Leah Smith, Erica Sullivan Post Sub-8:30 Showings in 800 Free at Clovis PSS


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.


  1. Leah Smith (Ford Aquatics) – 8:22.87
  2. Erica Sullivan (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 8:27.06
  3. 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).


  1. Akram Mahmoud (Egypt) – 8:00.86
  2. Chris Wieser (DART) – 8:01.98
  3. 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.

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Samuel Huntington

8 swimmers in the 800 – sad. Hope for some changes next year


hopefully next year, they are swimming in Santa Clara.

buckeye boys wife

November – Greensboro
December – Atlanta
January – Knoxville
March – Des Moines
April – Mission Viejo
May – INDY


Just a FYI, Dalke swims for HPC Vancouver not Victoria 🙂


With this race of Leah Smith we got the last piece of information about pre world championships readiness of major contenders in women 800FR. Ledecky with last 8:14; 8:10 will be unchallenged again for the world title. Wang Jianjiahe – looks like a stable swimmer and most likely will be at the same if not better level that she was in March – 8:20 after 800m in the 1500 And then 8:14 in 800 race. Leah Smith – was really surprised by her 8:16 in-season result. Today’s more common for her when she is training 8:22 suggests that 8:17 is very feasible. Will she challenge Wang for the silver medal depends entirely I think on racing situation. If each swimmer… Read more »


Why would you say “8:17 is very feasible” when she went 8:16 a few months ago, in-season? There are never guarantees, but wouldn’t it be surprising if she doesn’t go faster at Worlds? (hint: yes)

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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