Leah Smith, Chase Kalisz Hold Leads in PSS Standings

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 – 100
  2. Zane Grothe – 95
  3. Nathan Adrian – 44
  4. Ryan Murphy – 38
  5. Michael Andrew – 37

Women’s Top 5:

  1. Leah Smith – 53
  2. Melanie Margalis/Katie Ledecky – 46
  3. Taylor Ruck – 45 (CANADIAN)
  4. Kelsi Dahlia – 41

Men’s Breakdown:

Chase Kalisz didn’t score any points in the 200 fly, his first race of the meet, where he finished 6th in 1:55.42. That time, which is about 7-tenths of a second from his lifetime best, indicates he still has enough to probably win both IM races, and for sure finish top 2, so he’s looking at a minimum of 12 points left in this meet.

Grothe scored points via a 3rd-place finish in the 1500, which still leaves him 5 points behind Kalisz. Now the pressure is on Grothe in the 200 free on Thursday, at least for the PSS title. He has 3 races left, and if we predict Kalisz will win the 400 IM and finish at least 2nd in the 2020 IM, that means Grothe needs to be within 4 points at the end of Thursday to have a shot. Kalisz has the 200 breaststroke, where he’s seeded 7th.

If Grothe gets 3rd in the 200 free, and Kalisz doesn’t score in the 200 breaststroke, then that puts Grothe 2 points back of Kalisz. Then that leaves a scenario where Grothe wins the 400 and the 800 (which, is not a given), and Kalisz wins the 400 IM and is 2nd in the 200 IM (which, is also not a given), and Grothe wins by 1 point.

Women’s Breakdown:

We talked in our last scoring wrap about Katie Ledecky‘s event choice on day 1, and what it  might mean for these points (with a new $7 million deal from TYR, she’s probably not overly-invested in the extra $10,000 they’re offering in this series). None-the-less, missing the A-Final in the 100 free meant it was an easy choice to race the 800 on Wednesday afternoon, where she secured her spot on the team for Pan Pacs.

Remember, though, she scratched the 1500 at Nationals last year with a spot for Worlds already secured, so there’s no guarantee that she’ll finish out her schedule of 200/400/1500.

Leah Smith, who finished 2nd to Ledecky in the 800, maintains a scoring lead, but Ledecky has vaulted into 2nd place, in a tie with Melanie Margalis – who didn’t swim on Wednesday. Both Ledecky and Margalis have the 200 free (as does Smith – together they’re the top 3 seeds). The outcome of that race will go a long way toward deciding this title. If Ledecky wins, she takes the lead, and probably doesn’t look back. If Smith can fight her off, then her lead will go north of 10 points, and she has a puncher’s chance at the title.

If Margalis upsets them both, then things get fun.

After today, Margalis has 2 entries left (200 IM, 400 IM); Ledecky has 2 (400 free, 800 free); and Smith has 3 (400 IM, 400 free, 1500 free.

Kesli Dahlia taking 7th in the 100 free, out of the points, probably ends her shot at the title – she only has 2 Olympic races left, plus the 50 fly, which doesn’t score points. That won’t be enough to catch up, barring an incredible run of scratches and misses from the women ahead of her.

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Yozhik

If Ledecky and Smith do what Swimswam predicted:
Ledecky – 1(200) + 1(400) + 1(800) + 1(1500) (40points)
Smith – 2(200) + 2(400) +2(800) +2(1500) +1(400IM) (34 points)
Then Smith will win the prize with total 81 points against 76 points of Ledecky.
If Smith isn’t on podium today in 200 but Ledecky wins then Ledecky has a chance to get the prize. The total score will be 76(Ledecky) vs 75(Smith) but Ledecky must swim 1500.
If Ledecky skips 1500 then Smith can do the same and the result of 200 race will be irrelevant.
So today’s race is of great importance in terms of PSS Prize competition. Leah needs to be at least third to be in control of the Prize competition.

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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