By Sharon Robb
CLOVIS, Calif., June 13, 2019–Leah Smith of Ford Aquatics and Akram Mahmoud of Egypt won on opening day of the TYR Pro Swim Series Wednesday at Clovis North Aquatics Complex.
Smith won the women’s 800-meter freestyle against a small field of ten swimmers. Smith won in 8:22.87. Erica Sullivan of Sandpipers of Nevada was second in 8:27.06. The two were the only ones under 8:30 and were 30 seconds ahead of the remaining finishers.
Mahmoud won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:00.86, ahead of Chris Wieser of Dart in 8:01.98. There were only eight swimmers in the men’s field.
The meet resumes Thursday with prelims and finals. South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Vien Nguyen will both swim.
Nguyen, 22, of Vietnam is entered in the 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.
Atkinson, 30, a four-time Olympian for Jamaica, will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke on Thursday, 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly on Friday and 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle on Saturday.
Among other notable Florida Gold Coast swimmers are Dylan Carter of Team Elite and Trinidad and Tobago and Cathy Cooper of Panama, swimming unattached. Among top name swimmers are Matt Grevers, Townley Haas, Sydney Pickrem, Leah Smith and Kelsi Worrell Dahlia.
SOFLO is a TYR-sponsored club. It is the second year TYR is the title sponsor of the pro series. It was the Arena Pro Swim Series for the first three years.
The series offers prize money for first, second and third place finishes. First place earns $1,500, second $1,000 and third place $500.
Cash prizes were increased by at least 50 percent for each prize and a new prelim swim bonus of $1,500 was added for the top swim in prelims for both a male and female. All prize money is distributed by USA Swimming.
JUST THE FACTS
What: TYR Pro Swim Series
When: Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals, PST.
Where: Clovis North Aquatics Complex, 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno, Calif.
TV/Webcast schedule: June 13, noon, EST, usaswimming.org; June 13, 8 p.m. EST, nbcsports.com and usaswimming.org; June 14, noon and 8 p.m., EST, usaswimming.org; 8 p.m., nbcsports.com; June 15, noon, EST, usaswimming.org and 8 p.m., usaswimming.org or nbcsports.com.
Of note: This is the fifth and final meet in the 2019 series….the meet is sanctioned by USA Swimming….the meet is capped at 450 swimmers….the 800 and 1500 freestyle events are timed finals….it is a long course meet.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org