USA Swim Squads Select Teams Ahead of 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The USA Swim Squads are set to return for a second season with the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series and will feature four new captains: Maya DiRado, Elizabeth Beisel, Connor Jaeger, and Cammile Adams.

Prior to the start of the 2018 Golden Goggles festivities, Rowdy Gaines hosted a live fantasy draft where the four captains took turns choosing swimmers for each of their squads. This fantasy draft featured a total of five live rounds, while the remainder of the squads were chosen off camera.

The full live fantasy draft can be viewed below:

Team Adams

  1. Michael Andrew
  2. Kelsi Dahlia
  3. Olivia Smoliga
  4. Josh Prenot
  5. Margo Geer

Adams kicked off her Swim Squad with back-to-back picks, choosing Michael Andrew and Kelsi Dahlia as her first two choices. Both Andrew and Dahlia are can collect some big points at the PSS stops. Andrew has a wealth of versatility and Dahlia is a big scorer in both the sprint fly and free.

Olivia Smoliga was the third pick for Team Adams and continues to build upon the consistency column, as Smoliga made it to the majority of the 2018 PSS meets. She mainly sticks to the sprint free and back events, but will occasionally dabble with some 200 races.

Josh Prenot and Margo Geer rounded out Team Adams’ live draft picks. Prenot is a leader in the breaststroke events, while Geer adds depth to Team Adams in the sprint freestyle events.

Team Beisel

  1. Zane Grothe
  2. Kathleen Baker
  3. Leah Smith
  4. Hali Flickinger
  5. Haley Anderson

Beisel began her Swim Squad with a strong distance pick in Zane Grothe. Grothe was a well-known face at the 2018 PSS meets, collecting consistent victories in the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles and finishing as the runner-up in the overall series.

Beisel added some star power with newly-minted professional Kathleen Baker, who has posted the newest World Record of American swimmers. While Baker is primarily a backstroker (100/200 back), she is also a strong contender in the 200 IM.

Team Beisel continued to build distance power by picking Leah Smith, Hali Flickinger, and Haley Anderson in the following three rounds. Smith is famous for being half of Team USA’s 1-2 punch alongside Ledecky, while Flickinger and Anderson bring some versatility with the 800 and 1500 freestyles. In addition to mid/distance freestyle, Flickinger is also currently Team USA’s strongest 200 flyer, building upon her versatility.

In addition to distance points in the pool, USA Swimming will now be allowing open water swimmers to score points as well, making Anderson a strong choice.

Team DiRado

  1. Chase Kalisz
  2. Ryan Murphy
  3. Jack Conger
  4. Nathan Adrian
  5. Simone Manuel

DiRado was the first to pick in the live draft and she began with the #1 pick from last year: Chase Kalisz. Kalisz is a versatile swimmer who can fill in a variety of slots at most PSS stops, while also being the main man to watch in each of the IM events.

Ryan Murphy is arguably America’s best male backstroker right now, nearing both the 100 and 200 World Records at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, while also setting the 50 back American record at the 2018 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championshpis. While Murphy has traditionally stuck to the 100/200 back at the PSS, he could potentially add the 50 back and the 100 free to his regular repertoire.

Jack Conger can collect big points for Team DiRado in both the fly and free events, while sprint stalwart Nathan Adrian is a consistent scorer in the sprint freestyle events.

Simone Manuel, the last of DiRado’s picks and a teammate at Stanford University, will have more opportunities to swim at PSS meets in the 2019 season now that she is a professional swimmer. In 2018, Manuel collected titles at the Indianapolis and Santa Clara stops.

Team Jaeger

  1. Katie Ledecky
  2. Melanie Margalis
  3. Caeleb Dressel
  4. Tom Shields
  5. Matt Grevers

It should come of little surprise that Katie Ledecky was among the first swimmers to be chosen for the 2019 live draft, seeing that Ledecky is the defending champion of the Pro Swim Series despite only attending the Indianapolis and Santa Clara stops.

The second pick for Team Jaeger was Melanie Margalis, who adds a strong layer of flexibility. The Olympic gold medalist is a strong contender in IM events, as well as the 200 breast and mid-distance free.

Jaeger collected his own sprint ace with Caeleb Dressel. Similar to Ledecky, Dressel is a newly signed professional swimmer, who could make an appearance at many more PSS stops in 2019. Dressel’s versatility between sprint free and fly could bring in some strong points for Team Jaeger.

Tom Shields and Matt Grevers are both well-known faces at the PSS meets and are frequently in the top spots for the events they enter. Shields has the versatility to swim all three distances of the butterfly events, while Grevers is a strong contender in the 50 and 100 backstrokes. Both swimmers bring a wealth of leadership and racing experience to Team Jaeger.