Katie Ledecky capped off her first meet of 2019 in stellar fashion, while fellow Olympic gold medalists Melanie Margalis, Ryan Murphy and Simone Manuel also claimed victories on the final night of the TYR Pro Series Swim meet in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Saturday.
World-record holder Ledecky ran away with the win in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, which will be contested for women for the first time at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, winning in 15 minutes, 45.59 seconds. The five-time Olympic champion and six-time medalist finished the meet four-for-four in her events, with the other wins coming in the 400 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 400 IM.
Ashley Twichell was the next closest competitor in the 1,500 at 16:13.03 while Erica Sullivan pulled in at 16:29.23 for third place.
Denmark’s Anton Ipsen won the men’s 1,500 in 15:16.19, while Taylor Abbott took second in 15:42.72 and Brennan Gravely was third in 15:43.77.
Margalis was the winner in the women’s 200 IM, pulling away for the victory in 2:10.43. Alex Walsh finished second 2:12.36 and Canada’s Emily Overholt was third in 2:14.91.
In the men’s 200 IM, Chase Kalisz, the 2017 world champion in the event, left no doubt with a clear victory in 1:57.68, ahead of second-place Carson Foster with a time of 2:00.13. Kalisz led at the halfway point, and the biggest battle became the one for second between Foster and Josh Prenot, the 2018 short course world silver medalist. Prenot was third in 2:00.33.
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Regan Smith, 16, was just off her personal best with a time of 2:07.53 to win the women’s 200 backstroke. Olympian Hali Flickinger was second in 2:08.72 and Isabelle Stadden was third with a time of 2:10.69.
Murphy, the Olympic gold medalist and favorite in the men’s 200 backstroke, delivered with a commanding performance to win in 1:56.16. Daniel Carr was second in 1:58.46 and teammate Bryce Mefford was third in 1:59.50. All three are current or former Cal Golden Bears.
Manuel got her second win of the meet in the women’s 100 freestyle, to go along with her victory Friday in the 50-meter. While the 50-meter was a close race between Manuel and Margo Geer, Manuel was in charge in the 100. She made her case in the second half and finished in 53.42 seconds, with Geer touching in 54.09 and Kayla Sanchez coming in third with a time of 54.53,
The meet ended with Michael Chadwick getting the win in the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 49.17 seconds. Canada’s Yuri Kisil was second in 49.59 and Brazil’s Joao De Lucca was third in 49.90.
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.