Five Storylines to Follow at the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series – Mesa

2018 TYR PRO SWIM SERIES – MESA

  • Thursday, April 12 – Sunday, April 15
  • Skyline Aquatic Center, Mesa, AZ
  • Long Course Meters
  • Meet site
  • Psych Sheet

The next stop of the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series will be in Mesa, with the first events kicking off tomorrow, running through Sunday’s distance events. Here are five storylines to follow as some of the best pros, collegians, and age group stars battle it out this weekend.

Remember, these are not the ONLY storylines to follow at this meet. There are, surely, plenty more interesting things to delve into. These are just five things that stuck out to us — feel free to discuss additional interesting tidbits in the comments!

#1 SCHMITTY’S BACK

The 2012 Olympic Champion in the 200 free, Allison Schmitt, is expected to get back to racing this weekend in Mesa.

Schmitt, who hasn’t registered an official time in USA Swimming’s database since August of 2016, has a short schedule ahead of her. She’s entered in the 100 and 200 free, the two events she’s typically known for. Her 1:55.95 makes her the first seed in the 200 free, though she’ll have tough competition in rising star Mallory Comerford (1:56.95), versatile talent Melanie Margalis (1:56.58), and distance star Leah Smith (1:55.97). She’s also seeded sixth in the 100 free (53.87).

Though Schmitt hasn’t raced competitively since 2016, she never made any retirement announcements, and never left the USADA drug-testing pool. Whether or not she plans on pursuing a spot on the 2018 Pan Pacs team is yet to be determined.

#2 LET’S GAUGE AMERICA’S SPRINT FREE RELAY PROSPECTS

On the women’s side, Comerford, along with Abbey WeitzeilLia NealMargo GeerKelsie Dahlia and Amanda Weir are entered to race the 100 free.

It’s pretty clear that Comerford and Simone Manuel are the favorites for the relay in Pan Pacs, having consistently been sub-53 flat start. Katie Ledecky and Dahlia were on the relay last summer in Budapest; Dahlia was a strong 53.16 split, and Ledecky was 53.83, but Ledecky won’t be racing this weekend.

Dahlia has to be one of the stronger candidates for the relay. Meanwhile, Neal is incredibly consistent, while Geer has found new speed recently, hitting sprint free lifetime bests already earlier this year. There’s also some intrigue with Olivia Smoliga, now a full year out of NCAA swimming — she’s entered in this race in Mesa, and she swam on the prelims relay in Budapest.

For the men, there isn’t as sprawling of a cast to check out. Still, Nathan Adrian is the top seed in the 100 free, and he and Caeleb Dressel (Dressel won’t be at this meet) are two favorites for the relay this summer. It’ll be interesting to see where Blake Pieroni is– the Indiana University senior is the second seed (48.23), and after his sub-1:30 200 free performance at NCAAs, expectations are a bit higher for his performances this summer.

Meanwhile, Michael Chadwick is the third seed (48.48), and he’s another name in the mix for the relay this summer.

#3 U.S. MEN’S BREASTSTROKE OUT IN FULL FORCE

The U.S. men have a solid group of guys who have been jockeying for international roster spots over the last year or two.

In the 100 breast, LCM American record holder Kevin Cordes is the top seed (58.64), just ahead of Cody Miller (58.87). Division III standout and Emory graduate Andrew Wilson, who is training in Austin with the Texas elite group, sits third (59.19), followed by Nic Fink (59.40) and Josh Prenot (59.60).

Adding to the growing list of top American breaststrokers are Michael Andrew (59.82) and SCY American record holder Ian Finnerty (1:00.09). Finnerty is riding a huge wave of momentum following his thunderous wins at the 2018 NCAA Championships in both breaststroke races, and while it’ll be pretty tight among all of these men for Pan Pacs berths, Finnerty may have the hottest hand this spring.

#4 FACES WE HAVEN’T SEEN IN AWHILE

Remember Conor DwyerCullen JonesMicah Sumrall (neé Lawrence)?

They’re all entered to race this week. Dwyer hasn’t logged a swim since last August, Jones hasn’t since November, and Sumrall’s first swims at any meet higher than a state championships, since 2016, came in March at the Atlanta PSS stop.

Dwyer is entered in the 100 and 200 free and 200 IM, Jones in the 50 and 100 free, and Sumrall’s in both IM’s and both breaststrokes.

Meanwhile, Leah Smith, who has only raced once since summer ’17, is entered in the 100, 200, 400, 800 free, 200 IM, and 200 fly. Cierra Runge hasn’t raced at all since last summer, though she’s entered in the 200, 400, and 800 free.

#5 KALISZ LOOKING TO CONTINUE WORLD REIGN OF IM

Chase Kalisz was unbeatable in both IM’s last summer in Budapest, and he’s looking to gain some momentum into the 2018 championship season.

Right now, he ranks first in the world in the 400 IM with his 4:08.92 from the Atlanta PSS. That ranks him almost two full seconds ahead of 2nd-in-the-world Kosuke Hagino (4:10.69). In the 200 IM, his 1:57.50 sits just fifth.

He might not have much competition in the 400 IM, though Josh Prenot, who has a best time of 1:57.14, could push Kalisz in the 200 IM.

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ian finnearty

I want to see Finnerty do something unexpected.

USA

I mean we just did less than a month ago xD

ian finnearty

Yeahhh you’re right, I guess I’m getting a little greedy now.

bobo gigi

Finnerty is for me one of the great US mysteries of the next summer. With also Ella Eastin or Erica Brown. How will they convert their big SCY progression into the big pool?
Last year Finnerty swam 51.38 in SCY and 1.00.09 in LCM.
This year 49.69 in SCY and x in LCM.
It’s not crazy to think that he will swim at least under 59 in long course. His stroke is great for long course.

Rachel

I bet Eastin finally has her big long course breakout. She has been steadily improving and had huge short course gains in all her events. Also, the 200 fly and 400 IM are pretty open events, and the 200 IM is in no way sewn up

ian finnearty

Also, based on Conor Dwyer’s latest instagram post I think he will actually race this time.

Nance

Keepin an eye on the weather forecast for wind: https://bit.ly/2JG0uaz

Jimbo

I’ve got a few teammates there right now so I’m jealous they get to watch these guys and girls race

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.

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