2019 CLOVIS PRO SWIM SERIES
The final stop of the 2019 Pro Swim Series is upon us in central California, with timed finals of the men’s and women’s 800 free running tonight in the meet’s first session.
WOMEN’S 800 FREE TIMED FINAL
- Leah Smith (Ford Aquatics) – 8:22.87
- Erica Sullivan (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 8:27.06
- Megan Dalke (HPC – Vancouver) – 8:56.43
Attendance is low at this meet as the PSS had cities/pools bid on hosting spots this year, and several of the stops have been distant from large airports and communities with significant hotels. In the women’s 800, there were just 11 swimmers in the race.
Winner Leah Smith of Ford Aquatics and runner-up Erica Sullivan of Sandpipers of Nevada both finished under 8:30, roughly half of a minute ahead of the next group of finishers.
Smith was 8:22.87, a solid time, though not quite matching her magic swim from April when she went a lifetime best 8:16.33. Her 8:16 still holds at #3 in the world this season, though, for context, herself removed, only three women have broken 8:23 this year. Her time is her 11th-best performance ever, a tenth off of her swim at 2018 Summer Nationals.
Sullivan’s 8:27.06 is just off of her own best of 8:26.27. This swim tonight was her third-best performance ever, and her fastest in-season time ever by over two seconds.
Canadian Megan Dalke touched third in 8:56.43, just beating out Clovis Swim Club’s Claire Tuggle (8:56.88).
MEN’S 800 FREE TIMED FINAL
- Akram Mahmoud (Egypt) – 8:00.86
- Chris Wieser (DART) – 8:01.98
- Ricardo Vargas (Mexico) – 8:09.75
This event was even bleaker than the women’s, with only eight men swimming it, barely enough to round out a single full heat.
Egypt’s Akaram Mahmoud came out on top ahead of his closest competitor, Chris Wieser of DART. Mahmoud was 8:00.86, coming just short of the eight-minute barrier, edging ahead of Wieser’s 8:01.98.
For Wieser, it was his second-best time in history behind his 8:00.40 from 2017 Summer Nationals, his fourth time ever under 8:10, and his fastest time at a non-championship meet by almost 10 seconds.
Mexico’s Ricardo Vargas claimed third in 8:09.75, the only other swimmer under 8:10.