By Jim Rusnak//Director of Media Properties | Friday, June 14, 2019
Olympian and U.S. National Team member Leah Smith won her second event of the meet Thursday at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis, taking the women’s 200m freestyle in 1:57.40.
“I was super excited about my race tonight,” Smith said. “I’m in pretty heavy training right now, but I just wanted one last tune-up before Worlds so I know what I need to improve on.”
Smith came out on top a tight field for the win, edging fellow National Teamer Mallory Comerford by about five-tenths of a second. Comerford finished the race in 1:57.93, followed by Emily Overholt of Canada in 1:57.97. It was Smith’s second win of the week after taking the 800m free on Wednesday.
Both Smith and Comerford will be competing next month at the FINA World Championships, July 21-28 in Gwangju, South Korea. They were just two of a handful of swimmers from the U.S. National Team to take the podium in Clovis Thursday.
National Team member Gianluca Urlando won the men’s 100m butterfly over Giles Smith, 52.20 to 52.63. Ryan Coetzee of South Africa was third in 53.57.
“I was really happy with it, especially the second 50,” Urlando said.
The men’s 100m fly was one of two podiums for Urlando Thursday. He also placed third in the men’s 200m free in 1:48.58, behind Trey Freeman of Utah Baylor Swim Club (1:47.86) and fellow National Team member and Olympian Townley Haas (1:48.02). Freeman will be competing in the 200m free next month at the World University Games in Naples, Italy.
Another National Teamer, Justin Ress, who will be competing in the 50m backstroke next month at the World University Games, won that event in 25.05, 16-hundredths ahead of Olympian and National Team member Matt Grevers. Grevers will be swimming the 100m back at Worlds.
“It’s definitely cool learning how to race out here,” Ress said. “It’s really windy, and I never train outside, and the starts are a little different. There’re so many excuses but I’m happy to win it. I just have to swim through this stuff because everyone had to deal with it. It’s something I have to learn to push through.”
Ali DeLoof won the women’s 50m back in 28.05, followed by Amy Bilquist in 28.44 and Isabelle Stadden in 28.64. Both DeLoof and Stadden will represent the U.S. at the Pan American Games in August in Peru – Deloof in the 100m back and Stadden in the 200m back.
“I really want to be 59 in my 100 back, “DeLoof said. “I think [tonight’s] 50 set me up really well, so I know I can take it out. Coming back is always a little tough. That’s my main thing, the last 15 meters, so I’ll definitely be thinking about that.”
Other first-place finishers in Clovis included Sydney Pickrem of Canada in the women’s 100m breaststroke (1:07.20); Brandon Fischer of the Livermore Aqua Cowboys in the men’s 100m breaststroke (59.86); Louise Hansson of Sweden in the women’s 100m butterfly (57.36); Pickrem in the women’s 400m IM (4:40.64); and Jarod Arroyo of Puerto Rico in the men’s 400m IM (4:21.65).
The four-day, long-course meters competition runs through Saturday with daily prelims at 9 a.m. PT and evening finals at 5 p.m. PT.
NBCSN will air live finals coverage from Clovis at 5 p.m. PT on Friday. The NBC Sports app, as well as usaswimming.org, will stream coverage of Saturday’s finals at 5 p.m. PT. A live webcast of prelims will stream online at usaswimming.org.
Across the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series, swimmers may earn increased awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic events. At each meet, $1,500 will be provided for a first-place finish, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. In addition, one athlete per gender with the highest-scoring prelim swim in an individual Olympic event based on FINA power points will win $1,500.
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