Reported by Robert Gibbs.
2019 PRO SWIM SERIES- KNOXVILLE
- January 9-12, 2018
- Alan Jones Aquatic Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
- 50m (LCM) pool
- Meet information
- Live stream
- Live results
While this may not have been the most well-attended Pro Series Swim stop ever, the lack of depth didn’t preclude some fast swimming at the top end of things.
Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel dropped a 53.42 in the 100 free, the final event of the evening, that’s the fastest time she’s ever done at a PSS, or any other in-season meet for that matter. Her previous in-season best was a 53.66 from the 2017 Mesa stop of the PSS.
However, the last time she swam a 100 free LCM in January was in 2014. That actually predates the Pro Swim Series, as she recorded that time of 54.60 at what was still known then as the Austin Grand Prix. She graduated high school that year, and started college at Stanford that fall, partially explaining the depth of January long course swims since then.
Her best time that summer was a 53.60, done at Nationals. A similar one second drop this year from January to summer would put her at 52.60, faster than her gold medal time from the Rio Olympics, but a few tenths her slower than her overall personal best of 52.27 from the 2017 World Championships.
- 16 year-old Regan Smith also put up an in-season personal best tonight. Her time of 2:07.53 is the fastest she’s been outside of a national or international championship meet. Last year she went 2:08.55 in January at the Austin PSS before dropping to a 2:06.43. It’s probably not reasonable to expect another two second drop this year, but just for sake of comparison, a 2:05.5 this summer would make the 2nd-fastest American ever, behind only Missy Franklin.
- While we’re on the subject, age groupers Carson Foster, Jacob Foster, and Luca Urlando also all had their fastest in-season times ever in the 200 IM tonight, as they finished 2nd, 6th, and 4th, respectively. While older guys like Chase Kalisz(1st tonight), Josh Prenot (3rd tonight) and Abraham DeVine (not competing here) will probably be the favorites for the top two spots for Tokyo, we should be in for some great battles between the Fosters and Ulrlando, both in long course and in college competition, in the next full quad.
- The Cal men’s backstroke group has been on an absolute tear this week. Alumnus Ryan Murphy and current students Daniel Carr and Bryce Mefford swept the podium in both the 100 and the 200 events. They came within a Michael Andrew swim of doing the same in the 50 back, settling for 2nd-4th in the wake of Andrew’s win there. Carr and Mefford combined for 28 backstroke points at last year’s NCAAs, not quite replacing the 40 backstroke points that Murphy racked up in each of four years at Cal, but it’s looking increasingly likely that may be able to do that this year.