Smith, Twichell Take 1000’s at KMSC Pro-Am Day One

by Shawn Klosterman 4

December 14th, 2017 Club


  • December 14-17, 2017
  • LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas
  • Psyche Sheet
  • Results are available on Meet Mobile
  • Short Course Yards

The King Marlin Pro-Am Classic has a unique history that has attracted top talent from all over the country for peak racing just before winter break. Their prize money in 2017 is set at $600/$300/$100 for first through third place absolute finish in standard events and $1200/$600/$200 for the 1650 Freestyle and the 50 Freestyle tournament bracket style shoot-out. The psyche sheet this year features a few new faces, such as Will Licon and Jack Conger joining some familiar faces to the meet like Ashley Twichell and Hannah Saiz.

The only individual event for the Thursday session was the 1000 Freestyle in which Open Water Olympian Ashley Twichell repeated as the top prize winner, finishing just over three seconds behind her lifetime best at 9:27.66.  Twichell is the sixth fastest all-time American Performer in this event with her personal best 9:24.44 set in November of 2015.  She was pushed by Southern Cal commit Erica Sullivan from Sandpipers of Nevada who was also just shy of her personal best with 9:29.78. Third in the event was also claimed for SAND by 15 year old Chloe Freeman at 10:01.22.

The men’s 1000 was taken by TXLA’s Clark Smith. The Longhorn Distance Ace was nowhere near his American Record time, clearly intending to do just enough to win the top prize, but was poked and prodded all the way by an inspired swim from Sandpipers’ Brennan Gravley who cut seven seconds from his personal best in the next lane. Gravley nearly matched the Olympian split for split, including and intense final 50 yards in which Smith out split the 17 year old 25.31 to 25.37 for the close win at 9:04.61 over Gravley’s 9:04.76. Third through ninth places were all claimed by Gravley’s teammates from Sandpipers of Nevada as well, with third place coming from an impressive nineteen second drop by Nicholas Becker in lane 7 of the fastest heat to finish with 9:10.30.

The 200 Medley and 800 Freestyle Relays were also contested on Thursday evening. The team of Angel Ke, Jessica Bongfeldt, Allie Rogers and Alyssa Bloser claimed the women’s 200 Medley by over two seconds for the Arkansas Dolphins in 1:47.60. The Dallas Mustangs squad of Carson Brockette, Max Van Cauwelaert, Peter Paulus and Omar Hmimy won a nail-biter in the men’s Medley with 1:37.32, holding back the Mission Viejo Nadadores and Topeka Swim Association by just .04 and .06 respectively.

In the 800’s, Sandpipers of Nevada swept both the women’s and men’s races, even taking the 1-2 finish on the men’s side, making it clear that they are at the meet in full force. The team of Freeman, Victoria Gutierrez, Reese Hazan and Sullivan won in 7:27.23. For the men, the SAND team of Joseph Gutierrez, Becker, Sawyer Grimes and Gravley won in 6:49.87.

Pro-Am action continues at 5pm CST on Friday with the finals of the 200 Free, 100 Breast, 100 Fly, 400 IM and the 400 Free Relay.

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Go Bearcats
3 years ago

Jack Conger is representing NCAP. Does he still train with Texas?

science geek
Reply to  Go Bearcats
3 years ago

Sandpipers are pretty awesome in the distance races.

Reply to  science geek
3 years ago

They were just in Iowa for juniors…crazy meet schedule!

Reply to  Go Bearcats
3 years ago

Yes still at Texas. His club coach is a coach at NCAP and Conger is definitely loyal to her!