Ranking The Top 10 Swims From The 2024 Westmont Pro Swim Series

2024 PRO SWIM SERIES – WESTMONT

The second destination of the 2024 Pro Swim Series was filled with record-setting swims, as we saw performances ranging from comeback best times, Pro Swim Series records, and even a U.S. Open record. If you missed any of the action as it unfolded, see the following articles with the race videos:

Prior to getting into our list, we wanted to give some recognition to some additional swimmers who had successful meets in Westmont. Chase Kalisz, Leah Hayes, Leah Shackley, Luca Urlando, Drew Kibler, Jack Alexy, and Paige Madden all posted great in-season swims, and look to be on ideal trajectories heading into Olympic Trials.

Now, here’s our top ten list from Westmont:

10. Caeleb Dressel — Men’s 50 Freestyle — 21.84

Since returning to the sport in early 2023, Caeleb Dressel‘s butterfly has looked better than his freestyle. However, over the past few months, his freestyle has increasingly improved at each meet. At the U.S. Open, he dropped his comeback-bests down to 21.99 in the 50 free and 48.85 in the 100 free. Fast forward to last week in Westmont, Dressel recorded swims of 21.84 and 48.57 in those same distances, in-season times that are right on par with where he was prior to his break from the sport in 2022. His 50 free time earned him the official win, but there was some controversy over the starting block and finishing order, while his 100 free time earned him the status of runner-up.

Prior to the Tokyo Olympics, Dressel swam two meets in the month of March: The San Antonio Pro Swim Series & The ISCA International Senior Cup. In San Antonio, Dressel’s 100 free time was 49.75. At the ISCA Cup, he was 22.33 and 48.84 in the sprint freestyles. While being faster this year during the same timeframe may not mean much, it’s a positive sign for the American star in the lead-up to Olympic Trials.

9. Claire Weinstein — Women’s 400 & 800 Freestyles, 4:04.54 & 8:23.73

Sandpiper Claire Weinstein had some promising in-season performances at the Westmont stop of the Pro Series. She opened her meet with a win in the 800 free (8:23.73), outpacing teammate and Tokyo Olympian Katie Grimes (8:24.84) en route to victory. It was Weinstein’s 2nd fastest ever time in the event, as it only sits behind the 8:21.00 she put on the books at last summer’s World Championship Trials.

Weinstein added a second win in the 400 free, where she posted a near two second best time (4:04.54). The way she approached the swim was particularly impressive, as the 200 free specialist even split the race (2:02.20/2:02.34). She kicked home in 1:00.47 over the final 100 meters, splitting 30.70 and 29.77 on the final two 50s. It took a 4:03.25 to earn an individual berth for Team USA last summer at Worlds, and she looks to be in the hunt with Bella Sims, Leah Smith, Paige Madden, and maybe even Katie Grimes, among others, come Trials.

Given that the rest of her Sandpipers teammates were a bit off their best, which is to be expected at this time of the year, it bodes well for her once Olympic Trials roll around. Weinstein herself was about three seconds off her 200 free best time, which alludes that she will be a threat in multiple freestyle distances come Olympic Trials.

8. Caeleb Dressel — Men’s 100 Butterfly, 51.27

Besides Dressel’s freestyle performances in Westmont, his 100 fly was objectively his best swim from a times perspective. While his free times were more promising in terms of improvement since returning to the sport, his fly time would’ve earned silver at the recent Doha World Championships. It also undercut his previous season best effort of 51.31, which he posted en route to the U.S. Open title in December.

Dressel has typically been in the 50-high to 51-mid range during his typical in-season swims, so hovering in that range over the past two meets is great news heading into the rest of the year. It took a time of 51.17 to qualify for Team USA’s squad in the event last summer, and he’s right around the range unrested. Given that he’s known for being a big taper swimmer, Westmont provided good indicators all around for the veteran star.

7. Torri Huske — Women’s 50 Free & 200 IM, 24.31 & 2:08.83

Huske had a great meet in Westmont, bagging wins AND best times in the 50 free and 200 IM. She was 2nd to Simone Manuel in the 100 free, posting a time that is faster than she was all of last year, minus the U.S. Open from a few months ago. From the perspective of personal best performances, it’s hard to argue that Huske didn’t have the best meet in Westmont.

Huske touched the wall 1st in the women’s 50 free (24.31) on night three of the meet, before taking the 200 IM title (2:08.83) on night four. We wanted to group these two swims together for two main reasons, one being that they were both impressive and two being that it creates a big decision for Olympic Trials.

At Trials, there is a direct conflict between the 50 free and 200 IM. Given her improvement in the 50 free over the course of this season, paired with the obstacle of Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh in the 200 IM, it seems the 50 free might be the safer choice. However, given that Huske has also kept improving in the 200 IM over the last year, we could see her opt for that event instead.

6. Simone Manuel — Women’s 100 Freestyle, 53.35

Simone Manuel was on fire in Westmont. She kicked off the meet with a 200 freestyle win (1:57.80) from lane eight, before clocking 24.49 for runner-up status in the 50 free. But, on the final night of action, Manuel hit the wall in 53.35 to snag victory in the 100 free. Her time represents her fastest swim since 2020, and would’ve placed her 5th at last summer’s U.S. World Championship Trials.

It was a confidence-boosting meet for Manuel, who didn’t swim under 54-seconds since returning to the sport until December’s U.S. Open. She holds the American record with her 52.04 from the 2019 World Championships, and this 53.35 swim puts her on the right trajectory to challenge for at least a relay spot on the Paris Olympic Team. Manuel, from 2017-2020, was typically swimming in the 53-mid to 53-high range during Pro Swim Series meets, so she’s actually swimmer a little faster than she typically would in-season. With different training and coaches in the lead-up to Paris, it’s hard to draw any conclusions, but it’s promising nonetheless.

Her 50 free was also a big swim, as her 200 free over the past year has looked a more hopeful than her pure sprint speed. For a while, it looked like she was focusing her efforts on the 100 and 200 for Olympic Trials, but her resurgence in the 50 sprint has now re-cemented herself as a three event threat for Indianapolis.

5. Regan Smith — Women’s 100 Butterfly, 56.36

Regan Smith posted several record-setting performances in Westmont, but her 2nd place 100 fly swim was probably the most “under-the-radar” swim compared to her other swims. It was a best time by a few tenths, eclipsing the 56.60 that she swam almost exactly a year ago. Of note, Smith’s closing 50 of 29.53 was among the fastest ever, with only Sarah Sjostrom and Maggie MacNeil consistently closing under the 30-second threshold.

Smith’s Westmont time would’ve won silver at both the 2023 & 2024 World Championship meets, and with the newly rearranged Olympic Trials & Olympics schedules, it would fit into her program perfectly. It will be one of the most competitive events at the U.S. Trials though, with American record holder Torri Huske, Gretchen Walsh, and Claire Curzan among the other top contenders. Kate Douglass is another name that appears to have significant potential in the event, if she swims it, along with rising junior star Alex Shackell.

4. Torri Huske — Women’s 100 Butterfly, 56.13 (Pro Swim Series Record)

After posting multiple best times at December’s U.S. Open, Stanford redshirt Torri Huske posted a new Pro Swim Series record in Westmont. In the 100 butterfly, she stopped the clock in 56.13, her 5th fastest time ever. Huske broke Sarah Sjostrom‘s Pro Swim Series record (56.38) from 2016, which she recorded just months before shattering her own world record at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Huske’s swim moves her to 3rd worldwide this season, trailing only Zhang Yufei‘s 55.86 from the Asian Games and Angelina Köhler‘s 56.11 from the February World Championships. Huske’s swim is the 2nd fastest in 2024, with only Köhler sitting ahead of her by 0.02.

Torri Huske‘s Top 5 All-Time 100 Fly Performances:

  1. 55.64 (2022 World Championships)
  2. 55.66 (2021 U.S. Olympic Trials)
  3. 55.73 (2021 Olympics)
  4. 55.78 (2021 U.S. Olympic Trials)
  5. 56.13 (2024 Westmont Pro Swim Series) 

3. Regan Smith — Women’s 200 Butterfly, 2:04.80 (Pro Swim Series Record)

On the third night of the meet, ASU pro Regan Smith clocked her 2nd fastest ever 200 fly performance. She put her hands on the wall in 2:04.80 to secure the win, eclipsing Summer McIntosh‘s Pro Swim Series record (2:05.05) from just last year. Smith was under her American record pace through the 150 turn, before finishing in a final time that was nearly two seconds faster than her bronze medal-winning time from the 2023 World Championships.

While Smith broke onto the scene as a backstroker in 2017, she’s always had a elite butterfly too. The 200 fly became a major focus around 2019-2020, where she lowered her best time down to 2:06.39 at a Pro Swim Series meet. She ultimately went on to earn silver at the Tokyo Olympics before ripping the 2nd fastest ever textile swim (2:03.87) last June.

Choosing between 3rd and 4th on this list was a tough choice, but we gave the 200 fly a higher ranking because it’s the fastest time in 2024 so far, overtaking the defending world champion’s (Summer McIntosh, 2:05.73) top spot by nearly a full second. For the sake of comparison, Smith’s time would’ve won the Doha World Championships by over 2.5 seconds, but several of the big names in this event outside of Smith (McIntosh, Elizabeth Dekkers, Zhang Yufei) were also not in attendance.

Regan Smith‘s Top 5 All-Time 200 Fly Performances:

  1. 2:03.87 (2023 Sun Devil Open)
  2. 2:04.80 (2024 Westmont Pro Swim Series)
  3. 2:05.30 (2021 Tokyo Olympics)
  4. 2:05.79 (2023 U.S. World Championship Trials)
  5. 2:06.39 (2020 Des Moines Pro Swim Series)

2. Regan Smith — Women’s 200 Backstroke, 2:03.99 (Pro Swim Series Record)

On the final night of the meet, Regan Smith hit the wall in 2:03.99 to win the 200 backstroke, breaking the Pro Swim Series record. Clearing the field by over three seconds, Smith recorded the 7th fastest time in history. It marks her 4th fastest swim in the event, and she now holds five of the top ten times in history for the event. Australian star Kaylee McKeown is the next closest at four, with Missy Franklin still holding one spot with her legendary swim from the 2012 Olympics.

Smith is the former world record holder in the event, where she checked-in at 2:03.35 during the semifinals at the 2019 World Championships. Smith broke 2:04 for the first time in nearly four years last June (2:03.85), where she set the U.S. Open record at the National Championships. Her swim in Westmont was just 0.14 outside that mark, but was still 0.95 faster than she swam to garner silver at the Fukuoka World Championships (2:04.94) last July.

Top 10 All-Time 200 Back Performances:

  1. Kaylee McKeown, Australia – 2:03.14 (2023)
  2. Regan Smith, United States – 2:03.35 (2019)
  3. Regan Smith, United States – 2:03.69 (2019)
  4. Kaylee McKeown, Australia – 2:03.70 (2023)
  5. Regan Smith, United States – 2:03.80 (2023)
  6. Kaylee McKeown, Australia – 2:03.85 (2023)
  7. Regan Smith, United States – 2:03.99 (2024) 
  8. Missy Franklin, United States – 2:04.06 (2012)
  9. Kaylee McKeown, Australia – 2:04.18 (2023)
  10. Regan Smith, United States – 2:04.27 (2023)

1. Regan Smith — Women’s 100 Backstroke, 57.64 (U.S. Open & Pro Swim Series Record)

Regan Smith blasted a swift 57.64 100 back in Westmont, showcasing a strong back half. Known for going out in under 28-seconds, Smith flipped through the first 50 in 28.13 before closing in 29.51. Her final time equals her 2nd fastest swim ever, marking her fourth time swimming 57.6 or faster.

Smith had many great swims in Westmont, as we’ve covered in this article so far. Deciding between the two backstroke races for the top spot was difficult, as both swims were among the best in history. While the 200 back ranked slightly higher historically, we’ve given the nod to the 100 back for a few different reasons:

  • The 100 back was done 30 minutes after a full-effort 200 fly, where she also broke the Pro Swim Series record in her 2nd fastest ever performance (2:04.80).
  • The 100 back was the fastest she’s been in almost two years. The last time she was this fast was at the Tokyo Olympics, where she recorded an equal time of 57.64 leading-off the USA mixed medley relay in prelims. She was faster in the 200 (2:03.85) just last year. Besides that 57.64 from Tokyo, she was 57.65 during the semifinals of the 2022 World Championships.
  • The 100 back was a new U.S. Open record AND Pro Swim Series record, compared to the 200 where it was strictly a Pro Swim Series record. Being the fastest person to ever swim the event on U.S. soil is a big feat, and this sort of relates back to the 200, where she already achieved the U.S. Open record last June.

Both of Smith’s backstroke performances were among the best ever, and while we feel the 100 gets a slight nod over the 200, there’s certainly an argument to be made for both.

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Jozsef Nagy Acting School
2 months ago

This is all setting up nicely for the U.S. team in Paris. All the doom and gloom of last summer. All the gloating from down under. Starting to feel a lot like 2016.

Robbos
Reply to  Jozsef Nagy Acting School
2 months ago

Or maybe its like 2021 again.

Noah
2 months ago

Lol at the list being basically 2 people
Hope LA is considering changing around the 50 fr/2IM double (Although Kate definitely won’t be there and who knows if Torri will)

Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  Noah
2 months ago

Smith and Huske are the only two with actual competitive times. Manuel and Dressel have decent in-season times which is a good sign but the times themselves aren’t actually good. Then that’s about it.

Eddie
Reply to  Noah
2 months ago

the 50 free / 200 im double is only a problem at the NCAAs and Pro Swim Series Meets – they won’t be anywhere near each other in LA 2028

Beginner Swimmer at 25
2 months ago

Hello Mr. Swimswam will we ever get an article about the ‘Race of the Century #2’: the 100m freestyle in Paris?

Swemmer
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
2 months ago

Maybe wait until after trials buddy………

Smglsn12
2 months ago

IMO kibler’s 200 was better than Dressel’s 50

Negative nora
Reply to  Smglsn12
2 months ago

Meh they’re fairly compatible tbh, I’d probably lean Dressel. 1:46.0 is a bit different than it used to be. And Dressel was 0.15 faster in a 50 compared to US open and Kibler was 0.10 faster in a 200.

Pescatarian
Reply to  Negative nora
2 months ago

And Dressel’s block flexed back 6 inches on the start!

Smglsn12
Reply to  Negative nora
2 months ago

I actually didn’t know kibler’s us open 200! I was just basing it on how much he won by and the fact that it would’ve made the worlds team last summer (which he obviously did with a faster time but still)

Last edited 2 months ago by Smglsn12
Beginner Swimmer at 25
Reply to  Negative nora
2 months ago

1:46 flat is hella fast in season and would put you on the team

Swemmer
2 months ago

Unrelated but I have a slight feeling that Jack Alexy will be in 47.2 or better form come trials

Beginner Swimmer at 25
Reply to  Swemmer
2 months ago

In Paris it may take a 472 to get a lane in the final

Swemmer
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
2 months ago

Definitely not, but it will definitely take at least a 47.99

Beginner Swimmer at 25
Reply to  Swemmer
2 months ago

In Tokyo it took 47.8 to get a lane in the final.

According to my number crunching and swimflation it should take AT LEAST sub 47.6.

100 free in Paris is gonna be NO JOKE DAWG 🐶

My predictions are

under 48.1 to make it out of prelims

Under 47.5 for a spot in the final

Under 47.1 to medal

Swemmer
2 months ago

I hope Regan cracks the 57.6 barrier individually at trials this year, 57.57 needs to go.

Should be a great race between her and Kaylee if Regan can get her taper for Paris right this time around

(Unless Masse gets back into the picture which I’m not sure happens but I’m more than happy to be wrong about)

Pescatarian
Reply to  Swemmer
2 months ago

Don’t count out others being 57.5

Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  Pescatarian
2 months ago

Who? Masse is the only one who’s been anywhere near it and she’s well off her best.

Fast and Furious
Reply to  Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
2 months ago

I suppose they’re referring to Berkoff, or, in some crazy parallel world where SCY means something, Gretchen Walsh

Pan Fan
Reply to  Fast and Furious
2 months ago

They might also be referring to Claire Curzan