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Ledecky, Murphy, Manuel Lead Friday’s Swimming Victors In Knoxville, While Urlando Emerges One To Watch

By Karen Price | Jan. 11, 2019, 11:32 p.m. (ET)

Ryan Murphy poses during the men's 200-meter backstroke medal ceremony at the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) on Dec. 16, 2018 in Hangzhou, China.


The TYR Pro Swim Series meet continued in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Friday with a mix of Olympic stars — including champions Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and Ryan Murphy — and Olympic hopefuls earning wins.

Ledecky is now three-for-three at the meet with a victory in the women’s 400-meter freestyle to go along with wins in the 200 free and 400 IM from Thursday. She commanded Friday’s race with a time of 4 minutes, 2.71 seconds, a full seven seconds ahead of Hali Flickinger’s 4:09.75. Melanie Margalis was third in 4:09.93.

It was the second podium finish of the night for Flickinger, who kicked things off with a win in the women’s 200 butterfly. She was favored in the event, and the 2016 Olympian won by more than four seconds with a time of 2:07.21. Olympic hopeful Regan Smith, 16, was second in 2:11.34 and Megan Kingsley finished third in 2:11.63.

Gianluca Urlando, the 16-year-old who became the youngest swimmer ever to break 1:41 in the men’s 200 butterfly in December, outdueled Olympic silver medalist Chase Kalisz to earn his first Pro Series win in the same event. Urlando and Kalisz were neck and neck the entire race, but it was the teenager who edged the Olympian in 1:57.04 to Kalisz’s 1:57.12. Mark Darragh was third in 1:59.47. Urlando was second in the men’s 200 free on Thursday.

Olympic champion Simone Manuel won her first event of the competition with a close win over Margo Geer in the 50 freestyle. Manuel touched in 24.75 seconds, Geer in 24.78 and Egypt’s Farida Osman was third in 25.12. 

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In the men’s 50 freestyle, it was 19-year-old Michael Andrew getting the win in 22.11 seconds, ahead of Michael Chadwick’s time of 22.46. Ali Khalafalla was third in 22.47.

Regan Smith returned to the pool for the women’s 100 backstroke. This time, second place went to Olympian Olivia Smoliga as Smith earned the win in 59.37 seconds. Smoliga finished in 59.44 and Phoebe Bacon, another 16-year-old up-and-comer, was third in 59.93.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy notched a solid victory in the men’s 100 backstroke, his time of 53.17 seconds was more than a second faster than Daniel Carr’s 54.31. Bryce Mefford was third in 54.86.

Annie Lazor, who took first in the 100 breaststroke on Thursday, made it two-for-two with a win in the 200 breaststroke Friday. The surprise 2018 short-course world champion in the 200 breaststroke set a personal best with a time of 2:23.51 to beat Olympian Micah Sumrall, who was second in 2:26.58. Emily Escobedo was third in 2:26.85.

Josh Prenot got his second win of the meet in the men’s 200 breaststroke to follow up his victory in the 400 IM on Thursday. The Olympic silver medalist pushed ahead of Nic Fink to win in 2:09.96 while Fink finished in 2:10.57 and Andrew Wilson was third in 2:12.68.

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.

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Katie Ledecky

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Melanie Margalis

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Olivia Smoliga

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Annie Lazor

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Josh Prenot