TYR Pro Series San Antonio, Day Four Finals (Men’s Events): Matt Fallon, Chase Kalisz Dial Up Impressive Victories

Matt Fallon

TYR Pro Series San Antonio, Day Four Finals (Men’s Events): Matt Fallon, Chase Kalisz Dial Up Impressive Victories

Since returning to training and competition following a break from the sport, Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel has gradually returned to form. That progress has been clear during this week’s USA Swimming TYR Pro Series stop in San Antonio, where Dressel won the 100-meter freestyle on Thursday and shared the title in the 100 butterfly with Hungarian Hubert Kos on Friday.

Meanwhile, French star Leon Marchand has been too much for the opposition in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley. Marchand is the reigning world champion in each of those events, along with the 200 individual medley, an event he will contest on Saturday night, as action wraps up in San Antonio.

Here is an event-by-event breakdown of what unfolded on the final night of competition.

Men’s 800 Freestyle

Alfonso Mestre took the lead from the start and never relinquished that advantage en route to a victory in 7:52.22, which was more than two seconds quicker than the 7:54.48 of Bobby Finke. Ilia Sibirtsev was right behin Finke in 7:54.87, with Guilherme Costa and David Johnston also breaking eight minutes.

Mestre went through the midway point of the race in 3:55.80, with Finke next at 3:56.10. The Venezuelan continued to add to his margin over the closing eight laps, a key to neutralize Finke’s well-known closing speed.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

Hungarian Hubert Kos entered the final of the 100 backstroke coming off a shared win with Caeleb Dressel from the previous night in the 100 butterfly. This time around, Kos wasn’t in the mood to split the accolades, as he comfortably defeated the field. The 2023 world champion in the 200 backstroke, Kos won the 100 distance of the stroke in 53.08, which was good for a 1.28-second decision over American Justin Ress.

Kos built a .19 edge on Ress over the opening 50 meters, but the big difference came down the last length, where Kos split 27.15, compared to the 28.24 of Ress. Kos will have multiple options for his program at this summer’s Olympic Games, as he’ll rank among the medals favorites in the 200 backstroke, and as a contender in the 100 backstroke and 100 fly.

200 Breaststroke

Known for his superb closing speed, Matt Fallon needed to keep within striking distance of French star Leon Marchand during the first half of the 200 breaststroke. If Fallon could execute that gameplan successfully, he knew he’d have a chance at victory. Indeed, that scenario unfolded as Fallon was within a second of Marchand at the midway point and pulled ahead over the back half of the race, winning in 2:08.18.

Marchand had the lead over Fallon at the 100-meter mark, 1:01.49 to 1:02.42, but Fallon ate into his deficit on the third 50, where he split 32.73, and was able to outsplit Marchand on the last lap, 33.03 to 33.64. Marchand touched the wall in 2:08.40, an excellent time for this point in the season and a summer matchup between the competitors could come in Paris.

Earlier in the meet, Marchand won the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley.

Men’s 200 Individual Medley

A veteran of international waters and a Team USA leader, Chase Kalisz has achieved all there is to attain in the sport. But the Olympic champion is still excelling, evidenced by his victory in the 200 individual medley. In fourth at the midway mark, Kalisz used his trademark breaststroke to take the lead and held on during freestyle to win in 1:57.51. Kalisz was fueled by a 33.36 split on breaststroke, which was the only sub-34 split in the field.

Carson Foster touched for second place in 1:58.31, with Grant House next in 1:58.69.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

Following a Mexican record of 21.67 during prelims, Gabe Castano backed up that outing with a victory in the final, this time behind a mark of 21.70. Castano, a Penn State standout, fended off a superb field and finished ahead of Ryan Held (21.79) and Caeleb Dressel (21.85). Jonny Kulow placed fourth in 21.89.


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