2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland Go 1-2 in 400 IM

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland Go 1-2 in 400 IM

Since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland have carried the banner for the United States in the 400 individual medley. So, it was hardly a surprise to see the duo easily finish first and second in the event during Friday night’s TYR Pro Swim Series stop in San Antonio.

Holding off a late charge by Litherland, Kalisz prevailed in 4:17.26, with Litherland touching just under a second back in 4:18.24. Ahead by a little more than a second at the midway point of the race, Kalisz expanded that margin to more than two seconds over his Georgia training partner on the breaststroke leg. Litherland came up with his trademark strong freestyle leg, but Kalisz’s cushion was enough to secure victory.

Over the past four-plus years, Kalisz and Litherland have been staples for the United States in the event. In addition to racing at the Olympics in Rio, they have raced at the past two versions of the World Championships, and at the 2018 Pan Pacific Champs. The next target is extending their representation to the Olympics in Tokyo, although rising star Carson Foster is expected to play a major role at the Olympic Trials in Omaha.

On the women’s side, Ally McHugh distanced herself from the competition and won the 400 IM in 4:41.90. McHugh is one of several American contenders to race the event in Tokyo. She finished ahead of Zoe Dixon, whose 4:43.01 from Richmond was good for second place. Emma Weyant was third in 4:43.57.

“I’m really happy with it,” McHugh said at the end of the TYR Pro Swim Series virtual press conference. “I went out a lot more aggressively. It hurt a little at the end because of that. I think the front end and my times and splits were a good indicator of where I’m at. I think as we get further in the season the back half will definitely be there so if I can put all that together. Overall, tonight was really good.”

McHugh trains at the University of Wisconsin, who has just opened its doors to a new 50m long course facility.

“It’s been really nice. The new pool is amazing and I’m super grateful to be in a facility like that and to train with a great group of people and a great staff. It’s been great to have that because in a normal year with a facility like that, it would be all yards so I’m really grateful to get any long course practices that I can. It definitely helps racing.”

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