Leah Smith, Jay Litherland Win to Kick Off Arena Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis

Leah Smith, Jay Litherland Win to Kick Off Arena Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis

 | Friday, June 3, 2016

USA Swimming National Team member Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa./Unattached) swam to a pair of lifetime bests in the women’s 200-meter freestyle on Friday, and Jay Litherland (Alpharetta, Ga./Dynamo Swim Club) posted an impressive double to open the Arena Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis.


Smith became the eighth-fastest American of all-time in the women’s 200m free, touching in 1 minute, 56.64 seconds for the victory after posting a then-lifetime-best swim of 1:56.66 in Friday’s morning prelims. 

“I’m really happy with my two races today. I was pleasantly surprised with my 200 free this morning and just wanted to get faster tonight – practice going faster in finals,” Smith said. “I’m really happy I was able to get two best times today.”

Melanie Margalis (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics) was second to Smith in 1:57.33 and came back less than 20 minutes later to win the women’s 100m breast in 1:07.26.

Litherland followed with a win in the men’s 200m free in 1:48.41 before earning his second victory of the night later in the session with a convincing 4:13.93 in the men’s 400m IM, good for No. 12 in the 2016 world rankings. 

In the men’s 100m breast, National Teamer Nic Fink (Morristown, N.J./Athens Bulldog Swim Club) outlasted a strong field, winning in 1:00.13 ahead of Cody Miller (Las Vegas, Nev./Badger Swim Club) and Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill./Unattached). Miller was second in 1:00.41; Cordes third in 1:00.51.

Held at the Indiana University Natatorium on the Campus of IUPUI, the June 3-5 meet consists of prelims at 9 a.m. EDT and finals at 6 p.m. EDT. A live webcast of the entire meet will be available at usaswimming.org.

Other winners Friday in Indianapolis included:

• National Team member Kelsi Worrell (Mt. Holly, N.J./Unattached) in the women’s 100m fly in 58.12
• Canada’s Santo Condorelli in the men’s 100m fly in 51.98
• Vietnam’s Vien Nguyen in the women’s 400m IM in 4:41.92

Complete results from Indianapolis can be found here.  

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming will be held June 26-July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Arena Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis is one of seven stops of the 2015-16 Arena Pro Swim Series. As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with swimwear leader Arena, the circuit will feature a record $350,000 in overall prize money. Swimmers may earn awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic events across the series. At each meet, $1,000 will be provided for a first-place finish, $600 for second and $200 for third. In addition to the single-event prize money, the overall male and female winners of the season-long Series will earn a $10,000 bonus.

For the third consecutive season, longtime USA Swimming partner BMW will award the grand prize of a one-year lease of a BMW vehicle to the highest-scoring eligible male and female U.S. swimmers. 

Male and female overall Arena Pro Swim Series champions will be honored at the conclusion of the 2015-16 series based on the number of points accumulated throughout the seven meets. Participants will be awarded points in each individual Olympic event throughout the duration of the Series (Five points for first, three for second, one point for third place).
 

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