PRO SWIM SERIES – KNOXVILLE
January 11-14, 2023
LCM (50 meters)
Prelims: 9:00 AM (EST)
Finals: 6:00 PM (EST), Day 1 4:00 PM
Ways to Watch
Storylines to Follow
Day 3 Prelims Recap
Day 3 Finals Heat Sheets
After for the first time in long course since the Tokyo Olympics this morning, Simone Manuel will be back in action tonight, racing the 50 free. It will be interesting to see how she fares agains the likes of swimmers such as Abbey Weitzell, who has been Manuel’s co-star in the sprint events for several major international meets. In prelims, Weitzeil qualified first with the only sub-25 time in the field (24.70), while Manuel was fourth in 25.48. Also in the mix for this 50 free race are Olympians Erika Brown and Olivia Smoliga, who are the second and third seeds respectively.
Another say swimming tonight is Katie Ledecky, who leads the field in the 400 free by five seconds after prelims. She’s the favorite to win tonight, but the battle for second should be a close one between junior swimmers Bella Sims, Katie Grimes, Erin Gemmell, and Jillian Cox.
On the men’s side, the race to watch is the 50 free, which is essentially a preview of the NCAA Championships. Cal’s Jack Alexy leads the field with a 22.45 from prelims, and he is followed by his teammate Bjorn Seeliger, NC State’s David Curtiss, and Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks and Gui Caribe.
Also being raced this session are the men’s and women’s 200 fly, 100 back, 200 breast, and 50 fly.
WOMEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY — FINALS
World Record: 2:01.81 – Liu Zige, CHN (2009)
World Junior Record: 2:05.20 – Summer McIntosh, CAN (2022)
American Record: 2:04.14 – Mary DeScenza (2009)
U.S. Open Record: 2:05.85 – Hali Flickinger (2021)
Pro Swim Series Record: 2:06.11 – Hali Flickinger (2020)
Katie Grimes (SAND) — 2:09.58
Lainey Mullins (SSC) — 2:11.98
Ella Jansen (Canada) — 2:12.62
100 fly champion and Tennessee commit Ella Jansen led for first 150 meters of the race, and was over a second ahead of the rest of the field at the halfway point. However, Katie Grimes began to close the gap on the third 50, and split 33.69/33.93 on her back half compared to Jansen’s 34.06/37.76 to overtake the Canadian on the last lap and win the race.
Grimes dropped nearly three seconds off her best time of 2:12.38, which was set back in April 2022.
UVA commit Lainey Mullins also made a move on her back half, being in fifth at the halfway point but splitting 33.52/34.89 to pass Jansen and move up to fifth. She was just a few tenths off her best time of 2:11.69.
Coincidentally, all three swimmers on the podium are 17 years old. All swimmers in the finals were teenagers, with nobody over the age of 19.
MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY — FINALS
World Record: 1:50.34 – Kristof Milak, HUN (2022)
World Junior Record: 1:53.79 – Kristof Milak, HUN (2017)
American Record: 1:51.51 – Michael Phelps (2009)
U.S. Open Record: 1:52.20 – Michael Phelps (2008)
Pro Swim Series Record: 1:53.84 – Luca Urlando (2019)
Chase Kalisz (SUN) — 1:56.40
Gabriel Jett (Unattached) — 1:57.38
Nick Albiero (CARD) — 1:57.69
For the majority of the race, it seemed as if Gabriel Jett and Nick Albiero would go 1-2, with the two of them switching leads multiple times throughout. However, Chase Kalisz dropped a massive 29.97 third 50 (the only sub-30 rolling split in the field) and 30.31 final 50 (the only sub-31 closing split in the field) to overtake the two of them for the win.
Jett, who was third at the 150-meter mark, also closed well, splitting 31.18 on his last 50 to pass Albiero.
Notably, Kalisz’s time was just a few tenths off his 2021-22 season best, a time of 1:56.03 that he swam at the 2022 International Team trials. Since moving Tempe to train under Bob Bowman, Kalisz has produced strong results in his races (including US Open meet records in the 200 and 400 IM), and the 200 fly is just a continuation of his success.
WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE — FINALS
World Record: 23.67 – Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (2017)
World Junior Record: 24.17 – Claire Curzan, USA (2021)
American Record: 23.97 – Simone Manuel (2017)
U.S. Open Record: 24.10 – Simone Manuel (2018)
Pro Swim Series Record: 24.17 – Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
Abbey Weitzeil (CAL) — 24.74
Erika Brown (TNAQ) — 24.94
Simone Manuel (SUN) — 25.19
After being the second-fastest off the blocks, Abbey Weitzeil wasted no time taking the lead in this race, and ended up winning by 0.2 seconds with a time of 24.74. She was just 0.04 seconds off of her prelims mark of 24.70.
Also dipping under the 25-second barrier was Erika Brown, who was second with a 24.94 in front of a home crowd.
Simone Manuel, who raced in her first long course final since the Olympics, finished third with a 25.19 and improved upon her prelims time of 25.48. Her ASU training partner Olivia Smoliga came in fourth, swimming a 25.33.
Tying for fifth were Signe Bro and Erin Gemmell, who both clocked a 25.72. Gemmell was just a few tenths slower than her personal best of 25.42 from 2022 Junior Pan Pacs.
MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE — FINALS
World Record: 20.91 – Cesar Cielo, BRA (2009)
World Junior Record: 21.75 – Michael Andrew, USA (2017)
American Record: 21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2019/2021)
U.S. Open Record: 21.04 – Caeleb Dressel (2021)
Pro Swim Series Record: 21.51 – Caeleb Dressel (2020)
David Curtiss (NCS) — 21.97
Bjorn Seeliger (Unattached) — 22.33
Jack Alexy (Unattached) — 22.34
David Curtiss established a clear margin between him and the rest of the field in this race, being the only swimmer under the 22-second barrier to win in a time of 21.97. This race marks Curtiss’ second time sub-22 in the 50 free this season, with his first time being the 21.92 he swam at the US Open.
Coming within 0.01 of a second of each other were Cal teammates Bjorn Seeliger and Jack Alexy, who went 22.33 and 22.34 respectivley. Alexy was just 0.21 seconds away from his best time of 22.13, while Seeliger wasn’t far from the 22.04 he swam at the European Championships last summer.
Finishing just 0.03 seconds off the podium were Justin Ress and Gui Caribe, who tied for fourth with a 22.37. Caribe’s teammate Jordan Crooks, who had an extremely fast reaction time of +0.47, was sixth in 22.40. His personal best is a 22.19 from the 2022 World Championships.
WOMEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE — FINALS
World Record: 57.45 – Kaylee McKeown, AUS (2021)
World Junior Record: 57.57 – Regan Smith, USA (2019)
American Record: 57.57 – Regan Smith (2019)
U.S. Open Record: 57.76 – Regan Smith (2022)
Pro Swim Series Record: 58.18 – Regan Smith (2020)
Kylie Masse (Canada) — 59.43
Olivia Smoliga (SUN) — 59.72
Katharine Berkoff (NC State) — 59.81
Kylie Masse, Olivia Smoliga, and Katharine Berkoff were pretty much in a straight line for the majority of the race. Masse got out to a narrow lead at the first 50, but then Smoliga took over. However, 50 back champion Masse pulled ahead in the final few meters of the race and took the win by three-tenths, clocking a 59.43.
Smoliga’s time for second was also strong, just under half a second slower than the time of 59.29 she went to finish at the 2022 World Championship trials. Notably, she swam the 100 back just after swimming the 50 free earlier this session.
Berkoff was the third woman in the field under a minute, clocking a 59.81 behind Masse and Smoliga.
MEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE — FINALS
World Record: 51.60 – Thomas Ceccon, ITA (2022)
World Junior Record: 52.53 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
American Record: 51.85 – Ryan Murphy (2016)
U.S. Open Record: 51.94 – Aaron Peirsol (2009)
Pro Swim Series Record: 52.40 – David Plummer (2016)
Hunter Armstrong (California Aquatics) — 52.68
Ryan Murphy (California Aquatics) — 53.47
Daniel Diehl (CUY) — 54.50
The Cal training partners of Hunter Armstrong and Ryan Murphy were in the clear lead this race, with Murphy touching in first at the 50 by three-tenths. However, Armstrong split 26.70 compared to Murphy’s 27.78 on the back half, and he eventually won the race in a time of 52.68.
Armstrong’s 52.68 is an extremely fast 100 back time for January, and missed David Plummer’s Pro Swim Series record by only 0.28 seconds. In fact, Armstrong’s time is actually the second-quickest January swim ever in the 100 back, with only Ryosuke Irie‘s 52.59 from 2020 being faster from the same month.
17-18 U.S. National Age group record Daniel Diehl stayed close with Armstrong and Murphy on the 50 free, but faded on the back stretch and ended up in third over a second behind Murphy.
Another Cal swimmer, Destin Lasco, was fourth with a 54.85.
WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE — FINALS
World Record: 2:18.95 – Tatjana Schoenmaker, RSA (2021)
World Junior Record: 2:19.64 – Viktoriya Zeynep Gunes, TUR (2015)
American Record: 2:19.59 – Rebecca Soni (2012)
U.S. Open Record: 2:20.38 – Rebecca Soni (2009)
Pro Swim Series Record: 2:20.77 – Annie Lazor (2019)
Mona McSharry (Tennessee) — 2:26.34
Alexis Yager (TNAQ) — 2:30.17
Sophie Angus (Canada) — 2:30.68
Unlike the other races tonight, which have been relatively close, the 200 breast was dominated throughout by Mona McSharry. The Irishwoman swimming at Tennessee won by nearly four seconds, swimming a 2:26.34 and being the only swimmer sub-2:30.
McSharry’s time was just over a second off her personal best of 2:25.08, which was set at the Tokyo Olympics.
Finishing in second was former Tennessee volunteer Alexis Yager, who swam a 2:30.19. That time was her fastest since 2019, when she set her best time of 2:29.63. Behind Yager for third was Canadian swimmer Sophie Angus, who went 2:30.68 and improved upon her best time of 2:30.94.
MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE — FINALS
World Record: 2:05.95 – Zac Stubblety-Cook, AUS (2022)
World Junior Record: 2:09.39 – Qin Haiyang, CHN (2017)
American Record: 2:07.17 – Josh Prenot (2016)
U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17 – Josh Prenot (2016)
Pro Swim Series Record: 2:08.95 – Andrew Wilson (2018)
Lyubomir Epitripov (Tennessee) — 2:12.15
Miguel de Lara (ANV Puebla) — 2:12.78
Brandon Fischer (TRIV-PC) — 2:14.02
Mexican record holder Miguel de Lara went out quick, leading for the first 150 meters of the race. However, Tennessee swimmer and Bulgarian record holder Lyubomir Epitripov split 34.14/33.86 on his back half compared to de Lara’s 34.36/34.57 and beat de Lara on the final lap to take the win.
That being said, de Lara opened underneath his own Mexican record pace, and ended up being just over a second off that record time of 2:11.23.
In third was 34-year-old veteran Brandon Fischer, who went 2;14.02.
WOMEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY — FINALS
World Record: 24.43 – Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (2014)
World Junior Record: 25.46 – Rikako Ikee, JPN (2017)
American Record: 25.38 – Torri Huske (2022)
U.S. Open Record: 25.46 – Rikako Ikee, JPN (2017)
Pro Swim Series Record: 25.65 – Farida Osman (2019)
Abbey Weitzeil (California Aquatics) — 26.50
Charlotte Crush (LAK-KY) — 26.85
Marina Spadoni (Unattached) — 26.93
Abbey Weitzeil took her second win of the night in the 50 fly, leading from start to finish to clock a 26.50. Finishing behind her was 14-year-old Charlotte Crush, who took 0.04 seconds off of her best time of 26.89. Weitzeil’s time was also not far from her personal best of 26.50.
Crush is coming off of a successful 2022 Winter Juniors meet, where she broke the 13-14 national age group record in the 100-yard back.
In third was 29-year-old veteran Marina Spadoni, who clocked a 26.93. This was a huge personal best for her, beating out her old mark of 27.44 from the Canet spot of the Mare Nostrum meet in May 2022. Spadoni has seen a surge in the latter half of her career, recently setting PBs in the 50 and 100-yard free in December 2022.
MEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY — FINALS
World Record: 22.27 – Andriy Govorov, UKR (2018)
World Junior Record: 22.96 – Diogo Ribeiro, POR (2022)
American Record: 22.35 – Caeleb Dressel (2019)
U.S. Open Record: 22.84 – Caeleb Dressel (2022)
Pro Swim Series Record: 23.11 – Matt Targett (2012)
Ryan Held (NYAC-MR) — 23.93
Clement Secchi (Missouri) — 23.95
Gui Caribe (Tennessee) — 23.99
Ryan Held won this extremely close race, taking first in a time of 23.93. However, Clement Secchi was just 0.02 seconds behind second and Gui Caribe was just 0.06 seconds behind for third.
Caribe saw huge improvements in this event today, as he went from a personal best of 29.75 from 2019 to a 24.10 in prelims, and now his best time stands at 23.99.
Winning the ‘B’ final was Jordan Crooks, who swam a 24.20 to out-touch Wu Peng by 0.1 of a second. Wu, who is racing for the first time since 2013, said that he is focusing on the 50 fly for the upcoming Chinese national championships.
WOMEN’S 400 FREESTYLE — FINALS
World Record: 3:56.40 – Ariarne Titmus, AUS (2022)
World Junior Record: 3:58.37 – Katie Ledecky, USA (2014)
American Record: 3:56.46 – Katie Ledecky (2016)
U.S. Open Record: 3:57.94 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
Pro Swim Series Record: 3:57.95 – Katie Ledecky (2018)
Katie Ledecky (GSC-FL) — 4:00.20
Bella Sims (SAND-CA) — 4:08.83
Katie Grimes (SAND-CA) — 4:09.47
Once again, Katie Ledecky does not fail to disappoint, nearly going under the 4-minute barrier and winning by over eight seconds in a time of 4:00.20. She’s just slightly off her season-best of 3:59.71 from her U.S. Open duel with Summer McIntosh, but still considerably faster than she was in January 2022.
In second was Bella Sims, who was close to Ledecky for the first 100 meters of the race but then faded. She swam a time of 4:08.83, while her teammate Katie Grimes caught up to her in the back half the race to finish third with a 4:09.47.
Jillian Cox split a 29.59 on her last 50, which was the fastest closing split of the field (for context, Ledecky closed in 29.62 and Grimes closed in 29.79). She ended up in fourth, also breaking 4:10 to go 4:09.65.
MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE — FINALS
World Record: 3:40.07 – Paul Biedermann, GER (2009)
World Junior Record: 3:44.60 – Mack Horton, AUS (2014)
American Record: 3:42.78 – Larsen Jensen (2008)
U.S. Open Record: 3:43.53 – Larsen Jensen (2008)
Pro Swim Series Record: 3:43.55 – Sun Yang (2016)
Ahmed Hafnaoui (Tunisia) — 3:47.41
Kieran Smith (Ridgefield Aq-CT) — 3:50.53
Bobby Finke (SPA-FL) — 3:52.09
After winning the 800 free, Tokyo Olympic champion Ahmed Hafnaoui had no trouble winning the 400 free by over three seconds.
At first, it was Trenton Julian who led, being out front until the 150-meter mark. Then, Kieran Smith overtook him and stayed in first until around 250 meters in, when Hafnaoui made his move. The Tunisian split 27.65 on his final 50, which made him the fastest closer in the field.
Julian ended up in last, swimming a time of 4:05.43, while Smith finished second. Smith’s training partner Bobby Finke finished third, gaining some ground on the last 50 to close the gap between third and second.
In This Story
Abbey WeitzeilAbbey WeitzeilAhmed HafnaouiAhmed HafnaouiBella SimsBella SimsBobby FinkeBobby FinkeChase KaliszChase KaliszDavid CurtissDavid CurtissDestin LascoDestin LascoErika BrownErika BrownHunter ArmstrongHunter ArmstrongJustin RessJustin RessKatharine BerkoffKatharine BerkoffKatie GrimesKatie GrimesKatie LedeckyKatie LedeckyKieran SmithKieran SmithKylie MasseKylie MasseOlivia SmoligaOlivia SmoligaRyan HeldRyan HeldRyan MurphyRyan MurphyRyosuke IrieRyosuke IrieSimone ManuelSimone ManuelTrenton JulianTrenton Julian
About Yanyan Li
Although Yanyan wasn’t the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates’ best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …
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