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TYR Pro Swim Series at Mission Viejo Preview

by ZwemZa on April 7th, 2021
Tomorrow, some of the USA’s fastest swimmers will take to California for the TYR Pro Swim Series at Mission Viejo. The competition takes place April 8-11 at the Marguerite Aquatics Center.

With just over 50 days until the U.S. Olympic Team Trials kicks off, over 200 swimmers will use Mission Viejo as a key reference to where their training and preparation is at heading into the Olympic summer.

This week’s racing will also feature a different look from past TYR Pro Swim Series events, as the “Tokyo Twist” schedule of events will consist of morning finals and evening prelims to mimic the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 competition schedule.

A field of over 50 U.S. National Teamers and 20 Olympians will surely put on an entertaining four days of swimming. Here’s what fans can watch for as televisions are tuned in to in this week:

Sprint Freestyle:
The men’s 50-meter freestyle consists of some true juggernauts going head-to-head. Seven of the eight top-seeded men are Olympians, while the lone swimmer without and Olympic resume is Michael Andrew, who has a top-5 time in the world since 2018. Between Andrew, Caeleb Dressel and Bruno Fratus, the men’s 50m freestyle is sure to pack a punch. On the women’s side, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Abbey Weitzeil sits as top seed in both the 50m and 100m freestyle events, and will face fellow international medalists Olivia Smoliga, Kelsi Dahlia and more.

Distance Freestyle:
The familiar names of Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith will once again be on display in this week’s distance events. The two have combined for over 75 TYR Pro Swim Series wins dating back to 2015. Also appearing will be Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell, who are the only two female U.S. swimmers with their tickets to Tokyo punched after qualifying in the Open Water 10k. The two are pushing for U.S. Olympic team spots in the pool as well, and would become the first female(s) in U.S. history to qualify in both a pool and open water event should either or both make the team. The men’s distance races should shape up for good competition as well, as four of the six male 800m freestylers on the U.S. National Team will compete against each other in Mission Viejo.

Butterfly
Swim fans will be in for a treat as current world record holder Caeleb Dressel will once again test the water in the 100m butterfly. This will be the first time Dressel swims the 100m butterfly at a national long-course-meter meet since March 2020. Kelsi Dahlia and Hali Flickinger come to Mission Viejo as the most decorated female butterfly swimmers in the field and currently sit as top seeds in the 100m and 200m butterfly, respectively.

Backstroke
The women’s 100m backstroke will again be a must-watch event, as the top-6 seeds in Mission Viejo all hold top-10 times in the U.S. since 2020. Both Olivia Smoliga and Kathleen Baker will square off again following their tight finish last month in San Antonio, when Smoliga touched first in less than a tenth ahead of Baker. In the men’s events, Ryan Murphy will look to attempt to repeat his sweep from March’s TYR Pro Swim Series at San Antonio.

Breaststroke
Lilly King enters the psych sheet as top seed in the women’s 100m breaststroke. Though she’ll be the favorite there, the women’s 200m breaststroke should be a good one with King going against the talents of Annie Lazor, Emily Escobedo and more. The men’s field is led by Michael Andrew and Andrew Wilson, who combine for 16 breaststroke wins in career TYR Pro Swim Series events.

I.M.
Ryan Lochte has his eyes set on the men’s 200m I.M. as he continues to push for a chance at his fifth Olympic Games. He’ll be challenged by Michael Andrew and Abrahm DeVine, who finished first and second, respectively, last month in San Antonio. The women’s 200m I.M. will also feature San Antonio’s victor, as Kathleen Baker will look to build on her impressive 2:10.30 performance last month. The women’s 400m I.M. will be sure to impress as well, seeing 2016 Olympian Melanie Margalis taking on names like 2021 NCAA Champion Brooke Forde and U.S. National Team members Madisyn Cox and Ally McHugh.

For all information on the 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series at Mission Viejo, visit https://www.usaswimming.org/event/2021/04/08/default-calendar/tyr-pro-swim-series-mission-viejo.

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