The first major swim meet of the new year has brought out the stars, including Olympic champions Katie Ledecky, Chase Kalisz, Simone Manuel, Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers all competing at the TYR Pro Swim Series competition at the Allen Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, this week.
Ledecky, who was the 2018 series champion, was front and center on Thursday night, competing in both the 200-meter freestyle and the 400 individual medley. She was the top seed in both events following the morning’s prelims and, not surprisingly, Ledecky came out on top in both of the evening’s finals as well.
The five-time Olympic champion swam the 200 free in 1:55.78 with former Stanford teammate Manuel following in second place with a time of 1:58.52. Melanie Margalis was close behind in third with a time of 1:58.68.
In the 400 IM, Ledecky trailed Hali Flickinger halfway through the race but posted a 1:00.09 time in the freestyle to win in 4:39.39. Flickinger held on for second (4:39.80) and Margalis was third in 4:40.31.
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Kalisz, the men’s 2018 series champ, was third in the men’s 200 free behind Brazil’s Joao De Lucca (1:49.48) and Luca Urlando (1:49.51). Kalisz finished in 1:50.47.
Annie Lazor, who swam her best time ever in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in the prelims Thursday morning with a time of 1:07.28, did even better in the final. She won with a time of 1:06.89 ahead of Olympian Micah Sumrall (1:07.78) and Canada’s Kierra Smith (1:08.21). Lazor recently returned to the sport after retiring in 2016.
The men’s 100 breaststroke was a tight race between Andrew Wilson, Nic Fink and Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot. Wilson followed up his top time in the prelims with a win in 1:00.57 followed by Fink in 1:00.61 and Prenot in 1:00.76.
Prenot had his moment in the men’s 400 IM, however, grabbing the lead on the breaststroke leg and going on to win in 4:18.74. Carson Foster was second in 4:20.27 and Anton Ipsen finished third in 4:20.72.
Olympic champion Kelsi Dahlia won the women’s 100-meter butterfly with a time of 57.86. Kendall Stewart was third with a time of 58.25 and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak was third in 58.33.
Giles Smith was third in the men’s 100 butterfly with a time of 52.40 behind Germany’s Marius Kusch (52.06) and Guatemala’s Luis Martinez (52.14).
The meet continues through Saturday in Knoxville.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.