Check Out the Matchups for the TYR Pro Series Stop in Knoxville; Big Names Ready to Race (Psych Sheets)

Katie Ledecky -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

TYR Pro Swim Series Knoxville: Top American Swimmers Make 2024 Debut (Psych Sheets)

Twenty-eight events will be contested next weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., at the first stop of this year’s TYR Pro Swim Series, and 18 of those races will feature at least one swimmer who has won a world title or Olympic gold medal in that event. Most of the top swimmers in the United States will converge at the University of Tennessee for the first racing action of the new Olympic year, with even plenty of collegiate swimmers taking a break from short course yards for some long course prep.

Click here to view the full psych sheet.

Katie Ledecky leads the group of swimmers entered in the meet, with the seven-time Olympic champion entered in the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle as well as the 400 IM. Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, one of Ledecky’s top rivals in recent years, will also be in attendance. While the two will not meet in either the 400 free or 400 IM, McIntosh will swim the 200 free as well as the 200 butterfly and 200 IM.

That 200 IM could be one of the top races of the meet as McIntosh, the fourth-fastest swimmer ever in the event and the only swimmer to break 2:07 in more than seven years, faces off against the two most recent world champions in the event, Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh. McIntosh did not race the short medley at the 2023 Worlds when Douglass overtook Walsh to claim gold. The multi-talented Douglass will also swim the 50 and 100 free, 100 and 200 breaststroke and 100 fly in Knoxville.

A stacked field in the women’s 100 free features top Douglass, Abbey WeitzeilTorri HuskeGretchen Walsh and Olivia Smoliga plus the two swimmers who tied for Olympic gold in the event in 2016, Simone Manuel and Canada’s Penny OleksiakKayla Sanchez, a Canadian Olympic medalist now competing for New Zealand, is entered alongside several others with international 400 free relay experience: Maxine ParkerNatalie HindsErika BrownMaggie Mac NeilTaylor Ruck and Catie Deloof.

Huske is entered in a whopping seven events, with her usual 50, 100 and 200 free plus 100 fly along with less usual events such as the 100 back, 200 fly and 200 breast. The 100 fly is another key race to watch with Olympic champion Mac Neil racing 2022 world champion Huske and fellow American standouts Douglass, Gretchen Walsh and Claire Curzan. Meanwhile, the two most recent Olympic champions feature in the women’s 100 breast, Lilly King and Lydia Jacoby.

Regan Smith, who won five medals at this year’s World Championships, is listed on the psych sheet in six events but not expected to compete.

On the men’s side, Caeleb Dressel could continue showing progress in racing after his strong performance at the U.S. Open last month. Dressel will swim the 50 and 100 free and 100 fly along with potentially the 200 free. Expect tight competition in the sprint freestyle races, with seven men seeded under 48 in the 100 free, including 2023 World Championships silver medalist Jack Alexy and fellow Fukuoka finalist Jordan Crooks. Dressel, Ryan HeldDestin LascoBrooks Curry and Matt King are the other top seeds. It’s unlikely that anyone will be close to breaking 48 this early in the season, but the Americans in this field plus others will be looking to boost their standing as they seek relay qualification at the upcoming Olympic Trials.

Bobby Finke will race his usual distance freestyle events plus the 400 IM, where he is the second seed behind Carson Foster. Foster leads the field in both medley events, with Shaine Casas and Chase Kalisz joining him in the 200 IM. Foster will also race with Luke HobsonDrew Kibler and Kieran Smith in the 200 free as this year’s 800 free relay begins to take shape.

Veteran Nic Fink will swim the breaststroke events, with Michael Andrew as his top rival in the 100-meter distance. Andrew will also race the 100 fly, 100 back and 50 free. Ryan Murphy, fresh off a year when he checked off his long-awaited 100 back world title, will race in his signature stroke alongside Casas, Lasco and Hunter Armstrong (100 only). Teenagers Thomas Heilman and Maximus Williamson will both race against their elder rivals in Knoxville as they continue unlikely pushes for the Olympic team.

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