TYR Pro Swim Series Fort Lauderdale: Matthew Richards Leads International 100 Free

Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / deepbluemedia

TYR Pro Swim Series Fort Lauderdale: Matthew Richards Leads International 100 Free

Welshman Matthew Richards set the pace in the men’s 100 freestyle Thursday morning in prelims of the TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Fort Lauderdale.

Richards clocked in at 48.41 seconds to lead a crowded field, the top eight seeds spread across exactly one second. Canadian Ruslan Gaziev, fresh off the Big Ten Championships with Ohio State, was second in 48.78. American teen Kaii Winkler grabbed the third seed in 48.81.

Also in the A final are Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter in fourth and Venezuelan Alberto Mestre in sixth. Americans Hunter Armstrong, Ryan Held and Justin Ress round out the A final. A pair of Brazilians lead the B final, along with Portugal’s Diogo Ribeiro, Mexico’s Jorge Iga and German Marius Kusch.

The final of the women’s 100 free will feature Olympic star power. Abbey Weitzeil led the way in the morning session by going 53.83, the only sub-54 swim. Second was Katie Ledecky in 54.34, with Canada’s Summer McIntosh third in 54.39. Olivia Smoliga is the fourth seed, and Olympians Simone Manuel and Natalie Hinds also qualified for the A final. Erika Brown finished ninth.

Lilly King set the pace in the women’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.43. The American gold medalist is .13 up on Britain’s Kara Hanlon, whose countrywoman Imogen Clark is fourth. Annie Lazor is in the A final in fifth. The third seed belongs to Rachael Bernhardt.

Cody Miller edged Michael Andrew to the top seed in the men’s 100 breast. Miller clocked in at 1:00.43, .2 up on his fellow Olympian. It’s a who’s who of the last decade of American breaststroke, with Tommy Cope third, Will Licon fourth and Nic Fink fifth.

Regan Smith led the way in the women’s 50 backstroke with a time of 27.57. She’s well ahead of Lauren Cox (28.29) and nearly a second up on third seed Medi Harris. Smoliga is fourth in 28.65. Ress led the men’s 50 back, in 24.99, ahead of Armstrong and Shaine Casas.

McIntosh turned around to lead the women’s 200 butterfly with a time of 2:08.24. She’s nearly four seconds clear of Maria Jose Matas Cocco of Mexico, with Portuguese veteran Ana Monteiro third. Ledecky finished fifth in 2:13.77, a spot behind Bella Sims.

Trenton Julian leads the way in what should be a scintillating men’s 200 fly final. He clocked in at 1:57.22 to grab the top seed out of the morning. Canadian teen Ilya Kharun was .11 back, while American Olympian Zach Harting is another .16 back, and Nick Albiero made it four swimmers within .51 seconds with his 1:57.73.

Leah Smith turned in an outstanding morning swim to lead the 400 free. She went 4:07.72, holding off the field by more than three seconds. But the pack will come for her in finals. Siobhan Haughey is the second seed in 4:11.36, while Katie Grimes is third in 4:11.61. Regan Smith turned in the sixth-best time of prelims. Ledecky is passing on this event at the meet.

Fresh off a win in the 1,500, Ahmed Hafnaoui led the field in the 400 free with a time of 3:50.77. He was just .07 ahead of Kieran Smith. Brazilian Guilherme Costa was third in 3:51.46, with Daniel Jervis of Wales fourth in 3:51.85.

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