2021 TYR Pro Swim Series Indianapolis: Five Olympic Trials Spoilers to Watch

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2021 TYR Pro Swim Series Indianapolis: Five Olympic Trials Spoilers to Watch

With a little over a month until the rescheduled Olympic Trials in Omaha, the countdown is on to one of the best spectacles in United States swimming. Even without a full capacity crowd in Omaha, the Wave II Olympic Trials will still be a can’t-miss swim meet this summer from June 13-20. The TYR Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis will be the last stop of the Pro Swim Series before everyone starts to taper down and gets ready for Olympic Trials with spots in Tokyo on the line.

There’s bound to be some late additions to the favorites and contenders list ahead of this summer’s Trials, and many of those who had breakout swims at the NCAA level in short-course yards this season will be in attendance in Indianapolis.

Here are five races for this weekend with some potential Trials spoilers making their voice heard at The Nat. The meet will be held May 12-15 with prelims being held at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Finals on Wednesday will start at 5 p.m.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

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Patrick Callan. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The men’s 200 freestyle at Trials could go any number of ways as there are about 12 men with legitimate shots to reach Tokyo. Short course American record holder Dean Farris is the top seed this weekend ahead of two-time World Championships team members Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple.

However, Michigan’s Patrick Callan has the fastest time of anyone at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Indy, with a 1:47.38 in December, while Arizona State’s Julian Hill is not far behind in 1:47.58. Pieroni and Apple have been as fast as 1:48 and 1:49, respectively, this season while Farris has not been under the Trials cut.

The 200 free is a very tactical race, and Callan and Hill have been flying under the radar all year. Depending on what happens in Indy this weekend, people may start to take notice of them quickly.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

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Phoebe Bacon. Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

With a lot of attention around the heavyweights in the women’s 100 backstroke, the 200 back could be equally as exciting with some rising stars coming up the ranks. Regan Smith is the world-record holder and will be in Indianapolis, racing against NCAA champ Phoebe Bacon and 200 IM NCAA champ Alex Walsh, who have yet to race long course on the national level since their big NCAA performances.

This season, Smith has been as fast as a 2:08.8, sitting fourth in the U.S., while Bacon was a 2:09.1. Walsh was only a 2:13.1 in the fall but had a strong showing in yards at NCAAs, so her 2:08 seed time from the 2019 Pan American Games does not seem too far out of reach. A lot of people have penciled in Smith as the frontrunner in the 100 and 200 back for Trials based on her 2019, and rightfully so, but it will not be a walk in the park for her this coming weekend.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

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Kate Douglass. Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

There has been a lot of talk about the growing intrigue surrounding the women’s 100 butterfly with two of the main threats being high school students Claire Curzan and Torri Huske. Neither of those swimmers will be in Indianapolis this weekend, but Kelsi Dahlia, the butterflyer on the American medley relay since 2017, will be, and she will be challenged by NCAA runnerup Kate Douglass, as well as backstroker Regan Smith and rising star Erika Brown.

We haven’t seen much of Douglass in the long-course pool, but she has lit it up in short-course yards, and is currently fourth this season in the 100 fly at 57.4 from the fall. Among this field, Smith is second at 57.8 this year while Dahlia was a 58.1 in Mission Viejo in April. Brown has drifted to more of a contender in the sprint free, but still has a strong 100 fly that should factor in Omaha. Douglass, though, will have an opportunity to put up a swim on the national stage this weekend and prove to everyone she is for real in long course.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

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Josh Matheny. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

When the Olympics originally were postponed, many Olympic fans pointed at the rising teenagers in the sport that could potentially benefit from this once in a lifetime opportunity. That could not be more true for Josh Matheny, who will be off to Indiana next year and is the reigning World Junior champ in the 200 breaststroke.

Matheny currently sits fifth in the nation this season with a 2:11 in March, having had the experience of racing, and beating Olympian Cody Miller in the process. Matheny and Miller will do battle one more time this weekend, and although Miller has a better chance to make Tokyo in the 100 breast, this 200 should definitely get interesting as Matheny is looking more and more like a contender for Tokyo.

Women’s 200 I.M.

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Alex Walsh. Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

The women’s 200 I.M. is another point of intrigue for the upcoming Olympic Trials as there are a number of contenders for the top-two spots in Omaha. Two of those contenders – Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass – hail from the University of Virginia and have been huge stars in short-course yards. Kathleen Baker is the top seed on the psych sheet and has the second-fastest time in the nation this year while Douglass is sixth and Walsh is 13th. Both Douglass and Walsh will look to push Baker this weekend, as neither of them have really been able to show their full potential at the long course level since coming to the University of Virginia. Walsh was the NCAA champ in the 200 I.M. and Douglass the champ in the 50 free. With successful yards seasons under their belts, swimming fans will be eager to see how that translates to the Olympic pool.

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