2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Rising Teen David Curtiss Clocks Sub-22 to Top 50 Free Prelims

David Curtiss
Photo Courtesy: David Curtiss Instagram (@_davidcurtiss)

2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Rising Teen David Curtiss Clocks Sub-22 to Top 50 Free Prelims

Just a couple of weeks into this new year, the excitement level for this summer’s Olympic Games and Olympic Trials – as long as COVID-19 allows them – is already building. While many athletes are in the middle of heavy training, the opportunity to experience high-level racing has been a key aspect of this weekend’s TYR Pro Swim Series, which is being held at two locations – San Antonio and Richmond.

Here is a look at how the Day Three men’s preliminaries unfolded, with competition taking place in the 200 butterfly, 50 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle.

Results

200 Butterfly

In the middle of his freshman year at the University of Texas, Carson Foster took command of the 200 butterfly by producing one of the two sub-2:00 swims of the prelims session. Foster checked in with a time of 1:59.55, which placed just ahead of the 1:59.83 of Miles Smachlo. The 200 fly is one of a number of options for Foster at the Olympic Trials, where he will surely contest both medley events and the 200 freestyle.

Jay Litherland (2:00.08) and Gunnar Bentz (2:00.13) qualified third and fourth at the San Antonio site, followed by Zach Harting (2:00.94). The fastest time from Richmond, which was good for sixth overall, was turned in by Aiden Hayes, who touched the wall in 2:01.04.

50 Freestyle

One of the rising stars on the American sprint scene, David Curtiss put together an impressive showing at the Richmond stop. A North Carolina State recruit, the 18-year-old senior at the Pennington School clocked 21.87 to secure the top seed for the evening session. Curtiss is already the National Independent School record-holder at the scholastic level and his prelims outing was a personal best in the long-course pool.

The second and third seeds for the night also came from Richmond, as 30-year-old Austin Surhoff covered his one lap in 22.54 and Justin Ress went 22.66. Michael Chadwick also cracked the 23-second barrier, going 22.84. There was a significant gap between Curtiss and the top finishers in San Antonio, as Zach Apple (22.78) and Ryan Held (22.92) led the way in Texas.

200 Breaststroke

The final in San Antonio should be a tight affair, with the top-threeseeds separated by only .13 following the preliminary heats. Cody Miller, the bronze medalist in the 100 breaststroke at the 2016 Olympics, earned the top seed in 2:13.81, and was followed by Will Licon (2:13.91) and Kevin Cordes (2:13.94). Nic Fink will make the final a four-man battle, as the University of Georgia product advanced to the evening in 2:14.61.

Coming off a victory in the 400 individual medley from Friday night, Chase Kalisz was fifth in 2:15.17 while Andrew Wilson qualified sixth in 2:16.56. Cordes, Fink, Kalisz and Wilson all train with the Athens Bulldogs.

100 Backstroke

In what has been a much-anticipated duel, Shaine Casas and Ryan Murphy will go head-to-head in the finals in San Antonio after taking the top-two spots in prelims. The winner of the 100 butterfly on Friday night, Casas qualified quickest in 54.38, with Murphy following in 54.88. A standout at Texas A&M, Casas is an upstart in the event and is trying to unseat Murphy, the reigning Olympic champ and world-record holder.

There were also solid performances posted in Richmond, where Coleman Stewart had the second-fastest prelims effort. Stewart was timed in 54.69 and was joined as a sub-55 performer by Justin Ress, who went 54.89.

400 Freestyle

Already the winner of the 200 freestyle and the runnerup in the 800 free, Kieran Smith positioned himself for another top finish in a freestyle event. Smith cruised through his prelim of the 400 free in 3:55.76, and will be looking for a clocking under 3:50 during finals. Smith was followed in the No. 2 position by David Johnston, who notched a prelim mark of 3:56.28.

Zane Grothe, who won the 800 free on Thursday night, is the third seed for the final after clocking 3:57.37. Also going under four minutes in prelims were Mitch D’Arrigo (3:57.66) and Will Gallant (3:58.23).