Mesa Day One Prelims: Schmitt Returns for Quick Women’s 200 Free Final

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Photo Courtesy: Brittany Johnson

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During the first morning of prelims at the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in Mesa, Arizona, three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt returned to competition to qualify for the women’s 200 free final that features most of the country’s best in the event aside from Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel.

U.S. Olympians Chase KaliszKelsi DahliaOlivia SmoligaJacob PebleyBreeja LarsonJosh PrenotMelanie Margalis and Conor Dwyer all qualified first for an individual final. Read below for event-by-event coverage.

Full results

Event Schedule:

  • Women’s 400 IM
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Women’s 100 fly
  • Men’s 100 fly
  • Women’s 200 back
  • Men’s 200 back
  • Women’s 200 breast
  • Men’s 200 breast
  • Women’s 200 free
  • Men’s 200 free

Women’s 400 IM

Duke’s Connie Dean claimed claimed the top seed with the only sub-4:50 performance of the morning. Trailing her heat for the first half of the race, she unleashed a monster breaststroke split to pass Vien Nguyen and move into the lead. Dean posted a final time of 4:48.81.

Northwestern’s Ilektra Lebl qualified second in 4:51.96, and Nguyen, a Vietnamese national, qualified third in 4:52.54. Samantha Shelton also broke 5:00, finishing in 4:56.41, and the final will also consist of Tide’s Samantha Tadder (5:01.10), Houston’s Eleanna Koutsouveli (5:01.38), Pitchfork’s Kate McBratney (5:03.12) and San Diego State’s Mckenna Meyer (5:03.32).


Men’s 400 IM

Athens Bulldog’s Chase Kalisz dominated his heat on the way to the top time in prelims. Kalisz finished in 4:24.57, a second and a half ahead of the No. 2 seed, Pitchfork’s Jared Arroyo (4:26.07). Cal’s Josh Prenot finished just behind Arroyo in their heat to qualify third in 4:26.12.

Louisville’s Carlos Claverie was fourth in 4:26.41, ahead of Dart’s Gianluca Urlando (4:30.59), Louisville’s Daniel Sos (4:31.61), Nguyen Son (4:33.37) and Daniel Kober (4:35.53).


Women’s 100 Fly

Cardinal’s Kelsi Dahlia posted the top time in prelims by nine hundredths over Trojan’s Louise Hansson. Dahlia won her heat in 58.03 after Hansson finished first in her’s at 58.12. Hansson won the NCAA title in the 100-yard fly last month and ranks as the No. 2 performer in history in that event behind Worrell.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford (58.57) and Team Elite’s Hellen Moffitt (58.59) also broke 59, and Germany’s Aliena Schmidtke (59.04) and Team Elite’s Sarah Gibson (59.35) were both under 1:00. Duke’s Isabella Paez (1:00.20) and Eastern Iowa’s Ruby Martin (1:00.31) finished seventh and eighth, respectively.


Men’s 100 Fly

Race Pace Club’s Michael Andrew and Team Elite’s Tim Phillips tied for the top seed in 52.97, setting up a head-to-head showdown in the final. Kaan Ayar qualified third in 53.64.

Georgia’s Camden Murphy was fourth in 54.09, with Dart’s Gianluca Urlando (54.10), Louisville’s Zach Harting (54.20), Croatia’s Nikola Miljenic (54.29) and Athens Bulldog’s Pace Clark (54.41) also making the final.


Women’s 200 Back

Athens Bulldog’s Olivia Smoliga made a rare appearance in a 200-meter backstroke, and the 100 back Olympic finalist put up a solid effort with a top-qualifying mark of 2:10.12. She finished 1.4 seconds ahead of Sonnele Oeztuerk, who qualified second in 2:11.43.

Missoula’s Katharine Berkoff took third in 2:13.10, and Athens Bulldog’s Hali Flickinger was fourth (2:13.91). Also making the final were Tide’s Callie Dickinson (2:15.74), Duke’s Maddie Hess (2:15.79), Fort Collins’ Audrey Reimer (2:16.37) and Cal’s Keaton Blovad (2:17.09).


Men’s 200 Back

Cal’s Jacob Pebley finished three tenths ahead of teammate Ryan Murphy for the top seed in their signature event. Pebley’s time was 2:00.46, and Murphy came in at 2:00.79. The two currently occupy the top two spots in the world rankings, with Murphy at 1:55.46 and Pebley at 1:55.85.

Arizona State’s Zachary Poti qualified third in 2:03.29, and Tennessee’s Joey Reilman was fourth in 2:03.67. Louisville’s Nick Albiero (2:04.41), Ridgefield’s Yeziel Morales (2:04.60), Isaac Stump (2:05.66) and Kevin Kalember (2:05.75) also finished in the top eight.


Women’s 200 Breast

Arizona-native Breeja Larson claimed lane four for the 200 breast final, putting up a time of 2:29.04. Just behind Larson was Emily Escobedo in 2:29.31, and Chattahoochee Gold’s Micah Sumrall (nee Lawrence) took third in 2:31.26.

Fort Collins’ Zoe Bartel finished fourth in 2:32.17, followed by Manuela Mendolicchio (2:33.32), Angela Mavrantza (2:34.34), Peyton Kondis (2:34.57) and Morgan Friesen (2:35.28).


Men’s 200 Breast

Cal’s Josh Prenot qualified for his second A-final of the day, posting a 2:13.37 in the 200 breast. He is scheduled to race that event after the 400 IM in the finals session. Athens Bulldog’s Nic Fink took second behind Prenot in 2:14.14, and Louisville’s Carlos Claverie was third in 2:15.17.

Sandpipers’ Cody Miller finished fourth in 2:14.88, and Tiger Elite Racing’s Kevin Cordes took sixth in 2:15.28 to set up a strong heat for the final. Team Rebel’s AJ Pouch took fifth in 2:15.17, and tying for seventh in 2:16.60 were Race Pace Club’s Michael Andrew and Grand Canyon’s Youssef El Kamash.

Longhorn’s Andrew Wilson just missed the final, finishing ninth in 2:16.81.


Women’s 200 Free

St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis led the way into a quick 200 free final, posting a time of 1:59.08. She was joined under 2:00 by Tucson Ford’s Leah Smith (1:59.35) and Alabama’s Leonie Kullmann (1:59.69).

Athens Bulldog’s Hali Flickinger was fourth (2:00.06), and Louisville’s Mallory Comerford took fifth (2:00.46). Allison Schmitt competed for the first time since the 2016 Olympics, and representing Pitchfork, she qualified sixth in 2:00.76.

Also making the A-final were Mission Viejo’s Margo Geer (2:02.00) and Arizona State’s Cierra Runge (2:02.03). Trojan’s Louise Hansson finished just out of the final at 2:02.05.


Men’s 200 Free

Conor Dwyer has not competed since the summer, but he looked strong in his debut swim in Mesa, recording a time of 1:49.45 to lead prelims of the 200 free. He finished ahead of Trident’s Patrick Callan, who also broke 1:50 to qualify second in 1:49.86.

Mission Viejo’s Zane Grothe qualified third in 1:50.08, followed by Marwan El Kamash (1:50.29) and South Carolina’s Fynn Minuth (1:50.71). The other finalists include Athens Bulldog’s Matias Koski (1:50.76), Louisville’s Zach Harting (1:52.01) and South Carolina’s Rafael Davila (1:52.18).