2020 PRO SWIM SERIES – DES MOINES
The first full night of finals from the 2020 Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa is set to get underway, with the 100 free, 100 breast, 200 fly and 400 free on the docket.
In this morning’s prelims, the standout swim came from Hali Flickinger, who lowered her #1 time in the world this year in the women’s 200 fly down from 2:07.65 to 2:06.78. Flickinger will have a great shot tonight to break the eight-year-old PSS Record of 2:06.76 set by Cammile Adams in 2012.
The women’s 100 free promises to be competitive, with seven women all within seven-tenths of each other this morning. Siobhan Haughey and Simone Manuel have been 53.3 and 53.4 this season, respectively, making them the favorites.
In the men’s race, two-time defending world champion Caeleb Dressel missed the A-final in the prelims with a 49.89, so he’ll race the ‘B’ tonight, along with Nathan Adrian (49.99). Zach Apple, who is the fastest swimmer in the world this season with a 47.69, is the top qualifier in 48.93.
Molly Hannis (1:06.86) leads a stacked field that includes world record holder Lilly King in the women’s 100 breast, and Michael Andrew holds a half-second advantage in the men’s race after busting out a 59.83 this morning.
Chase Kalisz is the top seed in the men’s 200 fly (1:57.64), as is Katie Ledecky (4:05.26) in the women’s 400 free. In the men’s 400, Marwan El Kamash, Zane Grothe and Arik Katz were all within three-tenths of each other. Katz has the hot hand after winning the 1500 on Wednesday night.
WOMEN’S 100 FREE FINAL
- PSS Record: 53.12, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016
- Siobhan Haughey, CW, 53.30
- Simone Manuel, ALTO, 53.55
- Allison Schmitt, SUN, 53.80
In a hotly contested women’s 100 free final that saw four women break 54, Siobhan Haughey powered her way to the win in a time of 53.30, breaking her Hong Kong National Record of 53.32 set last June. Haughey lowers her season-best of 53.33 set in January to break out of a tie with Ranomi Kromowidjojo and take sole possession of fifth-place in the world rankings this season.
Simone Manuel was just a tick slower than Haughey on both 50s to take second in 53.55, a tenth off her time from the Knoxville PSS in January (53.44).
Allison Schmitt and Mallory Comerford were both out a bit slower than the two front-runners at the 50 but closed well to take third and fourth in 53.80 and 53.87 respectively. Schmitt’s time stands up as a new best, lowering her 53.87 from the 2016 Olympic Trials. For Comerford, it marks her first time sub-54 this season.
Team Elite’s Andi Murez got her hand on the wall first in a tight B-final, clocking 54.80.
MEN’S 100 FREE FINAL
- Zach Apple, MVN, 48.59
- Tate Jackson, TXLA, 48.72
- Dean Farris, HARV, 48.97
Zach Apple successfully defended his top seed from the prelims, winning the men’s 100 free in a time of 48.59. Apple proved superior on the second 50 of the race, closing in 25.26 to edge out Tate Jackson. Apple, 22, leads the world rankings after going 47.69 in December at the US Open.
Jackson posted his fastest time ever at a non-taper meet in 48.72, taking second, while Dean Farris (48.97), Ryan Held (48.99) and Blake Pieroni (49.00) had virtually nothing between them as took third, fourth and fifth. Farris is the only one of the three who has been faster this season (48.45 at US Open).
In the B-final, Caeleb Dressel got out quick in 23.02, but Nathan Adrian stormed home with a back-half split of 25.24 to run down the reigning world champ and win the heat in 48.62, putting him eighth in the world. Dressel clocked 48.68, just off his 48.63 from February. The two would’ve been second and third with those swims had they’d been in the A-final.
WOMEN’S 100 BREAST FINAL
- Lilly King, ISC, 1:05.74
- Molly Hannis, TNAQ, 1:06.43
- Annie Lazor, MVN, 1:06.54
Lilly King, who has become essentially immune to losing in this event, did what she does best by decisively winning the women’s 100 breast in a time of 1:05.74, just off her world-leading 1:05.65 from the US Open and the 1:05.57 PSS Record held by Rebecca Soni.
Molly Hannis, the fastest swimmer in the world this season in the 50 breast, was able to utilize a strong back-half to out-touch 200 specialist Annie Lazor for second in 1:06.43, elevating her to #2 in the world rankings. Lazor lowered her season-best by just under a tenth in 1:06.54, but falls to third in the world due to Hannis’ performance.
Kathleen Baker of Team Elite threw down a best time to win the consolation heat, registering a 1:07.90 to crush her 1:08.50 from the prelims.
MEN’S 100 BREAST FINAL
- PSS Record: 58.86, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2017
- Michael Andrew, RPC, 59.14
- Kevin Cordes, ABSC, 1:00.45
- Nic Fink, ABSC, 1:00.52
After a quick 59.83 in the prelims, Michael Andrew had a sensational performance in tonight’s men’s 100 breast final, setting a new personal best time in 59.14. Andrew’s previous best was 59.38 set in the summer of 2018 at US Nationals, and the fastest he’d ever been at a PSS meet was 59.52 last year.
The 20-year-old opened up a big lead in the heat with a 27.48 opening 50, and then came home four-tenths better than this morning in 31.66. He moves into sixth in the world this season and is now the top American while maintaining his spot at #7 among US swimmers all-time.
It was a close race for second between Athens Bulldogs teammates Kevin Cordes, Nic Fink and Andrew Wilson. In the end it was Cordes, using a 32.00 back half, who got his hands on the wall in 1:00.45, with Fink (1:00.52) and Wilson (1:00.64) just behind. The time for Cordes is just off of what he went at the Pan Am Games last summer and the US Open in December, which is a positive sign heading into the summer.
WOMEN’S 200 FLY FINAL
- Hali Flickinger, SUN, 2:06.11
- Regan Smith, RIPT, 2:06.39
- Remedy Rule, TXLA, 2:09.58
The women’s 200 fly proved to be an exhilarating race as Hali Flickinger and Regan Smith battle head-to-head all the way to the final touch. After Smith took it out aggressively, turning in 28.04 at the 50 and 1:00.54 at the 100, Flickinger moved up on the third 50 and the two turned almost dead-even at the 150.
Flickinger, who won silver at Worlds in this event last summer, managed to edge out Smith on the final 50 for a final time of 2:06.11, falling just shy of her 2:05.87 best time. It improves her #1 time in the world of 2:06.78 set this morning and breaks the PSS Record of 2:06.76 set in 2012 by Cammile Adams. Flickinger appears to be adjusting well to her new training regime at Arizona State under Bob Bowman.
For Smith, she touched in 2:06.39 to demolish her previous best of 2:07.26 and break the 17-18 National Age Group Record of 2:06.95 set by Katie McLaughlin in 2015. Smith, 18, is now second in the world this season and is the seventh-fastest American of all-time (moving up from 12th).
In third, Remedy Rule broke her Filipino National Record of 2:10.99 in 2:09.58. Rule’s previous best was 2:10.38 from 2017.
MEN’S 200 FLY FINAL
- PSS Record: 1:53.84, Gianluca Urlando (USA), 2019
- Gunnar Bentz, DYNA, 1:56.20
- Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 1:57.82
- Jay Litherland, DYNA, 1:58.02
The Georgia boys sweep the podium in the men’s 200 fly, led by Gunnar Bentz who roared back on the last 50 to run down Chase Kalisz and win in a time of 1:56.20. That ranks Bentz 10th in the world this year, and is also the fastest he’s ever been outside of the Olympic Trials, Summer Nationals or US Open. His previous fastest time in-season was 1:57.70 from the 2016 PSS in Indianapolis.
Kalisz had an outstanding first 150, going out in 25-high before holding 29-highs back-to-back, but then faded home in 32.30 for a time of 1:57.82, just off his prelim swim. Jay Litherland made a charge with a 29.80 third 50, and almost ran down Kalisz but settles for third in 1:58.02.
Zach Harting had steady splits throughout for fourth in 1:58.21, and Jack Conger was up with the leaders with 50 to go before falling off and taking fifth in 1:58.57.
WOMEN’S 400 FREE FINAL
- Katie Ledecky, NCAP, 3:59.66
- Leah Smith, FORD, 4:06.81
- Melanie Margalis, SPA, 4:09.00
As we’ve become accustomed to, Katie Ledecky got out to an aggressive start in the women’s 400 free, holding her first three 50s sub-30 to flip in 1:27.73 at the 150. The 22-year-old held 30-points the rest of the way until dropping a 29.84 on the last length for a final time of 3:59.66, lowering her world-leading 4:00.81 by over a second.
This marks the 19th time Ledecky has broken 4:00, and her time is also faster than she was in last summer’s World Championship final (3:59.97) while battling illness.
Leah Smith was in a tight race with Allison Schmitt for second most of the way, but managed to pull ahead on the last 100 to claim the runner-up spot in 4:06.81, knocking over a second off her season-best (4:08.06) and jump into fourth in the world.
Melanie Margalis made up over two seconds on Schmitt on the last 50 to steal third in 4:09.00, with Schmitt fourth in 4:09.40. That is Margalis’ third-fastest swim ever.
MEN’S 400 FREE FINAL
- PSS Record: 3:43.55, Sun Yang (CHN), 2016
- Marwan El Kamash, ISC, 3:48.62
- Zane Grothe, BCH, 3:50.89
- Nick Norman, CAL, 3:52.80
Marwan El Kamash of Indiana used some outstanding early speed to open up a lead in the men’s 400 free, flipping in 1:52.19 at the 200. El Kamash actually gained ground on Zane Grothe on the back 200 as well, coming in for a final time of 3:48.62.
El Kamash holds a best time of 3:46.36, the Egyptian National Record, set at the 2017 World Championships. The 26-year-old takes over 11th in the world rankings.
Grothe, who has been 3:48.38 this year, was just over two seconds back for second in 3:50.89, while Cal’s Nick Norman was third in 3:52.80, just off his 3:52.16 lifetime best. Norman held off a hard-charging Arik Katz (3:53.36) and Mitch D’Arrigo (3:53.68).
Andrew Seliskar, who we saw experiment with this race during the International Swimming League season in short course meters, rattled off a best time to win the B-final in 3:53.61. Seliskar negative-split the race, out in 1:58.04 and back in a blazing 1:55.57 (including 28.41/28.49 for a 56.90 last 100). His old best time was 3:57.53, set back in 2014 at the PV Senior Championships.