2023 Pro Swim Series – Knoxville: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

PRO SWIM SERIES – KNOXVILLE

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Today is the 4th and final day of racing in Knoxville. This morning’s events include the prelims of the 200 IM, 200 back, 50 breast, and 100 free. The timed finals of the 1500 are also today, with the slower heats being swam this afternoon and the fastest heats swimming with finals.

LeahSmith comes in as the top seed in the 200 IM on the women’s side, while Kieran Smith headlines the men’s event. ReganSmith is also on the heat sheet this morning for the 200 IM (and 100 free), after she scratched finals on Thursday and all of Friday due to food poisoning/stomach bug.

Kylie Mass will look to complete her sweep of the backstroke events today with the 200 back, as she already has won both the 50 and 100 back in Knoxville. Meanwhile in the men’s event, Ryan Murphy comes in as the top seed by about two seconds over teenager Daniel Diehl.

After picking up 3rd in the 50 free yesterday, Simone Manuel will compete in her 2nd event of the meet with the 100 free today. Abbey Weitzelwho has had a great meet so far, enters as the top seed in that event, which also features Erika Brown other Natalie Hinds.

Similar to other sprint events so far at this meet, the men’s 100 free is a good mix of pros and college swimmers with Bjorn Seeliger, Ryan Held, Andrei Barna, other Jack Alexy all entered.

WOMEN’S 200 IM — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 2:06.12 – Katinka Hosszu, HUN (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 2:08.70 – Summer McIntosh, CAN (2022)
  • American Record: 2:06.15 – Ariana Kukors (2009)
  • US Open Record: 2:07.84 – Alex Walsh (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:08.66 – Katinka Hosszu (2015)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. LeahSmith (TXLA) – 2:15.12
  2. Tess Cieplucha (TNAQ) – 2:16.03
  3. Kathryn Hazle (NCA) – 2:17.14
  4. Josephine Fuller (TENN) – 2:17.30
  5. Bella Sims (SAND) – 2:17.47
  6. Emily Thompson (GCSY) – 2:17.56
  7. Sara Stotler (TENN) – 2:17.70
  8. Camille Spink (NCAP – 2:17.71

LeahSmith came out with the fastest swim of the morning at 2:15.12, almost a second faster than Tess Cieplucha (2:16.03). She took it out in 29.47, followed by a 34.23 backstroke split, a 29.66 breaststroke split, and finished in 31.76. Smith was well off her entry time of 2:11.67.

The rest of the final is within a second of each other, with Kathryn Hazel in 3rd at 2:17.14 and Camille Spink in 8th at 2:17.71. Of the top 8, Spink had the strongest freestyle split this morning at 31.02, while Hazle posted the fastest breaststroke split at 39.25.

ReganSmith did not compete.

MEN’S 200 IM — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte, USA (2011)
  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 – Hubert Kos, HUN (2021)
  • American Record: 1:54.00 – Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • US Open Record: 1:54.56 – Ryan Lochte (2009)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:56.32 – Michael Phelps (2012)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Daniel Sos (CARD) – 2:02.76
  2. Finlay Knox (CAN) – 2:03.34
  3. Kieran Smith (RACT) – 2:03.55
  4. Jay Litherland (SUN) – 2:04.39
  5. Ilya Kharun (CAND) – 2:06.08
  6. Trenton Julian (MVN) – 2:06.29
  7. Justice Migneault (CAN) – 2:06.30
  8. Sean Grieshop (UN) – 2:06.42

Daniel Sos posted the top time of the morning at 2:02.76. He separated himself from the field on the breaststroke leg, where he split a 35.18, which was the fastest of the top 8 by a few tenths.

Canada’s Finley Knox qualified in 2nd, and had the fastest opening split of the field with a 25.54. Other than Knox, Ilya Kharun was the only other swimmer to break 26.00 on the fly leg. Knox will be joined by fellow Canadian Justice Migneault in the A-final, who moved up from his 13th seed to take 7th this morning (2:06.30).

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 2:03.35 – ReganSmithUnited States (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 2:03.35 – ReganSmithUnited States (2019)
  • American Record: 2:03.35 – ReganSmith (2019)
  • US Open Record: 2:05.08 – Phoebe Bacon (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 2:05.94 – ReganSmith (2020)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Kylie Mass (CAN)-2:11.66
  2. Josephine Fuller (TENN) – 2:11.67
  3. Katie Grimes (SAND) – 2:12.94
  4. Gabby DeLoof (TNAQ) – 2:14.54
  5. Finley Anderson (TOPS) – 2:14.70
  6. LeahSmith (TXLA) – 2:14.80
  7. Charlotte Crush (LAC) – 2:16.17
  8. Haley McDonald (LAK) – 2:16.82

Canada’s Kylie Mass and Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller took the top two spots this morning with just 0.01 separating them. The two swam nearly identical races this morning, as their first 100 splits were different by only 0.02 hundredths. Fuller, who also swam the 200 IM earlier in the session, clocked a 2:11.67 and is less than two seconds off her personal best time of 2:09.77 that she set at the US Open.

14-year-old Charlotte Crush and 15-year-old Haley McDonald from Lakeside Swim Team snuck into the A-final, qualifying in 7th and 8th, respectively. Both moved up multiple spots from where they were seeded.

MEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol, USA (2009)
  • World Junior Record: 1:55.14 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2017)
  • American Record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • US Open Record: 1:53.08 – Aaron Peirsol (2009)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 1:55.04 – Xu Jiayu (2017)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Ryan Murphy (CAL) – 1:57.62
  2. Destin Lasco (UN) – 2:00.37
  3. Hunter Tap (NCS) – 2:00.47
  4. Kieran Smith (RACT)-2:00.57
  5. Chase Kalisz (SUN) – 2:01.51
  6. Daniel Diehl (CUY) – 2:01.82
  7. Manuel Martos (ESP) – 2:03.56
  8. Clement Secchi (UMIZ) – 2:03.59

Ryan Murphy cruised to take the top seed heading into tonight’s final. He was the only athlete to break the two-minute barrier, as he split 58.27 in the opening 100 and closed in 59.35. Murphy was well off his entry time and could definitely be much faster this evening.

Behind Murphy, three athletes are within two tenths of each other. Destin Lasco qualified in 2nd, followed by Hunter Tap from NC State, and Kieran Smith. Smith, who is also in the A-final for the 200 IM, qualified from heat two as he was entered on a yards time.

WOMEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 29.30 – Benedetta Pilato, ITA (2021)
  • World Junior Record: 29.30 – Benedetta Pilato, ITA (2021)
  • American Record: 29.40 – Lilly King (2017)
  • US Open Record: 29.62 – Lilly King (2018)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 29.62 – Lilly King (2018)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Mona McSharry (TENN) – 30.94
  2. Miranda Tucker (TFA) – 31.46
  3. Sophie Angus (CAN) – 31.93
  4. Eloise Allen (CAN) – 32.45
  5. Adalene Robillard (RAYS) – 32.47
  6. Olivia Anderson (AQJT) – 32.62
  7. Kailee Morgan (TENN) – 32.66
  8. Jordan Aurnou-Rhees (TENN) – 32.85

Mona McSharry looks to be on track to complete a sweep of the breaststroke events. She qualified in 1st by about half a second, clocking a 30.94. Tennessee had a strong showing this morning, as Kailee Morgan other Jordan Aurnou Rhees wants to join McSharry in tonight’s A-final.

Canada also got two into the A final, with Sophia Angus other Eloise Allen qualifying in 3rd and 4th, respectively. Angus placed 3rd in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at this meet, while this is Allen’s first A-final in Knoxville.

MEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 25.95 – Adam Peaty, GBR (2017)
  • World Junior Record: 26.97 – Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA (2017)
  • American Record: 26.45 – Nic Fink (2022)
  • US Open Record: 26.52 – Michael Andrew (2022)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 26.97 – Felipe Lima (2019)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Michael Houlie (TENN) – 27.76
  2. Thomas Cope (CW) – 01/28
  3. Miguel de Lara Ojeda (ANV) – 28.08
  4. Youssef Elkamash (EGY) – 28.32
  5. Lyubomir Epitropov (TENN) – 28.35
  6. Jarel Dillard (TENN) – 28.46
  7. Jake Meyer (UASC) – 28.52
  8. James Dergousoff (CAN) – 28.57

Tennessee’s Michael Houlie cracked 28.00 seconds this morning to qualify in first at 27.76. His teammates Lyubomir Epitropov other Jarel Dillard also qualified for the A-final, posting a 28.35 and 28.46, respectively. Epitropov won both the 100 and 200 breast earlier in the meet, and could challenge Houlie tonight to complete his sweep.

WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE — PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Abbey Weitzel (CAL) – 53.65
  2. Erika Brown (TNAQ) – 54.88
  3. Olivia Smoliga (SUN) – 55.08
  4. Erin Gemmell (NCAP) – 55.19
  5. Simone Manuel (SUN) – 55.24
  6. Katharine Berkoff (NCS) – 55.37
  7. Valentine Dumont (BEL) – 55.45
  8. Signe Bro (DNK) – 55.66

Abbey Weitzel is poised to potentially take down Sarah Sjostrom‘s Pro Swim Series record tonight, as she clocked a 53.65 this morning. Weitzeil posted the fastest time in the event by over a second, taking out her first 50 in 25.68 and returning in 27.97. Weitzeil has already won the 50 fly and 50 free in Knoxville.

Erika Brown Qualified in 2nd with a strong swim this morning of 54.88. Behind her, the rest of the top 8 sit within about half a second of each other, led by Olivia Smoliga at 55.08. Smoliga’s training partner, Simone Manuel, qualified in 5th.

ReganSmith did end up swimming this event, and finished 13th with a 55.88.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE — PRELIMS

  • World Record: 46.86 – David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • World Junior Record: 46.86 – David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • American Record: 46.96 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • US Open Record: 47.39 – Caeleb Dressel (2021)/Ryan Held (2019)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 48.00 – Nathan Adrian (2016)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Andrei Barna (CARD) – 49.03
  2. Jack Alexy (UN) – 49.14
  3. Bjorn Seeliger (UN) – 49.18
  4. Guilherme Santos (TENN) – 49.56
  5. Justin Ress (MVN) – 49.80
  6. Hunter Armstrong (CAL) – 49.85
  7. Javier Acevedo (CAN) – 49.94
  8. Brett Pinfold (CHAC) – 49.98

Tonight’s final should be a close one, with all athletes in the top-8 swimming separated by less than a second this morning. Andrei Barna other Jack Alexy had a good race this morning, as Alexy took it out at 22.95 but was caught at the end by Barna, who split a 25.53 in the final 50.

Hunter Armstrong other Brett Pinfold had the fastest closing splits this morning at 25.48, as they qualified for tonight’s final in 6th and 8th, respectively.

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