Michael Andrew competes at the TYR Pro Series on March 8, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Michael Andrew, Hali Flickinger and Kathleen Baker were among the big winners at the second stop on the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend.
Andrew, who promises to be a force leading into the 2020 Olympic Trials, took first place in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly, 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. His time of 59.70 seconds in the 100 breaststroke was the fourth-fastest in the world this year. He also finished second in the 50 breaststroke.
With Andrew and two-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel entered in a number of events together, many anticipated some showdowns between the two, but heading into Saturday’s events, Dressel’s best finish was fifth place in the 50 butterfly.
That changed Saturday night when Dressel won the 100 butterfly with a time of 51.51.
Andrew and Dressel then had it out in the last event of the competition, the 50 freestyle. Andrew flew to his fifth win of the meet, finishing in 21.94 seconds, with Dressel just behind him in 22.08 seconds.
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Olympians Baker, Flickinger and Olivia Smoliga squared off in a number of races throughout the course of the meet. In the women’s 200 backstroke on Friday, all three finished on the podium, with Baker earning the win by more than two seconds with a time of 2 minutes, 8.08 seconds, the second-fastest time in the world this year. Flickinger was second and Smoliga third.
Baker got her first win of the meet on Thursday with a victory in the 50 backstroke then added another on Saturday when she out-touched Smoliga in the 100 backstroke. Baker finished in 59.17 seconds, Smoliga in 59.35. Baker rounded out the meet with a third-place finish in the women’s 200 individual medley.
Flickinger had a busy Friday night. In addition to finishing second in the 200 backstroke, she also swam the 200 freestyle and capped it off with her second win of the meet with a victory in the 400 IM in a personal-best time of 4:38.84.
On Thursday, she got her first win of the meet in the women’s 200 butterfly with a time of 2:07.10. She improved on her already best time in the world in the event and won by over three seconds. Flickinger was also second in the women’s 800 freestyle.
Smoliga had four top-three finishes. In addition to finishing third in the 200 backstroke and second in the 100 backstroke, she took second in the 100 freestyle and the 50 backstroke, the event in which she holds the American record.
Eight-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt took first in the 200 freestyle. Two-time Olympic medalist Leah Smith was third in the same event, as well as third in the 400 freestyle, before winning the 800 freestyle with the fastest time in the world this year at 8:29.12.
Jordan Wilimovsky, a 2016 Olympian, came in as the top seed and took second place in the men’s 1,500 on Wednesday and was second in the 800 freestyle on Saturday. Annie Lazor won the women’s 100 breaststroke as well as the 200 breaststroke and was third in the 50 breaststroke, while Olympian Jay Litherland won the men’s 400 IM and was second in the 200 IM. Olympic gold medalist Kelsi Dahlia won the women’s 100 butterfly and fellow gold medalist Melanie Margalis won the women’s 200 IM.
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.