While the focus heading into the Tyr Pro Swim Series meet in Bloomington was the return to competition of Nathan Adrian, an Indiana star actually stole the headlines.
In her professional debut, ex-Indiana star Lilly King – swimming in her home pool – won the 100 m Breaststroke in a world-leading 1:05.68, the only best-in-the-world performance during the meet on Friday.
There was almost another in the women’s 400 m Freestyle, as Katie Ledecky swam all alone and finished in a seasonal best of 3:59.95. She’s only the second swimmer to break four minutes this season, and missed a world-leading time by just 0.3 seconds; Australia’s Ariarne Titmus continues with the top time in the world so far at 3:59.66.
Adrian swam pretty well in his first meet since 2018 and after his diagnosis and treatment for testicular cancer. He was fifth in the prelims at 49.83 and then was fighting for the lead in the final until the final 10 m, when he faded to fourth in 49.31. Indiana star Zach Apple won the race in 48.76.
Asked about what it was like to finally be back in the pool – his first racing since last December – he was smiling and said:
“It’s a good feeling. I mean, it’s tough to describe, right? This is home for me. Honestly, I’ve never been to Bloomington, but, like, this environment – the Pro Swim Series, having you guys up here – you know, that’s what feels right.
“You get something like an adverse health diagnosis, everything kind of stops, right? You realize, health is no. 1, and everything had to be pushed to the side. And fortunately, we’re through that for now, and I get to do what I can to get back on track.”
Another encouraging set of performances came from Madisyn Cox, who fought off a drug suspension in 2018 and set lifetime bests in the 100 m Breast (1:07.59 in a tie for third) and the 400 m Free (4:10.21 for second).
Zane Grothe won the 1,500 m Free on Thursday and 400 m Free on Friday for the only double winner in the meet so far.
The Bloomington meet continues tomorrow; it will be televised on NBCSN at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday. The live results link is here, but no live results were available during the Friday evening session at all (they came up later). Summaries from Friday:
USA Swimming/Tyr Pro Swim Series
Bloomington, Indiana (USA) ~ 16-19 May 2019
(Full results here)
100 m Freestyle: 1. Zach Apple, 48.76; 2. Blake Pieroni, 48.86; 3. Robert Howard, 49.09.
400 m Free: 1. Zane Grothe, 3:48.27; 2. Felix Auboeck (AUT), 3:52.69; 3. Johannes Calloni, 3:54.21.
1,500 m Free: 1. Grothe, 15:17.12; 2. Marcelo Acosta (ESA), 15:28.66; 3. Ricardo Vargas (MEX), 15:30.04.
50 m Backstroke: 1. Michael Andrew 24.91; 2. Grigory Tarasevich (RUS), 25.10; 3. Gabriel Fantoni (BRA), 25.34.
100 m Breaststroke: 1. Cody Miller, 59.24; 2. Michael Andrew, 59.52; 3. Anton McKee (ISL) 1:00.62.
200 m Butterfly: 1. Jay Litherland, 1:57.99; 2. Corey Gambardella, 1:58.49; 3. Carson Foster, 1:59.32.
100 m Freestyle: 1. Simone Manuel, 53.65; 2. Mallory Comerford, 54.11; 3. Margo Geer, 54.18.
400 m Free: 1. Katie Ledecky, 3:59.95; 2. Madisyn Cox, 4:10.21; 3. Brooke Forde, 4:11.91.
1,500 m Free: 1. Hannah Moore, 16:11.42; 2. Kristel Kobrich (CHI), 16:23.19; 3. Becca Mann, 16:25.49.
50 m Backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, 28.08; 2. Kylee Alons 28.21; 3. Elisa Haan, 28.37.
100 m Breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, 1:05.68; 2. Annie Lazor, 1:06.03; 3. tie, Emily Esbobedo, Madisyn Cox and Bethany Galat, 1:07.59.
200 m Butterfly: 1. Katie Drabot, 2:08.57; 2,. Regan Smith, 2:08.58; 3. Ella Eastin, 2:09.92.