TYR Pro Series: Kathleen Baker and Ryan Murphy Produce Impressive Efforts in 200 Backstroke

ryan-murphy

TYR Pro Series: Kathleen Baker and Ryan Murphy Produce Impressive Efforts in 200 Backstroke

The women’s backstroke events at this summer’s United States Olympic Trials in Omaha will almost surely feature the elimination from contention of an Olympic-medal challenger, such is the strength of American backstroke. That depth was on display during the third day of the USA Swimming TYR Pro Series in San Antonio.

Led by Kathleen Baker, three Americans went under 2:10 in the 200-meter backstroke, with Baker securing the victory in 2:07.54. She was followed by world-record holder Regan Smith (2:08.80) and Lisa Bratton (2:09.58). Baker was just .02 ahead of Smith at the 100-meter mark, but opened up a sizable lead on the third lap, where she outsplit Smith by .82, and continued to widen her edge on the final lap.

While Baker is better known for her talent in the 100 backstroke, where she is the reigning Olympic silver medalist, she will head to the Olympic Trials as a contender to represent the United States in Tokyo in three events, the 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley complementing the 100 back.

Baker’s goal was a 2:08, which she got under, reflecting the hard work she’s been putting in during training in recent weeks.

“I think I had a really great third 50,” Baker said. “I didn’t feel like I picked it up too much there, but my time showed that. However, the last 50 hurt pretty bad. So I’m looking forward to getting more rest and having a little bit more easy speed going into Trials and hopefully the Olympic Games at that event.”

Basically racing against just the clock, Ryan Murphy took top honors in the men’s 200 backstroke. There were only 11 entrants during the preliminaries and Murphy had no one to push him during the final, which was evident in his 3.54-second margin of victory. Murphy stopped the clock in 1:56.06, with Chris Reid going 1:59.60 for second place.

According to his interview on the Olympic Channel with three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, Murphy has been logging quality training with coach Dave Durden. The work Murphy has been putting in is clearly proving beneficial as Murphy strives to defend his Olympic crowns.

The plan Friday, Murphy said, was to approach it like a 150.

“What Durden told me this morning is that he wanted me to feel like I was swimming a 150,” Murphy said in the virtual mixed zone. “He was like, honestly if you want to stop trying after the 150, I don’t care. Obviously I wasn’t going to do that, but he wanted me to feel like I was swimming a 150 but make that come from the second and third 50s.”

That development of different race strategies is something he hopes to work on this spring.

“I think it’s just really important to be pretty virtual,” he said. “As you get to a meet like the Olympics, these guys internationally swim it a bunch of different ways, so being able to react to that is, I think, really important and that’s what I’m trying to figure out. How many different ways can I swim it, and what’s ultimately going to lead to my best performance? That’s my goal throughout these meets.”

Women’s 200 Backstroke

 Event 13  Women 200 LC Meter Backstroke
=========================================================================
        World: W 2:03.35  7/26/2019 Regan Smith, USA
     American: A 2:03.35  7/26/2019 Regan Smith, USA
    U.S. Open: O 2:05.68  6/25/2013 Missy Franklin, Colorado STARS-C
     Jr World: J 2:03.35  7/26/2019 Regan Smith, USA
     Pro Swim: P 2:05.94  1/19/2020 Regan Smith, Riptide-MN
                 2:12.94  W-II Oly Trials Wave II
                 2:14.69  W-I Oly Trials Wave I
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Kathleen Baker   24 Team Elite/NYAC   2:10.55    2:07.54        
    r:+0.61  29.84      1:01.83 (31.99)
        1:34.01 (32.18)     2:07.54 (33.53)
  2 Regan Smith      19 Riptide           2:10.33    2:08.80        
    r:+0.58  29.83      1:01.85 (32.02)
        1:34.85 (33.00)     2:08.80 (33.95)
  3 Lisa Bratton     24 Aggie Swim Club   2:10.19    2:09.58        
    r:+0.65  30.47      1:03.26 (32.79)
        1:36.35 (33.09)     2:09.58 (33.23)
  4 Hali Flickinger  26 Sun Devil Swimmi  2:11.91    2:11.25        
    r:+0.66  30.29      1:03.31 (33.02)
        1:37.27 (33.96)     2:11.25 (33.98)
  5 Beata Nelson     22 Wisconsin Aquati  2:15.15    2:14.17        
    r:+0.72  31.35      1:05.23 (33.88)
        1:39.61 (34.38)     2:14.17 (34.56)
  6 Natalie Mannion  17 Sarasota Sharks   2:14.82    2:14.66        
    r:+0.76  31.96      1:05.66 (33.70)
        1:39.85 (34.19)     2:14.66 (34.81)
  7 Tevyn Waddell    22 Una UOFM          2:13.87    2:15.01        
    r:+0.60  30.95      1:05.36 (34.41)
        1:40.31 (34.95)     2:15.01 (34.70)
  8 Erica Sullivan   20 Sandpipers Of Ne  2:16.12    2:15.25        
    r:+0.80  32.44      1:06.60 (34.16)
        1:41.21 (34.61)     2:15.25 (34.04)

Men’s 200 Back

 Event 14  Men 200 LC Meter Backstroke
=========================================================================
        World: W 1:51.92  7/31/2009 Aaron Peirsol, USA
     American: A 1:51.92  7/31/2009 Aaron Peirsol, USA
    U.S. Open: O 1:53.08  7/11/2009 Aaron Peirsol, Longhorn
     Jr World: J 1:55.14  6/28/2017 Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS
     Pro Swim: P 1:55.04  2017      Xu Jiayu
                 2:00.81  W-II Oly Trials Wave II
                 2:02.99  W-I Oly Trials Wave I
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Ryan Murphy      25 California Aquat  1:59.34    1:56.06        
    r:+0.91  27.85        56.63 (28.78)
        1:25.74 (29.11)     1:56.06 (30.32)
  2 *Chris Reid      25 Wolfpack Elite    2:01.76    1:59.60        
    r:+0.66  28.49        58.94 (30.45)
        1:29.54 (30.60)     1:59.60 (30.06)
  3 *Anthony Rincon  19 Veritas Swimming  2:02.67    2:02.37        
    r:+0.60  28.27        59.25 (30.98)
        1:30.53 (31.28)     2:02.37 (31.84)
  4 *Andy Xianyang   22 California Aquat  2:03.62    2:02.88        
    r:+0.65  28.92      1:00.00 (31.08)
        1:31.16 (31.16)     2:02.88 (31.72)
  5 *Alex Gliese     23 Wolfpack Elite    2:00.69    2:03.59        
    r:+0.66  28.22        59.35 (31.13)
        1:31.26 (31.91)     2:03.59 (32.33)
  6 Billy Swartwout  18 Long Island Aqua  2:05.34    2:04.37        
    r:+0.67  29.38      1:01.15 (31.77)
        1:33.03 (31.88)     2:04.37 (31.34)
  7 Nick Alexander   22 Team Triumph      2:04.73    2:07.00        
    r:+0.60  28.25        59.63 (31.38)
        1:33.04 (33.41)     2:07.00 (33.96)
  8 Zach Stump       16 Westerville Aqua  2:05.85    2:08.08        
    r:+0.67  28.88      1:00.59 (31.71)
        1:34.59 (34.00)     2:08.08 (33.49)