By Sharon Robb
CLOVIS, Calif., June 14, 2019–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Vien Nguyen saw their first action Thursday in the TYR Pro Swim Series Long Course Meet at Clovis North Aquatics Complex.
Atkinson, 30, a four-time Olympian for Jamaica, faded to third after a slow start in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. She lost ground in the first 25 meters and finished in 1:08.00.
Canadian record holder Sydney Pickrem won in the last 25 meters in 1:07.20 and Mexico’s Melissa Rodriguez was second in 1:07.32. Pickrem bettered her personal best from the 2019 Canadian Championships.
In morning prelims, Atkinson led a tight field in 1:09.14 to earn the top seed. Three other swimmers were within a half second behind her: Melissa Rodriguez of Mexico in 1:09.23, Breeja Larson of New York Aquatic Club in 1:09.24 and Pickrem in 1:09.61.
Atkinson has four events left: the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly on Friday and 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle on Saturday.
Vietnamese Olympian Nguyen, 22, was fourth in the women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:50.33. Pickrem won her second event in 4:40.64 and Overholt was second in 4:44.23.
Nguyen was fourth fastest in the 400-meter individual medley prelims in 4:52.42. The top seed was Evie Pfeifer of Texas in 4:46.86 who finished third in 4:44.51.
Nguyen also swam the 200-meter freestyle and finished 15th in 2:05.32 and qualified for the “B” final. She came back at night to finish second in the “B” final in 2:02.16.
Nguyen has four events left: the 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.
Other event winners were:
Leah Smith of Tucson Ford Aquatics, women’s 200-meter freestyle, 1:57.40, just ahead of Mallory Comerford of Louisville in 1:57.93 and Emily Overholt of HPC Vancouver in 1:57.97.
Trey Freeman of Baylor Swim Club won the men’s 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.00. Markus Thormeyer of HPC Vancouver was second in 1:49.33 and Townley Haas of Nova of Virginia was third in 1:49.83.
American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Team Elite was fourth in 1:50.01. Carter is building up for the July 12-19 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea and July 26-Aug. 11 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
Thirty-year-old Brandon Fischer of Livermore won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 59.86. He was the only swimmer to break 1 minute. Devon Nowicki of Michigan Lakeshore was second in 1:00.97 and Miguel de Lara Ojeda of Mexico was third in 1:01.15.
Ali DeLoof of Team Elite won the women’s 50-meter backstroke in 28.05 followed by Amy Bilquist of Scottsdale Aquatics in 28.44 and Isabelle Stadden of Aquajets in 28.64.
Justin Ress of Wolfpack Elite won the men’s 50-meter backstroke in 25.05 followed by Olympian Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford Aquatics in 25.21 and Chris Staka of Aptos Cabrillo in 25.57.
Louise Hansson of Trojan Swim Club won the women’s 100-meter butterfly in 57.36, just ahead of Kelsi Worrell Dahlia of the Cardinal Aquatics in 57.45 and Kendyl Stewart of Team Elite in 58.35.
Gianluca Urlando of Dart Swimming won the men’s 100-meter butterfly in 52.20. Giles Smith of Phoenix Swim Club was second in 52.63 and Ryan Coetzee of Tennessee Aquatics was third in 53.57.
Puerto Rico’s Jarod Arroyo of Pitchfork Aquatics won the men’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:21.65. Erick Gordillo of Guatemala was second in 4:27.00 and Brodie Young of UBC Thunderbirds was third in 4:28.18.
The four-day meet continues Friday with prelims and finals.
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: Friday-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 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….it is a long course meet.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org