| Sunday, April 15, 2018
MESA, Ariz. – Olympian Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Ill./Athens Bulldog Swim Club) set an American record in the women’s 50-meter backstroke – and earned her third win of the meet – Saturday at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Mesa at Skyline Aquatic Center.
Swimming in the finals of the bracket-style event against runner-up Ali DeLoof (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Club Wolverine), Smoliga touched in 27.43 seconds to top Kathleen Baker’s 2017 American mark. She raced the 50m back three times in just over 15 minutes to work her way through the quarterfinal, semifinal and final to pick up the win.
“I’m excited about that. I wanted to go under 28 (seconds) because I was really close this morning, and I’m really happy it worked out that way,” said Smoliga, who won all three backstroke events in Mesa. “I feel really great about the 50 back. That just means that my 100 should have been faster.”
Fellow Olympic medalist Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics) added her third and fourth wins in Mesa on Saturday in the women’s 400m free in 4:07.25, the seventh-best time in the world in 2018, and the 200m mystery individual medley in 2:18.19. She also topped the field in the women’s 200m and 800m free earlier in the meet.
“I’m really happy with my 400 [free], I felt that was my best,” Smith said. “I felt l like I got into a groove as the meet went on and for April I think I was faster than I was last year in my 400, so that’s pretty good for me.”
Olympic champion Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics) and National Teamer Mallory Comerford (Kalamazoo, Mich./University of Louisville) won the bracket-style 50m free titles after taking the 100m free victories on Friday. Comerford went 25.10 in the final, while Adrian was victorious in 22.94.
Other winners in the bracket-style 50-meter races included Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics) in the men’s 50m back in 25.42, Kelsi Dahlia (Westampton, N.J./Cardinal Aquatics) in the women’s 50m fly in a TYR Pro Swim Series record 25.74, Molly Hannis (Santa Rosa, Calif./Tennessee Aquatics) in the women’s 50m breast in 29.97, Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club) in the men’s 50m fly in 23.38 and Nic Fink (Morristown, N.J./Athens Bulldog Swim Club) in the men’s 50m breast in 27.69.
Gianluca Urlando (Sacramento, Calif./DART Racing) won the men’s 200m mystery individual medley in 2:06.09, and Egypt’s Marwan El Kamash earned his second win in Mesa in the men’s 400m free in a time of 3:49.52.The meet concludes Sunday with timed finals for the 1500-meter freestyle at 8 a.m. PDT with a live webcast available at usaswimming.org.