Bobby Finke Edges Jay Litherland in 400 IM, Justin Ress Rocks 50 Back at TYR Pro Swim Series Knoxville

bobby-finke-
Bobby Finke -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Bobby Finke Edges Jay Litherland in 400 IM, Justin Ress Rocks 50 Back at TYR Pro Swim Series Knoxville

During the Thursday night finals session at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Knoxville, Tenn., two men known for scintillating finishes in the 400 IM faced off in a race that came down to the wire while the top two swimmers from the 50 backstroke at last year’s World Championships faced off in the one-lap final. Additionally, a teenager beat a field in the 200 freestyle that included some of the top swimmers in the United States while positioning himself for a run at senior elite status in the near future.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

With 50 meters remaining in the final, Kieran Smith held a comfortable lead over the trailing pack of three swimmers including Cal teammates Gabriel Jett and Robin Hanson plus Jersey Wahoos teenager Henry McFadden. But on the last length, Smith fell off the pace while McFadden surged home with a 26.66 closing split. McFadden got to the wall in 1:47.23, one tenth ahead of Smith’s 1:47.33.

McFadden, a 17-year-old Jersey Wahoos swimmer heading to Stanford University next fall, knocked a full second off his previous lifetime best of 1:48.27. This 1:47.23 would have already been quick enough for McFadden to qualify for the final at last year’s U.S. International Team Trials, so he could be in contention for a spot on the U.S. men’s 800 free relay in short order.

Jett took third in 1:47.41, and he could also be in position for a big future in the 200 free as his time was three hundredths under his previous best time. Hanson ended up fourth in 1:48.81, while Drew Kibler, who finished fourth in the 200 free at last year’s World Championships (one spot ahead of Smith), ended up fifth in 1:49.59.

Event 4  Men 200 LC Meter Freestyle
==================================================================
        World: W 1:42.00  7/28/2009 Paul Biedermann, GER
     American: A 1:42.96  8/12/2008 Michael Phelps, USA
    U.S. Open: O 1:44.10  7/1/2008  Michael Phelps, Club Wolverine
     Pro Swim: P 1:44.82  2016      Sun Yang
     Jr World: j 1:42.97  8/15/2022 David Popovici, ROM
   Oly Trials: T 1:49.99
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals              
==================================================================
                        === A - Final ===                         
 
  1 Henry McFadden   17 JW-MA             1:48.81    1:47.23T       
    r:+0.71  25.98        53.10 (27.12)
        1:20.57 (27.47)     1:47.23 (26.66)
  2 Kieran Smith     22 Ridgefield Aq-CT  1:49.13    1:47.33T       
    r:+0.68  25.45        52.41 (26.96)
        1:19.85 (27.44)     1:47.33 (27.48)
  3 Gabriel Jett     20 Unattached-PC     1:49.59    1:47.41T       
    r:+0.66  25.24        52.49 (27.25)
        1:20.47 (27.98)     1:47.41 (26.94)
  4 Robin Hanson     21 Unattached-PC     1:49.61    1:48.81T       
    r:+0.67  25.15        52.57 (27.42)
        1:20.51 (27.94)     1:48.81 (28.30)
  5 Drew Kibler      22 CSC-IN            1:51.73    1:49.59T       
             25.73        53.27 (27.54)
        1:21.74 (28.47)     1:49.59 (27.85)
  6 Zane Grothe      30 BCH-CA            1:51.22    1:50.01        
    r:+0.72  26.13        54.38 (28.25)
        1:22.48 (28.10)     1:50.01 (27.53)
  7 Jay Litherland   27 SUN-AZ            1:50.42    1:51.02        
    r:+0.74  25.96        54.09 (28.13)
        1:22.23 (28.14)     1:51.02 (28.79)
  8 Jack Dahlgren    23 Missouri-MV       1:50.49    1:52.19        
    r:+0.64  25.83        53.96 (28.13)
        1:22.96 (29.00)     1:52.19 (29.23)

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Tennessee’s Lyubomir Epitropov pulled away from the field to score a Pro Series win in the 100 breast. The Bulgaria-native touched in 1:01.35, a half-second ahead of the field. Tommy Cope (1:01.82) and Brandon Fischer (1:01.92) rounded out the top three while Canadian James Dergousof was just behind (1:01.95). Veteran IM swimmer Chase Kalisz, swimming off-events this weekend instead of his usual focus races, was fifth in 1:02.01.

Event 6  Men 100 LC Meter Breaststroke
==================================================================
        World: W   56.88  7/21/2019 Adam Peaty, GBR
     American: A   58.14  6/13/2021 Michael Andrew, Race Pace Club-S
    U.S. Open: O   58.14  6/13/2021 Michael Andrew, Race Pace Club-S
     Pro Swim: P   58.86  2017      Adam Peaty
     Jr World: j   59.01  8/23/2017 Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA
   Oly Trials: T 1:02.19
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals              
==================================================================
                        === A - Final ===                         
 
  1 *Lyubomir Epitr  23 Tennessee-SE      1:01.78    1:01.35        
    r:+0.66  29.32      1:01.35 (32.03)
  2 Thomas Cope      25 CW-MI             1:01.66    1:01.82T       
    r:+0.62  29.65      1:01.82 (32.17)
  3 Brandon Fischer  34 TRIV-PC           1:02.57    1:01.92T       
    r:+0.75  29.02      1:01.92 (32.90)
  4 James Dergousof  26 Canada            1:02.77    1:01.95T       
    r:+0.68  29.42      1:01.95 (32.53)
  5 Chase Kalisz     28 SUN-AZ            1:02.04    1:02.01T       
    r:+0.69  29.48      1:02.01 (32.53)
  6 Finlay Knox      22 Canada            1:02.73    1:02.09T       
    r:+0.67  28.99      1:02.09 (33.10)
  7 *Michael Houlie  22 Tennessee-SE      1:02.91    1:02.38        
    r:+0.63  27.90      1:02.38 (34.48)
  8 Brayden Taivass  18 Canada            1:03.03    1:02.40        
    r:+0.63  29.57      1:02.40 (32.83)

Men’s 50 Backstroke

In a memorable race at last summer’s World Championships, Justin Ress won the world title in the 50 backstroke before he was disqualified for an illegal finish and then reinstated as gold medalist. American teammate and world-record holder Hunter Armstrong ended up with the silver medal after the ordeal was finished, and the two raced for the first time since Thursday evening. This time, Mission Viejo’s Ress again finished first in 24.49, with Cal Aquatics’ Armstrong finishing two tenths behind in 24.70.

Cumberland YMCA’s Daniel Diehl placed third in 25.28 while Cal sprinter Bjorn Seeliger took fourth in 25.38.

Event 8  Men 50 LC Meter Backstroke
==================================================================
        World: W 23.71  4/28/2022 Hunter Armstrong, USA
     American: A 23.71  4/28/2022 Hunter Armstrong, USA
    U.S. Open: O 23.71  4/28/2022 Hunter Armstrong, Ohio State Unive
     Pro Swim: P 24.49  1/12/2023 Justin Ress, MVN  -CA
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals              
==================================================================
                        === A - Final ===                         
 
  1 Justin Ress      25 MVN-CA              24.88      24.49P       
         r:+0.59                       
  2 Hunter Armstron  21 California Aq.-P    25.03      24.70        
         r:+0.62                       
  3 Daniel Diehl     17 CUY-MD              25.51      25.28        
         r:+0.59                       
  4 Bjorn Seeliger   23 Unattached-PC       25.59      25.38        
         r:+0.59                       
  5 Hunter Tapp      21 NC State-NC         25.77      25.55        
         r:+0.63                       
  6 Ryan Held        27 NYAC-MR             25.49      25.68        
         r:+0.74                       
  7 Destin Lasco     21 Unattached-PC       25.82      25.93        
         r:+0.57                       
  7 Manuel Martos    22 Spain               25.75      25.93        
         r:+0.51

Men’s 100 Butterfly

Less than eight tenths split the field in the 100 fly in Knoxville, and after touching in a tie for fifth place at the halfway point, NC State’s Luke Miller accelerated on the second length and got to the wall in 52.24, just off his best time of 52.06 from last month’s U.S. Open. Miller finished 0.17 ahead of a tie between former Cal teammates Trenton Julian and Ryan Murphy, who both swam a mark of 52.41. Murphy, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in backstroke events, had the early lead before fading down the stretch. Sandpipers’ Ilya Kharun took fourth in 52.53.

Event 10  Men 100 LC Meter Butterfly
==================================================================
        World: W 49.45  7/30/2021 Caeleb Dressel, USA
     American: A 49.45  7/30/2021 Caeleb Dressel, USA
    U.S. Open: O 49.76  6/18/2021 Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club-
     Pro Swim: P 50.92  3/6/2020  Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club-
     Jr World: j 50.62  6/30/2017 Kristof Milak, HUN
   Oly Trials: T 53.59
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals              
==================================================================
                        === A - Final ===                         
 
  1 Luke Miller      20 NC State-NC         53.08      52.24T       
    r:+0.62  24.93        52.24 (27.31)
  2 Trenton Julian   24 MVN-CA              53.16      52.41T       
    r:+0.64  24.81        52.41 (27.60)
  2 Ryan Murphy      27 California Aq.-P    53.20      52.41T       
    r:+0.60  24.46        52.41 (27.95)
  4 Ilya Kharun      17 SAND-CA             53.00      52.53T       
    r:+0.67  25.16        52.53 (27.37)
  5 *Clement Secchi  22 Missouri-MV         53.04      52.56        
    r:+0.60  24.81        52.56 (27.75)
  6 Zach Harting     25 CARD-KY             53.05      52.59T       
    r:+0.63  24.93        52.59 (27.66)
  7 Dare Rose        20 Unattached-PC       53.28      52.79T       
    r:+0.63  24.62        52.79 (28.17)
  8 Nicolas Albiero  23 CARD-KY             53.06      52.95T       
    r:+0.62  24.96        52.95 (27.99)

Men’s 400 IM

In July 2022, Jay Litherland stormed from behind to claim Olympic silver in the 400 IM, and twice in his career, Litherland has used phenomenal freestyle splits to earn spots on the U.S. Olympic team in the 400 IM, but even he was no match for the finishing speed of distance ace Bobby Finke. In Knoxville, Litherland was aiming for a wire-to-wire win, but Finke was within a second heading into the final 100 meters, and as Europe’s best distance swimmers have witness on numerous occasions, Finke can finish unlike anyone else in the world.

Finke came home in 57.79, while Litherland finished in 58.96, and that helped the 23-year-old former Florida Gator finish in 4:17.64, three tenths ahead of Litherland’s 4:17.97. Kieran Smith, a training partner of Finke’s at Florida, touched third in 4:19.67.

Event 12  Men 400 LC Meter IM
==================================================================
        World: W 4:03.84  8/10/2008 Michael Phelps, USA
     American: A 4:03.84  8/10/2008 Michael Phelps, USA
    U.S. Open: O 4:05.25  6/29/2008 Michael Phelps, Club Wolverine
     Pro Swim: P 4:08.92  2018      Chase Kalisz
     Jr World: j 4:10.02  5/23/2021 Ilia Borodin, RUS
   Oly Trials: T 4:25.19
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals              
==================================================================
                        === A - Final ===                         
 
  1 Bobby Finke      23 SPA-FL            4:22.33    4:17.64T       
    r:+0.71  27.75        58.65 (30.90)
        1:31.38 (32.73)     2:03.36 (31.98)
        2:41.48 (38.12)     3:19.85 (38.37)
        3:49.65 (29.80)     4:17.64 (27.99)
  2 Jay Litherland   27 SUN-AZ            4:22.26    4:17.97T       
    r:+0.71  27.29        58.11 (30.82)
        1:31.44 (33.33)     2:04.76 (33.32)
        2:41.20 (36.44)     3:19.01 (37.81)
        3:49.43 (30.42)     4:17.97 (28.54)
  3 Kieran Smith     22 Ridgefield Aq-CT  4:25.35    4:19.67T       
    r:+0.71  27.45        59.12 (31.67)
        1:33.26 (34.14)     2:06.14 (32.88)
        2:42.94 (36.80)     3:20.58 (37.64)
        3:50.99 (30.41)     4:19.67 (28.68)
  4 Sean Grieshop       Unattached-PC     4:27.70    4:24.27T       
    r:+0.69  27.99        59.82 (31.83)
        1:34.37 (34.55)     2:07.53 (33.16)
        2:46.14 (38.61)     3:24.23 (38.09)
        3:54.84 (30.61)     4:24.27 (29.43)
  5 Trenton Julian   24 MVN-CA            4:26.89    4:24.41T       
    r:+0.72  26.91        57.34 (30.43)
        1:32.86 (35.52)     2:07.55 (34.69)
        2:45.27 (37.72)     3:23.93 (38.66)
        3:55.34 (31.41)     4:24.41 (29.07)
  6 Landon Driggers  21 Tennessee-SE      4:22.56    4:25.60        
    r:+0.74  27.93      1:00.25 (32.32)
        1:32.89 (32.64)     2:06.04 (33.15)
        2:44.76 (38.72)     3:24.28 (39.52)
        3:55.70 (31.42)     4:25.60 (29.90)
  7 Ilya Kharun      17 SAND-CA           4:27.84    4:26.99        
    r:+0.71  26.87        58.35 (31.48)
        1:33.97 (35.62)     2:08.93 (34.96)
        2:47.10 (38.17)     3:26.10 (39.00)
        3:57.70 (31.60)     4:26.99 (29.29)
  8 Matthew Mortens  17 RIPT-MN           4:31.22    4:30.75        
    r:+0.77  28.68      1:01.19 (32.51)
        1:36.09 (34.90)     2:09.95 (33.86)
        2:48.63 (38.68)     3:26.52 (37.89)
        3:59.22 (32.70)     4:30.75 (31.53)
Subscribe
Notify of
avatar
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x