Regan Smith’s Three Wins Among Highlights At First TYR Pro Swim Series Of 2021
by Todd Kortemeier
Regan Smith competes in the Women's 200 Meter Butterfly Final on Day Three of the TYR Pro Swim Series at San Antonio on Jan. 16, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.
The first major national swim meet of 2021 may have looked a little different than usual, with the action spread out across two sites, but Olympians and Olympic hopefuls alike provided plenty of action over the weekend at the TYR Pro Swim Series in San Antonio, Texas, and Richmond, Virginia.
Rising star Regan Smith was just one of the swimmers looking to make a statement with under 150 days to go until the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming. She began with a strong night Friday, finishing second in the women’s 200 free and then winning the 100 fly. The 18-year-old is considered a top contender going into the Tokyo Games.
Smith was back at it on Saturday, winning the women’s 200 fly, then an hour later outlasted a strong field including Olympians Olivia Smoliga and Kathleen Baker to win the 100 backstroke. Smith, the world-record holder in the 200 back, was forced to scratch out of that event Sunday evening, which was scheduled to be her only one of the night.
The competition opened Thursday night with the 800-meter timed freestyles, with Haley Anderson’s San Antonio time edging Ashley Twichell in Richmond by less than a second in the women’s event. In July 2019, the duo became the first U.S. athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Anderson and Twichell dueled across the country again two nights later, with each winning their respective 400 free, with Anderson’s time just over two seconds ahead. Twichell did score the top time in the 1,500 free Sunday evening.
Zane Grothe won the men’s 800 and also had the top time in the 1,500 free.
With a full slate of events Friday night, Olympic gold medalist Lilly King shined in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke finals, holding off fellow Olympic medalist Kathleen Baker by 1.3 seconds. King added another win in the 200 breast on Saturday. Emily Escobedo was the event winner in both up in Richmond, but was outpaced by King.
Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy scored a doubleheader by winning the men’s 100 back Saturday and the 200 back on Sunday.
Olympic silver medalist Chase Kalisz won the men’s 400 IM on Friday.
Both Abbey Weitzeil and Catie DeLoof broke the 25-second mark in winning the women’s 50 free on Saturday, with DeLoof’s time of 24.80 seconds in Richmond edging out Weitzeil by .17 seconds.
Kieran Smith earned a win on each day of the weekend, with the men’s 200 free on Friday, the 400 free on Saturday and finally the 200-meter individual medley on Sunday. Josh Prenot did the same, with wins in the 400 individual medley Friday, 400 free on Saturday and 1,500 free on Sunday.