TYR Pro Swim Series Westmont: Leon Marchand Pulls Away From Carson Foster for 400 IM Win (Men’s Recap)

Leon Marchand -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

TYR Pro Swim Series Westmont: Leon Marchand Pulls Away From Carson Foster for 400 IM Win

A pair of U.S. Olympians earned tight victories to begin men’s finals racing Thursday evening at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Westmont, Ill. First, Kieran Smith came from behind to beat Jorge Iga in the final strokes of the 200 freestyle, and shortly after, Nic Fink got to the wall just ahead of Denis Petrashov and Cody Miller in the 100 breaststroke.

Later on, Hunter Armstrong got the better of Justin Ress in the 50 backstroke, and Shaine Casas was dominant in the 100 butterfly, but the best race was last, with Leon Marchand swimming his first long course 400 IM of the year. And as expected, Marchand recorded a strong performance (at least by April standards), with Carson Foster notching a strong sub-4:10 swim of his own.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

Jorge Ida, a native of Mexico who trains at Virginia Tech, blasted the 200 free prelims with a quick mark of 1:47.29, but the Florida-trained Kieran Smith had one final surge to get ahead of Ida in the final. Trailing by four tenths at the final turn, Smith closed in 27.56 to get to the wall 0.15 ahead of Iga, 1:47.45 to 1:47.60. Smith, the third-fastest American in history in the event behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, owns a best time of 1:44.74.

Estonia’s Kregor Zirk closed well to take third in 1:47.63, with Turkey’s Batur Unlu also getting under 1:48 (1:47.97). NCAA standouts Arizona State’s Grant House (1:48.31) and Texas’ Luke Hobson (1:48.35) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.


Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Louisville’s Denis Petrashov had the lead for most of the 100 meters of breaststroke, but Nic Fink has been a force in this event over the last two years, winning World Championships bronze last June and Short Course Worlds gold in December, and Fink had one last closing burst to get to the wall just in front and just under the 1:00 barrier.

Fink finished in 59.95, two hundredths quicker than his winning time from the last stop of the Pro Series in Fort Lauderdale. More importantly, Fink touched eight hundredths ahead of Petrashov, with the Louisville swimmer coming in at 1:00.03, one hundredth ahead of 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Cody Miller (1:00.04). Tennessee’s Lyubomir Epitropov was the only other swimmer to break 1:01 (1:00.92).


Men’s 50 Backstroke

World champion Justin Ress got the better of world-record holder and Worlds silver medalist Hunter Armstrong when the two raced in the 50 back at the previous stop of the Pro Series in Fort Lauderdale. Both men swam faster this time, but it was Armstrong getting to the wall a quarter-second ahead of his rival. Armstrong finished in 24.30, six tenths off his world record of 24.30, while Ress, who ranks third all-time at 23.92, touched second in 24.56.

A pair of sprint freestyle specialists with enough speed for the one-lap backstroke race came in next with Ryan Held beating Bjorn Seeliger by one hundredth, 25.25 to 25.26.


Men’s 100 Butterfly

It was a wire-to-wire win for Longhorn’s Shaine Casas in the 100 fly. Out just ahead of Florida’s Eric Friese, Casas extended the lead to two-thirds of a second on the second length, although he lost some speed with a long finish. Still, he touched in a strong time of 51.05, just off his 50.80 from the last stop of the Pro Series in Fort Lauderdale and not too far off his lifetime best of 50.40 that ranks him tied for seventh all-time and tied for third-fastest American ever.

Friese took second in 51.72, while NC State’s Arsenio Bustos took third in 52.07. Youssef Ramadan, the NCAA champion in the 100-yard fly for Virginia Tech, swam a time of 52.02 in prelims, but he faded to eighth (52.77) in the final. Notably, the second-fastest time of the night belonged to backstroke standout Ryan Murphy, who recorded his first-ever sub-52 performance with a 51.96 in the B-final.


Men’s 400 IM

When Leon Marchand swam his ridiculous 3:28.82 400-yard IM at the NCAA Championships last month, he led by almost a second after 100 yards and by almost three seconds at the halfway point. At the finish, he was more than seven seconds clear of Carson Foster. But three weeks after the college meet, the duo moved their 400 IM racing into long course meters, and Foster stayed much closer to his French rival. Their race in Westmont was much closer to the World Championships final, with Foster holding the lead (by more than a second) at the halfway point before the two men hit breaststroke and Marchand took off.

Indeed, Marchand split 1:08.53 on the breaststroke leg to build the lead, and he maintained an advantage of just under two seconds on the freestyle leg. Marchand finished in 4:07.80, and Foster took second in 4:09.69. While both men were well off their best times from the World Championships final (Marchand 4:04.28, Foster 4:06.56), they became the first two swimmers under 4:10 so far this year.

Chase Kalisz, the Olympic champion in the event in 2021 and the bronze medalist at Worlds, took third in 4:13.06. Kalisz now trains at Arizona State alongside Marchand and Hubert Kos, the Hungarian who took fourth here in 4:14.08.


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1 year ago

Seto has also been under 4:10 this year.

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