Ashley Neidigh, Zane Grothe Continue 1500 Prowess in Santa Clara

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

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After smashing the World Record in the 1500 on the opening night of the TYR Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis in May, Katie Ledecky will not be competing in tonight’s event. She will, however, be racing in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 Freestyles later on in the meet at this weekend’s TYR Pro Swim Series Santa Clara.

In her absence, Swim Ontario’s Olivia Anderson (16:18.66) holds the top seed in the women’s 1500 followed closely by Stanford’s Megan Byrnes (16:20.23). Teammate Leah Stevens (16:34.05) holds the fourth seed while Ashley Neidigh (16:32.76) comes in third. The group will lead fourteen total entrants in the race.

On the men’s side, True Sweetser will look to maintain Stanford’s Thursday-night Pro Swim Series dominance as the only swimmer coming in under 15 minutes. Longhorn’s Clark Smith (15:08.59) and Chris Wieser (15:09.70) round out the top three of twenty-four swimmers in this event.

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Schedule of Events:

  • Women’s 1500 Freestyle
  • Men’s 1500 Freestyle

Women’s 1500 Freestyle

Ashley Neidigh continued her successful 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series campaign by claiming her second 1500 freestyle title. After winning this event in Mesa in April with a 16:38.24 and posting a 16:21.62 for fifth at May’s Indianapolis stop, Neidigh went on to post the thirteenth-fastest time in the world this year with a 16:17.43.

Neidigh and Stanford’s Megan Byrnes took off right from the start, as less than two tenths of a second separated the women at the halfway point. Byrnes fell just slightly off her pace and now seventeenth-ranked swim from Indianapolis of 16:20.23. She earned runner-up honors this time around with a 16:20.46.

Leah Stevens and Olivia Anderson had their own battle forming at the 750 mark, with Anderson having the slight advantage 8:20.38- 8:20.80. But Stevens was consistently over half a second faster on the back-half fifty splits, giving her the edge in the end. Stevens’ 16:35.47 earned her third-place honors while Anderson’s 16:46.43 gave her the fourth-place finish.

18-year old Mabel Zavaros of Swim Ontario earned a fifth-place finish out the second heat with a best time of 16:51.54. She was followed by Chenoa Devine (16:19.19), Ayumi Macias Alba (17:02.98 and Juli Arzave (17:17.44) to round out the top eight finishers.

 Event 1  Women 1500 LC Meter Freestyle
    Name                  Age Team                 Seed     Finals
  1 Neidigh, Ashley        23 Una MVN          16:32.76   16:17.43
  2 Byrnes, Megan          19 Stanford Swimmin 16:20.23   16:20.46
  3 Stevens, Leah          21 Stanford Swimmin 16:34.05   16:35.47
  4 Anderson, Olivia       19 Swim Ontario     16:18.66   16:46.43
  5 Zavaros, Mabel         18 Swim Ontario     17:00.26   16:51.54
  6 Devine, Chenoa         19 California Aquat 16:37.31   16:59.19
  7 Macias Alba, Ayumi     21 Mexico           16:51.14   17:02.98
  8 Arzave, Juli           16 South Bay Aquati 16:55.43   17:17.44
  9 Joyce, Syd             18 Bluefish Swim Cl 16:44.29Y  17:27.91
 10 Heckman, Miranda       17 Pleasanton Seaha 16:57.01   17:31.82
 11 George, Heidi          42 Great Wolf Swim  17:17.59   17:33.80
 12 Hawkins, Daniella      17 Pleasanton Seaha 16:53.34   17:42.05
 13 Menso, Maggie          18 Palatine Park Di 16:39.12Y  18:07.42

Men’s 1500 Freestyle

Zane Grothe claimed yet another freestyle event win in the men’s race with a time of 15:18.43. The swim was enough for the win in Santa Clara but was off his 15:05.31 from Indianapolis. After getting off to an early lead with Cal’s Nick Norman (15:22.98), Mexico and Michigan’s Ricardo Vargas Jacobo (15:19.34) started chasing down the leaders in the back half.

Vargas Jacobo was able to pass Norman with about 250 meters to go, just as Stanford’s True Sweetser was also making his move. Sweetser dominated the field in the final 200 ending with a 1:58.75, the only swimmer under two minutes on the final four laps. Sweetser just ran out of room to earn the second-place spot as he finished in 15:19.86.

Johannes Carloni (15:30.35) and Clark Smith (15:32.05) placed fifth and sixth while Georgia’s Kevin Miller earned a top-eight finish out of the second heat. Kevin Litherland took eighth-place in 15:48.35.

 Event 2  Men 1500 LC Meter Freestyle
    Name                  Age Team                 Seed     Finals        
  1 Grothe, Zane           26 Mission Viejo Na 15:11.72   15:18.43  
  2 Vargas Jacobo, Ricard  20 Mexico           15:11.53   15:19.34  
  3 Sweetser, True         20 Unattached Stanf 14:59.73   15:19.86  
  4 Norman, Nick           21 California Aquat 15:16.81   15:22.98  
  5 Calloni, Johannes      18 Unattached Stanf 15:16.62   15:30.35  
  6 Smith, Clark           23 Longhorn Aquatic 15:08.59   15:32.05  
  7 Miller, Kevin          20 Athens Bulldog S 15:31.09   15:40.04  
  8 Litherland, Kevin      22 Dynamo Swim Club 15:10.93   15:48.35  
  9 Collins, Jack          20 Badger Swim Club 15:31.86   15:50.85  
 10 Wieser, Chris          22 Una DART         15:09.70   15:57.71  
 11 David, Calvin          16 Pleasanton Seaha 15:49.27   16:05.19  
 12 Tsukikawa, Yugo        16 Badger Swim Club 16:13.98   16:09.60  
 13 Plattel, Lleyton       15 Pleasanton Seaha 15:29.71   16:10.86  
 14 Barao, Will            17 Bluefish Swim Cl 15:41.55   16:15.49  
 15 Simpson, Blake         16 Santa Maria Swim 16:09.17   16:26.46  
 16 Mertz, David           17 Neptune Swimming 16:13.44   16:33.72  
 17 Marsalek, Wyatt        17 Santa Maria Swim 16:07.75   16:37.47  
 18 McGee, Gavin           18 Santa Clara Swim  8:33.14   16:52.49
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Author: Diana Pimer

Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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