Kelsi Worrell, Katie Meili, Katie Ledecky, Park Tae Hwan Post Impressive Times in Atlanta

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Photo Courtesy: Caroline Kosciusko

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Four swimmers posted times that rank in the top six in the world in their respective events during the first full night of finals at the arena Pro Swim Series meet in Atlanta. That list includes Kelsi Worrell in the women’s 100 fly, Katie Meili in the women’s 200 breast, Katie Ledecky in the women’s 400 free and Park Tae Hwan in the men’s 400 free.

Read below for a full recap of all events contested during the session.

Full results

Women’s 100 Fly

Cardinal’s Kelsi Worrell posted a dominant swim in the women’s 100 fly final to open up the Friday finals session at the arena Pro Swim Series meet in Atlanta. Worrell led wire-to-wire and won by more than a second, touching in 57.50.

That time moved Worrell into sixth in the world this year and well ahead of her closest competition, North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Hellen Moffitt. Moffitt touched in 58.59, and HPC Ontario’s Rebecca Smith was third in 58.72.

Germany’s Aliena Schmidtke finished fourth in 59.04, and Athens Bulldog’s Veronica Burchill was next in 59.40. Rounding out the final were Club Wolverine’s Vanessa Krause (59.62), Athens Bulldog’s Hali Flickinger (59.63) and Nation’s Capital’s Cassidy Bayer (59.66).

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Men’s 100 Fly

Cal’s Tom Shields trailed SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips at the halfway point, 24.34 to 24.56, but Shields blasted a 27.53 back half to pull into the lead and touch first. Shields came in at 52.09, moving to 12th in the world in the event and becoming the only American in the top 20.

Texas’ Jack Conger also closed well to finish second in 52.56, and Auburn’s Santiago Grassi took third in 52.62.

Club Seminole’s Pavel Sankovich finished in 52.81 to claim fourth, while Phillips faded to fifth in 52.92, barely holding off former training partner and current Cal Bear Matthew Josa (52.93).

Athens Bulldog’s Gunnar Bentz took seventh in 53.47, and City of Plano’s Seth Stubblefield finished eighth in 54.34.

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Women’s 200 Breast

SwimMAC’s Katie Meili was out in lane seven in the women’s 200 breast final at the arena Pro Swim Series meet in Atlanta, but she took the race out hard from the start, and no one came close to catching her.

Meili, whose previous lifetime best was a 2:23.69, won the event in 2:23.18, good for fourth in the world so far this year and more than two and a half seconds ahead of any other American.

In a showdown between the two top finishers from the event at the NCAA championships, Lilly King held off Kierra Smith for second, 2:25.90 to 2:25.93. King’s time earned her the 20th spot in the world rankings.

St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis finished fourth in 2:26.58, ahead of Club Wolverine’s Miranda Tucker (2:28.68), Long Island’s Maggie Aroesty (2:29.82), Texas A&M’s Esther Gonzalez Medina (2:30.39) and Louisville’s Andrea Cottrell (2:30.64).

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Men’s 200 Breast

North Baltimore’s Chase Kalisz has come into his own as of late in the men’s 200 breast, and he continued his ascendance as he won the event at the arena Pro Swim Series meet in Atlanta, touching in 2:10.74 to lower his own best time of 2:11.29.

Finishing second was Badger’s Cody Miller, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the shorter 100 breast. Miller touched in 2:11.58, just ahead of Athens Bulldog’s Nic Fink (2:11.58).

Louisville’s Carlos Claverie was fourth in 2:12.11, followed by Texas A&M’s Mauro Castillo Luna (2:12.94), Longhorn’s Andrew Wilson (2:13.32), Miguel De Lara Ojeda (2:14.38) and Germany’s Christian Von Lehm (2:16.88).

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Women’s 100 Free

Stanford’s Simone Manuel pulled away from the field on the back half to cruise to a win in her signature 100 free, the event in which she tied for Olympic gold this past summer in Rio.

Manuel came in at 53.84, off her eighth-ranked time of 53.66 from last month and even slower than her prelims time of 53.75, but plenty good enough for the win.

In a tight battle for runner-up honors, HPC Ontario’s Sandrine Mainville touched in 54.44, just ahead of a tie for third between SwimAtlanta’s Amanda Weir and Louisville’s Mallory Comerford, both of whom recorded marks of 54.59.

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky, preparing to swim the 400 free just minutes later, was fifth in 54.69. Club Wolverine’s Siobhan Haughey took sixth in 54.80, Athens Bulldog’s Olivia Smoliga was seventh in 55.12, and Andi Murez came in eighth at 55.46.

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Men’s 100 Free

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni pulled ahead of a tight pack in the closing strokes, and he got to the wall first in 49.18, winning the men’s blue-ribband event at the arena Pro Swim Series meet in Atlanta.

Pieroni got to the wall in 49.18, seven hundredths ahead of Louisville’s Joao De Lucca (49.25). Missouri’s Michadl Chadwick, who had the lead at the halfway point, came in third at 49.54.

Dynamo’s Matias Koski (49.71) and Cal’s Jacob Pebley (49.80) also got under 50 seconds, and rounding out the field were Mohamed Sany (50.01), David Ramirez (50.15) and David Gamsburg (50.39).

Notably, Cal’s Ryan Murphy won the B-final in 49.60, the fourth-fastest time overall. Murphy is the Olympic gold medalist from Rio in both backstroke events but could try to add some free relay action to his plate this summer.

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Women’s 400 Free

Stanford’s Katie Ledecky did not have much time to recover after finishing fifth in the 100 free final, but she got back on the blocks and was her typical dominant self in the women’s 400 free.

She flipped just ahead of Cierra Runge at the 50-meter mark, and the lead quickly grew to more than seven seconds. She finished in 4:00.98, the fastest time in the world this year and just ahead of the 4:01.01 she swam last month in Mesa.

As is often the case with Ledecky in the pool, the race quickly became one for second place, and it was Texas’ Joanna Evans who took those honors, coming in at 4:08.62. Just behind was Athens Bulldog’s Hali Flickinger, who claimed third in 4:08.62.

York YMCA’s Courtney Harnish finished fourth in 4:12.05, just ahead of Club Wolverine’s Rose Bi (4:12.19), Stanford’s Katie Drabot (4:12.35) and Wisconsin’s Runge (4:12.58). Club Wolverine’s Sierra Schmidt rounded out the field with her time of 4:14.35.

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Men’s 400 Free

South Korea’s Park Tae Hwan is looking to bounce back from a disastrous Olympic Games, where he failed to make any finals, and he took a step towards a strong summer when he won the men’s 400 free in Atlanta in 3:44.38, good for the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.

Finishing six seconds back in second place was Club Wolverine’s Felix Auboeck in 3:50.39, and Tidewater’s Patrick Callan came in third in 3:51.66.

Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta took fourth in 3:53.11, followed by Dynamo’s Jay Litherland (3:53.43), Germany’s Poul Zellmann (3:53.57), Texas’ Clark Smith (3:53.65) and Badger’s Zane Grothe (3:53.86).

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