2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Escobedo Hits 2:26 200 Breast in Saturday Prelims; Smoliga Leads 100 Back Field

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series continued Saturday from Richmond and San Antonio with the heats of the 400 free, 100 back, 200 breast, 50 free and 200 fly. The women’s races were highlighted by some good January swims from Emily EscobedoCatie DeLoof, Olivia Smoliga and Emma Weyant.


200 Fly

Regan Smith, fresh off a double yesterday with a win the 100 fly and a runner-up finish in the 200 free, is the top seed in the 200 butterfly with a 2:12.06 from San Antonio ahead of 30-year-old Leah Gingrich (2:12.10) and 17-year-old Katie Crom (2:14.21). Smith is one of the top swimmers in the entire world and has emerged as a butterfly threat for the United States, with a national title in 2019 to her name. She is primarily known as a backstroker but is very versatile and will be looking to put up a time around sub-2:10.

In Richmond, Grace Sheble, committed to NC State, is the top seed at 2:13.96 ahead of rising star Tess Howley (2:14.60) out of Long Island Aquatic Club in New York.

50 Free

Catie DeLoof, who has just made the move from California to Virginia, is the top seed in the 50 freestyle at 25.10 with her swim from Richmond. Overall, she is ahead of 2016 Olympian and short course meters American record holder Abbey Weitzeil (25.12) from San Antonio and Alabama’s next head coach Margo Geer (25.58).

Michigan commit Lindsay Flynn out of North Carolina was a 25.59 from Richmond ahead of 33-year-old Madison Kennedy (25.69). It may take around 24-mid to take the win tonight in finals and Weitzeil, who set the American record in short course meters at the International Swimming League, will have her hands full with DeLoof who has steadily risen the last few years and is a threat to make the Olympic team in the freestyle relay.

Georgia post grads Olivia Smoliga (25.79) and Natalie Hinds (25.88) should also factor into the top three in finals tonight from San Antonio.

200 Breast

After a somewhat surprising win last night in the 100 breaststroke, UMBC grad Emily Escobedo is the top seed in the 200 breaststroke heats with a 2:26.61 ahead of short course meters American record holder Lilly King (2:27.87). Escobedo and King are competing in different sites with Escobedo leading the Richmond field and King on top of the San Antonio field.

King will have her hands full with Madisyn Cox (2:28.93), 2017 Worlds silver medalist Bethany Galat (2:31.32) and 2018 national champ Micah Sumrall (2:32.16) in the same heat, while Escobedo will be racing 17-year-old rising star Letitia Sim (2:32.03) and Michigan grad Miranda Tucker (2:33.83).

100 Back

The women’s 100 backstroke was expected to be one of the races of the meet with four of the players for the top two at the Olympic Trials in 150 days. Heading into tonight, Olivia Smoliga is the top seed at 1:00.03 ahead of former world record holder Kathleen Baker (1:00.18), who pushed Lilly King for all she was worth in the 100 breaststroke last night.

World record holder Regan Smith (1:00.35) is seeded third ahead of Cal freshman Isabelle Stadden (1:01.20), who has been well more known as a 200 backstroker. Lisa Bratton (1:01.92) is seeded fifth while another Trials favorite, Phoebe Bacon, is seeded sixth at 1:02.45 ahead of fellow Wisconsin Badger and 2019 NCAA champ Beata Nelson (1:02.46).

This San Antonio field has American record holder across all three distances – long course (Smith), short course meters (Smoliga) and short course yards (Nelson).

From Richmond, Ali DeLoof (1:01.82) is the top seed ahead of 17-year-old Josephine Fuller (1:01.93).

400 Free

31-year-old Tokyo Olympian Ashley Twichell is the top seed in the 400 freestyle with a 4:13.26 ahead of 15-year-old rising star Cavan Gormsen (4:14.69) out of Long Island Aquatic Club, while 13-year-old Claire Weinstein (4:17.45) from West Chester Aquatic Club is seeded third. Weinstein has already solidified her Olympic Trials qualification and is now 60th all-time in the 13-14 age group in the 400 freestyle. The 13-14 NAG record in the 400 free is one of the oldest on the books – 4:07.15 by Sippy Woodhead from 1978.

From San Antonio, Emma Weyant is the top seed at 4:13.80 as the Virginia commit is ahead of Sandpipers teenager Bella Sims (4:15.18) and Open Water Olympian Haley Anderson (4:18.35).

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