USA Swimming News

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Olympic Hopefuls Take Stage This Week at TYR Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis


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With Wave I of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming kicking off in just more than three weeks, hundreds of the nation’s fastest swimmers will use this week’s TYR Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis as a final steppingstone before the Olympic summer. 


The competition will take place May 12-15 at the historic IU Natatorium. The venue has played host to U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming, NCAA Championships and World Junior Championships events and is the heartbeat for an Indianapolis community that is rich with swimming history. The venue has also traditionally played host to the Counsilman Classic, named after legendary Indiana University coach James “Doc” Counsilman, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this past December.

Over 60 athletes will take the blocks this week representing the U.S. National Team or National Junior Team. The psych sheet is flooded with world championships medalists, record holders and more.
With all that is in store for the final chapter before the Olympic summer, here is what to look for in this exciting TYR Pro Swim Series competition.

Freestyle
Leah Smith and Erica Sullivan will look to battle out the distance freestyle events, as the two have combined for over 20 TYR Pro Swim Series victories since 2015. The sprinter group will be led by 2016 Olympian, Mallory Comerford, and the reigning national champion in the 50m freestyle, Erika Brown. For Brown, this meet marks her first long course meet since January of 2020.

On the men’s side of freestyle events, eyes will likely be on Nathan Adrian as he continues his push for his fourth Olympic team. Adrian used last month’s TYR Pro Swim Series at Mission Viejo to capture his first national-level victory since before his cancer diagnosis in 2019. He enters the Indianapolis psych sheet in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events and will be up against a talented field that includes the Olympic likes of Blake Pieroni and Ryan Held.

Backstroke
Regan Smith, Phoebe Bacon and Kathleen Baker headline the field of women’s backstrokers and currently rank as the first, second and fourth (respectively) 100m backstroke performers in U.S. history. This meet will be the first time since the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships where the trio of Smith, Bacon and Baker will take the pool together.

Matt Grevers enters Indianapolis as top seed in the 100m backstroke and the third-ranked seed in the 200m event. The 200m backstroke field will also give fans a chance to watch Wyatt Davis, the talented U.S. National Junior Team member and reigning world junior champion in the event. 

Butterfly
Hali Flickinger heads to Indiana as the most decorated butterflier in the field with a 2019 FINA World Championships silver and a 2016 Rio Olympics finalist honor to her 200m butterfly résumé. Regan Smith, Kelsi Dahlia, Charlotte Hook and Kate Douglass should add power to the field and make for exciting butterfly races as well.

Nic Albiero has had a terrific start to 2021, claiming titles in the 200-yard butterfly at the 2021 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships in March as well as the 200m butterfly at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Mission Viejo in April. The win gave him the first TYR Pro Swim Series win of his career and he will be looking to follow up on his successes this week in Indianapolis.

Breaststroke
Former Indiana Hoosier, Lilly King, has thrived when competing in her home state, winning 10 national-level races in Indiana dating back to the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis. She is favored in the 100m breaststroke and is expected to have another close race with her Indiana Swim Club teammate, Annie Lazor, in the 200m event.

The men’s field also should feature some Hoosiers in the mix for the top finish, as former Indiana standout, Cody Miller, and incoming IU commit, Josh Matheny, are the top two seeds in both breaststroke races. 

Individual Medley
Kathleen Baker and Alex Walsh enter as the two top-seeded females in the 200m IM, with nearly three seconds separating them from the rest of the field’s seed times. Hali Flickinger and Ally McHugh enter as favorites in the 400m event, both toting international experiences in the event throughout their careers. 

The men’s 200m IM should feature a good race between Michael Andrew and Abrahm DeVine. Andrew is the reigning TYR Pro Swim Series champion after going 1:57.98 for the win last month in Mission Viejo, while DeVine’s 1:59.65 from March’s TYR Pro Swim Series at San Antonio is the third fastest in the U.S. this year.
 

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