2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Emily Escobedo Throws Down 2:23 in Richmond; Fink Runs Down Licon in San Antonio

emily-escobedo-
Emily Escobedo; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Emily Escobedo Throws Down 2:23 in Richmond; Fink Runs Down Licon in San Antonio

Despite all the attention seemingly on short course meters American record holder Lilly King and national team member Madisyn Cox in San Antonio, UMBC grad Emily Escobedo threw down a 2:23.46 in the 200 breaststroke at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Richmond. Her best time all-time is a 2:22.00 from December 2019 but this swim is a strong one for Escobedo, who has quietly risen to be one of the top breaststrokers in the world.

King took the San Antonio race in a tight battle with Cox with a 2:25.83 to Cox’s 2:26.52. Cox had put the pressure on King on the third 50 but the now 23-year-old veteran showed why she is still among the gold medal favorites for the Olympic Games in 2021 as this race seems to be wide open internationally. King was disqualified in the heats at the 2019 Worlds in this event otherwise she could have potentially been one of the medalists in Gwangju.

Escobedo’s 2:23 is one of the top swims of the weekend as she was a 2:24 at this point last year before the pandemic, which put her sixth in the world for the 2020 calendar year. In Richmond, 17-year-old Letitia Sim finished in second at 2:29.67 for fourth overall.

In the men’s race, Nic Fink, last night’s 100 winner, ran down Will Licon on the last 50 to take the win in San Antonio with a 2:11.28 to Licon’s 2:11.30.

“That’s not a mistake (that last 50),” Fink said. “For years and years and years, Jack (Bauerle) and the other Georgia swimmers are really good for the last 15. We do a lot of build stuff and negative split stuff so we are always getting better as we go. It feels definitely more comfortable for me to get better as I go and have a good last 50 – whatever it takes to get my hand on the wall first.”

Fink dug out a 32.20 on the last 50 to run down Licon in what looked like a preview for the Olympic Trials final in June. In this heat alone in San Antonio, five of the finalists from the 2016 Trials were in the pool with Cody Miller (2:13.12), Kevin Cordes (2:13.12) and Andrew Wilson (2:18.53) reuniting.

“We are all pretty good friends even outside the water. It is good to race them and know their strengths and weaknesses.”

Texas sophomore Jake Foster placed highly in the heat with a 2:16.44.

Over in Richmond, Harvard freshman and reigning junior national champ Dylan Rhee won the heat at 2:18.11.