TYR Pro Series: Olivia Smoliga Wins 100 Backstroke Showdown of Olympic Contenders; Ryan Murphy Rolls

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TYR Pro Series: Olivia Smoliga Wins 100 Backstroke Showdown of Olympic Contenders; Ryan Murphy Rolls

The last night of the TYR Pro Series stop in San Antonio could not have opened with a more intriguing event, as three of the top contenders for Olympic berths in the women’s 100-meter backstroke squared off at the Bill Walker Pool. The showdown certainly did not disappoint as Olivia Smoliga claimed the narrowest of victories, prevailing by .01 in an effort of 59.49.

Third at the turn, Smoliga charged to the wall and was able to overtake Regan Smith, the current world-record holder, and Kathleen Baker, the former world-record holder. Smith touched just behind in 59.50 while Baker, who won the 200 backstroke on Friday night, picked up the bronze medal in 59.57.

When the Olympic Trials are held in Omaha, the 100 backstroke might be the fiercest event on the program. In addition to the women who battled at the Pro Series, the likes of Phoebe Bacon and Katharine Berkoff will be factors, among others. Whoever is left off the Team USA roster will have the talent to earn a medal in Tokyo – but will not have the opportunity, due to the two-per-country rule in each event.

Completing his sweep of the backstroke events, Ryan Murphy blasted the field in the 100 distance, winning with a time of 53.56. Already the winner of the 200 back on Friday night, Murphy beat runnerup Coleman Stewart (54.48) by nearly a second. Murphy initially was slated to face Justin Ress in the final, but after qualifying as the top seed, Ress opted to scratch the final.

Murphy heads into the spring and summer looking to defend the Olympic titles he earned in 2016 at the Games in Rio de Janeiro.

 

 Event 19  Women 100 LC Meter Backstroke
=========================================================================
        World: W 57.57  7/28/2019 Regan Smith, USA
     American: A 57.57  7/28/2019 Regan Smith, USA
    U.S. Open: O 58.00  7/28/2018 Kathleen Baker, Team Elite-NC
     Jr World: J 57.57  7/28/2019 Regan Smith, USA
     Pro Swim: P 58.18  3/7/2020  Regan Smith, Riptide-MN
               1:01.49  W-II Oly Trials Wave II
               1:02.69  W-I Oly Trials Wave I
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Olivia Smoliga   26 Athens Bulldog S    59.89      59.49        
    r:+0.69  29.11        59.49 (30.38)
  2 Regan Smith      19 Riptide             59.39      59.50        
    r:+0.59  28.61        59.50 (30.89)
  3 Kathleen Baker   24 Team Elite/NYAC     59.97      59.57        
    r:+0.62  28.49        59.57 (31.08)
  4 Lisa Bratton     24 Aggie Swim Club   1:01.16    1:01.21        
    r:+0.62  30.00      1:01.21 (31.21)
  5 Hali Flickinger  26 Sun Devil Swimmi  1:01.82    1:01.57        
    r:+0.67  30.32      1:01.57 (31.25)
  6 Levenia Sim      14 TNT Swimming      1:01.66    1:01.88        
    r:+0.53  29.46      1:01.88 (32.42)
  7 Beata Nelson     22 Wisconsin Aquati  1:02.62    1:02.23        
    r:+0.69  30.24      1:02.23 (31.99)
  8 Sherridon Dress  22 Una GSC           1:02.61    1:02.38        
    r:+0.66  30.21      1:02.38 (32.17)

 Event 20  Men 100 LC Meter Backstroke
=========================================================================
        World: W 51.85  8/13/2016 Ryan Murphy, USA
     American: A 51.85  8/13/2016 Ryan Murphy, USA
    U.S. Open: O 51.94  7/8/2009  Aaron Peirsol, Longhorn
     Jr World: J 52.53  8/6/2018  Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS
     Pro Swim: P 52.40  2016      David Plummer
                 55.51  W-II Oly Trials Wave II
                 56.59  W-I Oly Trials Wave I
    Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Ryan Murphy      25 California Aquat    54.87      53.56        
    r:+0.88  25.85        53.56 (27.71)
  2 Coleman Stewart  23 Wolfpack Elite      55.30      54.48        
    r:+0.60  26.61        54.48 (27.87)
  3 *Kacper Stokows  22 NC State Univers    55.28      55.30        
    r:+0.64  26.47        55.30 (28.83)
  4 *Zheng Quah      24 California Aquat    56.19      55.64        
    r:+0.66  26.50        55.64 (29.14)
  5 *Paul Le         28 Wolfpack Elite      55.94      56.03        
    r:+0.86  27.01        56.03 (29.02)
  6 Drew Carbone     21 Unattached          56.16      56.33        
    r:+0.61  26.95        56.33 (29.38)
  7 *Chris Reid      25 Wolfpack Elite      56.17      56.37        
    r:+0.95  27.65        56.37 (28.72)
  8 Nick Alexander   22 Team Triumph        56.59      57.08        
    r:+0.59  27.45        57.08 (29.63)