe, who still has the 400 and 800 frees left, would have a chance, but it would take something pretty spectacular. He has only one top-3 finish so far in the meet, though the 400 and 800 are his best races.

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Yozhik

Leah Smith was unexpectedly out of podium in 200 free and 400IM were she was strongly predicted to be #2 and #1 respectively. If she gets third today in 400free losig let say to Flickenger then the TYR PSS contest will be over regardless if Ledecky swims 1500 tomorrow or not. If Smith is the second today and Ledecky skips 1500 then Leah must win 1500 to get this $10,000 prize. That is not obvious at all if she can do it. It will be interesting to observe Ledecky’s attitude as a pro. There is no need for her to swim 1500 race on her day off day of the week. But giving away $12,000 (2000 for the win +… Read more »

gigglewater

The thing is, Ledecky might want to let others qualified for 1500.
Since it’s an Olympics event now, top 2 get the tickets.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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