Olympic hopeful Michael Andrew saved his best for the last day.
Blasting through the water in a personal-best time, Andrew won the men’s 200-meter individual medley on Saturday at the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in Richmond, Virginia. And then he turned around and won the 50 breaststroke.
Andrew’s wins highlighted the fourth and final day of competition in Richmond, which also featured four wins by 2016 Olympian Caeleb Dressel on Thursday and Friday.
Six-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky made history by winning the women’s 800, 200 and 400 freestyle races over the first three days of the competition. Thursday’s win in the 200 was her 52nd career victory in the Pro Swim Series, allowing her to pass six-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin for the all-time record.
Andrew, who finished second to Dressel in a pair of events Friday, won the 200 IM in 1 minute, 57.49 seconds and topped his personal best by nearly two seconds. Andrew defeated 2016 Olympians Chase Kalisz and Josh Prenot.
Andrew won the 50 breast in 27.41 seconds, edging 2016 Olympian Kevin Cordes by 19 hundredths of a second. Dressel, chasing after a fifth win this week, finished fourth.
Four-time Olympic medalist Simone Manuel, battling a case of strep throat, won the women’s 100 freestyle with a time of 53.74 seconds.
Lisa Bratton moved into the world’s top 10 this year in the women’s 200 backstroke, winning the event by nearly a second over Hali Flickinger.
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Other winners Saturday included Madisyn Cox, women’s 200 IM; Youth Olympian Hannah Moore, women’s 1,500 free; and Olympian Ryan Held, men’s 100 free.
Dressel, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, won two events on both Thursday and Friday. He won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly on Thursday, then followed those performances with wins in the 50 free and 50 fly on Friday. Dressel edged out Andrew in both the 50 free and 50 fly.
Also winning twice Friday was 2016 Olympic gold medalist Olivia Smoliga, who was victorious in the women’s 100 backstroke just 14 minutes after she won the 50 free. Her time of 58.73 seconds in the 100 back set a TYR Pro Swim Series record and was the third-fastest time in the world this year.
“I knew I had the 50-meter freestyle before this,” Smoliga said, “so I tried to just tough it out and tried to see what I could go on. I’m so happy with that (time), it’s really great.”
Flickinger posted the fastest time in the world this year in the 200 fly, winning in 2:07.03 on Friday. She has won all three 200 fly events in the Pro Swim Series this year.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy not only won the men’s 100 backstroke on Friday but did so in an emotional way. He wore three-time Olympian Nathan Adrian’s swimming cap. Adrian, an eight-time Olympic medalist, battled testicular cancer earlier this year. Murphy also won the 200 backstroke on Saturday.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.