TYR Pro Series, Day Three Finals: Regan Smith Doubles, Sets U.S. Open Record in 100 Backstroke; Caeleb Dressel Wins Mystery 50 Freestyle

Regan Smith

TYR Pro Series, Day Three Finals: Regan Smith Delivers Dazzling Double, Sets U.S. Open Record in 100 Backstroke

The second night of finals at the USA Swimming TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Westmont (Ill.) did not disappoint, as impressive victories were claimed on Thursday evening by Torri Huske and Caeleb Dressel in the 100-meter butterfly. More, Simone Manuel prevailed in the 200 freestyle, that showing a positive indicator in her chase for a third Olympic berth.

Night Three action is expected to maintain the momentum, with Regan Smith seeking to complete a difficult double in the 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke and Dressel taking aim at the 50 freestyle. Eyes will also be focused on the efforts of Olympic champions Lilly King (200 breaststroke) and Ryan Murphy (100 backstroke).

Here is an event-by-event breakdown of Friday night’s competition.

Full Results

Day One Finals

Day Two Finals

Women’s 200 Butterfly

Racing the first of two events on the night, Regan Smith dominated the field in the 200 butterfly. The Team USA veteran popped a big-time performance of 2:04.80, a little less than a second off her American record of 2:03.87 and four seconds clear of the 2:08.94 of runnerup Dakota Luther.

Smith pressed the pace from the start, going out in 27.53 and hitting the midway point in 59.86. Smith continued to surge on her third lap, as she touched in 1:31.67, which was under her American-record pace from last year. While Smith couldn’t maintain record pace over the last length, to clock a sub-2:05 effort is a stellar outing for this point in the season.

Although Smith emerged on the international scene as a backstroker, she has also excelled on the global stage in the 200 butterfly. In addition to earning a silver medal in the event at the 2020 Olympic Games, Smith claimed a bronze medal in the 200 fly at the 2023 World Champs.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

Once a rising star in the 200 butterfly as a teenager, Luca Urlando put together a quality effort in his prime event and served a reminder that he’ll be a contender at the Olympic Trials during the summer. Urlando checked in with a winning time of 1:56.25, which was fast enough to hold off Chase Kalisz (1:56.67).

The American contenders for the 200 fly and bids to the Paris Games are led by teenager Thomas Heilman and Carson Foster, but Urlando is not someone to overlook. Having put some injuries behind him, Urlando is logging quality training and should feel good about his March status.

Dare Rose finished third in 1:57.54.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

Torri Huske

Courtesy: Peter Bick

Coming off a 56-low victory in the 100 butterfly on Thursday night, Torri Huske delivered another triumph on Friday, and she did so in style. Bolting to the lead off the start, Huske stayed ahead of the field throughout the one-lap dash, ultimately touching the wall in a personal best of 24.31. That time enabled Huske to edge Simone Manuel (24.49).

Like Huske, Manuel has looked superb in Westmont. She opened the meet by winning the 200 freestyle by .01 and her runnerup finish to Huske in the 50 free is an excellent barometer for where the American sprint star stands on the road to the Olympic Trials.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

Caeleb Dressel

Courtesy: Peter Bick

There was doubt concerning the outcome at the conclusion of the men’s 50 freestyle, as the scoreboard and timing system went blank and the results of the race were not revealed for several minutes. Eventually, it was announced that Caeleb Dressel secured first place, on the strength of a 21.84 swim. That victory was Dressel’s second of the meet, complementing a win in the 100 butterfly from Thursday night.

Dressel was followed to the wall by Santo Condorelli, who registered a mark of 21.89. Placing third was Jack Alexy, who was the silver medalist in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle at the 2023 World Championships. Alexy was credited with a time of 21.90.

Alexy took advantage of an option to swim again later in the session, due to the clock malfunction. On his second effort, Alexy touched in 21.86, although his placement will stand from the original heat.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

About a half hour after she clocked sub-2:05 en route to victory in the 200 butterfly, Regan Smith established a U.S. Open record in the 100 backstroke when she destroyed the field with a time of 57.64. Smith’s time was just .07 off her American record from 2019 and lowered Smith’s U.S. Open standard from last year, which stood at 57.71.

Smith flew down the first lap in 28.13, which was .02 under world-record pace. She maintained her speed over the second 50 meters to win by more than two seconds over teen standout Leah Shackley (59.76). Smith is a two-time World Championships medalist in the 100 backstroke and was the bronze medalist in the event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

Ryan Murphy

Courtesy: Peter Bick

One of the most-decorated backstrokers in history, Ryan Murphy packaged a wire-to-wire victory in the 100 backstroke, his mark of 53.23 enough to comfortably fend off the 53.98 of Hugo Gonzalez. Murphy took the lead in the first half of the race, splitting 25.70 at the 50-meter mark, and the veteran also had the fastest homecoming split, going 27.53 into the finish.

Murphy is seeking his third Olympic Games invitation, having secured six medals between the 2016 Games and 2020 Games. Finishing third in Westmont was Justin Ress, who touched the wall in 54.08.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

Lilly King

Courtesy: Peter Bick

Lilly King completed her breaststroke double with a three-plus second win in the 200 breaststroke. King covered her four laps in 2:25.97, with runnerup Andrea Podmanikova going 2:29.12. King’s triumph over the longer breaststroke distance supported her victory in the 100 breaststroke from Thursday night.

King is another Team USA veteran who is seeking a third trip to the Olympic Games. King made her Olympic debut in 2016, when she captured gold in the 100 breaststroke.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

As was the case with Lilly King in the previous event, Iceland’s Anton McKee wrapped up a breaststroke double by prevailing in the 200 distance. Coming off a win in the 100 breaststroke, McKee clocked a time of 2:10.03 to win the 200 breaststroke. McKee got to the wall nearly a second clear of American Will Licon, who picked up second place in 2:10.96.

Women’s 400 Freestyle

Already the titlist in Westmont in the 800 freestyle, Claire Weinstein added the 400 freestyle crown to her collection when she pulled away from Paige Madden over the final 100 meters. Weinstein earned her win behind a personal best of 4:04.54, and she will be a factor for an Olympic berth in the event when Trials come around. Weinstein is best known for her skill in the 200 freestyle, but multiple freestyle options now dot her chase for Paris.

Madden finished second in 4:05.94.

Men’s 400 Freestyle

Brazil’s Eduardo Oliveira de Moraes pulled away over the last 50 meters to record one of two sub-3:50 swims in the field. De Moraes picked up the win in 3:48.27, with American Drew Kibler going 3:49.95 for second place.

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