USA Swimming News

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Stacked 200m Backstroke Field Comes Down to Six One-Hundredths at TYR Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis Night Three


Phoebe Bacon narrowly out-touched Regan Smith in the 200-meter backstroke, Michael Andrew set another TYR Pro Swim Series record and Hali Flickinger picked up her second win of the meet the third night of finals at the TYR Pro Swim Series meet at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. 

Bacon and Regan Smith duked it out in the women’s 200m back. The two swimmers were neck-and-neck throughout the entire race, flipping less than a tenth apart on each of the three turns. At the finish, Bacon had just enough left to get to the wall first, 2:06.84 to 2:06.90. Both swimmers will be major contenders in the event next month at Trials. 

“I knew both of us were going to be out fast, and I knew I could keep up with her on that first 100,” Bacon said. “For me, it was just all about hammering down that last 100, especially the last 50. I knew I couldn’t let her get out of my eye sight; I had to keep her right there with me, and just try to pull ahead on that finish.” 

Andrew set a new U.S. Open record and TYR Pro Swim Series meet record last night in the 100m breast, and followed that up with a second meet record tonight, this time in the men’s 100m fly. Andrew stopped the clock in 50.80 for the win, about a second and a half ahead of second place finisher Zach Harting. 

“It was pretty much exactly what I planned on doing this evening,” Andrew said afterwards. “It was a good race, there are details to adjust and overall it was just really strong into the closing. I feel like this whole weekend is just building confidence going into Trials.” 

After winning the 200m fly last night, Flickinger cruised to a 4:37.73 in the women’s 400m IM tonight to easily out-distance runner-up Ally McHugh (4:40.89). 

“I’m just extremely grateful to be a part of this team [Sun Devil Aquatics],” Flickinger said after her swim. “Just one person does something, and you want to do your part – I’m just having so much fun!”

Regan Smith, after pulling off a tight double with her second-place finish in the 200m fly to start the night, picked up her first win of the week in the women’s 100m fly in a tightly contested race. Smith topped the final heat in 57.68, with 2016 Olympian Kelsi Dahlia (57.75) and Virginia standout Kate Douglass (57.76) right on her heels. The event is shaping up to be one of the hottest events at Trials with a slew of swimmers poised to make the team.

“The future is young, it’s insane,” Smith said. “The amount of talent in this event is exciting and it’s cool that I’m kind of in the mix of things now. I never really saw myself as a sprint butterflier, but it’s really awesome to race alongside these athletes.”

Four swimmers battled it out for the top spot in the women’s 200m free, with Paige Madden making a late comeback with a sub-30 final 50 to take the win in 1:57.47, just over a tenth ahead of the 2012 Olympic champion in the event, Allison Schmitt (1:57.59). Emma Nordin (1:57.68) and Leah Smith (1:57.81) finished right behind. Madden tried out a new strategy on the final 50 and it clearly paid off. 

“I’ve been trying to work on breathing every four strokes for the last 50, and especially in the last 25,” Madden said. “I’ve been working on that in practice and I knew I wanted to do that here.” 

In the men’s 200m free, Grant House led from wire to wire, out-touching last night’s 100m free winner Blake Pieroni, 1:47.69 to 1:48.04. House was pleased with the swim and where his training has brought him.

“I knew I wanted to trust the training over the past couple of months and focus on what I’ve been doing in the last three years since coming to Arizona State. It was a great field and I’m really excited with that time,” he said. 

In other swims, Thomas Watkins took home the men’s 200m back win in 1:59.21, while Jarod Arroyo claimed the men’s 400m IM in 4:18.57. 

The TYR Pro Swim Series concludes tomorrow with prelims beginning at 9 a.m. ET and finals at 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information, results, broadcast times and more. 

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