Dressel, Curzan, Andrew Highlight Prelim No-Shows at PSS- San Antonio


While this morning’s prelim session at the San Antonio Pro Swim Series provided plenty of fast swimming and a glimpse at some swimming’s biggest stars less than a month out from the US International Team Trials, one common theme stood out: empty lanes.

  • For our prelim live recap, click here

For those watching live in-person or on USA Swimming’s live stream, swimmers on the heat sheet routinely left lanes open this morning. While it isn’t entirely uncommon for swimmers to pull out of races after the heat sheets have been released, this morning’s Pro Swim session seemed particularly notable for both the quantity of open lanes and the swimmers missing from them.

Among the big names who appeared on heat sheets but did not compete were American Olympians Caeleb Dressel, Michael Andrew, Claire Curzan, Kelsi Dahlia, Melanie Margalis and Olivia Smoliga, as well as American Record holder Will Licon and NCAA stars Mona McSharry, Ellen Walshe, Caspar Corbeau and Eric Friese.

Some, like Dressel, Andrew, Smoliga and Curzan, opted to skip one event to focus on another in the session. Given the extremely short prelim timeline of just over an hour, the desire to swim only one race in that span is not unsurprising. Some others, like Licon, ended their meet with a no show with no other races left to swim.

Swimmers entered in events are able to scratch an event up until the scratch deadline (usually the start of the prior day’s finals session) and will not appear in the heat sheet. If swimmers fail to scratch, however, they are listed in the heat sheet and can still opt to not race by declaring a false start to the deck referee before the start of the race.

The significant no-show wave this morning is another bump in the road for what has been a rocky Pro Swim Series season for USA Swimming. The January stop in Knoxville was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, as was the Des Moines stop in March. The Des Moines meet was eventually moved to Westmont, Illinois, but saw extremely low athlete turnout with several events not even able to fill out full B finals.

This evening’s finals will start at 6 PM CST.

Complete list of no-shows/declared false start

Women’s 200 IM

Men’s 200 IM

Women’s 200 back

Men’s 200 back

  • Ogi Maric (Unattached)
  • Wesley Ng (Unattached)

Women’s 100 free

  • Barbara Schaal (Unattached)
  • Johanna Gudmundsdottir (Unattached)
  • Melanie Margalis (SPA)
  • Kelsi Dahlia (CARD)
  • Ella Ristic (IU)
  • Zora Ripkova (Unattached)

Men’s 100 free

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1 year ago

This isn’t done in other professional sports. If swimming wants to grow up and be a pro sport, they should start acting like one.

Ledecky forever
Reply to  PowerPlay
1 year ago

Yep. I agree.

If the swimmers don’t want to race an event, then why entered it in the first place?

1 year ago

A 3 day meet, plus another 1-2 days for travel is a lot of practice time to miss a month before the World team trilals. They probably come for a couple days to fulfill sponsorship obligations, but want to get back to their training base.

1 year ago

It’s too bad. Aren’t there paid spectators at these events? Some might come planning to see these Olympian swim.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mikeh
1 year ago

I’ve always thought there should be punishment of some sort for DFS. It screws with all the other swimmers.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimSwim22
Mr Piano
Reply to  JimSwim22
1 year ago

It’s literally a gift lol, “thank god I don’t have to race Dressel”

Reply to  JimSwim22
1 year ago

How does it screw with other swimmers? It’s an advantage to other swimmers.