TYR Pro Swim Series, Day 4 Prelims: Simone Manuel Sets Pace in 100 Free

Simone Manuel
Courtesy: Peter Bick

TYR Pro Swim Series, Day 4 Prelims: Simone Manuel Sets Pace in 100 Free

Simone Manuel has quietly had a very solid week at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Westmont. While much of the attention has gravitated toward the exploits of Regan Smith and the return of Caeleb Dressel, Manuel has just as impressively wracked up solid times and top finishes.

She won the 200 free on Day 2 of the meet. She finished second in the 50 free on Friday. And after Saturday morning, she’s in position to add a high placement in the 100 free to her list of achievements at the FCM Natatorium. It might prove the most vital of the bunch, with its ramifications on Manuel’s chances of getting at least a relay spot for the Paris Olympics this summer.

The results of the final morning session:

Women’s 200 individual medley

Leah Hayes set the top time in prelims at 2:13.15. The teen is more than two seconds clear of runner-up Beata Nelson, and only Nelson and Torri Huske (2:16.05) are within three seconds of Hayes.

Kelsey Zhang is the fourth seed in 2:16.90. Canadian Olympian Bailey Andison finished fifth in 2:16.92. Isabelle Odgers was sixth.

Men’s 200 individual medley

Grant House led the way in prelims, but seven swimmers are within 1.64 seconds in a crowded field. The former Arizona State swimmer led the way in 2:01.70. Hugo Gonzalez was second in 2:02.58 for a distinctly Pac-12 flair to proceedings. Gabriel Jett is fifth.

Kieran Smith secured the third seed in 2:02.70, .02 ahead of Chase Kalisz. Mark Szaranek and Vini Lanza are in the A final. Among the highly regarded swimmers born in 2007, it’s Noah Cakir who jumped into finals in 2:03.03, with Thomas Heilman 10th. Cakir’s time is a drop of two seconds from his previous best at Speedo Junior Nats in August.

Women’s 200 backstroke

Leah Shackley led a youthful contingent to the wall in the 200 back in 2:12.91. But all eyes are on Regan Smith, given the form she’s in. The new U.S. Open record holder in the 100 back went 2:13.24 to take the second seed. She’s a second clear of third seed Justine Murdock, ahead of Vira Conic. Olympian Rhyan White is fifth in 2:15.17. The spread across the top eight is 7.26 seconds in an event where only 20 swimmers showed up to swim.

Men’s 200 backstroke

Puerto Rican international Yeziel Morales set the pace in the morning at 1:59.23. He was the only swimmer to break two minutes and was .52 seconds off the national record he set last April.

At the other extreme in the top eight is Ryan Murphy, who was .08 seconds from missing the A final with a sluggish time of 2:03.72 in the morning. Murphy did win the 100 back earlier in the week.

The second seed went to Joe Hayburn in 2:02.62, finishers two trough seven clustered within six tenths. Jack Dahlgren (fifth) and Jay Litherland (sixth) are in that knot. Hugo Gonzalez and Kieran Smith were among the swimmers that passed on the event.

Women’s 100 freestyle

It’s Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil on top, youth be damned. Manuel was quickest in prelims at 54.01, with Weitzeil following in 54.38. Taylor Ruck and Torri Huske tied for third in 54.44. Catie DeLoof continued a solid meet with the fifth time, ahead of American stalwarts Olivia Smoliga and Erika Connolly. Andi Murez edged Beata Nelson by .02 or the last A final spot.

The B final includes a pair of Canadians in Katerine Savard and Penny Oleksiak.

Men’s 100 freestyle

Jack Alexy continued his strong form by taking the top seed in the 100 free in 48.38. He was just ahead of Ryan Held, in 48.60. Caeleb Dressel finished seventh in 49.11, not that an outside lane has proven any impediment to him this week.

The American relay contenders for Paris are mostly here. Blake Pieroni finished third in 48.82. Drew Kibler also broke 49, while Gabriel Jett is sixth. Internationals Andrej Barna and Santo Condorelli are also in the A final.

The B final includes Brooks Curry in 11th, Luca Urlando in 13th and Justin Ress in 14th.

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