TYR Pro Swim Series Westmont: Abbey Weitzeil, Lilly King Post Strong Performances (Women’s Recap)

Abbey Weitzeil -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

TYR Pro Swim Series Westmont: Abbey Weitzeil, Lilly King Post Strong Performances

Friday night at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Westmont, Ill., Regan Smith starred with wins in the 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke with just a half-hour to rest in between while a pair of her U.S. Olympic teammates also notched solid swims in victorious efforts: Abbey Weitzeil in the 50 freestyle and Lilly King in the 200 breaststroke. The session also included the 50 butterfly and 400 freestyle.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

Abbey Weitzeil dominated the splash-and-dash, opening up a half-bodylength lead and never letting any of her rivals close the gap. Weitzeil finished in 24.50, just off her season-best time of 24.40 from the last Pro Series meet in Fort Lauderdale. The time would actually have been fast enough to tie for the win at last year’s U.S. International Team Trials, a meet where Weitzeil finished a disappointing sixth and off the Worlds team.

Tennessee’s Erika Brown placed second in 24.99, with Louisville’s Gabi Albiero third in 25.05. Brown tied for bronze in the 50 free at last year’s World Championships in 24.38.


Women’s 200 Breaststroke

Lilly King likes to be aggressive in the 200 breaststroke, and last year’s world champion followed her usual race strategy in a wire-to-wire win. King, representing Indiana Swim Club, was out seven tenths clear of the field and extended the lead to over a second by the finish. King finished in 2:23.68, with Texas’ Anna Elendt taking second in 2:24.74. King was just off her season-best time of 2:23.33 that ranks second in the world behind the Netherlands’ Tes Schouten, while Germany’s Elendt moved to fifth in the world rankings.

Annie Lazor, who trains with King at Indiana, was in seventh place at the halfway point, but the Olympic bronze medalist in this race closed well to take third in 2:25.71, followed by Brazil’s Gabrielle Assis de Silva (2:26.38) and Texas’ Lydia Jacoby (2:26.57).


Women’s 50 Butterfly

It has been a solid meet for Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson, with several finals swims including a second-place finish behind Regan Smith in the 100 fly, and Nelson got to the wall just ahead of a tight field in the 50 fly. Nelson touched in 26.30, a tenth ahead of Ohio State’s Katherine Zenick, who touched out Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil for second, 26.41 to 26.44. Weitzeil has three top-three finishes so far this meet, all in 50-meter races. Louisville’s Gabi Albiero grabbed fourth in 26.57.


Women’s 400 Freestyle

Leah Smith, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 free and a three-time World Championships medalist in the event, never trailed in the 400 free final. Smith, who ranks sixth all-time at 4:00.65, swam to a time of 4:07.95, almost four seconds clear of the field.

But behind Smith, it was a battle for second between Nation’s Capital’s Erin Gemmell and Pikes Peak’s Madi Mintenko. Gemmell, the national champion in the 400 free, held the runnerup spot most of the race, and she was almost a second clear of Mintenko with one length remaining, but Mintenko finished with a 29.97 closing split. Still, Gemmell held her off by two hundredths, 4:11.83 to 4:11.85.


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